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

By Barry Farber

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Famed race car driver Mario Andretti once said, "Ifeverything seems under control, you're just not going fastenough." Obviously, he wasn't advocating going so fastthat you spin out and crash; he was talking about pushing thelimits, going beyond what is safe and taking a calculated risk. Inlife and in business, the only way to test your limits is byopening the throttle and going forward, past the point you thinkyou can achieve.

Sometimes pushing the limits means seeing the invisible, goingafter opportunities other people don't see. Jim McCann, 49,founder of in Westbury,New York, is constantly looking for those opportunities. "Iask myself, 'When I look back five years from now, where willthe really big opportunities have come from? What are the thingsI'm going to look at and wish I had done?' That forces youto take your best guess, with the evidence in front of you, as tohow the business world is going to change-and make sure you'repositioning your company to be at the edge of thatchange."

You don't have to be extraordinary to accomplishextraordinary things, but you do have to be willing to do whateverit takes to achieve your vision, even if it's extreme.Entrepreneur Tony Hawk-32-year-old world champion skateboarder inthe X-Games and founder of Birdhouse Projects Inc., a skateboardand accessories manufacturer in Huntington Beach, California-pushesthe limits in both sports and business. "No matter how far yougo with skating, you've got to keep challenging yourself. Evenif you're considered to be on top of your field-in business,too-there are ways you can improve yourself and keep coming up withnew challenges. The goal is not to be better than everyone else;the goal is to be better than yourself."

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