Last year I had to face this question in a part of my business that was very dear to my heart. Pulling the plug is a tough moment in every business, especially when it is something you are incredibly passionate about.
So why do we continue to do things we know have come to an end?
For starters, every second social media post says “Don’t give up”, so it feels like we are giving up when we lay something down. When I was in this situation, I asked my friend, mentor and coach this question: “How do I know the difference between giving up and recognising the end of a season?” Because of the pain of letting go, I could tell the difference. He answered, in pure coaching style, with another question. “Are you a firestarter, manager or finisher?” (which will be the subject of a future blog – so come back!).
From a Kingdom perspective, the work that we do is often more than just a job; there is passion and purpose behind it. As a result it’s often hard to lay down something we really love and which is making a difference. Letting go of the magazine was one of the hardest decisions I ever have had to make. It took me six months from the moment I knew I had to do it, to when I actually pressed the Stop button. What finally helped me was a brilliant book by Dr Henry Cloud called Necessary Endings. Dr Cloud compares an ‘ending’ to pruning a plant.
So how do you recognise when to create a necessary ending?
Rapid Growth: Life produces life. When we are working at something that has life, it will produce more than our capacity is able to manage. Sometimes as we are growing our business, opportunities will come our way and we will suddenly have more than we can cope with. We might need to choose or pass on business to make sure our “root” or core is protected.
Sickness: When there is a sickness in a branch that cannot be healed, that part of the plant needs to be removed to protect the rest of the plant. Sometimes relationships are just toxic and if you are not able to fix them, the best thing is to remove yourself from them. A word of caution here: seek help to measure this. In relationships sometimes we are part of the problem, so before you ditch the relationship, partnership etc., make sure you have checked that.
Death: When a part of the plant is actually dead, it needs to be removed to bring new life to other areas. Once I got the courage to lay the magazine down, my coaching took off like nobody’s business. Sometimes we have to allow something to die so that we can start living again.
So be brave and stop worrying about what others will say or think. Take action! Create those necessary endings in your life and business, so that new life can begin.
Tell me about a time you had to lay something down….