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mark evans

When you run your own business, it can be an all-consuming proposition.

Once you add in time spent with family and friends, it's easy to simply divide your life into silos with little flexibility for new or different experiences. You need to create opportunities to get out of your regular routine to discover ideas and thoughts, and to expand your personal network.

Meeting with other entrepreneurs and business owners, for example, delivers energy, excitement and inspiration. It comes from going out for coffee, lunch, a meet-up or a conference in which you leave the comfortable confines of the office to get together with people.

Business owners often live an insular experience. We are so focused on running and hopefully growing our businesses, we sometimes forget there's a world outside the corporate boundaries. Getting out takes discipline because it can feel like a distraction or a waste of time when it appears unrelated to the business.

But getting different perspectives is important – perhaps necessary – to keep entrepreneurs on top of their games. If you're not picking up new ideas or meeting new people, you can get stuck in a rut.

When I get a break from my consulting business to meet with other entrepreneurs, I often come away revitalized or excited about something that could change the way I do business. It might be a nugget of an idea, a significant piece of knowledge, or a new wrinkle.

The key to success is being able to continually evolve, adapt, change and adjust. If you are content with maintaining the status quo, there is a strong possibility the markets will change and the competition will blow past you.

Escape the routine, even if it means getting out of your comfort zone. It's not only healthy, it can be just the tonic you need to jump-start your business.

Special to The Globe and Mail

Mark Evans is the principal with ME Consulting, a communications and marketing strategic consultancy that works with startups and fast-growing companies. Mark has worked with four startups – Blanketware, b5Media, PlanetEye and Sysomos. He was a technology reporter for more than a decade with The Globe and Mail, Bloomberg News and the Financial Post. Mark is also one of the co-organizers of the mesh, meshmarketing and meshwest conferences.

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