What would you do with a nine-hour layover in Chicago?
I don’t know what you’d pick. But can you take a wild guess which one I’d choose?
That’s right, I’d choose option two any day.
But do you know what I’ve noticed? There are actually people out there who would choose the first option every single time. Crazy, right? Even more shocking, one of them is a very good friend of mine.
When I was a junior in college, I got the opportunity to travel to Europe for my Western Civilization class. The week before we left, I remember receiving a very detailed itinerary from our trip leader, and the first thing I noticed was a nine-hour layover in Chicago.
Normally, I wouldn’t get pumped about a nine-hour layover anywhere. But, I was a 21-year-old southern girl who had never been up north. So, the potential to have a big chunk of time to sightsee, shop, and eat my way through a very cool northern city got me pumped.
I immediately called one of my good friends who was also going on the trip. Our conversation went a little something like this:
Me: Guess what? We have nine hours in Chicago! We can go sightseeing, tour the city, and try new restaurants!
Friend: No, we can’t.
Me: We can’t?
Friend: No. We can’t do that. We can’t leave the airport.
Me: How do you know? Did you read something I missed?
Friend: No. I’m just sure we can’t go.
Me: Did someone tell you that? Like a leader or a past participant?
Friend: No. I’m just sure we can’t go.
Me: That’s so interesting, because I am so sure we can.
I learned something about myself and other people that day. There tend to be two personality styles when it comes to trying new things. There are those who, when in doubt, assume they can’t. And there are those who, when the information or rules are not clear, assume they can.
But you know what? Regardless of how you’re wired, you will go further and faster in life when you assume that you can. More importantly, someone who assumes they can do whatever it is they want to do is more willing, able and confident to try new things. And trying new things in life and in business is vital to growth.
Your life will be small and predictable if all you ever do is what you know—if you only ever stick to is what is safe. That’s not the life God wants for you. He wants you to push the limits, get outside your comfort zone and try something new.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, a group of 21-year-olds who were paying for a trip to Europe can, in fact, leave an airport to run around Chicago for a few hours. And once my friend got all the approvals she needed, we had an amazing time exploring the city.
I don’t want you to miss out on all that God has prepared for you. That’s why I want to encourage you to train yourself to assume you can. Because when you do, you’ll try new things, see new things, experience new things, and grow in new ways.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying you need to change things just for the sake of changing them. If something in your life is rocking and rolling, keep doing that. However, don’t let things get stale in your life. Don’t keep doing what you’ve always been doing simply because you’ve always done it that way. Bring renewed vigor into your life by mixing things up a bit.
Maybe, up until this point, everything has been strictly business—in work, in your parenting, and in your marriage. That’s no fun! I want to encourage you to add some playfulness and humor into the mix.
Don’t just show your followers the good stuff. Laugh at yourself as you show them some failures and mistakes you’ve experienced that week. Tell them all the ridiculous things that happened. People love that kind of realness. When you add personality to your business, it not only makes it fun for your followers, it makes it fun for you. Win-win!
Have you ever noticed how reality TV shows will always show a person’s backstory before they get on the stage to sing or dance? Y’all, that’s on purpose. People love to hear other people’s backstories, especially when there’s a redemption angle. So, what can you share to become more relatable? I love the quote by Fred Rogers (Mister Rogers) that says, “Frankly, there isn’t anyone you couldn’t learn to love once you’ve heard their story.”
This week, why not try pulling the curtain back and revealing a few secrets?
This is probably my favorite. You’ll never know the limits of your capabilities if you don’t learn something new. There are so many ways to do this: Listen to a new podcast, attend an event, read a new book, or seek out a new relationship. When you invite something new into your business and life, every part of you experiences growth.
I know new things can be scary and overwhelming. But I promise you that everything you want— everything that’s good and worthwhile in the world—exists outside your comfort zone. So, assume that you can, try something new, and I promise you’ll be glad that you did.
Kelsey Humphreys is the queen of trying new things. Hence why introducing her consists of a long list of talents: She’s a speaker, comedienne, author, musician, YouTuber and host of The Kelsey Show podcast. In everything she does, she keeps one mission top-of-mind: To get you laughing and keep you moving toward your goals.
I love that she uses so many different avenues to accomplish that mission. But how was she able to discover all those talents she’s capable of? You got it: By having the courage to try new things.
Kelsey started her career in corporate advertising. She worked her way up the ladder when, one year, a frozen yogurt company reached out and asked her if she would run all of their marketing and branding for their more than 200 stores. This new giant client allowed her to leave the corporate world to start her own business as a freelancer.
But when this major client was sold to another company, Kelsey had two options: She could seek out new clients and continue building her freelance business, or she could do what she really wanted to do—start her own show. The rest, as they say, is history.
On this episode, Kelsey and I talk about:
Every spring, my husband and I take an extended weekend vacation to the beach—just the two of us. After the long winter season, all we want is to spend a few days with the sun beaming down on our faces.
As we were planning this trip, we kept coming across this one hotel that had great reviews. People recommended it again and again. It had a beautiful infinity pool overlooking the beach and oceanfront rooms. It had everything we wanted, so we booked it.
The day finally came when it was time to fly down to Florida. But the moment we pulled into the hotel, I was confused. This hotel was not on the ocean. It was on a busy street. I was mystified because every single photo we saw online showed the hotel right on the beach.
I was amazed at how they managed to manipulate the photos to suspiciously remove the busy street where the hotel actually sat. As you can imagine, all my excitement and anticipation for this trip diminished. I’d looked forward to walking out of the hotel and immediately stepping onto the sand. I’d fantasized about listening from my balcony as the waves crashed on the shore. And now, none of that would be possible.
But here’s the thing: If the hotel’s website had mentioned that this hotel was on a busy street that led to another street actually connected to the beach, I wouldn’t have been disappointed when I arrived. I would’ve known exactly what I was signing up for, or I would’ve booked a different hotel that offered what I was looking for.
It’s so easy to do this in business. You want to attract more customers, so you make big, grand promises. But do you know what happens if you don’t meet those expectations? Your customers are disappointed because you overpromised and under-delivered.
So, I want to encourage you to do something different. I want you to under-promise and over-deliver to your clients. Be incredibly realistic and conservative with your quotes, timelines and capabilities. Be conservative about what you know you can do, and then blow your customers away. Exceed their expectations. When you do this, not only will your customers be much happier, but they’ll come back, too.
1:19 Three Tactical Things You Can Do This Week to Try Something New
13:37 Embracing Change with Kelsey Humphreys
41:44 Challenge to Set the Right Expectations for Your Customers
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