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Edition 432 – Letting Go

We’ve demolished our swimming pool. It was built back in 2005, however it seems the piering wasn’t up to scratch at the time it was constructed and, eventually, the pool broke its back.

The white toothpaste-like lines that crisscrossed the pool in its last few years were a vain attempt to stop the ever present leaking of something that was a physical memory to those years, now passed, of raising young children.

It was an emotional decision to remove our pool. Those memories of Callum & Fraser, and their friends, diving and bombing in the pool, are so fresh, they’re like yesterday. However, in recent years, it’s not been used, except on the odd occasion it’s so hot on a summer’s day and, after spending a few hours in the garden, the quickest way to cool off is to walk into the giant bathtub, fully clothed.

We could have renovated the pool. Or we could have built a new pool altogether, which would have still involved removing the old one, then going through the whole pool building process, again. The accountant in me couldn’t justify the cost – of the build, or the ongoing maintenance. I joked to my wife that if we did rebuild the pool, I’d be putting a credit card terminal on the gate and charging an entry fee. Well, she thinks I was joking…..

We had to let it go. It no longer suited the purpose for which it was built. Its ongoing maintenance was not only costly, but in times of heavy rain, were of concern. Since the drought broke in 2020, we’ve had a number of instances of the pool being inundated with water from elsewhere on our acre block. More than anything, it was becoming a worry – something you don’t think of when you look into it, on a beautiful day, and see the sun reflecting off the surface and inviting you to dive in.

Whether it’s clients, employees, processes or equipment, business owners can often be too wedded to those individuals and items that have surrounded them for, what seems, an eternity.

If the relationship with the client is no longer working, then it’s time to terminate it, in a respectful manner.

If a staff member just isn’t cutting the mustard any longer, and they’re keeping the seat warm rather than making a valuable contribution to your business, perhaps it’s time to speak to them, candidly, about where they should be heading to next on their journey in life.

If you’re doing work that no longer gives you the joy that it once did, it’s time to move on from it. You don’t need to cut it off instantaneously, but you certainly can wind it down, whilst winding up the new type of work that serves the purpose that you’re seeking in life, at this stage of your life.

Too often, I’ve observed business owners hold on for too long, in a business they no longer love. They’re going through the motions purely for the income and the lifestyle it provides. Except, I’d posit the income isn’t as good as it could be (because your’re chasing money, not the work you love to do) and the lifestyle isn’t really a lifestyle if you’re spending most days inside a business, you really would love to run away from.

What are you holding onto, that no longer serves you?

What are you doing in your business out of a sense of “that’s the way we’ve always done it” rather than thinking of an alternate future?

What cracks are you trying to cover up, when really, what you should be doing is demolishing what’s there, and starting afresh?

This Week’s Tip

“In my experience, business owners between the ages of 45 and 55
are ripe for the biggest changes in all aspects of their lives.”