I want to look at a subject that has become very important to me over my sales career and in life generally. It has been the driving force to a lot of the successes (and some failures) I have had in life of which I am all the better for having. The dreaded Comfort Zone.
I say dreaded because I treat The Comfort Zone as my kryptonite. I allow myself an hour bathing in its warmth doing nothing of any serious value and then it takes me 3 hours to get battle ready again afterwards. Net-total 4 hours downtime and I've spent a whole morning being unproductive.
As a Salesman, or any other I suspect, you simply cannot afford to have a comfort zone. You need to be prepared to speak publicly at any moment, cold call-customers, ask the tough questions and get to the money before someone else does or it disappears.
Failure to do so and you're looking for your next job and a bunch of interviews with all the tired old excuses of why you weren't successful previously.
Recently, I saw a fascinating interview on Sixty Minutes, where will.i.am was questioned about how he was able to survive on only 4 hours sleep per night. Instead of complaining about lack of sleep his incredible response was, "Are you kidding? Do you know how much I can achieve with 20 hours per day???"
Anyone following will.i.am's career would have a rough idea about how much that guy can achieve. For the rest he was the frontman for the pop super-group The Black Eyed Peas and has written for and produced some of the best singing talent in the world. Selling over 33 million albums and over 58 million singles worldwide. You don't achieve that from a comfort zone!
To be clear I'm not saying sleep is the enemy. We all know how hard it is to be productive when sleep deprived. What I am saying is that people like him push themselves daily.
Below is a few things to help you push past your comfort zone:
1. Ask yourself – are you doing this task because it is easier than doing something else more important?
2. How many coffee's do you really need in your day? What extra task could you complete by having 1 cup less?
3. Is the difficult task you are putting off really as difficult as you believe it is.
4. What one last extra productive task can you do before you leave your workspace.
To really improve on anything "” be it work, sport or relationships you need to push yourself past comfort to find your acceptable level of discomfort.
After all if you always do what you've always done"¦???
We would love to hear you thoughts. Tell us how you battle your comfort zone.