Learn to let go—if it doesn’t work move on (I)

I have a close friend who would best be described as a serial entrepreneur, having succeeded at a host of business ventures including large-scale property developments, telecommunications, information technology, exporting and primary produce to mention just a few.

He has led the way in so many business fields it almost defies belief, and he is incredibly modest and humble about his achievements. One of the greatest skills I learnt from him was the ability to let go of businesses that are no longer working. This man has a host of joint venture partners, associated companies and general business associates around the world but he doesn’t allow himself to get too attached to the deal he is working on. He will give any business 100 per cent commitment but as soon as the deal starts to fade, or business trends change and the writing is on the wall, he will quickly and unemotionally cut his losses and sell out his share or close the business accordingly in an ethical and responsible manner.

The ability to be detached from a situation and to be able to assess it for its true merits and potential is a skill that is often lost on business owners who will work themselves to death keeping afloat a business that has lost its way or lost its ability to work. Timing is everything in business (an old but accurate adage) and knowing when to let something go is not easy.

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