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To give up or go on: Is it time to call it quits?


Eight years ago I found myself on the floor in tears. My father had just passed away, my business was failing and my love life sucked. Oh wait! That’s always sucked (and not in the good kinda way).

I was at a cross roads in my life and didn’t know which way to turn.

Have you ever experienced that? No, of course you haven’t! Hmmm.

Sometimes when we wake up in the morning and wipe the sleep out of our eyes, we don’t always awaken to the reality we want to see.

A profitable business is nowhere to be seen, acknowledgement and praise is way out of reach (even with a 10ft pole in hand) and our partner ends up having a face that looks like a potato sack. My apologies go to the potato sack.

With this awakening brings a harsh reality; the reality of not knowing whether or not continuing your business enterprise is worth it or indeed the best idea for yourself or those around you.

But how do you really know when it’s time to give up or go on?

Do any of us really have the answer? Does our ego get in the way of making a logical decision or does the fate of the business lie beyond our personal influence?

Seeing as you’re looking for answers, let’s play a little ‘what if’ game…

  • What if… you got a contract tomorrow that turned your entire business around?
  • What if… you gave up just before you hit critical mass and things took off?
  • What if… your life lesson was to go through hardship to understand what ‘really’ matters in life?
  • What if… the business was meant to fail so you found your true calling in another area?
  • What if… the struggle was simply to prepare you for more to come?

What if!

What did this exercise achieve? Nothing really, it probably just caused you to be more confused than Joan Rivers on ice!

That’s the problem. Knowing whether or not a business should continue isn’t as simple as looking at the profit and loss statement for the year. It has more to do with intangible factors that, ‘fortunately’ for us, we have a whole lot of influence over.

Walt Disney was a tyrant. Are you?

Success can sometimes come at great cost. Look at some of the most successful business owners, actors and celebrities in the world. In many cases they each experienced a breakdown before they experienced a breakthrough. It was this breakdown that eventually gave them the contrast of what they did and did not want in their lives and careers. For many it was the impetus for significant change in their careers and personal lives.

Take Walt Disney. His numerous setbacks not only forced him to become more savvy in business but it also turned him into the infamous tyrant within the Walt Disney Company. Now I’m not suggesting you become a tyrant, but consider the success of his business. He put himself on the line continually and it did eventually pay off after years of slogging it out and overcoming barriers.

Did you know that his studio at one stage was taken over by the military for an entire year at his own expense? Huh, maybe your business challenges aren’t so bad after all.

Each of us reaches a point in our lives where a significant decision has to be made. Ending or continuing a business is one of those moments that not only has immediate impact but long-term repercussions, especially centred around our own self-worth.

It isn’t just about the business, it is about how much resilience you have and whether or not you have the persistence to do what it really takes to make it work. It is a test of personal strength.

What’s farming got to do with it?

I grew up on a cattle and cropping farm and learnt very early on that you need to be patient. I also learnt that you can go for years in drought without being able to do a thing about it. That means no water, no money and no wins to boost confidence in the interim.

That, however, doesn’t mean that you just pack everything up and give in. You prepare the soil as you normally would and continue to plant seeds in hope that next year will be different all the while employing new strategies to assist along the way.

You don’t just give up! You pull out all of the stops, diversify where you can, take stock of where you are and lay out future plans with every intention of achieving them.

So, my question to you is:

Do you really have what it takes to make your business work? Even through a drought?

If the answer is yes, make your decision and stick to it. No ifs, no buts and no going back. Your only option now is to make it a success. Sit quietly when you’re at peace and ask yourself: Do I have what it really takes?

The answer will come. Maybe not immediately but it will come. Only you can answer this for yourself. No one else, only you.

So why did I decide to continue on after my meltdown? Because it was the way I was brought up. You pick yourself up, dust yourself off, adapt and get on with the job. It’s the only way.

Ben Angel is the author of the brand new controversial and revealing book, ‘Sleeping Your Way to The Top in Business – The Ultimate Guide to Attracting & Seducing More Customers.’ Grab your copy today by visiting www.benangel.com.au