I was reminded of a valuable lesson recently – you need to know when to call it quits. No one likes the word quit and most people don’t like to stop working and give up. I know I don’t.
There’s this idea that we need to push through despite the effort, time and money we continue to invest into a failing project. And sure sometimes it’s worth taking a few extra steps and reaching the pot of gold but if you don’t have any indication that you’re working towards something worthwhile why keep going?
If you’re like me, you have an internal battle with yourself – money vs time, time vs result, and result vs money – before you decide whether or not to quit or continue. I normally get hung up on the money. I think about how many hours I needed to work to make X dollars or how much I could have bought with X dollars. I know it sounds silly but like most of us I always go back to money. It’s the default value.
That was until I found myself stressed and unhappy. A project I had been working on had failed, and during one of my many sleepless nights I started having the internal battle with myself again. But this time I substituted money with happiness and well being. This is when I had my aha moment. [Tweet “Money is only as good as its ability to give us the time to spend on things that make us happy”] My calculations told me that I spent X dollars and in return I had had 6 weeks of wasted time and stress. What a shitty investment! So I decided to call it quits.
This lesson is an important one because as a society we tend to only focus on the successful investments – and in most cases success is judged based on financial gain. We never hear about the failed investments. And we never celebrate the people who make the right decision to walk away, only the people that push through and hand over a piece of themselves in the process.
As a small business owner it’s hard to turn my back on projects and substantial investments. I put everything I have into my work. But a good entrepreneur knows a bad investment and isn’t afraid to call it quits.
[Tweet “Quit doesn’t need to be a dirty word”]
What projects have you quit? And how has your life been better for it?
Featured image from Flickr.