There Frank Lopo and I were at Einsteins over a bagel and orange juice having a fantastic business philosophy conversation when we reached a topic many entrepreneurs find difficult to discuss. Both Frank and I agreed, it’s one of the hardest pills to swallow as a business owner – letting go to move on
We discussed bad business decisions in our past, putting trust in the wrong people, making poor decisions based on emotion and not based on fact and not trusting our gut when it screams – “Don’t do it!”
We kept coming back to the fact that after a poor decision was made, a business relationship was dissolved or a project was taken on that was not worth the money for the “price” we had to pay that the hardest part was moving on.
We discussed how part of not moving on is that it creates a crutch where we as entrepreneurs get a “break” by putting ourselves in a position of victimhood. Instead of washing our hands of our mistake, we relish in it to give ourselves time to heal from our wounds. Many times this reprieve becomes a form of quicksand that slowly pulls our internal morale to newer lows and we do not allow ourselves to rise above our quagmire and come out the other side more energized and ready for the next battle. Instead of falling off the trapeze, hitting the net and getting back up, we get comfortable on the net and make no motion to try again because it feels safe. We came to the conclusion that once the wound is licked, it’s time to suck it up and get back in the fight. My greatest mentor, my dad, always told me, “it’s not how hard you hit the mat from the initial blow – it’s how long or if you are going to get back up that defines your character.”
We discussed letting go of unresolved issues. Not every situation needs closure. It’s interesting how many entrepreneurs need closure. Many times it’s not for the sake of closure of the situation, but to satisfy our ego to prove that we are somehow “right.” In the meantime, as we plot, plan and scheme to wrap up an unresolved issue, we are blind to opportunities passing us by at the speed of light. We came to the conclusion that not all situations need a resolution, they need someone strong enough in character to know when to walk away.
Our last bit of the conversation revolved around understanding the importance of forgiving oneself and others. We both realized in our past that quickly forgiving ourselves was the key to greater opportunity. In situations where we “lived” in our past, we found that we replicated many of the ill wills we had already created (and were trying to move away from) or attracted others in similar bad situations. We also discussed how important it is to forgive others even if they don’t forgive us or provide us the reciprocation of understanding. It’s like the driver that cut you off this morning – it upsets your entire day; but, to the driver that cut you off, he has already moved on. To forgive is the first step in moving on. By forgiving ourselves and others, it opens our eyes, minds and hearts to new opportunities. We did come to the conclusion that an important part of forgiveness is learning from the situation that you had to deploy forgiveness in to better understand how not to place yourself in that situation again.
We will get many chances in our entrepreneurial adventures to make mistakes – and we will make them. When we learn to let go we can finally move on to bigger and better opportunities.