It was 38 degrees this morning. Raw. Windy. Cloudy. The kind of weather that demands a wool base layer, leggings, and foot warmers if you plan to venture out for a few hours of road cycling. Over your shoulder you can hear the indoor trainer, accessorized with a built-in tray to hold your iPad, offering you a far more comfortable alternative to the chilled toes and numb fingers you know are waiting for you outside the back door.
Of course there’s only one problem with that. If you don’t venture out when it’s 38, chances are it will be even harder to go when it’s 32. Harder still when the mercury hits 25. And near impossible when the teens suddenly appear. Then before you know it spring arrives. You’re 10 pounds overweight. And you’re the slowest rider in the group. Try catching up then.
When you consider the long-term ramifications you know you have to go. Even if it means enduring a little discomfort.
So what does any of this have to do with marketing and advertising? Just this. As I was forcing myself to get in 40 miles it dawned on me that choosing discomfort over comfort on a road bike is no different than choosing discomfort over comfort in your career. Especially if you work in an industry where things change as quickly as New England’s weather.
It’s easy to get really comfortable in what we do every day. Easy to think up ads if that’s what we’re good at. Less comfortable to go and learn to be digital. Easy to work with the same partners we’ve always worked with. Less comfortable to join forces with people from disciplines with which we’re a lot less familiar. Easy to talk one’s self into believing that the less intimidating option will do. Less comfortable to enter into situations where we might have limited control or command less authority.
I say screw being comfortable. It’s one thing to get to spring and be the slowest rider in the group. It’s another thing all together to be left behind in the business in which you make your living. Feeling at all comfortable in what you’re doing and how you do it? It’s time to look for something that scares you a little bit.
Photo by: Ben Birchall/PA, Guradian