What’s so bad about comfort zones?
Have you heard of gezellig? It’s a Dutch concept I learned when living in Amsterdam that embodies the definition of comfort zone. The word is associated with feelings of contentment and warmth that sometimes only comfort zones can bring. Everyone deserves to have some moments of gezellig in their lives.
Comfort zones are perfect for those times we need to unwind and de-stress. They are places we can recover and recharge, and they’re especially needed during those times when we need to steel our resolve for a rough journey ahead.
But there is a danger in becoming too comfortable. Have you ever found yourself in a place where you felt the world is marching ahead without you? You felt stuck and stagnant, and nothing seemed to go your way? If we become too complacent with our lives, we will never discover what else might out there for us. We’ll never challenge ourselves. We’ll never grow.
The same can happen in business. Your current business model is comfortable and safe, and you know your current customer is going to show up. But for how long? You must remember that the purpose of your business is to evolve, and it’s your duty as a leader is to help it along.
It’s scary to be uncomfortable, in both our personal and professional lives. It can be downright terrifying to make radical changes to your business strategy without a perfect glimpse into what the future will hold. I’m not asking you to dive into the great unknown. If you do your research, really listen to your customers and try to anticipate their changing needs, you’ll get a pretty good sense of how you can serve them in the future. If you don’t, your competitors will.
So, go ahead and enjoy your gezellig. But use it as a tool to prepare for the future, not as a way to hide in the past.