Accepting When It's Time To Move On (And Then Doing It).
It's a part of life, isn't it, that most things come to an end - either of our own volition, or just because they've reached the end of their use or purpose. Sometimes we're happy about it, other times we aren't. Sometimes we welcome the chance to start afresh, and sometimes we don't.
Change comes upon us all, and we need to embrace it or risk standing still (when everyone is racing past us like Olympic sprinters) - in life in general, and also in business.
I've tackled more change, and new starts, than I care to remember; and I've become a dab hand at it. To be fair, I'm also one of those people who likes to learn new things and experience new challenges, so it's not a surprise, and I don't see that changing any time soon.
So if you're facing the end of something - big or small - or about to start something new and exciting, here's my top three tips for getting the best of the changes it will bring.
1. Embrace the challenge. Here's the thing: everything, whether it's an end or a beginning, is leading to something new. And new is exciting, and fresh, but can also be a bit scary and daunting. And that's fine! We often spend too much time worrying about the negative aspect of change, but not enough time embracing the challenge itself. Something that I find helpful is to write down what I'm preparing for - the end, or the beginning - and all the things that I think may encounter as a result - change in circumstances, anxiety about particular aspects, a different routine perhaps - and then plan how I will deal with them. It takes the sting out of not knowing because, after all, knowing what might lay ahead and then preparing for it, is 100% better than not having a clue and being left high and dry.
2. Ask for help. How good are you at asking for help? Raise your hands if you do it! Until very recently, I'd have been resolutely holding my hands by my side at that question, proud of the fact that I did everything on my own. Yeah, I know, that's nuts isn't it - in my defence, it was related more to my experience of help never arriving than arrogance. One of the things I've learned is that if you surround yourself with the right people, help will come if you ask. Never be too proud to ask if you're unsure of something, or struggling with the change you're handling; people love you, and want to be there for you. Ask them.
3. Don't expect everything to go without a hitch. The thing about endings and beginnings is that they happen for a reason, and they never quite go as planned (even if you've been organised enough to plan for all eventualities, including the one that says 'change never quite goes as planned'). Those of you who run your own business know this more than most. Go into all change with your eyes wide open; expect things to be a bit on the bumpy side and hold on till the end. Because, it will end - and it will all come right.