Give Up… To Grow

Give Up… To Grow

Giving up in your career or giving up while running a business is usually not a recommended strategy to pursue.  However, when you consider your options to grow your career and/or your business this can be a strategy that is well worth the risk.

When I first started my career, I spent weeks and months understanding and becoming an expert on the technology platform that was needed to build and scale out our stock and bond management system. It was extremely rewarding to become an expert able to innovate and develop the system to better serve the needs of our team. After a period of time, the program was a well-oiled machine and it was comfortable to maintain the system. However, shortly after I was faced with a decision, stay in my current role that was critical for the firm or ‘give up…to grow’ and start a new role that was outside of my comfort zone?

Many times in your career you will be faced with this crossroads: how do you know when to take the risk? What if I take the risk and fail? How will I support my family if I am not successful? Thoughts like these are normal to ponder when at these crossroads. Besides taking a leap of faith to move to a new role, you should also consider the support of a mentor or a trusted network to help keep you on track with your personal development. In addition, it’s critical to properly train your successor in your prior role and remember to mentor and support this person. This can help maintain a feeling of control to stay connected to an old role that was in your comfort zone.

This same concept can apply as you grow to an executive role or if you are an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, you probably started the business from the ground up. Many entrepreneurs are so focused on building a successful business and wear many hats in the beginning, however at some point there are only 24 hours in a day and only 7 days a week. The entrepreneur is faced with a decision, should I “give up… to grow?” Similar questions run through your mind: how can I trust someone? I’m better at doing it all myself. I will make less money in the short run to hire a person.

Speaking from experience, it is hard to hire knowing that in the short run the only guarantee is that the business will produce less profit. However, if you spend the time to properly mentor and train the future growth will return a multiple on this investment. In addition, naturally, many entrepreneurs do not have the entire skill set required to manage people or other facets of the business. This again will require another round of “giving up… to grow”.  Likely this will require giving up both equity in the business and control of certain parts of running the business.

It is usually this stage that can be the most difficult to overcome as a business owner because giving up equity and control of your business requires taking an even greater leap of faith. It can be very difficult to admit that you are not great at something or to ask for help, the question can become “what is my highest and best role for the business to continue to succeed?”  If you can be honest with yourself, this will help to find people that will fill these voids to facilitate future growth and expansion.

Some of the key items to consider to successfully ‘give up…to grow’:

1. Mentor. If you are developing within an organization, it is important to have a mentor that will provide candid and constructive feedback to grow and develop. If you are the business owner, it is critical to mentor the key talent and invest the time in communication and proper feedback.

2. Don’t be afraid to fail. Inevitably when you start something new there’s no way to know what you don’t know! Therefore it is natural that there will be problems, mistakes, and failures. This has to be expected; however it is key to learn and develop your career or the business.

3. Empower your team. This can be accomplished in many ways. Personalities vary from person to person, therefore what motivates and empowers people will differ. Spend the time to understand your team, this will help to build this structure.


Overall, it can be difficult to leave our comfort zone whether it is our career or as a business owner. The concept of ‘giving up… to grow’ will lead to more growth and development for your career or business growth.