My family and I vacationed in Hilton Head Island and participated in a guided beach nature walk.
Something our guide said stood out to me. He said, “This beach looks so much different than it did a month ago because of this storm we had. In fact, every time I come out here, something is different. It never stays the same.”
Isn’t that also true in business? In life?
We know it’s true that change is constant and inevitable. But we resist change, don’t we? We don’t like it at all. It disrupts our lives and makes us uncomfortable. We’d much prefer that things stay the same so that we can be in our comfort zone, where we like to be. Things are pretty good right now, aren’t they?
Or are they? Is it possible that change is actually a catalyst for greatness?
I’ve learned the hard way that ignoring or even resisting change holds us back personally and professionally.
How Resisting Change Can Hold Us Back
Resisting Change Makes Us Complacent
Complacency breeds mediocrity and prevents us from growing personally and in business. When we get complacent, we get comfortable. We stop pushing, hustling and learning. We stop striving for excellence, and we start becoming OK with being “OK.”
Being complacent prevents us from becoming the best version of ourselves.
Resisting Change Prevents Us from Proactively Addressing Problems
I owned my pizza restaurants for several years from afar through a manager I had hired to run all of them. The extent of my involvement was a weekly meeting to review the numbers.
One day we bounced a check. And I was like, “What? How can this be?” We always had money in the bank. Suddenly, I realized that our profit margins had dwindled to the point where we started having cash flow problems. We stopped being aggressive with our marketing and relaxed our customer service standards. We weren’t paying attention to the competition that was growing more and more intensive. In fact, the concept had grown stale. To me, it all happened suddenly but in fact it’s been happening for years.
Resisting Change Prevents Me from Taking Advantage of New Opportunities
When we become complacent, we stop looking for new things.
We see a great new opportunity but say to ourselves, “Nah, let’s let someone else run after that. Things are good, no need to kill ourselves.” That attitude is a mistake because it holds us back from developing our full potential.
While I’ve learned some rather hard lessons about resisting change, I also learned that embracing change propels me forward and has developed me personally and professionally. I’ve accepted that change is actually good. But it’s not always pleasant. In fact, it can be rather unpleasant at times and pushes me over the edge of my comfort zone.
But embracing change also keeps things exciting. It lets me learn new things and can improve what I’m already doing.
Sometimes, when things get too quiet, I actually look for things that I can change. I ask myself, “What can I do better?” And sometimes the answer is something that will require a lot of work or forces me to learn new things. Then I resist and say ,”Nah, too much work, things are pretty good right now.”
Then I hear a small voice whisper to me, “Is that attitude going to make you a better person, or will it keep you where you are now?” And if I listen to that voice and push through it, remarkable things happen to me personally and my businesses.
I went through this process with one of my apartment buildings. Things were going OK, but I was not 100% happy with its performance, which of course was directly linked to my property manager. Plus, I was constantly asking him for stuff he said he was going to do but didn’t. Then one day I heard the thought, “It’s time to fire him,” and of course I immediately dismissed it.
I told myself, “He’s doing pretty well. Besides, if I fire him, I’m going to have to interview a whole bunch of new property managers. And who knows if I’ll be any better off? Better to not rock the boat.” But over the next few weeks, that discontent continued to grow and I finally decided to replace him.
And yes, it was a lot of work, and the transition was not smooth since many of the tenants decided to test the new management company by not paying their rent. But WOW, the result has been amazing. Not only did the bottom line improve substantially, but I no longer had to micromanage the manager.
Oftentimes, doing the right thing is hard. Embracing change is one of those right things. Is it hard to do? Yup. But is it worthwhile? You betcha!
What change do you feel you need to make right now? What changes in the past have forced you to grow and learn more about yourself?
We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!