(Photo by Dave Shafer)
Most of the time, we look for the “sure thing”. A “sure thing” tends to be middle-of-the-road. It’s safe. It’s reliable. It’s expected. And it’s mostly forgettable. So what is a business owner to do?
Look to the edges for your next opportunity, client, or learning. Something (or someone) that’s not safe – something that’ll make you have to reconsider some of your assumptions and learning. You’ll likely to have more objections working on the edge. People around you will be worried that you’ll fail. You’ll think of yourself as insane for giving up the safety for the excitement of something new. The edge is definitely not safe. You might even lose a sale or opportunity. But the opposite of growth is stagnation, and stagnation is equivalent to a “sure thing” – a slow business death.
Is looking to extreme edges right for every business? Definitely not. You need to take into account your target audience. If they are middle-of-the-road people, then they’re likely not to be as interested in true “edges” (it’ll make them edgy). For them, something on the “edge” is likely to be an evolution in your offering – not a revolution. So instead of pushing for an extreme edge for your prospective customers, push for a smaller edge. Something they could adjust to, and even (grow to) appreciate.
Consider the perspective of a new business competitor. Would they likely launch a “me-too” offering (copying your safe/sure-thing)? Or, would they attempt to leapfrog your offering with something re-imagined, something far-reaching, and something harder to copy?
Ultimately if you’re not growing beyond your edges, you’re slowly losing your own edge.