How Do You Know When to quit?
Or is it time to give up on that side project yet?
A friend of mine asked me this question recently.
"How much effort is enough before you drop a biz and move on to another one?"
I thought it was a really good question & something that people should talk more about. Here's what I told them.
When to quit is a really good, and tough, question.
I think it depends on:
1. How passionate and interested in a given business you are.
I do believe you can force it and fake it and still find a certain level of success (and in fact, I think *most* people live in this mode).
But it's not how you'll find happiness or joy in your day-to-day.
And it's likely to have a serious cap on just how successful you can really become.
2. How big do you believe the market is.
Bigger opportunities are more likely to be bigger challenges, requiring larger sacrifices, but if this is a smaller opportunity just scratching a personal itch or interest and you're still struggling with it...might not be worth the time.
3. What do you think the real challenges are.
Is it a product, technology, sales, finance, or marketing challenge? How well do you really understand the current roadblocks and more importantly, how well positioned and prepared are *you* to be the one to get past whatever it is?
I've given up on a TON of things that I still believe could/would be massive businesses (and that others have succeeded with since).
But in all of them, it became clear that *I* wasn't the right person to get them there.
4. How well people are connecting with your story (once they find out about it).
If it's taking a lot of effort to convince someone, after you've found them, then it's probably not a strong enough or compelling enough story.
This might mean the market or pain isn't as big as you thought.
Or it could just mean that the value-prop. and the story you are presenting isn't the right one.
It's hard enough to find people and get their attention in the first place.
So if you get past that and still aren't getting good results, it's time to rethink something.
And here's the really hard part, only you can really decide if that 'rethink' is just the story/value-prop OR the whole business/effort itself.
Only you can reflect on just what you are doing, and most importantly, why?
And hopefully, that reflection will give you clarity on if you should keep going on your current path or not.
Final Note: I should also mention that once you've started seriously thinking about quitting - it probably means you should. (sort of like how they say when an athlete starts thinking about retirement, it's time to retire).