As you head into a new year, step out of your comfort zone… starting NOW. Commit TODAY to doing something in this respect, brands and individuals alike.
Why? Because the challenge of operating in an uncomfortable zone keeps you growing and moving forward in ways far greater than what you can do sitting inside your comfort zone. Life is way too full of possibilities for you to let it all pass you by. And let me remind you that fear is no excuse. Do you think today’s great visionaries were ever afraid to step outside of their comfort zones? Most definitely… but they did it anyway!
The same goes for brands and retailers: if you want to stand out, get noticed, and be truly amazing at what you do and offer, you can’t do it from inside your comfort zone. Innovation happens OUTSIDE your comfort zone!
For many of you, your comfort zone is doing business in the same way you’ve done it for the past 10, 5, or even 2 years. Business is no longer the same as it was just last year, so you need to step out there and change the way you do business!
Take the Klout example in my recent blog post, where they hid behind their comfort zone walls of silence when consumers were demanding answers. I’m sure it would have been uncomfortable for them to admit their shortcomings, but it sure would have saved them a lot of respect and possibly even some customer loyalty.
The new way of doing business pushes our comfort zones constantly, so why not just step right up and show that you’re willing to risk YOUR comfort to deliver value for your customers:
- Trust your customers first: take your own wisdom with a grain of salt until you’ve confirmed (or disconfirmed) it with actual consumers.
- Focus on relationships first: this isn’t just a buzz phrase. When you put energy into getting to know and serve your customers and audience, the ROR (Return on Relationship™) includes sales, loyalty, and increases to your bottom line.
- Insist on authenticity: it’s harder to hide the real “colors” (and message) of your brand and business when you’re outside of your comfort zone. Let your customers see what’s real, ask them for honest feedback, and for goodness sake… don’t filter the less-than-positive! The result will be dedicated brand advocates.
Where does your comfort zone end? Go there, and beyond… TODAY!
Ted, I’d add another nuance to your wise post. It’s really just an extension of your advice to “leave your comfort zone.” I say TAKE A RISK! Most of the time, you have NOTHING to lose!
With all the competition of Social Media, the only way to distinguish yourself is with distinguishing marketing. Yes, know your facts, know your stuff – but why not really be creative once in a while.
What do you really have to lose?
Agreed Bruce. .. and certainly in line with my point. Thanks for always paying attention 🙂
Ted, I am one who truly resists change. I hate hate hate it! This article spoke right to my soul, and you’ve inspired my New Years resolution! I’ll be stepping out of my comfort zone a little bit every day, and I’m excited to see where leads me 🙂
Thanks so much for sharing Anna. Remember… “We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.”
Not only do you have to leave where you are to effect change you have to say, “Goodbye” as well. Many a time people remain stuck in a purgatory of their own making by leaving the place where they’ve been but not letting go of it and looking back rather than forward, effectively preventing them from moving into their next opportunity. Great post! Quite timely.
To the point Ted. It is an ability to wire frame the future behavior towards change. Happy Holidays.
Thanks for the awesome post. Loved reading every bit of it which implies I am surely going to follow it.
Thank you for reading and the feedback 🙂
What a timely subject for me! This week, I was asked to step out of my comfort zone. I labored over a very personal post. I reached out to others for advice, and I trusted the advice of my peers. With fear, I published my work last night and “hoped” for the best. And you know what? I got nothing but support, feedback, love, and kindness! This is awesome advice, and although it IS scary, I plan on doing this much more in the new year!
So happy to hear you stepped out and the results. Thanks so much for sharing Christy. Make this the beginning of an amazing year!
thank you for the reminder to step out and move forward which ultimately is less painful than staying stuck. Happy New year
My pleasure Karla… and all the very best to you and those you love.
Great wisdom in this post Ted!
New challenges always create discomfort if it’s worthwhile.
If you can embrace the discomfort, it does get better, it just takes time:)
Thanks for sharing,
I know for a fact that growth is one millimeter outside of our comfort zone. People wonder why life does not go as we like it and many are not willing to adventure themselves outside of this zone that paradoxically is really uncomfortable. The discomfort of moving away from the comfort zone is minimal compare to staying on it.
Love reading you!
If you do not try… you will never know.
“To the degree we’re not living our dreams, our comfort zone has more control of us than we have over ourselves.” ~Peter McWilliams