Outside the comfort zone
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I donít often exercise my right to fill this space. In fact, youíll realize before you read much further that Iím not a writer up to the task at all. Rather, I work behind the scenes at TFQ to make sure our writers bring you topics in which youíre most interested, and that ad sales ensure we can pay our printer after each issue wraps up.
But I had to step in this time after reading Editor Matt Mullenís feature, beginning on page 6 of this edition.
You see, Matt accompanied the Tobacco Growerís Association of North Carolina on a recent trip overseas and wrote an informative article on these farmersí unique approach to reaching out to their customers.
But he left out all the good stuff. Especially the personal stories that illustrate the hassles sometimes associated with travel in an unfamiliar place.
Iím sure there were times on the trip where Matt must have felt like a fish out of water, due to various minor disasters that he encountered.
Matt didnít mention in his article that he arrived in Europe with a suitcase full of soaking wet clothes because the airline left his luggage out in the rain. Or that he tried to pay for a train ride from Denmark to Sweden with a paper receipt left by the previous customer, because he couldnít read it and thought it was a ticket. Nor did he mention in the article that he missed his flight home from London to Raleigh because of a traffic jam.
I donít bring up these snafus to poke fun at Matt. Theyíre typical obstacles that arise when one ventures into unfamiliar territory.
Like Matt, we have to be willing to step outside our previous comfort zone. The tobacco industry is changing, and we must embrace new ways of doing business in a global market.
I encourage you to read his feature, and everything else presented in this issue. Your customers are telling you what they want and what they need. If it means doing things a bit differently in the future, take a chance to venture from your comfort zone and donít be afraid to make mistakes along the way.
Noel Le Gette Morris