Choose Growth Over Comfort
Last year I was invited to interview Sir Richard Branson on his private Caribbean island. A career highlight for sure! Fortunately for me, “Just call me Richard” is incredibly down to earth person who quickly puts people at ease around him.
During our interview and on several other occasions during my five days on Necker Island we talked about all sorts of things. One thing that really struck me was how many times, particularly in his early days as an entrepreneur, he went completely out on a limb to grow his fledgling enterprises. While most of his risks (and third mortgages) paid off, they didn’t always (remember Virgin Cola?). He said the times he failed taught him as much as the times he didn’t.
Of course it’s easy to look at people like Richard Branson and say “Well it’s easy for them.” Yet the truth is that it was no easier for him than anyone. He had no way of knowing back then where he’d end up today.
The same applies for anyone who has created something from nothing. They had to try things with no guarantee of success, embracing the nervous discomfort that accompanies all risk. Yet in daring to do more than what they’d done before, they built their tolerance for risk that helped them navigate a smarter, and braver, path forward.
Of course, I’ve no idea what challenges you’re facing right now. However I do know that when we spend too much time sticking with the familiar and doing what we can already do well, we miss out on all sorts of opportunities that go to those who aren’t. Opportunities to…
- Meet cool people (like Sir Richard!) and build rewarding new relationships.
- Learn new skills and gain valuable knowledge.
- Grow confidence in ourselves and clarity for our future.
- Change thing things we aren’t happy with in our business, work and lives.
- Inspire others to be braver in theirs.
As I share in the video above (which I’d love you to watch and share), growing up on a small farm in rural Australia I learned that growth and comfort can’t ride the same horse. I had plenty of falls from my two horses (particularly the wild second one which I won in a raffle!) As I wrote in Brave, I didn’t realize it back then, but each time I saddled up it helped me to ‘train the brave’ – strengthening my ‘courage muscles’ for the challenges that were to come.
How about you? Which area of your life right now is calling you to step bravely up to the plate, embracing whatever discomfort that holds, for something more important?