By Andy Bailey

According to Newton’s first law, an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion.

The same applies to businesses. Those that rest in their comfort zones get left behind, while those that move and shake by actively seeking change, progress in their industries.

Unfortunately I learned this lesson the hard way.

I launched a pager business while still in college and it took off in a big way. While I knew in my gut that a new technology would eventually take the place of pagers, I failed to act on my instinct to evolve my product line, because I was comfortable with my pager business.

My inability to step out of my comfort zone and lead my company to the forefront of the mobile-phone craze caused me to lose a lot of money, and my business nearly perished. Better late than never, I did eventually step onto the mobile phone frontier and was able to save the remains of my business.

In today’s technological world, it’s more important than ever to not only embrace, but also seek change. New ideas are constantly on the horizon. Don’t let your company be stampeded because you didn’t act. Get the ball rolling.

Learn from my mistakes and incorporate these five routines into your business practices:

  1. Go with your gut – Instinct is a power tool we’re all hardwired with. Use it. It will rarely fail you.
  2. Perform a SWOT analysis – Regularly identifying your business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats forces you to think deeper about your business, which allows you to be proactive rather reactive to threats.
  3. Look to the future – Set your sights 18 months ahead of the market. Many business leaders get caught up in the day-to-day, which only stunts potential growth.
  4. Lead proudly – As a business owner you should always be on the lookout for occasions to lead. Search for new ways to make your business better and stay ahead of the competition.
  5. Read and network – By educating yourself and conversing with your consumers and colleagues, you’ll gain intel that you’ll miss if you remain isolated in your office only reading yesterday’s business reports.

Andy Bailey built and sold a multimillion-dollar business and is now CEO and lead entrepreneur coach with business coaching firm Petra, and president of Nashville’s EO chapter. Reach him at