Many things in life can make a “fit” feel uncomfortable. If given a choice, most people would want to be comfortable and have things “fit” properly. As a small business owner or potential owner, sometimes the only way to move closer to a desired comfort “fit” is to get uncomfortable.
Change and risk as well as fear are some things that make us feel uncomfortable. Yet being an entrepreneur or starting a business includes both making a change and taking on some amount of risk. While fear does play a role in starting or growing a business, it most likely centers on the fear of failure than any other type of fear.
The things that are making us feel uncomfortable or situations that are creating those feelings are normal in the process of acting on a new idea, concept or business. Considering the risk or the change along with the potential reward or balancing the fear of failing with the probability of success is a solid way to deal with these uncomfortable thoughts and concerns.
How can creating uncomfortable conditions within small businesses help us get more comfortable? If we examine what things and conditions make us feel a false sense of comfort in business, we should also see how moving from this disguised comfortable situation to a less comfortable one could help increase and grow business.
• Not feeling challenged: Challenges are a big part of the natural progression and growth of business. While you will face plenty of challenges along the way that you hopefully did not create, it is not a bad idea to set goals that are challenging and timelines to accomplishment the goals that will force you into action.
• Not being fit or healthy: Whether we are talking about an individual or a business, being fit and healthy means being strong, knowing you have the stamina to go the distance and get the work done. The best way to measure the comfort factor in this area is to look at what competing businesses look like compare to you. Ultimately, those competitors are the reason for being healthy and running a healthy business. If you want to compete you need strength and ability to get the work done.
• Not looking so good: If you look in the mirror and find you don’t like the look of the person staring back at you, it may make you uncomfortable. This holds true for examining the look of your business as well. If your own honest self-assessment does not spring you into action, then you may want to seek out a trusted confidant and ask their opinion of how you or your business looks.
Both of the previous situations can be remedied by taking the necessary steps to strengthen your offerings and straighten up your business. Consider, if possible, enlisting some additional outside assistance in tackling these areas, since sometimes when we have been in and around a situation for a long time we do not always see the deficiencies or what is wrong.
• Not being forced to think: If you do not remember what you did during the day when operating your business, you may be too comfortable. You could be running on a form a business auto pilot. This may be disguised as “everything is running smoothly,” however, to grow and to be operating to the best of your ability, you want to be thinking about how to make business better. Perhaps committing to coming up with one or two new ideas a week for business growth is a good way to move beyond this false sense of comfort. Even if you do not incorporate the majority of the ideas you identify, this positive thinking will most likely lead to a fresher overall feeling and recognizing new opportunities in business.
• Not feeling a little bit restless, anxious or excited: Each of these conditions, when present, can be brought on for different reasons. From time to time it may not be a bad thing for each of these feelings, based on uncomfortable pending or upcoming situations, occurring. These should not be describing the way you feel every day, but it is fine during ebbs and flows of your business year or cycles to be anxious, excited or even a little restless about new concepts or procedures, or even external factors that may affect your business.
Sometimes the line between comfortable and being uncomfortable is very thin and that “fit” is not too far from reality. When it comes to growth and development in life and business, the movement between the two can act as a catalyst for change. If you cannot be comfortable in every situation in business, accept the fact you may need to get a little more uncomfortable, and embrace the growth and possible benefits that come from working through those feelings and experiences.