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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, "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 1-800-FLOWERS.com 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."

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