Boriana Valentinova

How come we keep expecting change to happen by magic?

Imagine you run a restaurant. You’ve been in business for a few years, you have a stable clientele, and your turnaround is not bad. However, you notice that clients are drifting away… regulars are starting to come less frequently, and there are fewer new customers, fewer tips, and more empty tables. So, you do your marketing research and realize that your competition is bringing new and exciting flavours which are ¨stealing away¨ your previously faithful clientele. So, naturally, you should update your menu and introduce the same or even better offering. The faster, the better – it’s a fundamental principle of change management. 


Surprisingly, only a few react on time. To be specific, only 20% of the business owners. The statistic explains new restaurants’ overnight success when they step in firmly with solid marketing and a good offering. However, it does not explain human behaviour – why restaurant owners fail to react in the face of danger.

(This example is about restaurants, but it applies to every business.)

So, how come we hesitate to change when we clearly have to?

The answer is Conformity.

A self-limiting barrier makes us doubt the benefit of a change or underestimate the consequences of a lack of action. As a result, many (around 80%, to be specific) will not take action because they believe the situation is not as bad as it is – why change it?
And that’s the tricky thing about change; it does not always present as an urgency. So we must know how to ‘read’ between the lines and decide on a course of action before it is too late.

When not addressed, Conformity can become a decisive handicap to progress. It is a state that drags you into believing that the effort needed on top and above the business-as-usual to stay ahead of the curve is too much.

Conformity makes us take the path of least resistance. And sadly, it is becoming quite trendy. So whenever I access my social media, I get posts about how I should slow down, take my time, avoid stress and too much effort, and make a living out of my hobbies. And all that advice comes with tips on how easy it is to generate passive income.
However, the reality is a lot different.
You can’t make a living, turn around your business or passively live from interests and repetitive sales without working your sweat off! Change doesn’t happen by sitting and discussing the pros and cons of something imminent to happen. Change doesn’t happen if you don’t get hands-on and get things done.

Change happens when you roll your sleeves and get things done.

There is nothing passive about securing a future passive income; it implies a lot of work, action, risk-taking, forward-thinking, and staying alert to avoid being displaced by competition or trends.

So, how do we get there? How can you change and deal with Conformity?

The first step is to assume responsibility. It is your duty, and no one else’s, to be innovative, take action, go against the flow, and achieve results.
Second, accept the fact that nothing is going to happen if you don’t make it happen. That implies leaving your comfort, order and security (which, by the way, are temporary) and stepping into the unknown, the chaos and the unpredictable. But it also implies that you will enter the world of possibilities, growth and adventure where life suddenly reveals itself as intense, gripping and meaningful…

Third, don’t give in to social pressure.

  1. Set a goal – what you want to achieve mid or long-term.
  2. Define your roadmap strategy – the milestones to achieve your goal. Focus on the resources you need to succeed. Follow peers or role models who have committed to similar goals and whose journeys you admire. Don’t give in to distractions, the easy shortcuts and the cheap talk.
  3. Measure your progress towards your goal and as you achieve thresholds, prize yourself.
Change doesn’t happen by magic. But there is something magical in a change journey.