As a Small Business Owner, I suspect that you have had more than one good idea about the direction of your business. The business that you run today is probably also not exactly what you first envisioned.
The reason for this is likely because along the way you made small strategic decisions to go towards one goal or direction and let some things go along the way. Sometimes those little pivots are enough to create a business that you truly love but sometimes a bigger ‘letting go’ is needed to really create success.
For someone who has personally gone through the tough decisions of when to let go – I wanted to share my personal experiences as well as share what I have learned by seeing some of my business mentors shift gear.
With personal evaluation, I have always considered two key factors that help me determine when it’s time to let go and when to go forward. The first thing is my personal satisfaction/motivation and the other is the outer result of my work.
My ‘satisfaction’ is determined by my excitement (or lack of), my flow of ideas and interest in everything related to my business industry.
I saw this personally when I was no longer spending my time researching. As an expert in the field I was centered around, I really wanted to be on the leading edge of any new findings and strategies. Beyond that, I was also committed to using and implementing all of my research to make sure I was providing the most relevant and founded information. When I found myself avoiding podcasts on the topic and choosing different books at the library it was one of my first indications that I would not be able to make the long haul in the industry.
The outer ‘result’ that I used to assess my situation was how I felt about the work I was producing and the impact I had on others. If I could see that what I was bringing to the table was truly revolutionary, that would have been a reason to hang on. But the truth was, it wasn’t. I didn’t feel like I was bringing a fresh enough perspective or creating positive change in the world on a level that I really wanted too.
Looking into the future was also a big part of how I made the final decision to let my first business go. I looked at the careers of those who were further ahead of me and I just couldn’t see myself really thriving at that level. While I was ‘out there’ looking, it also gave me an opportunity to look at what others were doing that I could see myself being in the same arena with, which happened to be in a different industry.
By seeing these business mentors from a 10,000-foot view I was able to see how they also continued to make shifts and let go, sometimes in big ways, and other times in small programs or offerings.
Every time I would see this – (because I admired the way they did business) I could appreciate their courage in trying something new, even if it wasn’t my favorite thing they had ever done. That’s why I encourage you to take a look at your own business and feel brave when you feel a change coming on that may include letting go. It may just be the best thing you have ever done.
The overall perspective here is that sometimes it is worth it to push through the tough times and sometimes it is better to just let it go. Considering these concepts will hopefully help you find the best path for you.
Tamara is the Founder and Creative Director of Sweet Clover Studios. Where she provides resources, planners, learning opportunities and inspiration for creative small business owners. You can also see her personal gallery of products as a surface pattern designer at www.SweetCloverStudios.com