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Last Update: Sunday April 11, 2021

Key Idea: Let Go Of The Checkbook

Owner Ashley Postlewaite says as a leader you have to let go of some things as the business grows.

Key Question:


Hire good people then let them do their job.

Q: Why is this so hard for a small business owner to do?

A: It may be like seeing your child go to first grade. You put the little one in the hands of the teacher and it's an emotional moment. You know in your mind this is the right thing but you are used to seeing every move the child makes. Now, you are a bit in the dark. But you do get report cards and you do hear at the end of each day how everything went. Ashley said she wanted to get rid of the task but she wanted to be in close touch with the process.

Letting go of the checkbook is literally a good thing to do but it is also a metaphor for letting go of any task you are holding on to for only emotional reasons. Here's my big rule of thumb: if it repeats, teach. You know what I'm talking about. All the things you do for which you have a system can be taught to someone else. The reason entrepreneurs can sell franchises, which is a great way to fund growth, is they have taken the time to systematize the processes.

Many of us think we're the only person in the world who can do a certain task. The reason we can't delegate is either perfectionism, disorganization or complete lack of trust in others. If you don't study yourself and figure out what your problem is with letting go, you will be tired all of the time.

Think about it

What task do you need to delegate? What jobs are you doing now that you should turn over to someone else? Do you have employees and professional service providers you can trust with important jobs? If not, why not?

Clip from: Renegade Animation - Beating the Big Boys

Burbank, California: Back in 1992 Ashley Quinn Postlewaite and Darrell Van Citters left  Warner's studios to start their own business, Renegade Animation. They truly were renegades.  Their first challenge was to produce a 90-second spot for Nike.  They did it.  Called Aerospace Jordan,  it aired on the Super Bowl. Now, that's real talent.  And, that 's an incredible start.

This episode of the show takes us inside flights of the imagination, fantasy, and stretched metaphors. Today, among their customers you will find Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Disney,, Leapfrog, Toyota, Mattel, Barq's Root Beer, Campbell Soup, Dow, NIKE and more.

In their first year they did $1.4 million in sales. While the sales have held steady over the years, they have also have been able to do their work with four or less full-time employees.    

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Renegade Animation

Ashley Quinn Postlewaite, Executive Producer

111 East Broadway
Suite 208
Burbank, CA 91205

Visit our web site:

Business Classification:
Business Services; advertising, marketing, pr

Year Founded: 1999

Let Go Of The Checkbook

HATTIE: What other, along the seven years decisions, have you made that you go, `That was a good decision.'

ASHLEY: Right. Some of the decisions that we've made--actually, some fairly recently--to up the level of some of the other outsourcing we do, in terms of our accounting firm and letting them do a little more than they had been doing. I want to get rid of it, but I want to be as in touch with it as I am. So how do you do it? What kind of reporting are we going to set up? You know, `How am I going to monitor that process?'

HATTIE: It is scary to turn the checkbook over to somebody.

ASHLEY: Absolutely.

HATTIE: So it's really not true that entrepreneurs are, like, leather and have no feelings and no fears.

ASHLEY: No. No, it's not true at all. Oh, no. It's not true at all.

DARRELL: Because there are times you get in here and you go, `What the hell was I thinking? I must have been out of my mind.' I mean, you know, when you're having troubles sometimes, you know, you just go, `This is--there's got to be an easier way.' Well, there is an easier way, but it's not more fulfilling. You know, you can go be an employee someplace, but it's not--you'll still regret that if you do it.

HATTIE: Do you think this is soul food?

DARRELL: I guess you could argue that, yeah. Definitely. I mean, I'm doing this because I tried the other and I can't do the other. I don't feel comfortable in a corporate environment. This is--I'm doing this because I have to do it.

ASHLEY: With our four people, you know, we also have 35 freelance artists working all the time. So we, you know, we're bigger than we seem. But you're going out there, and you are really saying, `No, no. Really, we can do this.' I mean, we produced that Nike Super Bowl spot out of Darrell's garage. I mean, we are the classic story that you hear. And it was just like, `Well, OK. We're going to do this. We're in'--you know. You just do it. (Graphic on screen)

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