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Back to the comfort zone

The first and possibly the most important point I want to make about comfort zones is that, in the current economic environment, very few people even have one anymore!

Most of us have been forced out of our comfort zones by necessity. This might be a good thing and it might not. It depends on how well the individual can cope with uncertainty.

For those of us who were in business during the unbelievably flush 80's and 90's, the comfort zone is probably pretty well defined. For the most part, we could stay in our shops, confident that the phone would ring and that there would be plenty of jobs at whatever level we chose to work. Advertising seemed to be a completely unnecessary extravagance and the idea that we might have to actually go out and "beat the streets" to drum up work was unthinkable. Materials were cheap and plentiful and there was always plenty of resources to tap if we needed a new piece of equipment. Even if there was not a lot of cash on hand, loans and leases were easy to get.

Today's economic climate has changes all of that. I keep thinking about sailing ships that depended on wind. As long as the wind was blowing, the ships could go where they would. Even if the wind was not blowing in the direction they wanted, they could still make progress by "tacking". But every now and then the wind would simply vanish and for days or weeks or even months, the ships were "becalmed" and had to simply wait until the wind came up again. We are in a situation very similar to that. It's time to break out the oars.

Next time, some specific pointers on how to break out of the comfort zone. It may not be easy but is is necessary if we are to survive in business. And we might just fin out that we have resources that we did not even know were there.

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