Updated: Oct 10, 2019
On Facebook this week, I created a status asking my readers to suggest some new topics for me to discuss for the new year and this topic came across in my comments and I wanted to write about it now because the new year is coming up and someone may need this content now before going into the new year. The comment said:
"Knowing when to let go of your business or shifting your business."- C.I.
In 2014, I decided to dissolve my non-profit organization called A New Me Foundation (ANMF) that provided services to victims and survivors of domestic violence as well as in partnership with communities, where I and volunteers helped educate and raised awareness on various platforms. I was providing the services since 2007 when I became a survivor and felt that after seven years, and that's biblically the number that means completion, God was calling me to move or shift into another area in my life. I believe the confirmation for me to move on was knowing that I would always be a lifetime advocate of domestic violence so technically, I can still do that work, whenever I choose to.
Currently I work at a domestic violence shelter as a case manager. Which allows me to continue to advocate for victims and survivors and still pursue my other passions and purpose in life, which is: To always create a virtual or physical space for African American women to acquire and balance a holistic lifestyle, no matter what their social or economic status. My purpose is to inspire women through my life experiences, by being transparent in my everyday life and connecting a virtual sisterhood as we discuss issues pertaining to us as women in our culture.
So in a nutshell, I am a woman with a passion and purpose to inspire other women through being a storyteller. My stories can be told through my blogs, in a play, in a book that I write, on social media, in a workshop, conference, etc. Knowing my purpose in life, helped me know when it was time to let go of one business and move on to where I am currently. I knew that I had grown as a woman since becoming a survivor of domestic violence at the age of 27, and therefore, at the age of 34 when I dissolved my foundation, I knew that I wanted to tell more stories and connect with women more than just talking about the tragedies of domestic violence.
God kept nudging me to step out on faith and go after more of what I wanted for my life and the lives of others. I simply couldn't do that, under one capacity of service to women. I would be up in the middle of the night pacing the floors, crying some nights feeling useless, waiting on Him to confirm to me, what He had already done through dreams and visions, listening to others speak prophetically about where God was taking me, and so forth. I knew I couldn't reach more women if all I talked about was domestic violence because not all women can relate and it was down right depressing at times. So I shifted my motivational speaking engagements to more uplifting and empowerment speeches. I changed my website domain and started a new blog website that discussed more lifestyle topics. I put myself out there in more environments where I could connect with the women I wanted to create a sisterhood with.
There isn't a specific formula or a series of things that happens in order, to let you know when it's time to let go of a business. I would definitely have to say that it will however start with the mere thought of letting it (your business) go to make room for something more in your life. I knew that if I didn't dissolve ANMF, I couldn't give the time and resources needed for Felicia T. Simpson Productions plays to evolve or moving to New Orleans to become a full-time blogger and freelance writer. I no longer felt motivated to only talk about domestic violence. I knew it was time to let that business go (ANMF), but I have never stopped providing the services when needed or educating and raising awareness when opportunities arise.
For you, the current business that you have, may have served it's purpose during a specific time in your life but as with anything in life, you may have outgrown it or your target audience has changed and therefore, your business focus needs to change. For example, if I started blogging as a single woman 10 years ago, my target audience and blog topics would probably reflect my life in those moments. But now, 10 years later, lets say that I'm married with a new born, obviously my content and perspectives in life will shift causing my target audience and business to shift. I don't have to quit the business of blogging, I can simply shift my topics that reflect my current lifestyle.
Change is apart of life and so is letting go of somethings to make room for new blessings and new opportunities. I chose to let go of my foundation but I still choose to work in the field of domestic violence. Choosing to let go of your business doesn't mean that you have to stop doing the work. You can find ways to still do what you once loved while doing what you are currently passionate about, more. Another example is, if I didn't work at the domestic violence shelter, I could still educate and raise awareness via social media or periodically facilitate workshops and still be a lifestyle blogger.
If your business no longer aligns with your current lifestyle, morals or values, let it go! You're causing yourself so much pain and agony trying to keep something that doesn't even fit into your life anymore. I'm 38 years old with older children. Let's say that I have been the President of the local P.T.A. committee at my daughter's school since she was in 3rd grade. My daughter has graduated high school, why would I still be the President of the P.T.A.? It's time to let that title/business go, and move on to something that will be of value to my life now.
If your business is still needed (ex., a mentoring program for teenagers) but you feel like you just don't have the time to operate it any more, consider training someone else to run your daily operations and build a team so that you are the overseer or "the face of the company." I love to use Magic Johnson to explain this. Magic Johnson is known for the development of Starbucks and AMC theaters but we do not see Magic Johnson working at any of his establishments, right? He's a businessman and so he developed businesses based off what he wanted to have access to in the world, but he doesn't specifically run the daily operations of those businesses, he's built teams to run his companies, stores and theaters.
Letting go of something that once meant the world to you, is not easy. But we see it happen to business owners all of the time. Your customers and supporters love you so no matter what you decide to let go of, they'll grow and move on with you. The same people who supported me when I had ANMF are the same people (plus so many more) who is supporting me now as a lifestyle blogger and freelance writer. Don't overthink the shifting process, just do it! You will be more happier and in a place of peace and joy, knowing that you are fulfilling your life's purpose.
What business do you feel you need to let go of, to make room for what you're truly passionate about? Share your thoughts in the comments.