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Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone (Friday Filosophy 6/24/22)

Posted By: Randy GageJune 24, 2022

Happy Freakin’ Friday!

It’s time again for my weekly chat with you with the subject that I’m thinking about – and believe you might want to think about as well.  Today that subject is coasting in your comfort zone.

I’m thinking about this a lot because my annual TRIBAL event is coming up soon, and I’ll be working with some of the most brilliant thought leaders and agents of change on the planet.  And every one of them – and you if you work to make the world a better place – is going to be surrounded by people who give you permission to stay the way you are.

Back in the 70s, Rick Nelson created a ruckus when he released a song called “Garden Party.”  It was a simple enough pop ditty, but it did raise some issues about our proclivity to live in the past. Since most of you reading this weren’t even born yet, here are the lyrics:

Went to a garden party to reminisce with my old friends
A chance to share old memories and play our songs again
When I got to the garden party, they all knew my name
No one recognized me, I didn't look the same

But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well.
You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself

People came from miles around, everyone was there
Yoko brought her walrus, there was magic in the air
And over in the corner, much to my surprise
Mr. Hughes hid in Dylan's shoes wearing his disguise

But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well.
You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself

Played them all the old songs, thought that's why they came
No one heard the music, we didn't look the same
I said hello to "Mary Lou", she belongs to me
When I sang a song about a honky-tonk, it was time to leave

But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well.
You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself

Someone opened up a closet door and out stepped Johnny B. Goode
Playing guitar like a-ringin' a bell and lookin' like he should
If you gotta play at garden parties, I wish you a lotta luck
But if memories were all I sang, I rather drive a truck

And it's all right now, learned my lesson well
You see, ya can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself

The song has some relevance to you once you accomplish something epic.  Because unfortunately, there will be a lot of people around you who are going to always keep asking for your “greatest hits.”  At least until they’re bored with you and you’re no longer relevant.

As a speaker, the danger is falling in love with your “signature story.” But if your entire body of work revolves around your story of climbing Mt. Everest, winning the Super Bowl, or rescuing someone from a burning house – how are you possibly going to stay relevant?  Another consideration: Your signature story isn’t really supposed to be about you anyway.  It’s supposed to be about the lesson it provides the audience.

With authors, the danger is falling in love with your runaway bestselling book.  More Chicken Soup for the Soul and Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul may work, but by the time you get to Chicken Soup for Midget Porn Stars with Psoriasis, you’ve probably gone back to the well one time too often.  Your market gravity erodes book by book, until you wake up one day and discover you went from trend setting revolutionary to one trick pony.

Likewise for coaches, consultants, and thought leaders in general.  You may be known for writing the seminal book in your space, designing the manufacturing process that everyone in the industry follows, or developing the philosophy that is still taught in college courses for your profession.  Most of your tribe is going to want you to tell them the same bedtime story every night.  Until they’re too old for bedtime stories any longer. Here’s what you have to keep reminding yourself about your tribe…

They don’t know what they don’t know. And they especially don’t know what you know that they don’t know and need to know.  Being a thought leader requires leading the thought.  It’s your responsibility to get your tribe (and potential tribe) to see that you have important information that they need to know.  Even sometimes (especially sometimes) when that info is inconvenient for them, makes them uncomfortable, or completely blows up their perception about something.

I was catching up with episodes of The Voice television show recently. Ed Sheeran was the guest mentor for the contestants, and he tossed off a side comment that struck me like lightning. He said when he writes and records each song, they belong to him.  But once the record comes out, they belong to everyone else. Because in their minds, those tunes become their wedding song, graduation anthem, etc.  (Which is probably what Ricky Nelson is alluding to when he writes, “I said hello to ‘Mary Lou’, she belongs to me.”)

A lot of your tribe just want you to sing their favorite song again at their comfy little garden party.  But your job is to expand the vision they have for themselves.  To pull them from that cozy nostalgia and take them on an adventure of challenge, growth, and development.

Some will feel betrayed and look for someone else to follow. Love them and allow them to grow.  They’re not your tribe, at least not yet. Others will push back, trying to test your resolve.  When you hold firm, they will come around and become valuable members of your tribal community.  Yet others will be all in from the start.  That’s exactly why they found their way to you, because they’re looking for someone who makes them think about things in ways they’ve never thought about those things before. They’re looking for someone who challenges them to become the highest possible version of themselves.  Be that someone, even when, especially when, it means you have to challenge people.

Since we’re in the music theme this week, let me draw on another song, “Changes” from David Bowie.  I loved it when it came out, and it’s still on one of my workout playlists today.

And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re goin’ through

This song speaks to people who want to blow up the status quo and step into their greatness. That’s the people you want in your orbit

As far as Ricky Nelson, he died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve, 1985.  But before he went to the great Billboard Hot 100 in the Sky, he placed 53 hits on the chart.  So, he never had to play at garden parties, and I doubt that he would have had to drive a truck.

ICYMI, on the Success & Prosperity Blog: Losing My Religion for Bitcoin

New on the Podcast: How to Prosper in an Economic Meltdown

Apple Spotify: Anchor: Other Platforms:


Thought of the Day: Stop asking, 'Who am I?' and start asking, 'Who can I become?'


- RG

P.S. Last Call!!! My TRIBAL event is happening in a couple weeks! If you see yourself making a bigger impression, changing the game in your space, making a real difference and co-creating the universe – lock in your space now. 


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