Letting Go and Moving On
Change Can Be Hard!
I know an entrepreneur who at the end of every year evaluates the past year and sets goals for the upcoming year. Nothing too special about that right? I imagine most of us are taking some time to do just that as this year comes to a close. Here is what is unusual in the way he does things: as he sets his goals for the upcoming year, he deliberately and routinely cuts out something from his business. He may discontinue a program or a product. He may decide not to continue to market in a particular way. Again, you may be thinking, well we all do that to things that don’t work out, aren’t profitable or don’t have the return that we want. Here’s the difference. His decision isn’t just based on profitability or even the success of the venture. It can be based on it being something that he no longer wishes to do, even if it is profitable. The point is that he requires that something be cut. Why? Because if you don’t prune something away, there is no room for new growth.
We are all creatures of habit and routine. If it has done nothing else, the current surge of research in brain science has taught us how the brain looks for and creates routine and patterns which it then clings to fiercely. We all know how hard it is to break a habit once it is established. Habits serve a purpose. They help our brain conserve energy and decrease the need for decision making. So in many ways habits are a positive thing.
Habits and routine can also be a positive thing in business. We have a social media plan and every day we post something on our social media platforms. We have certain networking groups where we have experienced success and where we feel comfortable so we go to the same ones over and over. We have a certain sales conversation memorized that we repeat each time we meet with a potential customer. You get the idea.
But it’s also true that sometimes we continue doing the same thing mindlessly when we really need to move on to something different. And that’s the purpose of having a regular time to discontinue some practices, even when they may still be effective. You may be failing to grow because you are stuck in certain habits and have no time or bandwidth to learn about and move on to something else. Leaving something behind may mean letting go of something small, like leaving one type of networking group for another. Several years ago, I made a decision to leave a BNI group so that I would have the time and energy to attend many other networking opportunities. It was a difficult decision but it proved to be a wise one.
Sometimes we leave something big. When I made the decision to leave my elementary school counseling job over ten years ago, to start my own business, it was definitely a difficult transition. It too has proven to be a good choice, even though there were many unanswered questions at the time.
So how do you know when it’s time to let go of one thing and move on to something else? There are of course the obvious reasons, for instance if something is not profitable or successful. However, what if that is not the case? How do you prune your business and make room for growth otherwise? Here are some questions to help you decide:
- Have you mastered some aspect of your business to the point where you are no longer being challenged? We all need to challenges to learn and grow. When we are not growing, we are dying, even when everything seems comfortable, easy and routine.
- Is there something that is really exciting on the horizon that you have an opportunity to do? Do you need to make room, space and time for it? What can you most afford to eliminate to take advantage of new developments?
- Are you bored with some aspect of what you do now so that it has become a chore? Could you hire someone to do the task or delegate it to someone else. It may mean we put a part of our business on hold for a period of time or indefinitely.
If we don’t take the time to purposefully eliminate things from our businesses while we continue to add to our business, then we will eventually find ourselves with more than we can reasonably do. These are tough decisions filled with lots of emotions, but if we don’t take the time to gain clarity, create a vision and take action, we may fail to take advantage of a special opportunity for our future. As the year comes to a close, take the time to not only set goals, but to ask yourself what you need to let go of and leave behind.
Dream Achiever Coaching is well worth the time and money. Lynne is a wonderful coach. She offers priceless advice, encouragement, and support. She has personally helped reel me in to focus my time and energy appropriately and has also helped me achieve my dream of having an enjoyable, fulfilling, and successful business. Amy Molley, www.sensiblesensoryspaces.com/
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