How To Learn To Let Go
Updated: Apr 13, 2022
All quotes are taken from my podcast Inter:views, Cracking The Entrepreneurship Code.
“As an entrepreneur, you need to be a generalist in so many areas, from banking and money to sales and marketing, and that’s the dynamic. And then you’ve got the freedom if you’re driving and running your own thing. But that also comes at a price: It’s hard work,” Alistair Gosling, Founder, Extreme, UK, ep. 60.
Alistair greatly summarizes the entrepreneur’s job. Pretty much everything falls under the position.
But entrepreneurs are humans, not robots. Despite what you may believe, you can’t do everything, especially if you want your company to expand and reach new heights.
So, you must rely on other people.
At the beginning of the journey, as your resources are limited, of course, you’re running everywhere, involved in every little thing.
As the company grows, you should gradually remove yourself from the day-to-day operations to focus on hiring people, creating efficient processes to strengthen your business’ foundations, and working on your company’s strategy.
It means there comes a point in time when you need to let others build the business for you.
“When we were 2 or 3 people, you could say it’s my success because I’m literally doing all of this work all the way to sending the invoices and everything else. You grow past 10 people, and you realize the only thing I do is talk to and work with other people to help them with their challenges in the business or working on a problem for a client. Clearly, they’re the ones doing the work, clearly, it’s the people who are making this successful.” Nolan Garrett, Founder, Intrinium, USA, ep. 75.
It can’t happen if everything is tied around you.
That’s why learning to let go is one of the greatest favors you can do for yourself and your business.
“We were working 7 days a week, 14 hours a day for the first 5-6 years or so, but when your organization scales and all those people are coming to you, that’s not scalable, that’s not sustainable. We were getting frustrated because we had these leaders, but they were not making decisions, they were not taking account […] There was no accountability on our organization because we were fixing the problems. We had to stand back and trust the leaders to make their own decisions.” Steve Melhuish, co-Founder, Property Asia Group, Singapore, ep. 73.
We easily get attached to doing everything by ourselves.
It's not easy to let go, especially when you refer to your company as your “baby”, but it's necessary.
I remember a client who was supervising all his customers’ projects himself. He reached a point where he realized his position was unsustainable because he couldn’t find the time to do anything else, and started with reflecting on his business.
“I should have hired people earlier, I was exhausted.” says Maria Frangieh, Founder, Social Prise, Lebanon, ep. 39.
Indeed, exhaustion is the price you pay, among other things, when you don’t let go.
The larger your company becomes, the more strategy-focused your role should move toward.
“When you scale, you’re going all the way from getting the shit done, to making sure the shit is done, to then building an organization that can get that shit done.” Steve Melhuish, co-Founder, Property Asia Group, Singapore, ep. 73.
“If I spend 4h today writing a proposal, if I really sit back and think about it, I’d be far better off teaching somebody else and mentoring or coaching someone else through that process rather than doing it myself [...] Take time out to reflect more on significant decisions.” Richard Burrage, Founder, Cimigo, Vietnam, ep. 20.
“Having a road map is absolutely crucial […] It helps growths, it helps the whole team to be aligned with where they’re going to, and of course, it helps a lot with investments. Because that’s what investors need to hear: that the founders have a clear vision, a clear direction, and express it clearly.” Maria Tanjala, co-Founder, FilmChain, UK, ep. 37.
This is an extract from my eBook The Entrepreneur Mindset: 7 Tactics To Avoid Being The Bottleneck In Your Business.
Download the full eBook for free here.