Eckhart Tolle once said that sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on. In life, as in business, we may start to believe we have it all together and those other people don’t. But when something disrupts our illusion of control and our master plan, we are once again reminded what a great mystery life is.
The opposite of letting go is holding onto something, it is often defined as an attachment. Attachment is having expectations about people, business plans, your brand and your hometown.
Because we fear that if we lose our job or fail as an entrepreneur we won’t be able to support our family, we get more and more attached. Many of us confuse focus with attachment. We get attached to a certain way of doing business and avoid new business and marketing approaches.
Attachment might stop the creativity cycle
Nothing is wrong with wanting to have a healthy family as there is nothing wrong with wanting to keep your job in order to support them. One of the common mistakes entrepreneurs make is getting attached to a particular outcome. When you become attached to something, you are stopping the creativity cycle.
This can be a huge roadblock in future plans and relationships. And not only does it leave you frustrated and stuck, it leaves the people working with you and for you in a bad place. Having a business leaves us with a great responsibility. So, we feel uncertain about what to do next, so we stick to predefined solutions.
The most important thing that every businessman has to know that you always get to keep your purpose, values, and what’s important to guide you in the right direction. It is possible to stay focused and intentional, but you keep open the possibilities.
Careful with the expectations
So, getting attached to a specific outcome can make you miss great opportunities appearing in front of you. If your expectations are too high, you might feel let down in the end and even if you get amazing results.
I was recently visiting an old friend, and we (naturally) ended up in one of the most prominent pubs in Dublin. When it comes to pubs, we like our “no surprises” policy, because both had just a couple of hours before heading back home.
But before we were even aware, the situation was unfolding – one elderly gentleman was already screaming about how he got the WRONG beer, and someone must be messing with him. Just to be clear, we knew we were in a pub, not in the library, so we don`t mind noisy crowds.
What got my attention is how the bloke was out of his mind about the service he got, like someone was making a sacrilege right in front of him. He was used to getting the right and fast service for years, and now everything looked so messed up. I was, on the other hand, disappointed I had to witness the whole situation, as I was visiting some new age bar full of raw-food addicted hipsters.
But here’s the problem. Everyone in this situation was attached to their expectations. The older man was so fixated on what he expected he couldn’t enjoy his beer without disrupting the guests. And I recognized that my own attachment issues were very much alive! I have been a dedicated and a regular pub visitor for what seems like forever. So, naturally, just wanted to sit and drink my beer with an old friend without any drama.
By being so attached to how I was usually served, I completely forgot about my commitment to be great with people in any given situation.
Focus is always better than attachment
If you focus on your purpose and commitments, the right results will inevitably appear. But if you grow an attachment to specific results, you might miss the whole purpose of your entrepreneurship. And what is the right way of doing business – always show up, give it 100%, play the game fully, and accept every outcome.
If we nurture the attachment and forget to focus, we are there, but not really giving 100% of our abilities. It’s like wearing blinders on our expectations so we cannot see the whole perspective. Having faith in the process, whether it is about marketing, sales or something else, take us to the right place and success. No matter how painful or hard the process is, if we are focused, we would be exactly where we needed to be.