IS FOR LOSERS
One hard thing about being the CEO of the sole proprietorship All Mine LLC is knowing when to quit. We’re not talking about when to shut off the light and close the door for the day (though that can be a problem too, just not today’s lol) nor selling it off lock, stock and barrel but letting go of what and whom isn’t working any longer.
Clients that drain you, certain processes and skills from earlier stages of your business, or a product line that you don’t enjoy promoting as much as previously.
Phone rings. Email notification goes off. You see it’s Ol’ So and So asking you for X-y-z and suddenly you feel the heartburn. Step back a moment and observe the frustration, weariness, exhaustion, even anger, and ask yourself why this is. Could it be that Ol’ So and So and X-y-z may no longer be serving you as it once did? Maybe so.
You are one good editor. Do you like it? Nope. Haven’t really in years and other types of writing services have been added to your toolbox of tricks, and they’re fun. But old skills can still pay the bills, and even though you swore the last couple of times, “Never more,” there you are putting on the pointe shoes and doing stretches for Le Danse de Drudgery. Or perhaps there’s that one challenging customer you can always count on, along with their entourage of proverbial clowns and monkeys. Customer loyalty is real nice, money too, but why do YOU have to pay so dearly, heart and soul, for a few drachma?
You don’t, and it’s quite ok to let them go. Unlike what society tells us, ‘giving up’ is not a form of failure, but rather part of making thoughtful decisions that help us serve our higher self. It’s simple physics. From the mediocre to toxic, as All Mine LLC grows, it will OUTgrow. None of us know this going in and these things aren’t date stamped like a carton of milk. Sure, there are contractual agreements, but will you want to renew? It’s your job to respond to the natural evolution and know when it’s time to ‘move along.’ Listen. Observe your feelings. Get ready to say no to a few old things along the way.
1 :: Give yourself an end date. Only you need to know this, but pick an actual time and/or date. It’s symbolic, and when uttered and/or written, a term you take seriously. “As of [June 1, next Tuesday, Purim], I hereby dissolve I Can Edit Inc’s business writing entity.”
2 :: Look yourself right in the eyes. “Self,” spoken slowly and clearly, “as much as I have been known as crackerjack editor, it’s a skill that’s run its course. It’s been a great run and I’ve learned a lot, but I’d like to do more [proof-reading, blogging, article writing] so, herewith, I am submitting my letter of resignation to I Can Edit Inc.”
3 :: When the phone rings and it’s that especially [tough, annoying, exasperating, toxic, etc.] client, clear your throat and say with a smile, “Hi. Nice to hear from you but I’m no longer [editing manuals, books, catalogues etc.] BUT I’d be happy to put you in touch with someone who does.” Maybe practice in the mirror or camera video so as to gain confidence before the phone actually rings or email sounds.
Say NO to what makes you feel like you’re in the past (and not in the cuddly nostalgic way lol). Say YES to new possibilities that just might take you where your light shines brighter. Yes, it’s a business and a means to make the bread, but having your own business is also an expression of Self. Finding the balance between Keep At It and Quitting Is for Losers at All Mine LLC is ongoing.
— As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.
Chauncey Gardener, Being There