When I say to audiences and clients to take every opportunity, quite often the opportunities I had to advance my career and business came about because nobody else was willing to step out of a comfort zone.
In every case, taking a challenge did not mean getting stuck with doing the boring work – quite the opposite. They were exciting opportunities, but other people either didn’t feel they had the skill sets or didn’t feel they had the time to commit. Sometimes people avoid the things that will help them to grow because it just seems too hard.
I think if you put yourself out and take on those things outside of the ordinary, you have the opportunity to build an extraordinary career or business, and will enjoy a richer and more fulfilling experience in your work.
It might mean sacrificing the odd weekend here and there to do it. Think of it as time to hone your craft and become better than your competition.
If you do that and get a reputation for going beyond, and providing stand-out quality, people see you as a safe pair of hands. You are trusted and that is something that is incredibly important in business.
As you move through your career an organisation or advisory board will want to know that they can trust you with decision making and to have evidence that you can make those decisions independently, so develop a wider breath of experience as soon as possible. In your own business, being able to demonstrate these skills is essential particularly if you are looking to raise funding or lead teams.
I will be honest – in a traditional workplace it may mean doing something where you know it is outside your job description. If you have a job description, maybe go and write your own that’s more aligned to what you can do and can contribute over and above the norm. If you work in your own business, relish the new challenges each day brings and always reflect on your learning over time.
If you are reading this, there’s a chance you know you are here to be exceptional rather than ordinary. So accept this as permission to go out there and be exceptional, and play by your own rules!