In the face of such a bleak and unknown future it’s tempting to wrap yourself – and your business – in the comforting familiarity of routine. Stick to what you know and do it better than anyone else, right?
But whilst it’s not a completely awful ideology, it’s not exactly doing much to keep your business at the forefront of its industry.
The dangers of comfort
Productivity will come to a standstill if you continue to pick comfort over challenging yourself, as Psychology Today’s Ran Zilca explains:
'We live in a society where comfort has become a value and a life goal. But comfort reduces our motivation for introducing important transformations in our lives. Sadly, being comfortable often prohibits us from chasing our dreams.'
To keep innovation and motivation running high, you need to break out of your business comfort zone.
Challenge yourself for success
Some of the most successful companies around climbed their way to the top by taking risks and venturing into the unknown – Richard Branson and the multifaceted Virgin being the most obvious example.
With this in mind, we’re sharing three golden rules for challenging yourself and taking your business to the next level. Take a look.
#1: Don’t be afraid of branching out
You may have started out as an online clothes retailer but that doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to only selling dresses and shoes for the rest of your career. Diversifying is crucial to opening doors and keeping your business moving.
Take Ormiston Wire. They may have been established as the experts in manufacturing catenary wire, but when asked by the makers of Thunderbirds to come up with a special effects wire back in the 60s they responded with innovative flair.
Their success in meeting the challenge opened their business and products up to a whole new industry – and it’s an approach you should also take on board. Put yourself out there, pitch for different projects and chase opportunities to work with other companies and industries.
#2: Create a culture of failure
Failure is a dirty word in business, but to create a workplace environment that supports and encourages employees to be adventurous you have to create a culture that’s accepting of mistakes.
That’s the driving ideology behind Amazon, according to CEO Jeff Bezos anyway, who believes 'failed experiments are a necessary evil to creating successful inventions.'
Even if your risk-taking goes wrong, so long as you learn from mistakes, manage the fallout and communicate with staff, your company can still thrive afterwards.
#3: Build a team of experts
Your business might be upping its expertise in a different area or industry but that doesn’t mean you also need to be an expert yourself – you just need to hire the right people for the job.
To build an effective team and successfully take on your new challenge, you need to entice the right calibre of candidates.
Pride yourself on looking after your employees and people will be begging to come and work for you. Look to Expedia for inspiration – by privileging communication and flexibility, they’ve been named the best employers in the UK for two years running.
Whatever comes your way in 2017, follow our three steps to keep challenging yourself and you’ll fly through all of its trials and tribulations.