If I’ve learned one thing this year, it’s that comfort and satisfaction aren’t what we should be striving for. Especially in a start up, the worst thing you can do is come to the office and do the same thing every day with no motivation to question your organization’s process.
I want to give a shout out to Change today. Change can be frustrating, difficult, and uncomfortable, but despite that, it’s vital to success.
Why? Because it makes us better. A lot better.
I’m not talking about the kind of Change where you grapple over logo colors or the right adjective to include in your value prop–I mean the really uncomfortable, the “I’m going to scream because I wish I could just do it the old, easy way,” kind of change.
Our team has been through some big, roller coaster, hang-onto-your-hat twists and turns over the past 15 months. But you know what came out of everything single one of them? Improvement. Organization. Clarity.
Here are a few things to tell your brain to look out for to make positive changes in your process:
The day where I don’t learn something from one of my clients or my team is the day that I should be fired (Mark and Patrick, if you’re reading this…just kidding).
Your clients and your coworkers are the easiest sources to draw inspiration from because they are overflowing with positive and negative feedback. Don’t shy away from their comments or treat listening to their criticisms like a chore. Even the simplest feedback can hold valuable lessons for future process improvements.
To be truly successful is to have known failure and learned from it.
I’m lucky to have bosses that not only allow me, but encourage me, to fail. Sounds weird, right?
But stay with me. Every time I come to them with a slightly weird or off-beat idea, I have permission to try it as long as I think it will make my day-to-day more beneficial to my clients or make me more efficient with my time.
I know what you’re thinking: “What if you’re wrong and you burn down the office?!”
My response to you is: “Who let me near fire in the first place?! That’s a terrible idea!”
But seriously, if you fail, you just go back to the old way of doing things. But if you don’t fail? Then you created a better process for your whole team, you improved your client retention, and you’re a hero for the day.
This one’s the most uncomfortable, but potentially the most valuable.
Think back to your freshman year of college. Once you stop cringing at the your poor fashion choices, I want you to think about your first group project. It was pretty rough, right?
Why? Because each person had their own way of communicating, writing, studying, and presenting. What a MESS. Well, guess what…. Those people followed you to adulthood. They’re called your co-workers.
Thankfully, we’re a bit more well-behaved and mature than we were in college, but the differences in perspective and thought process remain. That’s where opportunity comes in.
I can tell you that I have been on a different page (maybe even in a different book) with thoughts and ideas for our team, but once we all share our thoughts fully and take the time to listen to each other, we are able to take the best parts from all of our brains and smash them together to make a beautiful, powerful solution.
Sometimes those conversations go smoothly, and sometimes they take a few bumps to get there, but we always end with something greater than we could have created on our own.
My Challenge to you:
Change something about your day today. And tomorrow. And the next day. Start with something small and then move to something a little scary, difficult, or challenging. Share it with a colleague to keep you accountable on the outcome. And challenge them to Change, too!
It may be uncomfortable at first, but once you start to see yourself making positive impact, you’ll never settle for comfortable again.