Do You Know When It’s Time to Leave?

Do You Know When It’s Time to Leave?

Sally (not her real name) attended my Do-Over! mini-retreat in mid-May. She just sent this update, which is a great reminder to all of us why it’s important to step away from organizations and people who don’t encourage or energize us:

“What resonated the most for me during the Do-Over mini-retreat was the concept of habitat–the environment and conditions to best support you. While exploring this more in-depth that day, I realized I needed to surround myself with peers who understood what I wanted to achieve and who were capable of supporting me intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.

I had recently attempted to network with some professional people in my field but found they “took” what energy, guidance, and volunteer hours I gave them but did not reciprocate in kind or attempt to support my fledgling business. I struggled with the disappointment of having expectations of people who proved to be incapable of this support and exchange. I found myself almost paralyzed by it. Thus, the main goal I had for the retreat was to get me “unstuck.”

Let me tell you what happened the very next day after attending the retreat. I received an e-mail announcement sent to the 600 members of the professional group in which I had been involved. It was a poorly worded litany of excuses as to why they were postponing the annual gala and other events. It confirmed to me I needed to move on from this entire group.”

As soon as Sally made that decision, she met Karen, a fellow businesswoman who was aligned with and excited by Sally’s enterprise.

“That was four weeks ago. I am now on Karen’s board of directors and have started lining up grant money for her. Our businesses should complement each other well. I have scheduled a meeting of my foundation’s board of directors with renewed motivation and clearer direction.”

Thanks, Sally, for sharing your story. It’s a vivid reminder that an important part of reinventing our life is clearing out the deadwood. Sometimes that’s a challenge, because the deadwood is a person or group we’ve been attached to for a long time. Knowing when to leave is not just an essential social skill; it’s a Do-Over! talent, as well.

0 Responses to Do You Know When It’s Time to Leave?

  1. Roseana June 16, 2010 at 10:03 am #

    Sally’s story is instructive. It’s so important to learn to recognize when you are not going to get what you need and want from people, no matter how invested you’ve felt in your relationship with them, and sever ties. This applies to everything from doctors, to friends, to business peers!

  2. Ann Daly June 16, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

    Thanks, Roseana, for reminding us that this principle applies to doctors and friends as well as business peers. And, now that I think of it, hair stylists, especially!

  3. Melita June 22, 2010 at 8:33 am #

    On the flip side, I had an opportunity to ?retire? from my company! Within a week and out of the blue, I was approached to work in the area of my hobby, needlepoint. So, excitedly, I went for the interview. As I sat listening to the offer to become store manager & learn the business to eventually even owning a franchise, I gradually felt the excitement wain. I was much more excited to show off a new stitch I created! I realized I love the craft of needlepoint and not the business end of needlepoint. So, we parted with the understanding that at some later date another opportunity would present it itself more suited to me. It did feel good to explore that opportunity, be called a ?dream employee?, and have the luxury of options!! Since I do like my current job, people I work with, & have the time and money to pursue my craft in the evenings, I will remain with my company until I find the right Do-Over opportunity!!

  4. Ann Daly June 22, 2010 at 11:16 am #

    So, Melita, you DO know how to answer the musical question, “Should I stay or should I go?” I like how you know exactly what your passion is, and isn’t. Reminds me of the “E-Myth” work: just because we’re good at something doesn’t mean we’ll be good at/like running a business doing it. Thanks for the instructive story.