How Do You Know When It's Time to Quit?
When I talk to stuck business owners, they always ask me the same question: "How do I know when it's time for me to get out or give up?"
The history of entrepreneurship is filled with famous examples of billionaires who eventually became successful despite horrible setbacks. Unfortunately, according to Chandra Clarke, president of Scribendi.com, "people will work harder to avoid a negative outcome (e.g., admitting defeat) than they will work for a positive one." As a result, many small-business owners don't know when to quit and just keep going. For most of these people, this ultimately just makes it worse.
In fact, the truly successful small-business owner knows when to "hold them and when to fold them," as the song goes. Will Rogers said that "if you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging."
So what are the telltale signs that it's time to call it quits?
1. Lost passion. Simply put, it's not as fun as it use to be. You no longer look forward to coming into work and deciding where the business will go in the future.
2. Constant cash flow issues. Many small-business owners think they will sell their way to success. But it is a bad sign if cash flow is gradually getting worse or never really gets better.
3. Stress has caused health problems. When I was diagnosed with diabetes in 1995, the doctor said that this autoimmune disease was caused by the stress in my business. I knew it was time for a change.
Is time for you to quit or get out?
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