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Pushing the Limits

Are you pushing yourself-and your business-as far as you can?

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This story appears in the June 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Famed race car driver Mario Andretti once said, "If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough." Obviously, he wasn't advocating going so fast that you spin out and crash; he was talking about pushing the limits, going beyond what is safe and taking a calculated risk. In life and in business, the only way to test your limits is by opening the throttle and going forward, past the point you think you can achieve.

Sometimes pushing the limits means seeing the invisible, going after opportunities other people don't see. Jim McCann, 49, founder of 1-800-FLOWERS.com in Westbury, New York, is constantly looking for those opportunities. "I ask myself, 'When I look back five years from now, where will the really big opportunities have come from? What are the things I'm going to look at and wish I had done?' That forces you to take your best guess, with the evidence in front of you, as to how the business world is going to change-and make sure you're positioning your company to be at the edge of that change."

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