If you're comfortable with average don't expect much

AverageSettling for average is about avoiding challenges rather than tackling them. For some business owners it also means trading a job for ownership that actually pays less. Can you be profiled as an average business owner?

Ouch, that hurts doesn't it. No one wants to be labeled as "average". You've taken the plunge, opened your own business, never missed payroll, drive a decent car. What's wrong with that? Nothing if you want an average life.

"So what do I do"? Start by feeling good about your accomplishments. I don't care if your company is on the verge of bankruptcy, you should feel great about being a business owner. Next, have an "out-of-body" experience. Get out of your office, go somewhere quiet and answer one question: Am I fulfilled? Notice I didn't say "happy". Happy is temporary and usually followed by sad. Fulfillment is pride, passion, legacy.

Most people I meet are under the illusion that they are fulfilled. They chose a path in business (or even in life) that provides a false sense of security -- challenge nothing, don't rock-the-boat, "if it ain't broke don't fix it". Average.

Not everyone is wired for disruptive innovation - a true mark of business genius and success. But, the reality of business in 2013 and beyond is that average literally means death. No one wants to relive the past five years. Expect a fight for every prospective buyer and guard your customers when the economy begins to rebound. Signs are out there that the process has started.

There are two companies that were left standing after the recession. The H.I.T's -- Hanging-In-There and R.F.F, Ready For a Fight. The HITs are average, with a loyal group of customers and manageable expenses that weathered the storm. The RFFs  -- watch out! These are the owners who spent the last five years "retooling" their thinking and technology. They got up to speed on what marketing is all about, how to use technology to identify close and nurture clients, and, they asked and answered the most important question: "what business am I in"?

Average is no longer in their vocabulary. It is about "differentiate or get left behind". Average gets left behind.

You see, this is not a motivational blog. This is about survival. If you don't challenge everything, reexamine your business identify and your own vision, and make a conscious decision to take risks and be different, you're settling for survival not  growth. Surviving is about to get really difficult.

Small changes prepare you for big changes. Start there. Stop chasing certainty and the  answer to "how do I know it will work"? You try it, that's how. How many of us spent countless hours in meetings philosophizing about "what if" scenarios? Or, guessing how customers will react to a promotion or a change in policy? Talk is cheap? No, talk is expensive. While you're talking, your competitor is eating your lunch.

What you'll find, once you choose to get out of your comfort zone and stop settling, is an excitement that is born our passion to make a difference. Uncertainty is what held you back. Being bold and different, offering uncompromising value and continuously re-examining your level of excellence, and then raising the bar, will deliver a sense of fulfillment that you have not experienced before. You'll make mistakes. Then, you're going to want to make some more. You're going to enjoy the thrill that comes from not being average. Heck, you'll do so well, you are even going to have more time to do what you dreamed about when you took the plunge and become an entrepreneur.

Small changes prepare you for big changes. Start by changing what you settled for.