On Thanksgiving Day 2014 I woke up at 6am, far earlier than anyone else at my house. I was not thrilled about being awake at all. It was dark and it was cold (really cold– more on that later), and my reason for being awake did not thrill me either.
The Turkey Trot
A few weeks before Thanksgiving I agreed to do the Turkey Trot 5k in St. Paul with three of my friends. Now I had done one 5k, about a month before Thanksgiving I ran my first one in honor of breast cancer. That one meant something to me. I was running it on the 5 year anniversary to the date of the day my cousin passed away from breast cancer. She was only 28. I did it to honor her memory and her hard fight against that awful disease. That 5k I could get behind and I felt a little spiritual push the whole way.
The Turkey Trot? Not so much. This one felt more like peer pressure to me, but kind of like fun too.
Now if you would have ever told me that I said a 5k was fun I would have laughed at you. Laughed hard until I cried. You see I vowed never to be one of those people that was going to run for fun. I was never going to be one of those “crazies.” I hated running and had no desire to be a runner.
A Million Excuses
Yet here I was, this very cold November morning getting ready to run the Turkey Trot. It was -6 in temperature, not wind chill, but temperature, at race time. It was the coldest Thanksgiving in the Twin Cities in 30 years. I was here ready to run the Turkey Trot. Something I vowed I would never do and especially not in the dead cold of winter. Even worse, I had barely slept the night before as my youngest was up every hour because of a cold. I wasn’t in the best of moods and I had a million excuses running through my head of why I didn’t have to go to this race. Even my friends were shocked when they came to pick me up that I came out the front door.
Sure peer pressure got me here and a little bit of fun got me here, but you want to know what really got me to that starting line? Taking a leap out of my comfort zone and doing something that challenged me. A giant leap. I am not a runner, I don’t even consider myself in shape, but I was up for trying something new, something different and something that would be a challenge. Why not? As long as it wouldn’t kill me, I was game for it. I was nervous and I was scared of course. I was worried that I would be the only one there that would have to walk, that my friends would leave me in the dust, and would be waiting for me for an hour at the finish line. I was even kind of scared that I would trip and fall flat on my face or even worse break something. But I was determined to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. Something that was for me, something that would challenge me, something that was for personal growth.
My Comfort Zone
In 2016 I took a huge leap of faith and stepped outside of my comfort zone. You see I had been involved in the real estate industry as far back as I could remember. I remember “working” in the family business as early as age seven. By the time I was 10 I was being paid to type real estate appraisals. Over the years I worked as an assistant to appraisers, title closers, and Realtors. I spent time working as a Loan Officer for five years and got out just before the market tanked. But right around that time I took off on my own branch of real estate and began doing real estate marketing.
Then last year happened and something inside of me said, after 27 years in the same industry, it was time to be done. It was time to try the dream that had been on my heart for the last few years. I would love to say “and just like that Women Winning Online was born.” But that wouldn’t be the whole story. That wouldn’t tell you how absolutely terrified I was to leave an industry that I knew like the back of my hand, to pursue something that was just a dream. Something that I had no idea what I was doing and if it would work or not.
But just like the Turkey Trot, I knew if I didn’t do it, I would always wonder if I could. I would always wonder if I missed something that would be good for me. That would stretch me and take me far outside of my comfort zone of real estate.
On February 8th, one day after my 37th birthday, Women Winning Online was officially born. I was officially outside of my comfort zone and on a new journey.
Your Comfort Zone
Every day we have the opportunity to step outside our comfort zones, but we rarely do. We have a million excuses of why we don’t have to. It’s scary. We don’t want to fail. We don’t want to look dumb. We don’t have time. We don’t have money. Yet when we take that challenge and do something different, a small piece of us changes and usually for the better.
As a blogger you have the opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone on a daily basis and become better at what you do. To take a challenge that will push you as a blogger. To do something different that you haven’t done before like sending out your first email newsletter or finally launching that program that has been on your mind for years.
You have the opportunity to evaluate what is and isn’t working for your blog. Is it time to let go of your Facebook page because it isn’t bringing you in much traffic and focus on Instagram instead? Or is it worth it to start investing in your blog and in yourself to learn marketing ideas that will help you grow? It’s hard to invest in ourselves isn’t it? We worry that we aren’t worth the investment or that our efforts won’t work. We worry that we will waste our time and our money and end up right where we were before. Or worse, right where we were before with nothing to show for it and less money in our pocketbooks too.
But what if you stepped outside of your comfort zone? What if you took the time to invest in you? It could mean the difference between saying stuck where you are right now or taking that leap of faith and watching your blog grow in ways you’ve only dreamed of. Then would it be worth it to step outside of your comfort zone?
As the summer comes to a close, we are gearing up to get back to our blogs. Back to the routine and the consistency that this season brings before the holidays hit. Before we know it we are going to be knee deep in blog planning and goal setting for next year. I would venture to guess that you had a good year blogging but you want to do even more in 2017.
You know how you get there? You add working outside your comfort zone into your plans for next year. Yes, keep doing the blogging tasks that you know, that you love, and that you are good at, but take it one step further next year. Do marketing that you have always wanted to try but were too scared to do. Launch a program that will help your niche become better. Step outside of your comfort zone. That is where the magic happens, where growth as a blogger happens. This is the point where you and your blog really starts to grow and change for the better.
As for me, I can look back at 2016 and feel thrilled that I took that leap of faith. Whew! That scary leap of leaving the only industry I had known for 27 years. Not only did I get to follow my true passion, but I have met and helped some amazing women along the way. I know that 2017 is going to be a great year for all of us and that for me, my leap of faith outside of my comfort zone was worth it.
Oh and by the way it’s been almost two years since that 5k and I am still doing them and I still don’t love them! I wonder if that will ever change?!
What are your goals for your blog this fall and into 2017? Are you going to do the same things you did in 2016 or are you going to up your game and try new things? Please tell me about your plans in the comments below! Thank you!