Over the weekend, the yoga instructor, Meredith, started off the class with the following intention –“You need to let go of things to make space for better things.”
It made me think of a story between my friends Mike Darlington and Ari Paunonen over at Monstercat. They built an amazing indie label business for themselves with over 3 billion streams.
Over time, Mike started new creative divisions of the company ranging from a YouTube MCN, global events team and gaming influencer management. Ari, on the other hand, was maintaining the operations of the business with over 40 employees – This included HR, legal, Monstercat’s proprietary royalty technology, financial reporting, and more. Despite leveraging each other’s strengths, they grew apart.
When Ari’s father passed away, he left Monstercat to pursue machine learning and the venture capital space. Mike never advocated to decrease his equity during this time. Maybe he knew somewhere inside that Ari might come back.
After a year working in the tech world, Ari came to Mike and asked him why he should come back to work at Monstercat?
Mike was a bit confused. He hadn’t asked Ari to come back. Nonetheless, Mike recognized working as a team as they once had would bring value to the company so he made his pitch:
Prior to leaving, Ari hired individuals capable of operating the areas of the company he was responsible for. Those team members were doing well in his absence.
Therefore, if Ari came back, his new role would be to grow the business in ways he was passionate about rather than getting caught up in operating the business. Since being reunited, Mike and Ari have been working together on new investments and international expansion.
It’s amazing how sometimes we need to let go of our current responsibilities to make space to create opportunity.
When my friend Dina LaPolt had a life-threatening bacteria turn into a deadly infection in her neck last year, the senior attorney at her firm, Sarah Scott and the firm’s team of young lawyers and other staff, stepped up in her absence to run the day-to-day business of her firm which represents acts ranging from Britney Spears to Steven Tyler to deadmau5.
For 17 years, Dina had been the voice of every single decision at her firm even as minor as how many backup cartridges should the firm order for the copy machine. Now, she had a 50/50 chance of living. Even if she did make it, there was a chance she would never be able to use her vocal cords again.
Luckily, she made it back to full health. When she did, she learned how powerful her team was in her absence. With this knowledge, she was empowered to escape the day-to-day minutiae and go grow her business, which has been booming over the last 12 months, ranging from signing acts like Brazilian superstar Anitta to helping get the Music Modernization Act passed in Congress, which happened yesterday by unanimous vote!
I am experiencing a similar situation in my own life. After Grace’s family parted ways with me a few weeks ago, I have a lot more time on my hands and am taking the time to decide how and where to spend it. I am blessed to have lots of amazing artists at TH3RD BRAIN, and also a team who services them at the highest level. I look forward to spending more time with our artists and simultaneously evaluating opportunities which will make the most of my skills as a manager and entrepreneur.