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This story appears in the September 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

One of my current obsessions is watching Trading Spaces on TV's The Learning Channel. It's a decorating show with a twist: Neighbors redo a room in each other's homes (with the help of a professional decorator and a carpenter), but the homeowners have little or no input about what's done to their own houses. The results are mixed; most people like their renovations, while others are reduced to tears. The participants take a huge leap of faith, giving over control of part of their homes to friends and strangers. The common thread is, all the homeowners obviously believe it's time for a change.

Are you open to change? Most people (especially entrepreneurs) say yes automatically, afraid they'll appear closed-minded (or not entrepreneurial) if they answer otherwise. But the truth is, while some people indeed welcome change, many more find it difficult to embrace--they fear the very idea of it. If you're going to thrive, you can't be one of those folks. As we point out in two articles in this issue, successful entrepreneurs are never content to rest on their laurels. No matter how accomplished they are, they're constantly seeking the next best thing--not necessarily a new business (though serial entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for these), but simply new ways to do whatever they've been doing. One of the very worst things an entrepreneur can say is "Well, we've always done it this way." Instead, brainstorm. Think of other ways to do it. Or other things to do.

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