Let Go of the Good

by Motivation, Productivity

Let go of the good…

The inspirational quotes are a Pinterest rabbit hole.
Let go of the old to make room for the new.
You won't find the right person if you keep hanging on to the wrong one.
When you let go, you make space for something better. – Tiny Buddha.

Let go of the past to make room for your future. I'm not too fond of this one because it could be misinterpreted as forgetting our history. As Dan Pink says in his book, The Power of Regrets: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward, we don't want to forget our failures or regrets. I like Jon Kabat-Zinn's quote better – Instead of letting go of the past…let it be. 

As the end of the year approaches, it's an opportune time to reflect and ask yourself what you are continuing to do in your life that's good, preventing you from doing great things, or being the great person you want to be?

Marshall Goldsmith talks about how what got you here won't get you there from a leadership perspective. It's also the team you have surrounded yourself with. The team that brought you here isn't necessarily the team that will get you there. That's why start-ups will let go of founders or hire a CEO. Some CEOs specialize in different revenue levels because each has unique challenges and needs

Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great. – John D. Rockefeller

the powered path playbook

In my new Powered Path™ Playbook, I have annual reflection prompts that ask what you want to do less of and what you want to do more of.

Are you hanging on to a volunteer or advisory role that's good, but it's keeping you from quality time with your family or moving into a more challenging position?

Women tend to volunteer for low-profile tasks, while men hold out for the ones that will get recognition. Are you a woman in this position that need to practice saying no until you're met with a great opportunity?

I was part of a peer advisory group and founding member for four years. It took me several months to decide to go, but it was the right move. The group makeup had changed from half business owners to only two, including me, and it was no longer a great fit. It was a good one, but not a great one. 

Within two weeks, I was asked to be part of the Raleigh Founded Advisory Board, which I'm very excited about. Had I still been in my peer advisory group, I probably would have said no since it would have been too much on my schedule.

One of my clients insisted on keeping a marketing company even though she had outgrown them. They had a long-term relationship, but she didn't see any ROI. The cost was that she could be building her business. The company that was once great for her was now just good. After two years of low returns, she moved to a different company and started seeing a return within 90 days. They wouldn't have been a great fit for her four years ago, but now they are the right ones. What a waste of time and money she spent those last two years with them.

Another example is a friend of mine who started training for marathons with a friend. This friend put in a little more work and also was a little more genetically gifted. She became much faster than her running partner but still continued to train with her. She would never reach her finish time goal if she continued to work out in the ‘good' and not push herself. She had a choice to decrease her training with her friend and move up into the more advanced running club. She had to weigh what was more important to her. In the end, her running partner was sad but understood. After moving into the higher-level group, she took 40 minutes off her marathon time!

If you owned a restaurant and kept something on your menu that people weren't ordering any more, and you had to throw that food away every week, it would be much more apparent to determine what to let go of.

At the RaderCo Design Day retreat in December, we'll be going through our services, products, and processes to see what we are doing that's just meh or good and what we can remove to allow for something incredible.

In the last couple of months, I've removed a service to help business owners prepare for, find, hire, and work with a virtual assistant or professional. I often did this when I worked mostly with small business owners. However, I work primarily with corporate executives now. Even though I still do this with my business-owning clients, I don't market it as a separate service because I can't market everything to everyone. I need to narrow it down, so I'm not confusing my clients and prospects.

I also don't market business travel keynotes and workshops anymore unless I'm asked to do it when that used to be my primary focus. Having too many services and offerings can be overwhelming. When travel stopped with COVID, it wasn't a priority anymore. I focused my efforts on working and managing remotely, a topic I'd also been teaching for a decade but wasn't as relevant.

A few years ago, I deleted (not just stopped using) all my social media except YouTube and LinkedIn. I was spending too much time on all channels for my business and not connecting with anyone anywhere. Instead, I doubled down on LinkedIn, and what I do there went from good to…gooder (still working on the great!).

Even my clothes have undergone a good to great in the last year. I had three suits and three dresses custom-made for me in Ghana, and my stylist up-leveled with some select pieces. I feel more confident onstage and can't believe I waited so long.

What are you continuing to do that has worn out its welcome? What keeps you from doing bigger, more valuable things? Are you still doing tasks that could be delegated to someone with a much lower hourly rate? That frees you up to work in your line of genius and showcase your true gifts.

What's working well and what's not working well? Reflect on your year, consider your extra-curricular activities, your recurring task list, and where you spend your time and energy. Let go of the good and make room for the great!

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Your Weekender Snapshot and Tim Ferriss’s Five Bullet Friday are my favorite emails I receive.
jim west

Principal and Managing Director, GFF Architects