My Life System #83: Closing and Opening Doors – 2

In the mid-1990s, I was trying to sell Image WorkBench, an image processing software, to Indian R&D institutions and hospitals. I had been at it for more than a year and had only gotten two confirmed orders. The selling cycles were long because most buyers were government organisations and needed to go through a tender process. I had a sense that we were failing but refused to accept that my awe-inspiring creation (“look, we can count objects in that image”) did not have a profitable future. Days turned to weeks and then months as I hoped for that one big order which would turn around our fortunes. It never happened. At the same time, the Internet had started to happen. A new entrepreneurial venture in the form of IndiaWorld beckoned. I had to make a choice. I had to let go of my past (the imaging project) to build a new future (India-centric portals). It was only when I closed the first door that the second opened.

This process has two elements that we need to mentally prepare ourselves for:

  • Recognising the need for change: Understanding when it’s time to close a door is crucial. Assess your current situation and ask yourself if it aligns with your goals and values. Are you feeling stagnant or unhappy? If so, it might be time to let go and seek new opportunities. Remember, change can be a positive force in your life, leading to personal growth and greater fulfilment. This is not always easy because of the sense of failure that can envelop us. What we need to understand is that the problem is the relationship or business venture, and not us as individuals.
  • Willingness to embracing the unknown: Closing doors can be scary, as it often means stepping into the unknown. However, it’s important to remember that uncertainty can lead to exciting new possibilities. Embrace the ambiguity and trust that the future holds something better for you. Be open to new experiences and allow yourself to be vulnerable, as this is where growth truly occurs. When I switched from imaging to the Internet, I did not know what would happen; what I felt was the excitement of entering a new world with immense possibilities.

Here are some practical tips for closing doors:

  • Reflect on your current situation and identify areas where change is necessary. (Writing it out helps with the thinking process.)
  • Make a list of the things you need to let go of and why.
  • Establish clear boundaries with people or situations that no longer serve you.
  • Take action to close the doors, whether it’s ending a relationship, quitting a job, or moving away from a negative environment.
  • Seek support from friends, family, professionals, or mentors to help you through the process.

Once you’ve closed the doors to your past, you’ll find that new doors will begin to open. Embrace these new opportunities with enthusiasm and curiosity. Stay true to your values and goals, and trust that these new experiences will lead to personal growth and happiness.

Closing doors is an essential part of personal, professional, and business growth, as it allows us to let go of our past and embrace new opportunities. It can be challenging, but it’s a necessary step in pursuing a better future. By recognising the need for change, embracing the unknown, and taking practical steps to close doors, we can open ourselves up to a world of new possibilities and experiences. Remember, sometimes the only way to move forward is by leaving something behind.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.

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