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Note: This is a guest post from Marcus Taylor of Get Noticed
Have you ever considered that trying new experiences, such as eating new foods and trying new restaurants can make you more successful? Probably not, but there is in fact a very clear and profound link between the two.
Over the past few months I’ve been doing a lot of research whilst writing Get Noticed around the topic of how important trying new experiences are in meeting new people and ultimately developing strong relationships. The initial part of that link is that trying new experiences improves your communication skills. The second part of the link is that improving your communication skills has a positive impact on your social and financial success.
Research by The Dale Carnegie Foundation suggests that roughly 85% of our social and financial success in life is determined by our communication skills.
Many people have asked me what the link between communication skills and financial success is – the truth is that there are a multitude of links, but the most obvious explanation is that every monetary transaction requires two humans to interact in one form or another (be it a customer buying from a merchant, an advertiser paying to reach an audience, or an employer paying an employee). Communication skills facilitate these relationships and allow you to influence people’s decisions, therefore making these skills a valuable asset.
Here are five ways in which trying new experiences, such as going to a new restaurant, can impact your success.
1. Trying new experiences can get you a job
A survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers asked 1,000 employers what the most important skills for a job candidate were, the results showed that out of over ten different factors, communication skills were by far the most important.
In a world where smartphone addiction and anti-social networking prevail, communication skills are becoming an ever increasingly valuable asset for businesses who rely on human communication to win business.
2. Trying new experiences helps you connect with people
One of the most prominent aspects of your communication abilities is being able to develop rapport and deepen conversations with people you meet by identifying common interests and similarities between the two of you.
I was recently speaking with a client who mentioned that she was going out for dinner to try Kangaroo steak, and just several days beforehand I had tried Kangaroo for the first time. I told her that I’d recently tried it and that it was thoroughly recommendable, and we ended up having a rather extensive conversation about Australia and exotic foods. Without identifying that common ground, there’s a chance I may have missed the chance to develop rapport with her.
It may sound tenuous, but frequently trying out new experiences, such as eating new foods as just one example, is an excellent way for improving your social and financial success by building on your bank of conversational material that you will carry around for the rest of your life. That bank of material will help you when connecting with employers, customers, business partners, or even just friends who might eventually have a profound impact on your success.
3. Trying new experiences makes you appear more interesting
People who are well travelled and have experienced a greater deal of new experiences are typically much easier to hold an exciting conversation with as they can relate to more of the things you enjoy or have done. Being well experienced also makes you appear to be more interesting, which helps attract people into your life.
Be one of those people. The next time you think about going to that place you go to every weekend out of routine, stop and think about trying somewhere new, the experience might just help you build rapport with someone who might change your life.
4. Trying new experiences is inspirational
If you do the same old thing week in week out you’re going to struggle to find inspiration more so than a person who goes to new places, explores the world and actively seeks inspiration in the form of experiences.
Inspiration is what gives us desire, persistence and creativity. All great ideas were inspired from experiencing something. If you want to turbocharge your creativity and inspiration, start by trying some new experiences.
5. Trying new experiences grows your comfort zone
In April this year I decided to go skydiving from 13,000ft, not because I’ve also loved the idea and not because I’m an adrenaline junkie, but because I have a persistent urge to smash my comfort zone, and it seemed very far out of my comfort zone.
I once read a quote from a source I cannot remember which suggested that once expanded, our comfort zones never shrink to their previous size.
When you try new things, even as little as trying a new dish that you’ve never had before you expand your comfort zone, which makes other day-to-day challenges seem less significant.
In my case, if I am asked to do something seemingly challenging I just think to myself “this is nothing, I’ve jumped out of a plane before”.
Having an expanded comfort zone will help you in so many walks of life, especially in your career as it allows you to comfortably manage what other people would be too afraid to do. You will be calmer around problems and issues because you will have developed a bigger perspective.
It’s hard to measure the financial or social impact that going out for a dinner at a new local restaurant will have, but what do you have to lose? Turning the opportunity down may not harm your social and financial life in any way but it’s more likely to make it stagnate, whereas you never know the impact that trying a new place may have on you over in the long run. My challenge to you is to set yourself a goal to try something new, whether it’s one new thing a month, a week, or even per day.
I’d be interested to know how you get on, so if you do try this feel free to share your experiences with me either on Twitter (@MarcusATaylor) or e-mail (Marcus at wegetnoticed dot com), I’d love to hear :)
Marcus Taylor is the co-author of Get Noticed, a book that explains how you can be in the right place at the right time, all the time, to meet the people who will improve your life. Marcus is also head of social media at SEOptimise.
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