Letting Go: A Surprising Key to Success with Almost Anything?

For the last few weeks, I’ve invited you to apply the principles of money management to your business (or career). To see the value in thinking of your offers as assets and the concatenation of them as a portfolio. (And for the readers who are non-business owners, the invitation was to think of your positions and overall career through a similar prism.)

The parallel first starts with taking an inventory. Followed by evaluating your performance. Now, it’s time for us to chat about the third part. This is when you make decisions about what to keep, what to tweak, and what to let go.

Each part comes with its own unique opportunities and challenges. In fact, I’ve built my career on helping my clients navigate each part. And one piece of feedback I get continuously is that I am great at helping them have the clarity of mind to make sometimes tough trade-offs and choices. 

It’s a slightly different story when it comes to my own investments and business. For myself, I’m pretty good at doing the first two parts on my behalf. But, the third part…that is the most difficult for me. Why? Because I have a hard time letting go.

Can you relate?

On a scale of 1-5, with 1 being poor and 5 being excellent, how would you rate yourself?  

How would you rate yourself when it comes to selecting your investment assets? 

How would you rate yourself when it comes to creating your offers?

How would you rate yourself when it comes to the type of positions you go after?

How would you rate your discipline when it comes to how frequently you calculate and evaluate your performance – whether it regards your investments, your business, or career? 

What rate would you give yourself when it’s time to make a decision about an asset that either isn’t performing well, or simply no longer “fits?”

Do you quickly and easily make this decision? Or, do you drag your feet?

For example: I have a stock that took a HUGE hit in 2008. And the price has only continued to decline since. I could say that I’ve held onto it for almost thirteen years for who knows why. But the truth is that I keep hoping it’ll come back. This is definitely a “don’t do as I do” scenario, because there’s absolutely nothing rational about this. 

Ready to Make Room for Success?

To prepare for this piece, I checked Friday’s closing price. And let’s just say I am even more encouraged to sell the darn thing post haste! 🙂 

So, yay! I’m finally going to do something. But what price (opportunity cost) have I been paying by holding onto it for so long?

Based on observation and experience, here’s what I’ve found to be true: 

Creating is often fun and usually energizing.

Refining and tweaking can be fun and energizing, too.

Making decisions about what to keep or tweak is fairly easy. 

Making decisions about what to let go is often hard as heck

Regardless of the form in which “letting go” shows up — whether that’s selling an investment, retiring an offer, exiting a business pillar, or reinventing your career.

And yet, letting go is a surprising way to make room for your success. 

When you did your performance review, could you easily identify what to keep and tweak? Was it also pretty clear what to let go? Have you begun the process of doing so? If not, have you put together a timeline for when you will? If not, what’s the reason? 

  • Is it because you’d have to admit being wrong (and you thrive on being right)?
  • It is because you’re holding out hope for something to change (like I’ve been doing with the stock I referenced above)?
  • Is it because doing so would require a change you want in theory, but are just not quite as ready for in practice?
  • Is it because it would somehow change your “identity” – either your self-identity or how others see you?
  • Is it because of how you are relating to what it means to no longer have the “thing?”

I know I have a tendency to draw (what may seem to others to be) odd parallels. But, it’s how I think. Also, I find it sometimes makes it easier to see patterns – patterns regarding what you do regardless of the circumstances vs. patterns you notice for when you do one thing in one situation, but something else in another.

Speaking to my fellow entrepreneurs and small business owners, when you evaluate your offer portfolio, what offers do you need to keep; what offers do you need to create; what offers do you need to modify; what offers do you need to retire?

Very broadly, following the principles of money management involves creating a diversified portfolio; evaluating your performance; and then determining what holdings to keep, buy more of, sell some of, or get rid of entirely.

It’s a process – one that can help you make better, smarter decisions. 

So, can you see why I’ve been making a case for applying the principles of money management to how you manage your business (or career)? 

Sure, the details are different and the approach may not be apples to apples. But the value is tremendous. Especially when you discover that the thing standing in your way of more success may be the decision to let something go.

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