During a recent search for blog post inspiration I stumbled upon an interesting story on (of all places) the site of a web design company. It described how as their business has grown they’ve come across new, difficult challenges that they’ve had to face up to. To do otherwise would be detrimental to their growth.
The truth of this is obvious on many levels, not just in business. If you want to grow in any meaningful way - personally, professionally, in relationships, etc. - you’ll have to enter new territory, even though it might make you uncomfortable. Despite public speaking not being the forte of that web design team, they still did a speech at a design conference because of the all opportunities for growth it brought.
I’m reminded of a time several years ago, back when I was trying to grow one of my old blogs. I received an email from the local BBC radio station wanting to interview me, but the prospect of it made me anxious and I turned it down. I rationalised all these reasons why I didn’t need to do it, why I could just continue writing the occasional blog post and still make a success of it without having to leave my comfort zone. One instance perhaps, but I now see it as encapsulating why I was never able to take that blog to the next level.
Progress will happen regardless (just ask a taxi driver faced with Uber, or music company exec contemplating Spotify). I know fundamentally that if you don’t move with the times you’ll get left behind. Yet am I living by that tenet? I’ve dismissed self-publishing even though I’m always reading how traditional publishing is struggling. And in recent years I’ve shied away from social media despite repeatedly being told the value of it as a medium for promoting and networking.
The question is, why? Am I being guided by data and research? Or just choosing what’s safe, comfortable and familiar?