I don’t normally spend time watching videos on YouTube (and definitely not videos of cats – I’m not a cat lover!) but when one of my clients told me I should really watch the video about ‘The Rabbi and The Lobster’ I was intrigued.
“Just search for it and see what you think,” she said. So I did.
In the video, a Rabbi tells a story about how a lobster grows.
The lobster’s shell is hard and can’t expand. So as it grows the shell gets tighter and tighter…..and the poor lobster gets more and more uncomfortable because it is stuck in that constricting shell……
The Rabbi explains that if the lobster could do to a doctor it would probably be prescribed Valium so it could stop worrying about feeling uncomfortable and could get on with its life.
But because it doesn’t have that option, the lobster gets so uncomfortable that it decides to do something about it.
So it goes somewhere safe, sheds its shell, and grows a new one that fits it’s better.
The lobster repeats this multiple times as it grows bigger and bigger.
Each time, it’s the discomfort that encourages the lobster to grow a new shell.
Without this discomfort, it would stay small. It would stay within its comfort zone.
It’s the same for us.
It’s easy to shy away from doing anything that feels unfamiliar or outside our comfort zone. But it’s when we try something new, or put ourselves ‘out there’, that we have an opportunity to grow. Both personally and professionally.
How does all this apply to growing your practice or business?
Well, as I listened to the story I thought of the many times I’ve shown clients the next step to take to get more clients or improve their profits, only to meet with them a few weeks later and discover they haven’t done it – despite them agreeing to it at the time.
The excuse I hear most often is “I didn’t have time. I was really busy this week”.
Sometimes that’s true. But when it’s the same excuse the week after, and the week after that, I know there’s something else going on. It’s really about a reluctance to move outside their comfort zone (and I know what that’s like because it’s a challenge I face regularly myself).
It could be that they don’t like the idea of picking up the phone to follow up with a potential client in case it makes them feel like they are ‘selling’.
Or that they don’t feel comfortable explaining to a potential client why the client should choose them because they don’t really believe there’s a good enough reason to do so.
Or they hate talking about ‘money’ with their clients and so try to duck the issue.
Whatever the task and whatever the inner resistance, I know from my own experience that when you work through that discomfort (which can include finding a way to take the next step which feels less uncomfortable), you have an opportunity to not only grow your practice but to grow personally as well.
What ‘next step’ do you know will help you grow your practice or business but you put it off because you don’t feel comfortable doing it?
Whatever it is, this is an opportunity to make a decision: do you want to stay in your existing shell or are you ready to grow a new one?
P.S. I particularly liked the final quote in the video: “If we use adversity properly, then we can grow through adversity.” (Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski)