Being able to persevere through the tough times, dust yourself off and get back up is a crucial ability for any small business owner. We have been told our entire lives that we have to “keep at it” and “follow through“ no matter what. But rarely are we ever told when it’s okay to quit.
Quitting can be an extremely positive process that allows you to choose a new path that will better serve your professional and personal life. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your sanity and your business is to let go of the things that are not working so you can focus on what is. Today, we’re asking the tough questions no one wants to talk about to see if it’s time for you to move on.
Do You Still Care?
Knowing when it is truly time to throw in the towel is not always easy. A great indicator is when you simply do not care anymore. When you find yourself dragging your feet and completely devoid of any passion for the project you are working on. If you have lost all of your fire, or maybe never had any, for what you are spending your time doing, it probably time to reevaluate. Do not confuse this lack of passion with boredom! We all get bored from time to time, even when we like what we are creating. This fleeting feeling is not a proper indicator that it’s time to quit. Confirm to yourself that you are in a state of complete disinterest where you feel your work has no meaning and purpose before you let go of it.
Is Your Environment Toxic?
Then there are times when you do like what you are doing, but it is no longer good for you. Negative work environments can wreak havoc on our self-confidence, as well as, our creativity. If you find yourself dreading that meeting you have with a specific collaborator or being plagued with anxiety about any interaction with coworkers, it’s time you rethink what you’re doing. It is a well-known fact that the people you spend most of your time with ultimately shape you. For most of us, these people are our coworkers. Whether they are coworkers in the traditional sense or people that you work with virtually or collaborate with. If these relationships are toxic, you won’t be creating your best work and you aren’t growing professionally. If you can relieve the tension by having a tough conversation, establishing boundaries and expectations–do it and know that it may not be time to leave yet. But if you have given it your best and still find yourself ducking into your desk and popping in your headphones before anyone can speak to you, it might be time to quit.
Do You Have a Purpose?
Sticking it out in an industry your heart isn’t truly in can also have a negative effect on your personal compass. When we don’t feel true purpose for something, we are less inclined to hold the work to our usual set of standards. This comes from the desire to finish it as quickly as possible or the sense of competition with other people in our industry. If you find yourself missing deadlines, cutting corners, and are ultimately submitting subpar work, you’re hurting yourself in the long run. You never know who is watching or reading. You never know what opportunities you are missing from not having your heart in something. If you find that your creative process is leading to the poor quality work, it might be time to quit.
Quitting isn't giving up--it's a choice towards a better future.
Quitting is not giving up. It’s making a well-thought-out choice to focus your time and energy on something more important. The negative opinions of others is a huge reason why most of us stay in/with something for far too long. No one wants to be labeled a quitter, but the truth is that there is a major difference between simply quitting because something is hard and choosing to quit to better yourself.
Quitting is a choice toward a different future. You are choosing to make space, time, and energy for bigger and better things to come into your life. Rather than focusing on what you are leaving behind, focus on what you are trying to gain. Quitting can be an incredibly powerful experience if you channel it to be so. Use the anxiety of quitting to motivate you. Use the fear of the unknown to blaze the path less traveled towards a new endeavor. The fear of change is normal but being able to overcome that fear and choose to change your business life for the better will lead you closer to where you want to be.