Never get comfortable OR comfortability is the enemy of innovation

by jeffhilimire on May 4, 2011

When I look back at my life and see the periods where I wasn’t creating “new”, its because I became too comfortable.  I think its a big reason why I decided a few years ago that I would never have my own office again.  Being locked away in an office helped me to get comfortable in my routine, almost creating blinders to what was going on around me.  I didn’t see problems or opportunities.  I stopped creating “new”.

Creating “new”

By that I mean, coming up with new ideas, always questioning the status quo, pushing myself to think of new ways to achieve my or my company’s goals.  It means creating something where nothing was before.  Sometimes it means looking at things through a new lens, seeing the forest through the trees, that sorta thing.

I believe that in life  you need to push yourself not to get too comfortable.  It certainly could be applied to a long-term relationship.  You never want to take things for granted in your life, particularly the people you care the most about.  Getting comfortable almost always leads to taking things for granted that you shouldn’t.

More than anything I think a successful entrepreneur is never comfortable. They’re always looking to improve the world in new and unconventional ways.  They look around the world and see opportunities to make change.  Want to see a ton of people creating “new”?   Check out Quirky.com where people are inventing new products every day and crowd-sourcing the funding for them.  Or head to NY this month for TechCrunch Disrupt where programmers build new products and launch them…in a 24 hour period.

And that’s how marketers need to be today.  I talk a lot about how marketers need to think and act like entrepreneurs.  Here are a few posts that hit on different aspects of that concept:

Tomorrows brands can’t succeed with yesterday’s leadership

How to be an entrepreneur…with a job

How to approach mobile marketing like a startup

The point: Marketing departments are built to be comfortable.  They have budgets that are based on the previous year.  They have structures that speak to old school silos.  They are incented and rewarded on criteria that is safe and comfortable.

Much like good is the enemy of great, getting too comfortable is the enemy of innovation.

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