Leaving Your Comfort Zone

We all have our unique comfort zones.  Some things come easy to certain people, while other things are stressful.  As an intern at Allied Integrated Marketing, a main responsibility I have is contacting local businesses to see if they are interested in receiving screening passes to movies we promote.  Sometimes the places I contact have email addresses, but more often than not I reach out to them over the phone.

I remember when I was younger I was completely terrified of talking on the phone. Growing up in a generation with the ability to email and later on text, this wasn’t a problem for the most part.  I eventually did get comfortable on the phone, but the idea of cold calling places was still cringe-inducing.  When I was confronted with this as an intern, I was initially pretty nervous.  “What if I say something stupid?” I thought to myself.  “What if I have to cough?” “Are they going to be able to tell how nervous I am?”
Eventually, I mentally pepped myself up to the task.  I thought of how easy it was to order takeout on the phone when I once found the idea nerve-wracking.  Maybe, I thought to myself, I could get used to this too.  Still, I took a few precautions, writing out what I planned on saying and having all the info I needed in front of me on my computer.   The first few calls I made weren’t great, but I finally got to a store owner who was really enthusiastic and receptive to the offer of free passes.  With that encouragement, the rest of the calls I made that day were a lot easier.
By now cold calling is a lot more manageable for me.  I know that things usually go smoothly if I prepare and if someone declines the offer it isn’t the end of the world. Oddly enough, cold calling also made it a lot easier for me to approach people at networking events.  Talking to somebody who expects questions from you, even in-person, is a lot simpler than contacting somebody with something they aren’t expecting.  Ultimately, I’m glad that I was able to nudge myself outside of my comfort zone, because sometimes it can be really rewarding.

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