Entrepreneurs and Outdated Ideas: How to Make Room for Your Future

by Jill Foster on October 6, 2009

I took a mental health day recently.
It was unplanned, but the early morning’s events forced my hand, and it was exactly what I needed. I canceled meetings, disconnected, and lost myself…in myself. For about six hours, nothing mattered to me except for me. And I embarked on a journey of purging.

(Image I Can See Clearly Now, MacWagen, Creative Commons)

I started with my closets.
We’re at that time of year that marks a state of transition. Summer vacation has ended and the kids are back in school. It’s officially Fall, which means we pack away the easy, breezy summer clothes and accessories, and replace them with the darker, heavier garments.

Undertaking the wardrobe switches and closet clean-outs are always stressful for women. But yesterday for me, there was nothing stressful about it. It was all about ridding myself of deadweight – items I have been clinging to for years too long, items that represented a different time in my life, a different person, and in some cases, a different body.

Filling eight enormous bags to the brim was completely cathartic.
And once I started, I was a woman on a mission. I questioned why I had such difficulty doing this in the past. I’m not really a pack-rat; I don’t like clutter and mess. But with several of my items, letting go was difficult.

Just like turning a corner is difficult. Even when you know you have to do it, something invariably holds you back.

Entrepreneurs and outdated ideas
Purging of the deadweight is so essential for the spirit. As an entrepreneur, we need to be as unencumbered as possible to fly high. We need to be able to brush off the elements holding us back, keeping us tethered to outdated ideas, places, or milestones.

Purging makes so much room for the future.
Not only does it free up physical space; it frees up emotional and mental space too. Clutter and overcrowding is draining. It depletes you of valuable energy to focus on the future. After all, how can you can possibly see the road ahead of you if your immediate line of sight is blocked? How can you possibly envision a fresh path if the old path overwhelms you?

Clutter and your business
Have you ever spent a day just cleaning out your emails and your contacts? Not only does it crystallize who and what is important to you; it enables you to completely let go of what is not working for you or what is not valuable to you.

I know as a business owner, I am guilty of not purging in my organization as often as I should.
We get anchored to old ways of doing business. We don’t examine our business processes nearly enough. We don’t shake things up nearly as often as we should. We’re emotionally tied to the way things are going because it’s comfortable… like an old, ratty sweater… , even if they aren’t working as well as new processes could work.

Today I feel 15 pounds lighter.
I went into the closet this morning, and I knew exactly where everything was, what I had to work with, and what I needed to replace. Think of the results we would yield if we all applied the Purging Principle to all aspects of our lives – our businesses, our relationships, our habits.

The possibilities are right in front of you… right behind the clutter.

More from:
Marisssa Levin and her Women Grow Business series on sales and growth strategy.


Guest contributor Marissa Levin is Founder and CEO of Information Experts. Launching a new Women Grow Business series on sales strategy, Marissa was named a 2008 BRAVO Award winner by SmartCEO Magazine (which honors the region’s 25 most influential women CEOs) and recently was listed in Washington’s 100 Technology Titans by Washingtonian Magazine. Describing her true passion as “helping other business owners be successful with their own business growth”, Marissa can be reached through her blog Marissa Levin.

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