They say winners never quit and quitters never win. Most people misinterpret this statement and think it is never OK to stop doing something before you finish it. Sometimes you have to stop doing something before you finish it and focus on doing something else. When you can see that something you are doing isn’t going to be beneficial, it is OK to quit. Life is too short to do things that you aren’t enjoying and not beneficial. Your time in this world is limited. Don’t spend it doing things that you don’t enjoy doing.
If you aren’t enjoying a book you are reading at the moment, it is OK to stop reading it. Sometimes it may not be the right time to read that book. Maybe you are just not in the mood for reading. You don’t need to force yourself to read it to the end because someone told you to never quit. It doesn’t matter if everyone is reading the book, if you aren’t enjoying it after 20-30 pages, it is OK to put it away. Don’t feel guilty.
When a movie you are watching is not enjoyable, it is OK to stop watching. You don’t need to force yourself to watch it till the end. There is no way that you will be able to watch every movie released. Around 700 movies are released each year. That’s only counting Hollywood movies. Not counting Bollywood, Nollywood etc. It is just impossible that you will watch all of them. Even the ones you watch, it is impossible to enjoy all of them. If not enjoying the movie, stop watching.
Which brings me to the question of when should I close my business? You will know when it is time to close it, but if unsure, here are some of the hints that will tell you that it is probably the time to close the shop and try something else. When you no longer have passion for it, it may be time to quit. When you go for days without doing anything to work on growing your business, it may be time to quit. When thinking about your business, depresses you, it may be time to quit. It is OK to quit when you feel you are wasting time on a business idea that isn’t working for you.
I try to avoid using outliers like Bill Gates when making examples of people who had to quit something in order to pursue something better, but sometimes to emphasise a point, you have to use those famous outliers. Microsoft wasn’t Bill Gates’ first business idea. If he stuck with Trafodata, Microsoft wasn’t going to happen. Facebook wasn’t Mark Zuckerberg’s first attempt at building a social site. If he stuck with facemash, facebook was probably never gonna happen. We were probably gonna be stuck with Orkut or Myspace. It is OK to quit something that isn’t working out and focus your time and energy on something better
Time is a limited resource, use it wisely. It is OK to change direction. It is OK to downsize. It is OK to dropout on something, and drop into something better. Something that you will enjoy. Failing through quitting isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you. The worst thing is being stuck doing something that is not working out for you.