I’ve declared war on this deceptive thing.

It’s a region that calls out with the sweetest of siren songs.

“You’ll do good here,” says it’s sweet beckoning. 

“There’s very little effort needed, and you’ll still grow,” it cunningly beguiles.

But these are all the lies that your Comfort Zone tells you.

You think you’re doing something productive.

Maybe even beads of sweat come out and you feel like you’ve genuinely put in a hard day’s work.

But it’s all lies.

Little lies to make you feel you’ve done something in order to avoid exerting yourself.

Stepping out and trying something different.

Risk being rejected.

Laughed at.

But the other side, is that you may take the lead in this race of life. 

Stepping out of your comfort zone actually propels you forward.

Growth is good.

Growth comes with pains.

We grow by doing things that try us, test us, apply us, stretch us.

You hurt after you starting lifting weights.

But muscles grow after lifting weights. 

I want to start doing this.

When I feel like taking the easy route, I’m going to pull my own ear and give myself a good dressing down. 

And remind self that comfort zone is for couch potatoes and 9-to-5’ers. If you’re a sofa spud or the 9-to-5 type, party on. I’m not.

Here’s a few practical ways to run towards the battle of this comfort zone…not run from it

Are you up for expansion?

Contact markets that you don’t necessarily work with but that could use your services or product. 

Learn what makes that certain market tick and pitch your wares or services to fit their needs. It could be a slight change of new wording to learn, believe and deliver. 

Maybe it’s relearning a few new methods but then an entire landscape of potential business is open to you.

Start expanding your content

If you don’t use social media much, start using it more.

Wherever your clients or competition are found, you should show up and show up consistently.

It’s almost 2019 and I tell you. For the youngsters and for many non-youngsters like myself, if I find a business that doesn’t have a proper social media footprint, I wonder what’s wrong with them. Is that just me? 

Perhaps it’s putting in more work.

As the business world seems overly focused on “working smarter not harder“, too often that’s an excuse to stay in a comfort zone.

To break the iron bars asunder of comfort, it may simply take you putting in time.

Logging the work hours.

Working hard and grinding until you reach that breakthrough to the next level.

Write everyday.

Push yourself to write something medium or long form every day.

When I say medium, I’m talking at least 300 words. 

Many of us in business should know our business well enough where we can pound out 300 words of helpful content a day. 

What’s something you can share with your customers? 

Peel back the curtain and give the world a peek at what goes on in your industry.

And don’t make another salesy blog where you’re just pitching another product. 

We, the people, want to know what’s really going on. I’ve sourced and imported products for many years for the promotional product industry. I gave up on reading blogs from any distributor website because they were all the same. Pitching some water bottle. 

We want to know what goes on, what problems you have, how you solve them. What kind of clients you like or hate. What suppliers did you dirty…. 

I challenged myself to blog every day of December. T’wasn’t easy.

And it’s probably not very good, I’ll let you be the judge.

But one thing it’s doing is breaking me outta any comfort zone writer’s block shell.

Put out video.

If you already write content, now’s the time to start doing video. This will be another comfort zone busting act that’ll separate you from the pack.

Ask yourself, how many people in your industry are already doing video?

Probably not many. If there are many doing video, there are probably many who are not.

I don’t mean long-form videos that you have to worry about production and that will possibly put us to sleep. 

Short 2 to 4 minute videos that will fit on LinkedIn.

Basically, take one of your (non-salesy) blog posts and put the human touch on them and deliver them with your smiling mug.

Don’t over think it.

If you’re not used to putting your face out there, this will give you the cold chills in thinking about it. It scared me until I just jumped in. I’m still getting my feet wet on this one, but it’s a thrill.

How do you do it? 

You put the phone in front of your face, hit record and let ‘er rip. It’s that easy.

Start making weekly face-to-face appointments.

You know actually meeting with real people.

If you try to avoid sit downs and face-to-face, this is one that’ll really flex your growth muscles.

Meet potential clients.

Business contacts such as vendors or peripheral businesses i.e. the kind of business that you can team up with who you both serve the same market… you know, to help one another.

These meetings may serve as a time for you to go deeper; past the genial chit chat that we all tend to throw around (again, a tool of the “comfort zone”).

Maybe setting up business meetings isn’t what you need.

Stretch and grow your muscles by setting up meetings with old friends and family you haven’t seen in ages.

Amends to be made and bridges to be re-established. 

Do something heartfelt and interact with the human race more…

Maybe it’s serving at your local religious center.

Volunteering at your child’s school will definitely break the ol’ routine shackles.

How about writing something special and meaningful to those who’ve helped and inspired you along the way?

Jesse Cole speaks and teaches wonderfully about this habit, or better yet, discipline.

Just like our physical muscles, our anti-comfort zone muscles require a work out.

No more kidding ourselves.

Let’s bring results in 2019.

We’re only a few days away.