Punching through the Comfort Zone: Unexpected Rewards

S. Miles fdp.net 10.25.15Last week I experienced another bonus as a result of stepping out of my well-built comfort zone. I attended the IdeaBounce 50+ sponsored by the Skandalaris Center. Entrepreneurs are invited to present their idea to a team of judges. Each participant has 2 minutes to pitch their idea and winners receive $100 and breakfast with the judges.

What attracted me to this IdeaBounce was that they were calling entrepreneurs over 50 years old. My plan was to make contact with the judges, who were key people in entrepreneurship, second-act careers, the Center for Aging and other significant areas, to promote my Grandparents in Business blog. I did not intent to present; it required advanced registration, which I avoided because, well, I still have introverted tendencies surging through my blood. So I sat in the back and watched in comfort from my seat.

Eight brave, pre-registered ‘bouncers’ presented their ideas. When the chosen 8 finished their presentation, the host opened the floor for an Open Mic idea bounce. These participants would receive comments and feedback regarding their idea.

At first, the audience was hesitant, but not me. My hand went up—and so did my heartrate! I was the second of five to present and I shared my new blog and developing community.

The rest was a blur. I returned to my seat and blended in with the rest of the crowd. My heartrate settled back to normal and I was pleased with my results—I DID IT! I was eager to receive the judges’ comments.

After the presentations were complete, people mingled and a few asked for my business card. I joined the others in the main hall to await the IdeaBounce winners. Minutes later, the crowd silenced as the host, Stacy, announced the winners. Of the four chosen, I WAS ONE OF THEM!! Stacy pointed to me and waved me forward. I reached out to receive the judges’ comments and she instead handed me instructions to the judges’ breakfast and a sheet to fill out for my $100 check.

Really?

“I’m just here for the judges’ comments,” I said.

Stacy and those surrounding me laughed.

The breakfast was the following morning and I didn’t care what it would take to attend, I was going to be there! It was the ideal opportunity to meet and learn about the judges, what they did for senior entrepreneurship and how I can better grow my business. Conversations and connections were made that otherwise may have taken much longer to build if I hadn’t poked my hand through my comfort zone.

What can you do to break out of your comfort zone? In what ways have you already done so? Share with others and comment below.

p.s. it’s quite a high to step out on a limb like that. I still experience the euphoria from knowing I can do it and I DID. Take similar chances for you and your business!

Kristen Edens
A grandparent in business

(photo image courtesy of Stuart Miles of freedigitalphotos.net)

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