A friend of mine started her own company a few years ago. We met at an executive management seminar at Northwestern University and you could tell, she just had a lot going for her. Over the years we’ve lost touch, but I still remember an e-mail she sent to help promote her new gig.
In it, she talked about going to one of those racing schools where you get to drive a real race car real fast.
Really fast.
From the sounds of it, she’s pretty used to driving fast anyway.
At any rate, she ends up driving a stock car around Homestead Miami Speedway at 135 mph.
Pretty cool, if you ask me.
But, as she wrote, it also had an element of fear. It took her out of her comfort zone.
And that’s the point, isn’t it?
Her explanation:
“If I truly believe that I am a Possibility Being, I have to act like one. Or more to the point, I get to act like one. I can throw off all the limitations that society / my brain / my mother have imposed on me and drive as fast as I want.
”So my question to you is, what are you doing to get yourself comfortable with being on The Edge? What activities do you have planned for yourself for the specific purpose of increasing your risk tolerance? If you want to innovate your life, Risk Taking 101 is a prerequisite.”

Well, said Kim!
In Kim’s case, she did something on a personal level that had great implications professionally. If we can expand, or as in her case, “blow away” our comfort zones, a world of possibilities will be open to each one of us.
It’s also a good idea to experiment on a personal level. The dime you are then risking is your own. It doesn’t belong to the company, and more importantly, the only fallout from failing will be your own. In that case, failing might actually be succeeding in disguise.
Be smart when stepping out of that circle of security. Take the advice from Vegas gamblers and stock brokers (who really do share some eerie similarities), don’t invest more than you can afford to lose. But invest something. Because in management, those who move up are those who can make things happen. There will come a point when you’ve made everything happen that you can from where you are.
Personal growth is the way to improve your future.

Next week: Weather forecast

Business Playbook is written by Tim Timmons. Timmons’ book, Coaching Success: Creating Champions for the Business World is available at www.tim-timmons.com.