Let Go to Grow

Article by Joan FriedlanderEntrepreneurs and consultants who fail to appropriately allocate their time and delegate tasks spend hours on activities and projects that drain their energy. They lose their creative edge; they can become frustrated and downright grouchy. Ultimately, by hanging on to tasks, people, and projects that no longer fit, they hinder their ability to grow, both personally and professionally.

It’s interesting that though you may actually “know” you need to delegate (or eliminate) a task, or discontinue your affiliation with a person or organization, there’s often a significant gap between knowing and taking action. There’s always a reason, but it often seems to have little to do with reason. How do you know if you are holding on to things you need to eliminate or delegate?

  • Are you working 10 or more hours per day and starting the next day feeling exhausted and behind?
  • Do you carry your to-do list forward day after day after day, feeling more and more weighed down by what you’re not getting done?
  • Do you collapse on your day off — if you take one — with little energy to do anything fun?
  • Do you have some great ideas for new projects but keep putting them off?
  • Are you spending time on things you could pay someone else to do for $30-60 an hour, time which you could then bill to a client for double that amount?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be hanging on to something you no longer need, perhaps in order to avoid something else, something that stretches you in new ways.

Consider this woman’s dilemma: She had plans for a new business venture which she was really excited about. At some point she (arbitrarily) decided she couldn’t pursue it until she finished updating the website for her coaching business. However, she kept putting off the website changes and therefore, the pursuit of this new business.

It turns out that though she was excited about this new venture, its success might mean dissolving her coaching practice, which caused her some discomfort. And so this simple two or three hour project to update her website became a smoke screen to keep her from dealing with the implications of pursuing her next venture.

Once she realized this, she was able to schedule the time to work on her website and to work on her new project. One was no longer dependent on the other.

Growth can be incredibly uncomfortable. Habits, people, and things we know well create a feeling of security and comfort. Growth disrupts the comfort. Entrepreneurs are said to enjoy risk, but heck, we’re human too.

Be suspicious if you hear yourself saying:

  • I’ll get to that when I’m finished with __________ .
  • I know I should, but __________ .
  • I would if only it weren’t for __________ .

Listen to what you say to yourself over the next couple of weeks, and see if you’re avoiding doing something, and then blaming it on something or someone else.

If you’ve ever written a long-term dream list, take it out now and review it. What haven’t you pursued yet? What are you doing now that’s not even on that list? Is it time to stop doing it? What can you turn over to someone else so that you have more time for those things that truly light up your life and contribute to your bottom line — both financially and spiritually?

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