In my experience, business owners fall into two categories:
- In business for comfort
- In business to make a difference
Both are OK, but I believe whichever category you fall into makes a big difference to whether or not you succeed. I’ll start with comfort.
The very nature of running a business means it attracts people who want to be their own boss. Suddenly they have the freedom to do what they like without having to answer to anyone. Fancy the afternoon off? No problem, take it. Work from home for the day? Why not! Not in the mood for that hard conversation? Put it on the ‘not today’ pile. Awesome, right?
I’ve said this before, but when you’re in business you must hold yourself accountable. There is no one telling you what to do and no one checking that you are doing what you should be doing. While this is great at first, it can quickly result in some bad, business-threatening habits.
As many have learned, this behaviour is not the way to success. More often than not those in the ‘business for comfort’ category find themselves with a mediocre – or indeed a failed – business. Now that’s discomfort.
… Or make a difference
This can be turned around, though. You can drag yourself out of the oh-so-dangerous ‘comfort zone’ and into a different mindset – one in which you treat each day as an opportunity to improve your life, your staff’s lives, and your client’s lives.
Of course, getting there is easier said than done, which I realised quite early on. I enjoy comfort as much as the next guy, but over the years I’ve had to discipline myself in order to run the kind of business I’ve always wanted to run. Now I’m blessed with a good business, but it can always be improved, so I’m training myself to be better at dealing with the tricky stuff, both in life and in business.
You have to make yourself uncomfortable on purpose so that discomfort is not something you avoid. Then you will be less likely to put off the scary and tricky things.
Here are some easy ways to practise getting out of your comfort zone:
- Sleeping on the floor once a week
- Fasting for 24 hours
- Talking to a stranger
- Starting a new hobby
- Doing something scary – skydiving, boxing or open water swimming
I myself am trying 2 minutes of cold showers a day, as per the teachings of Mr Wim Hof, the Ice Man. It’s definitely making a difference, both physically and mentally. At the time you really don’t want to do it, but once you’re done you feel fantastic. I feel ready to conquer any challenge the day may present, all because I forced myself through a little discomfort at the start of the day.