Unknown Territory: What do I do now?

A huge problem for all of us is when we enter unknown territory.  When we venture "outside" our comfort zone, we enter a place of uncertainty.  While there are some people who CRAVE the area "outside the known box," most of us prefer to live inside the confines of what is known and comfortable.

Yesterday, I ventured outside my know culinary boundaries when I purchased a Papaya.  I had read an article on paypaya’s health benefits and decided to try something new.  The article which recommended this exotic fruit even told me how to eat a papaya.  (Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and eat it with a spoon.)  I really don’t know if I would have purchased the fruit without that simple how to which was included in a sidebar.

As I was scraping the seeds from the papaya, I realized that without those simple instructions, I would have been LOST!  The seeds of a papaya (at least the one I brought home) were rather soft and I’m not sure I would have known to discard them without some instruction.  (I then did a bit of research and discovered that the seeds of the papaya are used as a folk remedy to induce abortion!  WHOA! )

Now, if you’ve been eating papayas all your life, you’re probably thinking how silly it is that I would get all caught up in this new fruit adventure…. but my morning papaya adventure has shown me that sometimes, even the simplest things are not so easy when they’re new.  There’s definitely a "fear factor" when stepping outside the box.

So I hereby apologize for my last post where I was more than a little cranky about the business development coach who sidetracked my beloved client (who is on her way to RULING THE WORLD once she gets going with her new business). 

However, I’ve seen what a POWERFUL tool a blog can be at establishing credibility for anyone who sells their time and knowledge to make a living.  I’m frustrated that these absolutely brilliant individuals can’t seem to get around to creating posts to share that brilliance via the web!

When you’re selling "nothing but air", which is what you’re selling if you’re an attorney, a realtor, a coach, a consultant, or even a CPA, you have to give people a REASON to trust you.  After all, your potential clients can’t pick up the piece of wood that you’ve shaped into a statue and admire your craftsmanship.  They can’t marvel at your skill in wielding the tools of your trade. 

As I have these absolutely INSPIRING conversations with these people who have purchased a blog from me, I get frustrated when I see months go by without a single post. 

During a conversation this morning, one client was talking about a newspaper article that really got her angry.  She said, "If I were a writer, I’d write a letter to the editor!"  Well, my dear…. you may not be a writer, but you’re one HECK of a communicator. You have a blog which could be a powerful platform, if only you’d make posts to it.  The thing is, those posts don’t HAVE to be written ones.  Pick up a web cam and start creating your own video posts if the written word is too much for you!  (If you’re an Acumen Web Services client, you already have the plug in installed to make adding video to your blog easy.)

When you’re selling your time and knowledge, it’s all about communication. You HAVE to be able to communicate your expertise if you expect to suceed.  I’ve seen examples of professionals who had truly limited ability who were WILDLY successful because they were great communicators.

Those who say "I can’t write" usually haven’t written much.  Writing is a skill which needs to be practiced, just as speaking is another communication skill that needs practice.  (That’s why Toastmasters is so popular!)  It may mean stepping out of your comfort zone, but the rewards are great for those who stretch themselves accordingly.


  1. Good point about the comfort zone, there. And, I definitely hear you around the ‘everyone can write.’

    One distinction I’ve found useful, that was taught to me by LaShelle Chardé, was that there are actually three zones- the comfort zone, the learning zone, and the panic zone.

    I’ve really noticed this to be true- that being in the comfort zone all the time means life is one big snooze. But, trying to go too far outside the discomfort of the learning zone actually lands me in the panic zone, and I have to get back to the comfort zone to chill out (for a moment, an hour, a day, a decade…) before venturing out again.

    With my clients, I’m constantly judging how to get them into their learning zone, but not cross them over into their panic zone. It’s a fun game, and knowing about that ‘third zone’ of the panic zone has helped me a lot in supporting reluctant clients to move along.

    What do you think? Does this click with your experiences?

  2. I just had a conversation with a client who has been on board for 7 years now. She said, “I’m finally getting it! What you’ve been telling me is sinking in!”

    And yes, it’s been an ebb and flow process.