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What to Learn from Letting Go

Letting go is probably the hardest thing to do!

We like to cling to the past without focusing on the present and preparing for the future.

That can be quite damaging – for humans in general. But, for entrepreneurs, ‘letting go’ has an entirely different perspective altogether.

Failure to let go might not damage their personal lives, but professionally the same action might prevent their business growth.

Take, for example, Steve Jobs. He was the co-founder of Apple Inc. He was a visionary who spearheaded the launch of pathbreaking Apple products like iPod and iPhone.

Single-Handedly he transformed Apple into a Global Leader in Telecommunications. But, his tenure was short-lived. He quit Apple temporarily in 1985 and finally in 2011.

He had to let go of his dream venture and left the stage open for his successor, Tim Cook.

Letting go of Apple might have been the hardest decision for Jobs, but he took the gigantic step for the sake of his venture.

Its true founders might want to stick around and get involved in every aspect of the business. But withholding the power to micromanage every process single-handedly can deter the growth of his team too!

They need to take matters into their own hands and bring fresh ideas to the table. But, if the company’s founder is always around to say the final ‘good-to-go’ to every action, the team will quit using their brains.

They will always look up to him for directions.

In a way, the founder is trying their hands in shackles and putting their grey cells to sleep.

You don’t want to handicap your own company simply because you can’t delegate responsibilities at the right time. So, you have to master the art of ‘letting go.’

Here are three ways to do it –

#1: Focus on Hiring the Right Talent

You should start that journey by hiring the right talent!

Without a proper team and talent pool, you can never take the leap of faith because the company’s future will worry you.

After all, that venture is your brainchild, and your ‘parental instinct’ will make you take important decisions yourself since you don’t have the right team to rely on.

Since we mentioned Steve Jobs as an example earlier, we will cite that example here again. Steve Jobs focused on hiring the best replacement for his position, Tim Cook. Even before he became the CEO for Apple officially, he was always chosen as the acting CEO during Job’s absence from time to time.

That prepared him for the task well ahead of the stipulated time. So even though Steve Job’s decision to ‘let go’ of Apple was purely based on health reasons, he had already chosen and prepared his rightful successor ahead of time.

So, hiring and onboarding the right person at the right time is always advisable. After all, it would be best if you stay prepared for the unforeseeable future.

And, since a single bad hire can cost over $50,000 in the US, you cannot ignore the importance of hiring, recruitment, and training your company’s future generation.

#2: Empower Your Team

Just hiring the right talent is not the end of your journey as an entrepreneur. In fact, the following months are more challenging.

Just think like this – if you hired those you trust, you should trust them more to get their tasks done without interference. That’s how you empower your employees, that’s how you teach them to stand upright on their two feet, and that’s how you exhibit confidence in them.

And, your confidence in your team will boost their self-confidence and motivate them to cater to their responsibilities sincerely. They would bring their fresh ideas to the table; they would think out of the box and find ways to get tasks done quickly and efficiently.

Eventually, their efforts will bear fruits, and your company will flourish.

But, forcefully keeping matters in your hand might push your venture to a saturation point or the point of no return.

So, maybe it’s time for you to delegate responsibilities to your trusted team. If they grow together as a team, your business will grow too!

Saw the chain reaction?

#3: Make Your Team Stakeholders

Now, there are other ways to keep your team motivated and make them feel at home in your company. How?

Apart from empowering them to make decisions without your interference, you can make them the company’s stakeholders too!

There’s a simple logic behind making your team the company’s stakeholders – And; the logic is that if they start investing in the company, they will be more focused on keeping the profit in six figures and working relentlessly to prevent the venture from falling apart.

Because it is their hard-earned money invested in the company’s stakes, they are indirectly the silent investors. And, when they are involved at such a deeper level, their involvement with the company’s processes will improve.

Letting Go can be Letting Go of Unwarranted Situations.

As an entrepreneur, you might have to make certain decisions that you probably would have never imagined in your wildest dreams.

That’s how life is – completely unpredictable. So is an entrepreneurial journey – full of surprises and unpredictable episodes. But, if you remain stuck in the past and ponder over your failure, you might miss out on other opportunities.

An entrepreneur should also learn the art of ‘letting go’ to stay focused and not give up. Instead, they can learn a thing or two from each failure and prepare for the next.

Many famous entrepreneurs had undergone similar episodes in their lives. Their failures forced them to let go of their dream ventures, but they lived on to become successful again.

Here, you can also learn the art of

#1. Letting Go the Disney Way

Walt Disney, the legendary animator, film producer, and theme park developer. His road to success was quite bumpy, to say the least. Before he orchestrated the launch of Walt Disney and Disney Land, he focused on his very first venture, Laugh-O-Gram Studio.

This was an animation company that didn’t live long enough to taste success. Post this failure, Walt Disney’s luck ran out again with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. But, soon enough, Walt Disney lost the legal rights of his animated creation. His fellow animators left the sinking ship too!

But, Walt Disney was not willing to sink alongside the wrecked ship. No! He was ready to let go of his failures and rise back on his feet with another animated character, Mickey Mouse.

This achievement was a bumper success for him and later became a cornerstone for the Walt Disney entertainment empire.

#2: Letting Go like Hershey

Here’s another example to learn important lessons – Milton Hershey.

You guessed it right. Yes! He was the celebrated founder of the famous Hershey Company. But, before Milton became popular with Hershey’s chocolate, he had to face a series of failures too!

Believe it or not, his journey was quite a roller-coaster one. Both his candy shops, one in Philadelphia and the other in New York, failed miserably. Was he miserable enough?

He might have been but what he didn’t do was give up after each failure. Instead, he learnt lessons from each unsuccessful attempt and let go of those failures as unrequited love. Then, he decided to open yet another candy shop but experimented with another much-lived ingredient, caramel.

Dang! That was a success. Rest was history. Hershey lived on to become the owner of the biggest chocolate empire, which is currently worth $18.8 billion.

#3: Letting Go as Jerry Yang did!

Jerry Yang’s is slightly different from the earlier two. He was the co-founder of the search engine Yahoo. Post-controversy over Yahoo’s buyout from Microsoft, Jerry took the ultimate decision to step down from his dream company.

But, this decision turned out to be one of the major milestones to success. Yang let go of his venture for the best but made a career in entrepreneurship again by spearheading successful launches of over 50 startups like Evernote, Tango, and Wattpad.

The bottomline is…

Entrepreneurs might have to face the decision of when to ‘let go’ multiple times in their journey –

  • When to step down to make room for others?

  • Or when to let go of failures to prepare for success?

Because if they don’t, they would never succeed in their endeavours or their endeavours would never survive and grow.

These are hard decisions to make. But, the examples above can always guide them to the right path.

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So long, happy reading.

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