For most of my life, I’ve wanted to start my own business.
One of the few classes I really cared about in college was “Entrepreneurship in the Music Business,” and I even helped a few small companies grow. But other than a few half-hearted attempts at starting record labels with friends, I’ve never had the support or means to take the leap.
I almost followed this same path again by taking a job offer in San Francisco with a growing startup, but this time it felt wrong. Moving to San Francisco felt like running away from something instead of running toward an opportunity.
Here's the short answer to how to grow your business: give up control. Let go. Surrender.
Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard first taught me this truth in his book, Let My People Go Surfing, when he wrote about his M.B.A.—management by absence. Your business's capacity for growth is inextricably bound up in your ability to relinquish control.
If you're a micro-manager and must have the final say-so on everything, you're probably spawning bottlenecks at every stage of every project. On the other hand, if you look for ways to delegate tasks and responsibilities and empower your employees and independent contractors, then you can call forth and capitalize on their creativity, enthusiasm, and initiative.