How to Overthink Your Way Out of Your Comfort Zone

A while back, I told you about how much I enjoyed my comfort zone, in contrast to my risk-taking husband, in a blog titled 7 Do’s and Don’ts for the Risk-Adverse Printer.

These days, I’m still not riding kayaks off of cliffs or participating in family skydiving events like the one below; however, that doesn’t mean my comfort zone hasn’t been shrinking.

A three-generation skydiving event! Pictured: (Left) My oldest son, J.J. (Middle) My husband, Jeremy (Right) My father-in-law, Arlyn

Stepping out of a comfort zone will look different from one person or business to the next. For some, it could be as simple as one step in an unknown direction. For others, stepping out means the daily battle of fighting their way toward a goal they’ve been working on for years.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you’re looking to step outside your comfort zone.

Know Your Motivation

To move outside of your comfort zone, you must first learn what it’ll take to motivate you there.

After decades of overthinking, I’ve come to understand the number one thing that pushes me out of my comfort zone is not the adrenaline rush (a.k.a. absolute terror!) of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. Rather, I am motivated to get uncomfortable if it means helping someone else succeed… like printers!

How About You?

  • What motivates you to step out of your comfort zone?
  • What are the needs of your print business that will require you to leave your comfort zone behind?

Get Over Yourself

Recently, my comfort zone and my love for helping printers collided in a new project here at MI4P called the Tip of the Week.

These two- to three-minute videos seemed like a no-brainer. They helped to build a consistent connection with our printers and provided a helpful resource for them as they were grinding away in the busy, daily trenches of running a print business.

There was just one problem. Videos focused on connection require a face to connect to, which meant I had to get over myself… and quickly.

I never realized how many weird faces I made until they kept randomly popping up as video thumbnail options. They had me both laughing out loud and seriously considering returning to my comfort zone of writing behind the camera versus speaking in front of it.

How About You?

  • Where are your personal and business growth opportunities getting hung up in your own comfort zones? (Hint: If you find yourself thinking, “But, this is the way I’ve always done it,” you’re looking in the right spot.)
  • Are your sights set on progress or perfection? If you struggle in this area, remind yourself of how many things in life actually remain finished or “perfected” and the powerful ways transitional thinking will grow your print business.
  • The most human company wins.  Your print buyers don’t need shiny imitations. They simply need (and want) your authenticity. How can you put yourself and your brand out there to better show your human side to your print buyers?

It’s Not Supposed to Be Easy

There’s a famous quote from Theodore Roosevelt that can be hard to hear and even harder to implement.

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t read that quote and instantly think, “Pain and difficulty? Yay! Sign me up!” (Do you?)

But Roosevelt is right.

As an example, we here at MI4P have been faithfully (and fiercely) working on a Print Management Information System (MIS) solution for a while now.

And, you know what? Not only was it a big step out of our comfort zones of website, direct mail, social media, and email marketing, but the development of Odyssey 2.0 checked all of those boxes Roosevelt mentioned.

  • Effort? Check.
  • Pain? Check.
  • Difficulty? Check.

But it’s WORTH doing. Why? Because it’s NEEDED to help printers like you succeed in selling more printing, and we refuse to just sit idly by and watch.

How About You?

  • Where does your print business need to step out and get a little uncomfortable in order to meet the needs of your print buyers? What things do you know you need to provide in order to help them survive? Online ordering? Online design? A private label website to make print ordering for their company easier?
  • On the flip side, what do YOU need to make your print business more efficient and better connected to your audience? (A new MIS solution? Wink. Wink.)

No matter where you end up outside of your comfort zone, we’re here to walk beside you, funny faces and all.

All the best,


Written by

Rachel Nies

Director of Marketing, Marketing Ideas For Printers

Rachel has a passion for helping others succeed. She doesn’t like the limelight but will do everything she can to help you get there. A born implementer with a love for content creation, editing, project management and administration, Rachel uses her unique abilities as the Director of Marketing at Marketing Ideas For Printers, helping printers across the country sell more printing through marketing content and online ordering solutions.