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Knowing When To Let Go

The Universe is always giving us signs, but we often miss or ignore them because we’re too busy, too stubborn, or too set in our ways. Yet, we disregard them at our own peril—or heed them to our advantage.

My family was in the office supply industry for many years. My grandfather founded Advanco, which produced a highly successful line of paper products. My father followed in his father’s footsteps (and I worked for my dad) until he saw the signs that Staples and others were taking over and squeezing us out. My father sold the business and moved on, but I wanted to hang on. That would have been a huge mistake. 

Sometimes we have to give up good for great. I went on to open Waves and Wheels Surf Centers with my brothers, and my father retired at age 52. I loved running the retail stores, but there was a time when I knew I needed to move on, and did so to become an author. Now, noticing that less and less people are reading books, it’s time to make a change again. (I'm switching to releasing audio books.)

All I’m saying is, after having been through a few big life changes, I have come to realize that it’s okay to be afraid, but also be confident that everything will work itself out. Letting go of what's comfortable but not profitable is not easy, but necessary.

In 1989, I bought a townhouse in a brand new neighborhood. I would open my garage and ride my dirt bike all day through the tree-lined canyons without seeing a soul. Quickly, they paved over everything (naming the streets after the trees) and the quiet community became overcrowded and loud. We moved from a big house to a much smaller one by the beach and never looked back. It was time for a change of scenery, and it was absolutely the right move. 

Lastly, they always tell you how fast time goes when your kids are kids, and now that I’ve experienced it, I can say it went by in the blink of an eye. With that comes the challenge of letting go—they’re not children any longer when they reach their teens. I’m embracing this phase (I do miss the younger years) and instead of being the coach on the sideline I am often the fan in the stands, and that’s okay. It’s the circle of life and besides, my feet and knees are killing me so it’s nice to be able to sit down and while watching the boys play. 

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