What the Grand Canyon Taught Me About Control


Control. Most of us want it and fight to the death to achieve it.

Especially when it comes to business, control can be a thing that either helps your journey into success, or sends it careening into a dark abyss of failure. Funny how a single word can do that; but why does control have such power?

Over this past Labor Day weekend, I learned how control can be good and bad. Being the adventurer I am, I decided to go with four other ladies to Arizona to see the Grand Canyon. We flew into Phoenix on Friday and left Monday, so it was a full four days. But we made the most of them.

However, if you know anything about me, you would know I like to have things planned out. I like to know what’s going to happen and when it’s going to happen. A detailed itinerary is sure to follow after any flight I book so I can squeeze every second of adventure out of my time there. I have an idea what I want to do and see so I can accomplish it all.

So, with my need for control fully laid bare above, you can imagine how difficult it was to be in a group of ladies who were all very chill. Plans were loose; getting started with the day was slow; there was a lot of relaxing. And I found myself bouncing on my toes in the corner, antsy and ready to go an hour before everyone else. This soon became a detriment.

“But how, Heather? Surely control is a good thing.” Ah, my Affiliate friend – that’s where you are right and wrong at the same time.

It’s all about balance. Having control, having a plan, following structure is good. It gets things done. But I realized that I wanted so much control in the situation I started to lose sight of enjoying the trip. I found myself annoyed at my friends who relaxed and enjoyed the slow mornings. I even started to get bitter and angry. I had expectations and a plan – all of which was in my head and not being clearly communicated, mind you – that were not being met nor followed.

While having control over your business is good, Affiliate, I urge you to look at how much control you do have. Do you have too much? Are you trying to manage it all? Are you letting others know about your expectations and what you’re hoping to accomplish? I know once I let go of my need for control, the trip got a lot better. I was able to chill and enjoy my friends, versus being upset things weren’t going to happen the way I wanted them to. Plus, sometimes it’s refreshing letting other people take the reigns.

It’s a hard lesson to learn, Affiliate. I’m not saying it’s easy. However, it is freeing once you find that balance. So evaluate today everything you are trying to control. Ask if your expectations are clearly communicated. And then readjust some things to hand areas of control to someone else.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.