I have a pair of Anne Klein Sport dress shoes I’ve worn for three years. I swear they are the best airport running shoes ever (yes – there is a story there). They are black and go well with every outfit I wear. They are super comfortable. The idea behind them is they feel like tennis shoes (and they really do feel that nice on your feet). However, I threw them away just a couple of days during a crazy New Year’s Eve purge. It broke my heart to put them in the trashcan. They were just too dang comfortable for my feet.
The danger of comfort
Seth Godin recently wrote about plasticity. A short-yet-sweet write up (it’s 4 sentences) with his point being although comfort feels good, we were not built to be comfortable. When our bodies are comfortable, our muscles get out of shape. When our minds are comfortable, we are unable to be as creative as we once were.
When I was a kid, I convinced myself I hated mustard. Nope – not eating mustard. This went on-and-on for years. One day at Costco, my husband said he bought everyone hotdogs (not a favorite of mine either) and he put yellow mustard on every one of them. Nope – I’m good. He stood there and insisted I try it. Like a child, I held my ground firm, but like an adult, he stood there and said, “I drove here. We are not leaving until you at least try it.”
Between not having the keys to the car and a potentially long walk home, I begrudgingly ate the mustard on the hotdog. Yep – I liked it. I actually loved it. I was so comfortable being comfortable that the thought of being uncomfortable really irked me.
We do this in every area of our life, though. We choose the road already paved to avoid an uneven surface. We watch the television shows instead of going to the gym or reading the book. We do the same thing with our business year-after-year.
“This is how I’ve always made money.”
One of the things I hear a lot when talking to those in the FinServ community is, “This is how I’ve always made money. It works. I don’t want to change it.” Hmm. That sounds a lot like the mustard on the hotdog, right? This is how I’ve always done something so buzz off, Sheryl.
Then advisors will say to me later on, “How do I make my business grow?” Sigh.
You can’t grow a business doing the same thing you’ve always done. How about asking yourself questions like:
- How have your clients changed over the years?
- Who at the office wants more/different responsibility that I could delegate things to?
- Do you think the #FinServ community has some growing problems and are these affecting my practice?
- What technology are the best advisors using?
- Do I need to hire someone younger to come in and teach me new things?
Do what scares you – well, within compliance
Maybe there are things you can be doing differently to grow your practice like using social media marketing more often, growing your email marketing list, creating new client appreciation events, doing a marketing concept by video, etc. It’s easy to get lazy about business. Even I have to hold myself accountable to change up things, too. I need to remain valuable to the FinServ community on business development ideas and opportunities. It’s no different for any of us.
What scares you? Technology can be overwhelming. Writing an article can be daunting. Sharing updates on social media can seem trivial. Are these things you can hire someone to do, though? When I say you have to be different, I don’t literally mean “you” – there’s always the option to hire someone!
Be a person of action – you can do scary stuff. One time, you didn’t know anything about financial matters, but you learned it. One time, you didn’t know anything about running a business, but you learned it. What can you learn this year to stretch yourself? Stop being comfortable and go crazy with the rest of us (within compliance!)