How to learn to “Let Go”

Happy grandmother holding twin boysThis was a first for us.

Watery eyes led to tears.

One lingering hug led to another tighter and more emotional hug.

We said good bye to our children.

They would not be with us for an entire week.

This was the recent scene when my wife and I left our children with my Mom to live with her for a week of summer vacation fun. This was the first time we had ever done this.

It was pretty difficult for us to let go, even if it was for a short time period with someone in whom we have immense trust.

These intense emotions remind me of the same emotions so many Founding CEOs have shared with me over the past year and a half on the “From Founder To CEO” podcast.

Many of my guests have expressed two powerful sentiments:

  • They share their deep emotions about how hard it is to “let go” of running the day-to-day operations of the business they started, “let go” of being the prime driver of their product or service, and “let go” of being the only source of inspiration and motivation of the company’s mission.
  • They wish they would have learned to “let go” earlier.

Why is it so difficult for you to “let go?” I could fill this blog with the many reasons that have been given over the years. The truth is, it is different for each one of us. Some are practical reasons, some our personality related reasons, some are marketplace related reasons, some are investor related reasons, and some of us just don’t know how to “let go.”

You would be hard pressed to find a large number of Founding CEOs that would disagree that “letting go” is an important step on the road to scaling yourself from Founder to CEO and scaling your company. And while I do think it’s important to uncover the source of “letting go,” I think it’s just as important to take some positive steps that give you that added extra nudge to make it happen.

Here are a few things you might want to consider if you find it hard to “let go” and transform yourself into the CEO hidden inside of you.

  • Make a list of the things you don’t like to do. Prioritize them with the least enjoyable on top. Hire a virtual assistant to do the things you least like to do.
  • Carve out at least one hour a week during the work day to just close your eyes and think about what it looks like to be “productive” when you are no longer the only leader of your product or service.
  • Increase your number of “days off” (at least out of the office) you take in a month from probably zero to one a month until you reach four weeks of vacation a year. Yes, four weeks.
  • Ask five people who know you, this one question: “What one thing am I doing right now that I am not very good at and I should consider handing off to someone else?”
  • Pursue at least one hobby or interest outside of work that requires your time and attention for at least two to three hours a week.

Our children arrived home safely and my wife and I were able to enjoy some peace, relaxation, and a very nice anniversary dinner. But, the real reward was the sense of trust and the opportunity for development that was given to our children.

How have you begun to “let go” and scale your company?

Feel free to share your stories below so that we all can learn from your experiences.

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