When to Quit and When to Let Go

Strategic Quitting for Fitness Entrepreneurs

It may seem strange to talk about letting go or quitting your business, but if you’re reading this you are probably considering one or the other. Yes, there is a difference. In this article, we explain what that difference is, and answer if you should let go or quit.

Did they quit or did they let go?

There are many examples of sports stars who decided not to carry on earlier than expected. Here are two examples – one who chose to let go, and one who chose to quit.

1. Andrew Luck – The footballer who let go

Luck had seven years as a pro-footballer. However, at the age of only 29 he announced his decision to retire from the game he loved. Between 2015 and 2018, he played in only 38 games. Injuries, pain, endless rehab, and many setbacks had taken their toll. In a tweet on August 24, 2020, Zak Keefer said:

For those wondering: Been told Andrew Luck is doing really well. Happy. Healthy. No second-guessing his decision.

2. Bjorn Borg – The tennis player who quit

Bjorn Borg was the star tennis player of his era. He had rock star looks and incredible talent. In only nine years as a pro, he won 11 grand slams. He retired as a mere 26 years old, saying that he was mentally burned out. But he wasn’t done. He attempted a comeback in 1991, only to retire again two years later.

The difference between quitting and letting go

The two examples above demonstrate the difference between quitting and letting go:

  • You let go when you have no choice. Your maximum effort produces no more reward. You move on, with no regrets. You are satisfied with your decision.

  • You quit when you lose the desire to achieve. You have stopped giving it 100%, but you are left with regrets.

When should an entrepreneur quit?

Your business started well. It was a great idea, but you started to struggle. Things didn’t go as well as you expected. No matter what you try, you haven’t been able to grow your business. Your dream starts to fade. Is it time to quit?

Here are the four main reasons entrepreneurs quit the business they started:

1. Bad choices

As a business owner, each day is filled with choices to make. You made bad ones. They didn’t work out. They cost money and damaged your reputation. Was it bad luck, or poor judgement? Whatever it was, you no longer have the resource or the will to continue the fight.

2. Everything is a negative

Despite your positivity, everything going on in your business is negative. You find yourself giving reasons why ‘x’ didn’t work out, or why client ‘y’ left. Deep down, though, all the negatives are starting to eat away at your mental health. Is it time to reassess your priorities?

3. Stagnation

Your business has stagnated. Instead of doing the things that will help it grow, you find yourself constantly fighting fires. All this effort is stopping you from moving forward in life, too. You’re clinging on to the impossible. Is it time to quit before you become burned out?

4. Motivation and energy disappear

Your business has ceased to excite you. You just don’t have the energy for it anymore. You wake up and wish you could stay in bed. Your motivation has become a busted flush. You go through the motions of running a business, but your heart isn’t in it. Should you continue to hold on to something that has started to make you unhappy?

When to give up on a business – Is it time to let go?

It may have taken a lot of mental strength to quit your job and start out in entrepreneurship. You launch your business, but then the unexpected happens.

Here are the four main reasons entrepreneurs let go of the business they started:

1. It just isn’t working

No matter what you try, no matter the strategies and plans you put into action, sales don’t budge. You work harder and harder, with no extra to show for your effort. Your work/life balance is skewed the wrong way. Maybe it’s time to move on, learn your lessons, and start over.

2. Times have changed

When you started your business, you were ahead of the game. Your skills were up to date, and the technology you incorporated into your business gave it a head start. Now the tables have turned. The world around you has caught up and moved on. You’ve been left behind. Will the effort to catch up be worth it when you have achieved so much already?

3. You have accomplished what you set out to do

All the goals you set yourself at the start of your adventure have been achieved. You have the lifestyle you desire. Is it time to say goodbye to your business?

4. You are made an offer you can’t refuse

You have been so successful that you have been made an offer you can’t refuse. A buyer has swooped for your business. Should you sell?

Strategic quitting – Knowing how to let go instead of quitting

Though it can seem unavoidable, it is unhealthy to quit. You’ll be left with regrets – the what-ifs that will linger. So how do you avoid quitting?

The answer is to develop your mindset and have an exit plan.

Consider what made you want to start your business, the deep-seated values and purpose that drove you to do what you do. This emotional connection will make it hard to detach from your business.

Understand yourself. Tie your professional goals to your lifestyle desires. When these become unbalanced, then you should consider ways in which you can regain the balance you once benefited from. It may be that you need to take time out, restructure, or alter your outlook.

Always know when it will be time to let go. As your business grows, re-evaluate your perspectives. Life changes, and it is healthy to adjust your business plans to react to the world around you and the events that are shaping your personal life. Therefore, you should have an exit plan, but continually assess it.

Do you have a plan to let go?

With an exit plan in place, and a strategic plan that includes exit plan evaluation, you should never find yourself in the position of deciding to quit. Instead, you will let go. You’ll be fulfilled, happy, and prepared to move on to your next challenge.

When was the last time you assessed your exit plan?

Is your business ‘letting you down’?

Do you feel emotionally drained, and not sure of what to do next?

Business and mentorship coaching will help you get the best from your business and your life. To start the journey toward letting go when you choose, take the Entrepreneur Assessment.


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