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How to Get Ahead by Letting Go

Get ahead: let go!

“… in my brain I had five years to get a staff together and be able to take some time off and be able to kind of enjoy things.” – Andy King, co-owner of A&J King Artisan Bakers

What is it that you really want from your business?

Where is it that you’d like to be?

Are you on the path to getting to that point?

What is it that you need to do to move forward with your business and attain a certain lifestyle?

I’ve had the privilege of speaking with many successful small business owners over the last few months as host of a new podcast, Small Biz Stories. These are small businesses that have made it past that five year mark when more than 50 percent fail. Some have been around more than 30 years.

What’s their secret to success?

Aside from common traits, which you’ll probably recognize in yourself as well — passion, determination, pride, and an overwhelming love of what they do — there’s something else that stands out. And this is true whether they own a retail business with employees, or a sole proprietorship where they’re working out of the home.

What’s their secret?

It seems so simple when you identify it.

They let go of the things that aren’t worth their time.

It’s not that these things aren’t important, it’s just they don’t have to be the ones doing them.

Just ask Marie Mouradian, owner of Window Designs Etc.

“I started my own website and blog, and then it was probably about a year ago it got to the point where I needed a different theme. So I did hire a web designer to do a theme for me…I’ll go in and do things on the back end myself, but sometimes I just need him to do a little bit more. And then it’s not worth my time for me to try to figure out all that.”

Are you spending valuable time on things you probably shouldn’t?

When you’re first getting started, there’s no doubt you’ll been wearing many hats. And perhaps you’ve been doing it for a while and you’re still wearing those hats today.

If you feel like your business has stalled, or you’re just not moving at the pace you were planning on, it may be time to look at where you’re spending your time. You may need to let some things go if you want to move forward.

It’s not easy to let go

If you’re anything like me, you take a lot of pride in what you do. You have a high standard for the work you produce. And you like having that intimate knowledge of how everything works.

When you’re used to being the person who does everything, it can be difficult to make the mental leap to overseeing rather than doing.

That anxiety you may be feeling is normal.

It’s not easy. But it’s necessary.

How do you make that leap?

First, you have to find the right people to assist you.

You do this by being clear about what it is you’re looking for, and what you’re trying to accomplish.

Once you are clear about what you need, it makes it easier to find the right people to work with. People who understand what’s important to you and your business and are invested in helping you get there.

This is true of a contractor, a virtual assistant, or employee.

“I have very low employee turnover. I spend a lot of time and energy thinking about employee turnover and how to avoid it…Now I’ve got such a great crew that have been with me for so long. I don’t have my head in the weeds. I’m able to do bigger things, like have crazy ideas like, ‘Let’s have a parade for a wheel of cheese.” – Peter Lovis, owner of The Cheese Shop

Something special happens when you’re not in the weeds.

All of a sudden, you’re able to get your business to the next level because you can focus. You can be creative. And this creative focus allows you to truly have a positive impact your business.

Here’s how to begin letting go today — right now

Make an inventory of all the business tasks you do in your week. Ask yourself:

  • Is your time being spent in the best possible manner?
  • What tasks can you let go of by way of delegation or outsourcing?

Are you ready to let go so you can move your business forward? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

Pamela Wilson

I want to help you take the next step. Pick your free workshop topic and let’s do this!

8 thoughts on “How to Get Ahead by Letting Go”

  1. Dave, your post is SO timely for me and something I truly agree with. Letting go has been SUCH a key factor in helping us grow our business over the last 4 years to a 6-figure mark.

    Letting go not just in terms of jobs that I don’t have to do but also, letting go of offerings that no longer resonated with our vision for the business. All of this freed up the head space AND the calendar space to truly do what matters.

    Thanks for sharing this and re-affirming that to let go is to let growth happen:)

  2. Great post, Dave! I agree with you about letting go. The challenge is finding the right people. I’ve been burned a couple of times, even with referrals, so my heart clinches each time I try someone new. I’m 0-2. Going for 3 and feeling optimistic! 🙂

  3. Thanks for this article, Dave! Indie publishers like me are a pretty independent lot, but there are times when we must admit that we lack not just the time and energy to do something related to our publishing projects, but completely lack the necessary skills! I went through this when I self-pubbed my first story collection and it was time to design the cover. I knew better than to even try to do the cover myself, at least for my first book. The comparison between my mock-up covers and my designer’s is telling:

    I literally jumped up and down when I saw the cover! Designers, feel free to geek out! I’ll stick to writing what appears between the front and back covers!

    Thanks again, Dave, for the article, and Pamela, for the website and all your design tips. I’m in your SiteSetupKit course and it really helped me! I “let go” and got the professional design and technical help I needed to come up with a website that is at least somewhat passable and functional.

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