The secret enemy of all entrepreneurs is comfort and security. Sure, we all crave a sense of predictability, familiarity, and knowing exactly how our products and services will be delivered and in what fashion, as we should want. We are told that consistency is the hallmark of competence. How a business consistently meets and exceeds customer expectations, systemizes internal operations, and designs and implements “the way we do it,” often cuts down on costs, improves efficiency, and delivers satisfied customers.
One of the key obstacles that I eventually find with business owners and entrepreneurs, is when they stop taking the emotional risks that often inspired them to start their business, or taking ownership of it, in the first place.
Tolerating Your Own Discomfort
In the life cycle of a business, once a company establishes a baseline way of doing it: establishes the fundamental systems and infrastructure that is crucial to business development, the next phase that often gets neglected is remembering to continue to push the edges toward new opportunities; and how this is commensurate with how much the leadership team is willing to tolerate their own discomfort.
The more capacity that each executive has in tolerating their own relationship to discomfort, the greater the likelihood is of leading the business from status quo to something extraordinary. Every day is a risk. The best GRC approaches can’t mitigate this fundamental truth. Most often the real risk is: how much am I willing to invest in myself? How much am I willing to invest my resources: time, money, and staff, toward my conviction that this is what I’m supposed to do next?
It’s in these moments where I’ve seen leaders emerge or retreat. With the ones that choose from their conviction and passion, something new and alive takes hold.
What have you risked today? This week? What’s that one stretch goal or conversation or new way of putting yourself out there, that reveals something more about you and your business than you’ve been willing to do before?
The world needs leaders who are up for the challenge of getting bigger than their comfort zone. Are you?