November 24, 2011, 6:00 am

When is it Time to Call it Quits?

by: MD    Category: Business
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When is it Time to Call it Quits?

I’ve been on a roll with the reality checks. I gave you guys part 1 and part 2 of the full-time blogging reality check. Then I followed up with how you can bounce back from failure.

You don’t have to always fail or succeed with everything that you try. There’s a third option. You can quit. You don’t always have to fail at something and wait it out for a long time before you move. Sometimes you just need to quit. For some reason there’s a negative stigma surrounding quitting. I don’t get it. There are many occasions where it makes much more sense to quit, instead of holding on to a false hope. There’s absolutely no need to be ashamed of quitting.

The big question revolves around…

When do you call it quits? How do you know when the time is right to give up on something and to move on?

[For the sake of this post I'm going to discuss calling it quits with a side business or some sort of freelancing work.]

When everyone is making money but you.

If your new business venture isn’t making you money while everyone around you makes a killing, maybe it’s a sign that chasing the dollars isn’t going to work out for you. The problem is that we are all programmed differently. No two human beings are the same. This is why some of us are strictly motivated by money, while others chase their passions. If you’re not making money in a traditionally lucrative field, you should move on, and as much as I hate the phrase, you should look into “following your passions.”

“If you enter a niche because you’re following the dollars, you wont keep it up. It’s too much work, and you will get tired and frustrated and you will eventually fold.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

When you’re working your ass for a long time for no results.

If you’re going to fail, you better fail fast is what they say. There’s no point in holding on to something that’s not going to happen. It’s like those guys that wait for a year when their girlfriend tells them that it’s time for a break. Success doesn’t have to be a slow process. You don’t have to get anyone’s permission to succeed. You don’t have waiting around for your turn. You can quit and try something different.

 When only your parents support you.

It’s cool to have the support of your parents, family, and loved ones. The problem is when these are the only people that support you. Family support is helpful when you’re in trouble. Family support is useless when you actually need REAL feedback. Your girlfriend or parents don’t have the heart to tell you that your new business idea where you invested thousands of dollars, is completely lame.

If you notice that only your parents are supporting your business idea, maybe it’s time to move on. Someone with a valid criticism is not a “hater” (don’t you get annoyed when someone uses that word?).

When you have no tangible proof of any interest.

Just because you think your idea is good it doesn’t mean that anyone else does. You need some sort of tangible proof. There needs to be some sort of a market or some glimpse of hope. Blindly chasing your passions can leave you broke and lonely.

If you haven’t found a paying client in a year, then you must move on because free is not a business model. Free content and free work is noble and all, but how do you plan on paying your bills? Without any tangible proof of interest for your business idea, you need to look at other options.

When you lose your passion.

I know that passion is one of those buzzwords that dream sellers love to throw around. The truth is that if something feels like a chore, it’s time to find something new that interests you. Life is too short to spend it on stuff that you hate.

That’s all I have to say about quitting. It’s tough to let go. The good news is that when one door closes, another opens (yes it’s cliche, but it’s true).

Have you had to quit something recently? How did you know it was time to call it quits?

(photo credit: fuzzcat)

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Comments

I left my job a few years ago and it was a tough decision. I was worried about the insurance for my family and whether or not I would be able to support them freelancing. We took a leap of faith and it worked! Forging ahead leads to results if you’re willing to give it a try.

This reminds me of my first job. I stuck around way to long, I hated it.

[...] you have tried the get rich quick route and haven’t seen results, knowing when it’s time to quit can protect your finances. You can redirect your resources towards another [...]