How Do I Grow My Business

Girish Last night, I played bass in Girish‘s band, the band my girlfriend, Jacqueline plays in quite often as a singer. There were really two tricky parts of doing this, though.

1) I don’t play bass.
2) I’m not a great musician.

I played passably well most of the event. No one booed. No one kicked me offstage. In fact, they danced and swayed to our music. Afterwards, I got a few polite hellos and Jacq got her typical flood of women hugging her with tears in their eyes, and Girish (who’s the one everyone comes to see) has a line a mile long to hug him and talk and buy his CDs.

To me? Mission accomplished.

Exercise Your Bravery Muscles

I’m not afraid to go onstage in front of thousands of people and keynote an event. I’ve done it plenty of times (approaching 1000 speeches, if I’m counting right). That doesn’t require bravery for me. Being a musician does, because as much as I practice, I have decades of experience that suggests that I like to play music but I’m not a musician in the way that Jacq or Girish are. So, it tweaks my fear and challenge responses to say, “Well, yes! I can play bass for you!”

In creating the course Brave New Year, I had one goal: help people realize that they are the superhero they’ve been waiting for. It’s been quite successful in that regard, and we share success stories quite often in our private community group of bravery big and small. That’s what made me realize that I had to work on my own bravery even more. Because everyone’s sharing so many great experiences, and we all have to remember that challenging ourself is the only way to build on that strength.

That Challenge Empowers Other Moves

And so, then I move that same sense of personal bravery into my business work. I realize that I’ve got to take some leaps if I want to grow. And because I was successful in that area of my life (playing live in front of people), I know that I’ll be able to dare to grow my business in other ways. This is how I’ll succeed. It’s how the almost-200 people in Brave New Year are tackling their challenges and forging their success. And maybe it’s for you, too.

Want to join us?

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  • SandraLeeSchubert, Get heard.

    I just took an assignment for market research. The person knew I did social media, yet this is what he wanted me to do. Of all the people I spoke to one person said, “who are you to take this on?” And for a moment I hesitated and moved on. Who knows how it will turn out?
    I could fall flat on my face, or not. However, I know I could use a little stretching and I am willing to give it a try.
    Chris good for you to sit in the midst of talent and be willing to play- and the music sound phenomenal.

    • Chris Brogan

      You’re YOU, that’s who. You’ve got what it takes!

      • SandraLeeSchubert, Get heard.

        I appreciate the vote of confidence!

  • Alan

    Hey Chris,

    Simple wisdom for sure. One of my saying’s that has stuck over the years is “Look before you leap…but LEAP you must”.

    I used to give a leadership workshop called “Adventure – the place between Risk and Learning and found that the number one takeaway from this workshop was when leaders realized that their teams weren’t necessarily expecting them to be “Good” at everything but that they would give anything a try.

    This ability to be vulnerable but to also show that they could accept and GO FOR new experiences made a huge difference in their ability to lead.

    Thanks for sharing today.


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  • Steve

    Chris I think it’s awesome that you are a musician. I think the opposite held true for me, I have the confidence to play in front of people so I force the confidence to speak in front of people.

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  • Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Chris,

    Good stuff here. Finding fun outside of your comfort zone is a secret to success. Seeing these uncomfortable acts as being unpleasant forces you to miss the point. Why bother living unless you are growing?

    This feels tough at times but the more you apply your bravery muscles the more powerful you become, and you apply that confidence to other endeavors. I recall “Catch Me if You Can”, or “I Love You Phillip Morris.” These con men – although negatively applied – dived willy nilly into new endeavors, completely new really, and learned from scratch.

    I also read a Wayne Dyer book yesterday where he said when teaching at a school that the principle needed a student loan expert. Wayne said “Yes”, with absolutely zero experience in that area. But he dove in, studied for 6 hours in the library, and as he developed his skill set he attracted the proper tools at the time.

    I remember the first day I started to grow my home based business. I was an fired security. I told my girlfriend I was quitting, I was overwhelmed, I had no clue in the hell but I was doing. I panicked. But the following day I decided to flex my bravery muscles, and I am so happy I decided to jump full bore into an uncomfortable but tremendously prospering experience, helping folks along the way.

    Thanks Chris,


  • Jeff Goins

    Did you play at a church? Those look like stained glass windows.

    • Chris Brogan

      Technically, yes. But not that kind of church. : ) Yoga spiritual type stuff.

  • Chim Aaron

    As a bassist who plays in church I can relate to your experience. I guess the key is to do the thing you’re afraid of. The more you do it, the more the fear diminishes. The more you avoid it, the more the fear grows.

  • Lisa Wells

    Taking a risk and putting yourself out there is something ANYONE can do. You don’t have to be charasmatic, be rich, or the smartest girl in the room, just be you and do it! It’s scary to think that you may fail but I don’t want to be that person who says “I wish I would have …”

    Great post Chris!

  • Mike – AdvManMedia

    Great stuff, Chris. Always appreciate your perspective. “I realize I’ve got to take some leaps if I want to grow” – That’s right on the money!


    Way to go Chris! I try to flex my bravery muscles as often as possible in both my personal and work lives. The more you use them, the easier it gets!

    I had a similar musical experience to yours and although it scared me to death, but I came out with a story that will stick with me forever. I can now hold my head high and understand that what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger!

    • Chris Brogan

      Well thanks!

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  • David Burke

    So very true! The only way to grow is to get brave and break your comfort. It sounds wrong, but the Uncomfort-Zone is the place to be. Great Post!

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