When to quit?

For an entrepreneur, the inevitable question comes up at some point: Is it time to quit?

What I find interesting is that the veil through which we make the statement changes once we are running a business compared to when we conceived the business.

At the start, we are visioning something that does not yet exist. It is a dream, a wish, an illusion.

As any entrepreneur will be forced to do, we look at the forecast business as realistically as possible, trying to predict failure points, challenges cash flow issues etc.

The problem is that we are not realists. If we were, we would probably apply for a job.

But entrepreneurs are visionaries. So what causes the vision to fade and the question to rattle around your head: should I quit?

From the day a business is conceived, it is met with negativity and rejection. That is why.

Those comments typically come from realists, the people who are not visionary or risk takers.

An entrepreneur will push on regardless. But, at some point, the realists are right…

  • the cash flow is not what was expected,
  • the bills aren’t being paid on time
  • he list goes on and it becomes exhausting mentally. 

Then the entrepreneur sits down with a mentor and says “should I quit?”

A good mentor, in my mind, will go back to the genesis and ask, why did you start?

If the ideals still hold value, the knowledge that the journey was going to be difficult existed just as much then as it does now.

The difference is the chorus of people trying to “make your life easy” by suggesting you quit. It is a little like telling the Olympic runner who did not finish first to take up another sport. 

Give me a break.

There is often a time to quit, but not when the going gets tough. The pragmatic time to quit is when no recovery is possible.

A pivot may be required to recover, but entrepreneurs are good at that; holy smokes, we conceived something out of nothing. 

So next time you see a business owner, tell them how proud you are because, just occasionally, they need uplifting too.


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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for more than 40 years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business.

He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the U.K. in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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