Get comfortable being uncomfortable
Have you ever driven a longer path on the highway, with less stop signs and stop lights, even though you knew for a fact it would take more time than the direct path? If so, why did you do that?
I’ll do it because stop and go traffic is annoying. Reaching an impasse that you have to wait to accomplish or overcome breaks your flow and takes you out of your comfort zone. I hate interruptions or dealing with the unknown.
Now, while I’ll take the freeway more likely than stop and go traffic, that same mindset needs to be rejected inside my business. When it comes to learning a new process, the unknown is not so much scary but annoying.
“Why do I need to learn this new process? Why would we change that system? Our current one’s perfectly fine.”
This is the mindset of mediocrity. I make myself seek out things that might be a pain to change, because change is growth. And in business, you are either growing or dying — there is no in
between. Look for something that might take you out of your comfort zone, because your comfort zone gives you nothing other than what you already are and already have.
I’ll take any online or phone conference demo to see what else is out there. Is there a new scheduling platform, a new way to handle a drink menu? Is there a new reservation program, even though I don’t currently take reservations at Andolini’s, my pizzeria? You never know what it might lead to. Unless you do nothing, then you absolutely know what it will lead to: more nothing!
Everything from my recipes to my meeting flow are all up for recreation and adjustment. I create new processes all the time. They are always in progression because there is no such thing as a complete restaurant. Clearing out 30 minutes every week to see what else is out there is time we all can afford.
Once I gather all the info and R&D I want on a new process, I either decide it’s a pass and now I know more about the product, or I say yes and go all in on it. Once all in I see everything that it can be to maximize it and integrate it. I’ve found this to be the best way to stay ahead of the curve.
Because I’m willing to be uncomfortable and admit that I don’t know it all, I have the opportunity of getting somewhere even more profitable and comfortable than where I’m currently at. Don’t be complacent! There is something better, and knowing that there is something better should lead you to choosing to go out there and find it.
MIKE BAUSCH is the owner of Andolini’s Pizzeria in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is a frequent speaker at the International Pizza Expo family of tradeshows.