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When Do You Quit?
Mani Padisetti We hear stories about Colonel Sanders who knocked on more than 10,000 doors with his recipe before he succeeded. There are several people like him in the history. They all persisted when they were faced with failure. Most of us in the society consider persistence as a virtue. Is that really true though?
Sometimes it is good try a solution or a method and if that does not work look at trying another one � instead of trying the same solution. When do we decide that it is good to persist or try another alternative?
Let me give an example. If you are commuting by bus everyday and one day the buses are on strike � that seems to happen in Sydney regularly � do you not go to work or school or wherever you commute to? Would you not seek an alternative � maybe take your car in that day, or take the train or ask someone for a ride? This one is a simple problem.
Is a relationship worth it?
On the other hand, let us assume you are in a relationship � with a boy friend or a girl friend. When you encounter difficulties, do you quit immediately or try to work on the issues? You probably would say that it depends on how important the relationship is to you. I�d say the same. So, the answer is �it depends on how important� it is to persist. Let us say the difficulties persist too. How long will you continue? A month, a year, ten years? How long? When is it too long or too much effort? How do you know? The answer to this, in my opinion, is to look at what it is costing you � maybe it is costing you - your health, your happiness, your friends, your career, your family etc. Take a step back and look at the cost of the relationship and value of the relationship. Then you make the decision whether to persist or to quit. Often it is not easy to take that final step to quit � we don�t get the courage. We may come up with all sorts of excuses to say that we have put in too much time and effort in building such a strong life, family or whatever, and think that it is too difficult to quit. If we do not take action after knowing that quitting is the best thing, the law of the nature states that we deserve all the consequences of us not taking that next step.
Is business different?
In business, if a technique or a method does not work we try something else. If a marketing campaign does not work, we do not persist on doing the same campaign. We quit carrying on with that campaign but persist on doing marketing campaigns � we develop another campaign. Sometimes, even if the campaign works we tend to �test� it by some of the variables. This is an example of persisting with the objective but quitting something that did not work.
Upset the applecart?
There are occasions where we need to completely stop what we are doing and start a new venture. Let us imagine we are in the time when the automobile was invented and that we are selling horse carriages for transportation. Even if the critics are telling us that the new invention (automobile) will not be used for transportation of people, and that they are only for transporting goods or that automobiles are too expensive for anyone to buy etc., as prudent people shouldn�t we be start looking into the possibility that the sales of horse carriages may not help feed our families for long and it is possible that automobiles may have better reception from the public than the critics claim? No one can predict accurately what the future holds. Isn�t it therefore better to be prepared for the challenges future poses us? By closing the door for horse carriage business and keeping the door of the automobile industry ajar is what could save us.
How do we know?
When do we know whether we should quit our business venture and start a new one? We can do two tests:
1. Measure the cost vs. value for you personally? Even if the value currently outweighs the cost, do the second test.
2. What is the cost of the opportunity if you do not quit the current venture and/or start the new venture? Try putting some dollars against it. Leave your emotions out and now weigh the situation. Make your decision to continue or quit. Make that decision consciously. Don�t be undecided simply because you don�t get the courage. It is fine to continue with the venture even if it costs you more � but you are aware that you made that decision and therefore you�re responsible for the positive and negative consequences.
Doing what is right
We do not become a �success� just by persisting and we do not become a �loser� just by quitting. Don�t be afraid to quit.
� Mani Padisetti is an author, entrepreneur and lecturer. Get his free e-books, tips and newsletter on personal and business success.
Down to Earth Business