31 Jul When Is It Okay to Quit?
Too often I see entrepreneurs and business owners fall victim to their ego. They invest their time, money, and sweat into a business venture and risk losing everything rather than making the decision to walk away. Contrary to popular belief, giving up can be one of the best business decisions to make. I’ve experienced this a few times and my life and I wished I’d been more aware and made the decision to call it quits sooner (and before I lost millions).
When it comes to determining if now is the right time to quit, I use this simple formula:
1) Alignment. Is this venture in alignment with what I want to accomplish long-term? Does continuing in this direction support my life’s vision? These are important questions to consider and if the answers are “No” then moving forward to actually be counterproductive to your future progress. Also consider the impact that this venture is having on all other areas of your life, including personal growth, professional development, emotional stability, etc.
2) Viability. You should avoid overworking yourself or investing heavily into a “dying” business concept with no long-term prospects. For example, pouring your efforts into a business that manufacturers desktop computers may not be the wisest move, as the industry and technological advancements heavily favor mobile devices. The key is to carefully consider the viability of your business and how it needs to evolve to stay competitive. If you are not able to remain agile and innovative within your industry, then making the decision to quit now is a wise one, before you sink thousands (if not millions) of dollars and still be outpaced by the competition.
3) Planning. Having a sound plan is key to determining if you should continue on your course of action. Knowing why you are doing what you’re doing and how it fits into an overall plan or life vision is critical to your decision. Again, if the business venture or idea does not align with your overall plan, then this is important to know – and know early.
4) Execution. A plan is useless if you are not willing to execute with precision. Are you really investing everything into executing your plan? If you are not, this often explains why you may be on the brink of quitting or why you are not seeing the results you expected. Sincerely ask yourself if you are executing at the level you need to. Check in with your teams and see if they are executing consistently and at a high level. If they are not and you are not upholding what you need to do, then putting systems in place to improve your execution could transform the success of your business venture almost immediately.
5) Time. Growing a business doesn’t happen overnight, so understanding that things take time and effort is important to remember. But, if you’ve already invested ample time into the business idea and it still is not performing, then starting to looking for other, more viable options is a better use of your time. Be committed enough to grow your idea, but also flexible enough to be willing to walk away if it isn’t working.
When I’m stuck and considering whether I should stick it out or pivot, I revisit this formula. I encourage you to do the same. However, keep in mind that if you can’t honestly answer the questions above, then it is clear that this is not the right venture.
If you decide you do want to continue, I strongly recommend taking the “All In Plan” and commit 100% of your efforts into executing on all cylinders to grow your business. In order for this to work, you need to be brutally honest with yourself and commit to executing as well as checking, measuring, and evaluating your progress.