There is a thread that runs through most Eastern spiritual practices, such as Yoga or meditation, that urges the practitioner to go to the edge of comfort and push just past it before returning. The idea behind this is that the place you push to becomes your new edge for the next time.

Personally I think this notion applies very well to the small business and marketer.

One of the best practices you can adopt in growing your business is to continually look to marketing strategies and tactics that make you uncomfortable and then add them to the mix. Since marketing doesn’t always come naturally to most small business owners this indeed can take intentional practice. The thing though about moving beyond your edge is that you don’t really need to know exactly how you are going to do it, you simply need to commit to doing it and breath.

Here are a few suggestions that you might consider.

  • Contact a local organization and offer to provide a workshop on something you are passionate about.
  • Contact an industry publication, including blogs, and offer to write a killer guest editorial or post
  • Contact an industry rockstar or journalist and request an interview for your podcast or blog
  • Contact a high profile talk show and pitch your killer trend story
  • Pull out a blank sheet of paper and create a list of goals that take your breath away

None of this is that hard by the way. It’s simply a decision. You can’t phone marketing in and expect to grow, you’ve got to go deeper and deeper, day by day, and push beyond your comfort edge.

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • Love the idea to ask an industry rockstar for an interview for a blog. I have been thinking about that for weeks, but maybe I just needed to be…pushed over the edge. Thanks for the encouragement, John!

  • This is so true! In small business, marketing, and sales I believe your success is only limited to your ability to step beyond your comfort zone!

  • This is so true! I believe in small business, marketing, and sales your success is only limited by your ability to step out of your comfort zone!

  • John, your list is great, I would find more ideas like that to be really valuable. I’m not terrific at thinking outside-the-box myself but am good at finding out what others are doing that I haven’t tried. The list you’ve posted is really a good start for brainstorming but I’d love to read more!

  • A

    My partner and I have been talking about contacting some hot tv show to market our clothing line. Thank you for the motivating article.

  • Hi
    Just to let you know that included 3 of your posts in Top 250 blog posts – advertising, marketing, media & PR:
    – Is it a blog or a website
    – If your not participating in social media
    – The hierarch of social marketing

  • I agree John but one Yoga principle is focusing from within, inner self and your core. Sounds like Core message, Target Market, ideal client to me. Did you take Yoga Training before writing DTM. You just don’t look the type.

    But I believe you must not worry about appealing to the masses, but to your target market. I believe it is much easier to be remarkable within your target market and it is practical to do. As you move towards the masses, the less remarkable, you can be and the less effective you can be.

    Going to the edge for me is re-thinking my strategies I am using for my target market and trying to be remarkarble within that sturcture?

  • You can also go outside for inspirations.

    Hire a freelancer or consultant, and get their take on your business or challenge. Their perspective allows you to see your business with fresh eyes.

  • These are great ways to expand upon your marketing efforts, John. Even better, I think business of all sizes would benefit from keeping these tips in mind!

  • Well said.

    Pushing the comfort zone is well needed. But focus is too.

    Some of the most successful products and service offerings – in terms of revenue and paradigm change really come from a focused strategy that identifies their target market and builds the entire product line and communication structure around that market’s needs and emotions.

    Identifying that market, keeping the product line simple and focused and developing cutting edge strategies make the difference between boys and men. 🙂

  • Thanks for the tips. I like the tie in to eastern philosophies and breaking through. Many of my clients know what to do, but getting them to see it clearly and to act is always the issue.

    Free Small Business Marketing Tips

  • I really like where your coming from in the is post. Yes I can see what to do, and I’ll give these strategies a try. Nice post and I’ll grab your feed while I’m here. Thanks.

  • I’m going to use the idea of a guest blog this week. There are a few people I know who could do this, but I would not have thought of asking of to contribute. Good idea!

  • You have some great ideas here!

    Tapping into the media attention of successful businesses is a great way to “be taken for a ride” so to speak. But make sure the message that is being sent is one that you are happy with.


  • Good post, John. If we do not move out of our comfort zone, we do not grow, and that’s not just an Eastern idea. How about Eleanor Roosevelt, saying “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”

  • I always thought about marketing the same way as about investing. In both cases you have a portfolio mix of established working strategies that provide stability to your business (your bonds and other stable investments that provide stability) and some things you play with to see if they’ll work (your higher risk investments that can bring much higher returns or won’t work at all).