Back August 11, 2016

Out of the Comfort Zone Right into the Easy Way

Running a business, a small one, is anything but comfortable. ”Get out of your comfort zone” is what each business owner hears or reads about hundreds of times along their entrepreneurial path. However, this unknown place away from the comforting familiar surroundings is far from compelling and motivating.

What if it doesn’t have to be this way? As dazzling as it may sound, comfort zone doesn’t necessarily mean easy or good enough.

Just because you got used to it doesn’t exclude a better alternative (which, in turn, can become the new, better “comfortable area”).

Let’s get this thought down to a more practical area: controlling your cash flow, for instance (Okay, it’s true, this example was intended; don’t get us wrong, we just want to speak about what we actually know). So you are a business owner. Say you work in the IT business and your activity is project based. Running a small business for some time already got you a sense of the need to control the company’s cash flow. Not an easy thing to do and definitely not pleasant. Then you started building a spreadsheet model to help you keep a close eye on those cash movements. Lots of rows and columns, numbers, functions, cross tables, more functions, filters and so on. For an outsider, it looks like the most complicated thing in the world. For you, however, who spent so many hours on building it, it’s all very clear; comfortable, too, because you know everything about it. But work doesn’t end, because with each forecast you want to make, a scenario you want to build, you start it all over. Not a big discomfort here, because you did it once so you already know most of the steps. Maybe it will take half the time as before. At least it is comfortable.

Ok, now stop for a second. Step out of this comfort zone thought just for a little while. Imagine there is an easier way to do the same thing. Instead of paying the effort to strive for something which feels familiar, what if you paid a little effort to master something new, that saves those hours of creating complicated, endless tables and functions? You probably got the hint by now. Yes, we are talking about using an app or soft that automates most of the tasks we talked about. And yes, when it comes to cash flow management, we surely think about ThinkOut (nice wordplay, isn’t it?). But it is not the only example. It can apply to so many other situations.

When interviewing potential users and doing our research homework for the ThinkOut platform we noticed that people were almost stuck to the habit of using spreadsheets as cash flow tool, though they found it difficult, not friendly, troublesome. So why did they kept insisting, we wondered? Well, most answers came as ”I got used to it”.

You see, getting that comfortable familiar feeling from something you got used to, no matter how annoying, can keep you in the loop of inefficiency. Don’t worry, all humans tend to look for comfort, this is how inventions were made. But sometimes it is a better idea to step just a little out of the comfort zone, to learn something new which can simplify things and bring a new, greater comfortable feeling.

So, do you think it is worth trying?