Quit what exactly?
A business, a job, a market, a product or service, a staff member?
Well, all the above. As business owners we sometimes find ourselves in the situation where something just isn’t working out the way we hoped it would. Yet we continue pushing forward on it in the hopes that something’s going to change.
I think we’ve all been there as business owners from time to time and that’s okay.
But we have to realize that sometimes we do need to stop. We do need to quit because it’s not working and it’s not going to work.
And what that means is that as humans, we’re not so much wired for gain as we are to avoid loss. And if we’ve put time and energy and money into a situation, and we’re not getting the return that we hoped for, we don’t want to stop because we have all that time and energy invested in it and it’s going to seem like a real loss if we stop.
“Why did I spend all that money for this outcome it didn’t happen?”
“Why did I put all this time and energy into it?”
So we erroneously push forward in the thought that “hey if I just keep going, something’s going to get better, we’ll turn the corner and things will improve.
A great example I see from time to time with business owners is they’ll have a staff member on the team and they’re not doing the best job. They’re okay, but they’re not really performing at a high level. And by the time the business owner decides “hey maybe this person needs to move on”, they’ve got their salary to date invested, they’ve got recruitment costs, they’ve got training costs all this kind of stuff invested in that individual.
And so they’re reticent to pull the plug and say “we need to put you in a different role” or “we need to let you go”, because they’ve got all this time and money and energy invested.
And eventually when they finally see the writing on the wall that the person’s not going to get any better, and they finally let them go, it’s a big relief. It’s a weight off their shoulders and the person who has been let go is probably relieved because they’re like a fish out of water in a role that wasn’t suitable for them. They can move on and the other team members can breathe a sigh of relief because now they’re going to have a higher performer in that role.
Trying to push forward with the fear of the loss of the investment is not a great strategy.
We need to know when to quit.
It’s not going to feel good when we have to make the decision to stop doing something that’s making the decision to quit. We’re going to feel like we’ve made a big mistake, like we’re wrong, that we failed, but we need to look at this as learning experiences.
“We invested this time and energy in this individual, it didn’t work out. What can we learn from this? How can we iterate faster? How can we determine that something isn’t working even more quickly next time?”
So here’s the thing: listen to that gut feeling that you’ve got. If you’re involved in something and you’re an endeavor, and your guts going yeah, “it’s probably not going to work out”, or “why am I doing this?” Or, “man, here we go again.” That’s probably a good indication you need to re-examine why you’re doing it.
Now when I’m talking about quitting, I don’t mean just full on pull the plug. Sometimes that is the answer, we need to pull the chute and just stop doing something, but it can just change of direction a little bit or put some proper measurement in place to verify that gut feeling.
Do things so that you can confirm or deny that whatever you’re doing is or is not working, or that the marketing is working, the person is improving, or that the product or service is desired and it does have a market.
And here’s the thing, when you say no to the endeavor that’s not really working, you’re opening yourself up and saying yes to something else that will work.
You’re changing direction. You’re not stuck in one spot. You can get to where you need to be.
So where in your business do you need to stop or to quit, or to make some adjustments for something that’s not working the way you hoped it would?
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