More lessons learned from skydiving (part 4)

Home Column More lessons learned from skydiving (part 4)

lessonsBy Jim Armstrong—In the previous installment, I outlined some of the key business lessons I learned from my training as a skydiver. Following are a few more lessons:

Lesson #5: You’re capable of more than you think.

Before I made it a goal to become a skydiver, it never entered my consciousness that I could be capable of jumping out of planes and parachuting safely to the ground. It wasn’t even in my wheelhouse of consideration. But once I set my sights on learning to skydive, I was surprised at the capabilities I had that I didn’t even know existed.

The same is true with you and your business. A common mistake flooring dealers make is underestimating what they are capable of achieving. Many have self-imposed “glass ceilings” that keep them stuck making a certain amount of money, stuck working too many hours, stuck with an unsatisfying business and life, etc.

Want to break through? Make a habit of doing things that are just beyond your comfort zone. Not so far beyond that you’re discouraged from trying, but far enough to challenge you. Think “baby steps.” These small victories will give you greater confidence, and over time will surely add up to a life-changing transformation.

Lesson #6: Tap the power of a supportive community.

When I was learning to skydive, there were times when I felt like quitting. This usually happened when I was overwhelmed with fear or was feeling discouraged about mastering a particular skill. My coaches and the other jumpers at my drop zone were relentless in their encouragement and support. They made me feel like my goal to become a skydiver was achievable.

When you’re setting out to make exciting changes in your business and life, there will be times when you feel discouraged, even to the point of quitting. Having a supportive community will help you push through the rough spots so you don’t quit before reaching your goal.

Community is so important for dealers’ success that I incorporate it as part of my company’s coaching and support for our members.

Lesson #7: Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

There is nothing comfortable about jumping out of a plane, especially the first time—or the first 10 times, for that matter. The discomfort is immense! To step out of that door with nothing between you and the ground two miles below, you must be willing to embrace discomfort.

All progress is made outside of our area of comfort. If you want to achieve something new—something better than what you have—then expect to get uncomfortable. I know this sounds obvious, but I’ve seen business owners hesitate at the moment of commitment because of their discomfort.

The solution? Learn to welcome discomfort—see it as a signpost that you’re entering new territory, that you’ve stepped away from the norm, that you’re making progress. Make discomfort your friend.

The good news is that you have immense power to push through discomfort—if you’re willing. Whether it’s skydiving, hiring your first sales manager, delegating tasks you’ve always done yourself, or trying a new marketing strategy to grow your business, if you want success badly enough you can make friends with discomfort in order to achieve those goals.


Jim is the founder and president of Flooring Success Systems, a company that provides floor dealers with marketing services and coaching to help them attract quality customers, close more sales, get higher margins and work the hours they choose. For information visit FlooringSuccessSystems.com.

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Oct. 11/18, 2021

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