Always challenge yourself

Aston Martin on ICE

An important part of being – and remaining – successful is the continuous ability and desire to improve yourself and enhance your skills. This applies not just in your main field of expertise, but your skills in general – and better yet, try to acquire some new ones not related to your core competencies.

Although I tend to focus on my comfort zone when I invest in new ventures – that being time, money or both – acquiring new skills outside my comfort zone helps me think about my core areas in a different way. When you acquire a new skill you often network with completely different people than you would usually meet, and that means different input, viewpoints and opinions.

driving on ice

As an example, I attended a driving on ice event in February 2013. Not only did I meet some remarkable people, but in matter of days I also completely changed my perception of driving on ice – it can in fact be quite manageable and not least a lot of fun.

Suddenly something I had always perceived to be both dangerous and unpleasant turned out to be fairly controllable and even enjoyable – if you just understand what you are doing. And that goes for most things.

It would be a stretch to claim that I am a master of driving on ice after just a few hours with some experienced instructors, but it gave me comfort that I can acquire new skills quite quickly as long as the interest and will to learn is there.

how does that apply to business?

I am currently working on a new and exciting project – it is something completely different to what I have been involved with in the past, and although there are some common denominators when you do commercial ventures which you can always use across project, the most important part in my opinion is to have the passion and desire to succeed.

In order for me to become successful in this particular project I have had to acquire some new skills – not just technical skills and lingo but negotiation approach, timelines, cost considerations, technology, marketing, network and expectations.

I am now dealing with a brand new team of people with whom I have never worked before. Most of them I have only communicated with online and I’ve never met them in person. Yet although there have been many challenges already I am confident that the project will be successful, it is one of the most exciting projects I have been involved with since AME Info.

Despite the project not being ready for launch until later this year I am already very excited as I feel confident that I will be able to put together a project which has a lot of challenges and without being in my comfort zone – armed with just my learnings from doing business in general for a number of years – and I am learning something new every day in the process.

Always challenge yourself and never stop learning.