How jumping in cold water every morning helped my business grow

Take the Plunge

Sometimes lessons in what it takes to help your business grow come from the most unlikely places.

Take the plunge

I used to work for Outward Bound. Every morning we jumped in the ocean. It was always cold. Really cold. And yet we made everyone take the plunge. There was only one way to get used to it.

Do it every day.

At first it seemed like maybe this really wasn’t such a good idea. But by jumping in every day, it became normal. We didn’t just turn it into a daily practice, we made jumping in the ocean part of our cultural identity. When we each agreed to take the plunge, we became members of a tribe who were people of the water. We jumped in every day because we now believed that this was how we how we thrived.

It sounds crazy. It was crazy. No matter the weather, no matter how cold, we jumped in all the way.

Getting your feet wet as a daily practice

Since then I’ve seen first hand how developing a regular practice of ‘getting your feet wet’ works really well for growing your business.

We tend to develop our new stuff in a closet. Musicians call this ‘woodshedding’ – as in a long period of practicing your instrument out back in the wood shed so no one can see or hear you until you’re good enough.

This is not the way to grow your thriving enterprise. If you spend six months developing your next big project on your own, you may well find that you’ve spent all that time on something that no-one cares about.

You need to take the plunge with your new projects.

Jump in – get your feet wet – every day. I know. You’re not quite ready yet. It could be really cold!!

But, if you share some small part of what you’re working on you’ll get feedback right away.

Show Your Work

You may have noticed that this site is all about making videos. So what can you do with video as a daily practice?

You can show your work.

It’s all about reaching out to those you want to connect with. And you know what? If you start sharing part of your work each day you’ll actually start changing your identity. You’ll move from someone who’s thinking about doing something to someone who’s doing stuff.

The art of a daily share-your-work practice is about experimenting your way to success – to stop planning and start acting.

If you’re thinking about plunging in yourself you may be wondering what exactly does it look like?

Here are some helpful guidelines:

1. Plunging has three goals: showcase your creative process, share your vision, learn something from your audience.
2. It gets your feet wet right now. There’s no waiting around. Take a deep breath and… jump.
3. It’s simple.
4. It gets your blood going & moves you out of your comfort zone.
5. It puts you out there in front of your audience.
6. It’s an opportunity for growth.

Sharing early, messy versions of your work can be scary – you will meet your resistance – and you may find your audience doesn’t want what you’re creating.

But that’s how you learn.

And better to learn quickly, with others engaged with you along the way so you can jump in again. (if you fall off your horse, the best thing is to get right back up in the saddle again)

What plunging is not

1. It’s not deciding something. It’s deciding and then doing it.
2. It’s not staying in the closet. It puts you in front of your audience.
3. It’s not about sharing only with your friends and family. You need to jump out in front of the people you most want to impact and serve.
4. It’s not taking a class. You want to be sharing your gifts with the world. Now!

The benefits to getting your feet wet? You’ll avoid costly mistakes. You’ll learn what really works. You’ll do something now. Think for a moment about what getting your feet wet looks like for you. What action can you take that meets the six stages of plunging above?

Here’s how to get started. Just fill in the blanks…

My Next Plunge is: ____________________ (short phrase)
Timeline/deadline: ____________________
Learning Goal: ____________________

Want to jump in with support from others?

Join my FREE Videomaking Mastermind Facebook Group >

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