Book Review: Necessary Endings

“Necessary Endings”, written by Dr. Henry Cloud

How hard is it to end something in your life? A home project? A personal relationship? A business?

I always find it much easier to start things in my life than ending them. Starting new things often require minimal thought, come with some amount of anticipation, and will often eventually take the place of old things.

Ending things in life is much harder. The decision to stop doing something requires much more time and consideration, seems painful or sad at times, and always takes longer than planned.

And yet… everything comes to an end at some point.

Author Dr. Henry Cloud has written a very thoughtful book, “Necessary Endings”, to help us invest the right amount of time and consideration into our decisions to stop doing. In the book, the author argues that our personal and professional lives can only improve to the degree that we see endings as a necessary and strategic step to something better.

Drawing on many years of experience as an executive coach and psychologist, Dr. Cloud offers the reader a healthy mix of advice and case studies to help us:

  • know when to have realistic hope and when to execute an ending
  • identify which employees, projects, activities, and relationships are worth keeping and which are not
  • overcome our natural resistance to change
  • stop wasting valuable resources needed for things that really matter

I found this book particularly helpful in considering when to exit a business. Many small business owners truly struggle on this decision and end up exiting on someone else’s terms and not their own. Every business will come to an end. It’s not a question of “if”, it’s a question of “when”.

I recommend this book to all small business owners and key executives.