[FUEL] Is it time to come out of your shell?

By Dawn Shuler

is it time to come out of your shell

Entrepreneurs and business owners often go through cycles. We can be all spitfire and balls o’ energy, and then we go into downtime, replenish, and retreat mode. We can’t be at high productivity and creativity all the time; we need the rest part of the creativity cycle.

At the same time, we can’t be in rest mode all the time, or nothing gets done!

And then there’s the in-between, the status quo, where we just keep doing what we’ve been doing, not adding anything new, and not really retreating into our shells.

That place can feel reeeeaaaaalllly comfortable after a while, especially if revenues are steady. “Hey, I’m bringing in income. I’m working. It’s all good.”

However, at some point, that status quo will start to change. Maybe clients aren’t renewing like they used to, and new ones aren’t coming in. Or you’re not getting as many new subscribers. Or you’re posting the same kind of stuff over and over on your social media sites.

It may be that you’ve been retreating or status quoing too long. Here are some innovative, fresh ways to jumpstart you back into the higher productivity part of entrepreneurial the cycle.

  • Go to networking events. Okay, this might not exactly be an innovative and fresh idea, but if you’re not really getting out of your office and meeting people in person, you’re probably stagnating a bit. There’s nothing like getting face to face with people so that they can get a sense of who you are.
  • Volunteer or mentor. This particular activity can butter both sides of your bread at once. You get to give back, which is awesome, and you get to strut your stuff with a younger person or someone who is just starting out, and basically reaffirming – for yourself – that you know a thing or two.
  • Take a leadership position. Join a board of directors for your favorite organization, or apply for a volunteer leadership position in your local county or in an economic development organization. You build your credibility and visibility, and your cohorts can really see what you’re made of.
  • Try on a new technology. Heard of Periscope or Blab? Do you have an Instragram account? Have you set up a Pinterest board? Just doing something different can open up new avenues and ideas.
  • Review some of your standard marketing avenues. If you do speaking, are you still jazzed by your key signature topics? If not, what would jazz you? If you put out infographics on the same thing all the time, is there another area that you would love to explore, but you’ve been putting off because it feels too vulnerable? Maybe now is the time to come out of your shell a bit.

You see, we all retreat into our respective shells after a while. It’s just like working out. You have to change up your exercise routine, or else your muscles will stop building the way they used to. When I was training for a marathon years ago, my running coach said to change your running routes periodically because your muscles will start to memorize the route – and then they don’t need to build up – and you actually lose muscle tone.

You need to challenge your entrepreneurial muscles as well.

So what new, fresh action are you going to take next?