Discover more from Doktor Snake
Get Money: 4. Kill Your Comfort Zone
Beat your comfort zone to a pulp with a baseball bat, or slice it to pieces with a machete...
When it comes to money, your comfort zone is the kiss of death. So you have to kill it. Beat it to a pulp with a baseball bat, or slice it to pieces with a machete. The wimps of this world will say that sounds a little violent. But it’s not a person, it’s a part of your psychological make up, and it’s one that is seriously getting in your way.
In fact, it’s no bad thing being a serial killer when it comes to comes to the aspects of your mind that are holding you back. Leave a trail of bodies. Or better still bury them in a lonely forest somewhere and leave them to decompose.
Getting out of your comfort zone involves fighting fear, until you don’t fear anything or anybody. Fear is an ugly, squirming creature, much like Gollem from Lord of the Rings. Show it no mercy. Stomp it before it gets a hold on you.
In truth, fear has probably been a part of your life since you were tiny. Over the years, it will have grown bigger and bigger, and will have talked you out of doing many things – things that could have made you cash, most likely.
“The greatest fear people have is that of being themselves.”
50 Cent (b. 1975), American rapper, actor and entrepreneur
You can be too comfortable. Comfortable in a job that isn’t fulfilling, but it pays your mortgage. Comfortable in a marriage that’s a bit dull, but brings security. Comfortable just ticking along in life.
But look: You’ve bought this book, right? So some part of you wants – no yearns – for something different. Some excitement. And, of course, money.
So how do you get out of your comfort zone. Well you can go bungee jumping or parachute out of a plane. But really you’ll just be doing an extreme sport hobby, and not devoting yourself to money and riches. It’s best to stay on message and work on your main mission.
And actually if you do try jumping out of a plane, do it without a parachute. If you survive by same strange quirk of fate, you won’t fear a damn thing in life any more. After all, a parachute is a safety net, part of comfort zone thinking.
To be fair, that might be a little extreme.
So what you want to do is try being a little confrontational with people in your daily lives. Throw something out there, let go, and see how people react. If it’s your boss start seeing him or her as an equal, not somebody above you who holds your comfort and security in their hands. Tell them when you think their idea is a bad idea, and explain why, and offer a better idea, which they can take or leave.
Be nonchalant. Definitely don’t be emotional in any away when you do this. Matter of fact is best.
Same with work colleagues. Be polite and good-mannered with them (because these are good traits), but try and be yourself more with them. Don’t fall into the trap of having a “work self.” Let your deeper self come to the fore, the part of you that really “doesn’t give a fuck.” In essence, you’re showing them that you have no fear. That is a very compelling trait.
Do the same with romantic partners. If you don’t like their friends, say so, and don’t go to their dull dinner parties and BBQs. If your partner doesn’t like it, you can always find another one. As a side product, this attitude will improve your relationship 100%. Either that or you’ll find a relationship that’s more to your taste.
But the other thing is a lot of people have relationships due to clinging to their comfort zone. They literally have to be with someone. And that means anyone will do – any port in a storm.
That will hold you back in the quest for money. So find the strength in yourself not to be in a relationship if you’d don’t come across the ideal person. It’s better in many ways to be autonomous, with just yourself to worry about. You’ve got more freedom to do what you like. Plus you can get down to making money in earnest – because you will likely have to work very hard at first to build a system that not only brings you money, but free time too.
So the rule is, don’t let yourself slide into a comfortable relationship for its own sake. Even a romantic relationship needs to be a value exchange. Don’t embark on a relationship based on feeling secure and warm, or on companionship. That’s what the weak do. And is most definitely what the average wage stiff does.
You don’t want to do any of that because you want money and wealth.
“Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.”
Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013), British stateswoman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990
Another way to break the thrall of your comfort zone is to try and do everything to the max. Like driving. Learn to drive well and precisely. Focus on the drive at all times. Be one with the machine.
I do that with cars and motorcycles. I learned the art of driving from the British Police’s Roadcraft books. And because I focus 100% on driving a car or motorcycle, it becomes almost like zen meditation. I’m in the moment like an animal hunting, but with driving it’s more defensive than predatory – that’s how you stay alive on the roads. But when I’m in the mood, I’ll push the limits, such as setting a speed on an open road and not slowing down at all. So it takes all your skills to take corners safely.
By default this attitude translates into your business life. You see things clearer and more objectively, and you know exactly when you’re in the territory of risk. You assess risks, but you don’t shy away from them. If it looks worth a punt, you go for it.
If you’re into networking, you can include it in your efforts to take down your comfort zone. Most people who go to networking events are like meek little mice. But there’s always a handful of successful people there who are like predators. You just know they don’t give a monkeys. They don’t need to tout for business and are typically the cool ones in the room.
The rest aren’t remotely cool; they’re desperate to make contacts in the hope of getting some work or contracts from the successful people there. You can hear “wimp” in their voices when they talk. They’re trying to please and it’s written all over them. But the successful people in the room, if they think they can use the wimps, will negotiate a very good deal. Because they cling to their comfort zone, wimps are easy to bulldoze.
You don’t want to be in that position. Quite the contrary, you want to score lucrative deals. So use networking events as a way of getting out of your comfort zone. Go in casual clothes, or plain scruffy. Don’t dress to please. And don’t suck up to the successful people in the room. When you sit down, pull up another chair and put your feet up on it. Do that and people will very likely come up to you; they’ll be curious, and they’ll assume you’re one of the successful ones.
When people do approach you (which they surely will), ask them questions about their lives and businesses. Talk about them more than you. Keep it casual and obviously show a genuine interest in what they’re telling you. And when you do talk about yourself focus more on your passions, not so much on your business. Be a bit reticent about that, like you’re at the networking event to chill out more than anything. The less you say about your line of business, the more people will be curious to know what you get up to – and they might just want to strike a deal with you. If they do, sell ‘em on something top dollar.
On every level, your comfort zone is your enemy. I know that from personal experience. Back in the 1990s I was horribly skint. I was signing on the dole (welfare), which actually is a valid way to get income to set up a business. The government don’t approve of that. But they’re criminals, anyway. So it’s just a question of ducking and diving, and not getting caught.
But the problem is welfare makes you too comfortable and complacent. You get this small, but fairly guaranteed income, and it makes you dependent. You cling on to the pittance you get as if your life depended on it. It does in a way as you’d likely end up homeless and starving if your welfare was cut off. But welfare stymies you. You become fearful of taking risks and thus you’re in the welfare trap. And your only option seems to be going along with government propaganda to get a job – become a “productive citizen”. Really, they just want you to be a slave, living from paycheck to paycheck.
I realized I was in this predicament. And I just thought, fuck this, and signed off the dole and marketed via the internet from dawn to midnight until I had money coming in. It was scary (getting out of your comfort zone always is). But it certainly focused my mind…
Go Russian Gangsta
A good way to get out of your comfort zone is to do what most people don’t do – in this case talking less and walking slow. Look closely at Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia. See how he talks little and walks with slow deliberation. Remember, he’s basically a gangsta (modern Russia is ruled by them, and Vladimir is the epitome of gangsta style). His whole manner shows that he is in charge and that it would be very unwise to mess with him. So follow suit. Don’t rush around like you’re stressed (even if you are stressed), and restrain your natural urge to talk a lot and give too much away. You’ll find that doing this takes you way out of your comfort zone as the urge to talk (in a bid to make people like you) is very strong. And you’ll find it hard to walk slowly, especially when time is pressing. But the discipline of “going Russian gangsta” will serve you well.