Learning to Let Go

Why Learning to Let Go Is Essential To Achieving Your Goals

Written by: Dominic Watson


It is a surreal experience seeing thousands of hours of inspiration and perspiration laid out in front of you for the first time. A tangible, physical representation of hopes, dreams and aspiration. The product of hundreds of taxing early mornings and blurry eyed late nights laid out chapter by chapter across the editor’s desk. 

It is a firm reminder that setting yourself a big aspirational goal – like writing your first book, or starting, buying or growing your own optical practice - carries a big personal cost. Especially when it is something that you are truly passionate about.

Ultimately it proved to be a testing, but highly rewarding and enriching experience for me. It also highlighted a little talked about but crucial aspect of goal setting and project management - the ability to let go.

On face value, the concept that letting go is an essential part of successful project or goal accomplishment is somewhat counter intuitive. Most people assume that you just have to keep battering away at the task until it is done. 

For certain simple goals this may be the case, but for more complex multi-stage tasks like completing a book, creating a business plan, or streamlining the operating model of an optical practice, learning to let go is an essential skill to master as part of the change-management process.


The first, is knowing when to ditch an idea or theme, a process William Faulkner famously termed as “Killing Your Darlings.” 

For me, during the editing process, it took real guts to admit which sections of the manuscript worked well and which were superfluous or distracting from the core message. It was tough coming to terms with the fact that by the end of the editing session, hundreds of hours of work had been completely cut out of the book.

For an optical practice owner, it may be letting go of an unprofitable product or service, or changing an ingrained habit or culture that is no longer serving you well. 

The second is knowing when you are done and when it is time to let go, when the project is complete. When people are particularly passionate about an undertaking, particularly a creative project, it can be difficult to finally know when to let it go. There can be a desire to continually research and refine. 


  • You risk missing out on the optimal timing for your launch; in a fast changing world your project can quickly become less relevant if you don’t launch and commit fast enough. In some cases this can mean that people ultimately fail to launch at all. 
  • There may never quite be the perfect moment to implement Eyeplan, join the NEG buying group, shoot that video with Specsnetwork and Bellyflop TV, or acquire that extra branch via Myers La Roche, but getting the timing 80% right surely has to be better than not doing it at all?
  • The other major danger is overworking or over engineering in a desire for perfection. Sometimes less is more. This is a trait that many artists know too well – from Rock Stars to painters, to authors – whose desire to perfect their creation can ultimately spoil something that at one stage may have been a master piece. 
  • In optics, this often manifests itself in a practice owner failing to change their mind-set from being a one man band responsible for all aspects of their business, to learning to manage a team within a growing business and mastering the skill set of delegating, outsourcing and automating relevant functions. 
  • As the business grows, the skill set of the owner has to grow to become a leader and this involves learning to let go of certain functions and to empower others to do them. 


Being truly objective with our own personal and business projects is difficult, especially when it involves undertakings that we are passionate about and where we have invested significant emotional energy. 

Whether you are writing a book, starting or growing an optical business, seeking to change a career or life-style, or looking to devise a practice exit strategy, having someone you can trust to help you see the wood for the trees, the good from the bad and to tell you when to stop and when to go or let go is a key component.


Your choice of adviser can be make or break for your project and ultimately for your business. When you have spent significant time creating, designing or building something, it takes real tact from a third party to steer you in the right direction and to get you over the line with just your best material or ideas. 

Emotional intelligence, personal chemistry and empathy and belief in your project are therefore equally as import as technical skills and experience. The AIO Practice Support Network would be a great place to start your search. 

Dominic Watson is a director of Myers La Roche and is a specialist in optical practice growth strategies, exit planning and practice sales.

His first book Rock Star Retirement Programme: “How to Retire Like A Rock Star” is available via Amazon.com and at all good book stores. 

More insights for you

Take a read below for further industry insights written by our Myers La Roche team:

Keeping Your Optical Business in Focus: Why Regular Valuations Are Essential

You know the importance of regular eye examinations for your patients, but have you considered a recall regime for your own business? You already know how a Myers La Roche business valuation can bring clarity to your operation - keeping that valuation up to date is highly beneficial for the long-term health of your optical practice.

How do I sell my Optical Practice?

How and when to sell your optical practice is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make and, with the Optical industry undergoing a period of consolidation, most independent practice owners will be approached by a potential buyer at some point. In our comprehensive guide, Dom Watson of Myers La Roche profiles the types of buyer you may meet and strategies to help you exit your business on your own terms

Case Study: The benefits of exit planning to achieve an optimised sale within the optical sector

Following a structured exit plan designed via our Exit 360 PathfinderTM service we have recently completed on the sale of an optical practice in West Yorkshire.

Optical Practice Valuation Guide: Expert Tips and Insights

Having provided specialist optical practice valuations for over two decades, the following guide is designed to provide answers to the questions the Myers La Roche team are most frequently asked.

The 5 megatrends set to shape the future of the independent optics and how to harness them in your practice

Megatrends are forces that are reshaping the optical business landscape and the future prospects of independent practice owners in significant ways.

Megatrend One: Significant Inflation in practice values

The transfer value of strong, profitable practices is set to rocket over the long-term.

Megatrend Two: "Islandification" and Trading Location Evolution

Trading conditions and commercial terms for leases on high streets will continue to evolve, bringing both threats and opportunities to optical businesses.

Megatrend Three: Increasingly differentiated operating models in the independent sector

Privatisation & Shared Care will continue to shake up the standard operating model for independents.

Megatrend Four: Improving ease of ownership and operational experience

It will become easier and a more enjoyable experience to run your practice.

Megatrend Five: Suppliers are Not Necessarily The Best Advisors When Selling Your Business

This megatrend trend could adversely affect your personal wealth unless you get informed on the facts and take appropriate action.

International Womens Day 2024

This International Women’s Day we want to encourage more female Optometrists and Opticians to take the first step towards owning their own practice

Optical Insights Salary Survey 2024

Recruitment and Retention of high-quality staff is the single biggest issue facing the optical industry in the UK and Ireland today. Our Salary Survey is a chance for your voice to be heard on this key issue

Thinking of Starting a Practice From Scratch

Starting your own business is one of the most rewarding and challenging things you can do, particularly in independent optics where you are likely to be the clinician as well as the business owner.

Giving something back whilst staying hydrated

Our unique relationship with AquAid has also given our company the opportunity to help those less fortunate than ourselves because with each purchase an automatic donation is made to the Africa Trust.

What's The Value of Your Commute?

Here at Myers La Roche, we talk daily about value. Not surprising, given that we value over 100 independent optical businesses every year.

How To Value a Specsavers Franchise

Specsavers optical franchises are valued via a yield-based valuation methodology.

How To Value a Boots Optical Practice

Boots Opticians franchises are primarily valued via a yield-based valuation methodology. Myers La Roche have significant experience in valuing all kinds of Optical Practices

How to Value a Vision Express Franchise Practice

Vision Express franchises are primarily valued via a yield-based/EBITDA valuation methodology.

Be Your Own Boss

Take the plunge and move from the multiple to the independent sector

Choose the right insurance policy for your optical practice

Choosing the cheapest insurance policy can potentially be both short-sighted and expensive

The Perils of Short Cuts, and Trying to Take the Easy Route

Indecision and procrastination on the timing for a business sale and retirement are common

Get in Touch

If you are interested in our services, then please call us on the number below: