How to Know When to Quit

Feel like you are beating a dead horse sometimes?

Your business started out being fun…

But now you face challenges, and something is no longer working.

Exhausted, you may be at a crossroads.

Is this a temporary setback or a dead end?

Are you wasting time waiting while pushing your success further away?

Perhaps you are focused on the wrong things and need to change what you are doing somehow?

So how do you know whether you should continue or throw in the towel?

The truth

Anything worthwhile generally takes work. Roughly 20% of small businesses fail within the first year, 50% after five years, and only a third have survived after ten years. Sure, there are overnight wins. However, achieving long-term success generally takes time, energy, and effort.

And more significant challenges often have better rewards because most people quit before the finish line.

Withstanding the uphill climb will help you stand out in your field. It is why years of trial and error, arduous schooling, and challenging certifications create scarcity and become strong differentiators.

So should you persevere no matter what?

Absolutely not.

It’s essential to take calculated risks by recognizing what is worthwhile. You can save time, energy, and money by evaluating your situation, assessing if you should continue, and taking action when it’s not working.

Is this a dead-end? Is the pain worth the light at the end of the tunnel?

Strategic quitting is the key to success.

And before you quit everything you don’t like

It is not an excuse to practice chronic quitting or to start and stop on an endless loop.

It is also not an excuse to give up when it feels painful or challenging.

Remember that most endeavors will be fun initially and become more difficult as you approach mastery. It would be a shame to quit just before you hit success.

Persevering will help you reap the rewards, so be persistent when you see a glimmer of hope.

Step 1: Assess before you begin

Deciding whether to move forward before starting something new will save you time, energy, and effort. Why start something if you will only stop in the long term?

Should you even bother?

First, reflect on if this aligns with your values, vision, and purpose.

Does this next step make sense based on what is important to you and where you want to go?

And if it does, is this within your skill set? Are you willing and able to learn new skills to ensure success? And if not, can you hire someone to eliminate what is not within your capabilities? If this is not within your talents and you will never become competent or be able to remove this from your plate, it is a waste of time.

Honestly, ask yourself if you are willing to work hard when faced with challenges. Are you ready to put in the time, money, and commitment needed to do this?

Last, are you willing to overcome your fears to move forward?

If the answer is yes to all the above, outline the conditions under which quitting would be appropriate.

Having guidelines beforehand will help you identify whether it is merely a challenge to overcome or something not worth pursuing.

Example: I will quit the new course I am taking if the information is inappropriate or too time-consuming. If either of these conditions happens, it will be an easy decision.

Okay, what if this is something you have already started?

Most likely, you are reading this because you are mid-way through and unsure what to do next. First, take a deep breath. It’s essential to be calm versus panicked to avoid rash decision-making. To help, read 57 Tips to Ease Overwhelm.

Step 2: Determine if it is worth it

So how do you know if it is worth it?

You are on the right track if this aligns with your values, vision, and purpose, but do you like it?

Is what you are doing fulfilling, and does it make you happy?

Because if the answer is no, dig deep and reflect on why you want to be doing this in the first place.

What need does this meet?

Connect to your long-term vision. Sometimes a short-term obstacle can feel unbearable, especially when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you can’t picture what’s at the finish line, you most likely won’t succeed.

It would be a shame to quit a marathon at mile twenty-five. With an extra push, would you complete the race?

And are you making progress?

It is a good sign if you are focused on a specific market and making incremental success towards learning, market visibility, and sales. If not, could you change something?

Try new strategies to lean into the problem and find a good solution. Continue to try different features or products to gain traction. If nothing works, it’s time to consider an alternative.

Note that if you are making progress yet see there is no long-term gain, it still may be time to switch gears.

Or maybe you are just comfortable. It’s common to stay in a comfortable dead-end routine because you may be afraid to change. It can be easier to continue with what you are used to than quit.

Perhaps your pride prevents you from quitting because you have already put in so much time, energy, or effort, or maybe you have committed to something and don’t want to give up despite it not working. Are you sticking to things to avoid rocking the boat or the short-term hassle of change?

Remember that the longer you wait to quit, the more time, energy, and money you waste. When the investment cost exceeds the success rate, it’s time to throw in the towel.

What are you doing that no longer serves you?

Step 3: Free up your energy

Focusing on what is not working prevents you from doing something else, so quit what’s not working to free up your time, energy, and talents for more impactful growth. Make room for success.

How does this work?
Intense focus on one area at a time vs. scattered focus will enable you to grow far more quickly, so do one thing at a time whenever possible.

nature, outdoors, food-3332026.jpg

Imagine growing a garden and not having enough time to tend each plant. So you decide to water one plant monthly to have time for all of them. What do you think would happen?

Well, you probably would not have a thriving garden, would you?

Free up the space to focus on what matters. Placing energy on the right things is more important than trying to do everything.

Yes, you may have FOMO (fear of missing out) but remember that it’s more important to be an expert in your niche versus a jack of all trades and master of none. Do you need a podiatrist that is a good cook as well?

Quitting projects and investments that are not worthwhile will free up the space to succeed in more impactful opportunities.

Every day you stay in a situation that is not working, you are wasting time. So either tweak something or end it so you can make space to do something great.


Strategic quitting is essential to your success as a business owner. Assess if your pursuits are worthwhile as soon as possible by determining if your persistence will reap long-term rewards. Focusing on the right things will allow you to free up your energy to progress towards your desired success.

Step 1: Assess before you begin
Step 2: Determine if it is worth it
Step 3: Free up your energy

I look forward to you making strategic decisions that allow you to focus on what matters and significantly impact your business.
Michele x

If you need help building your vision by creating a step-by-step strategy (you can actually stick to), email me the word PROGRAM.

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