Everything’s not going to go perfect. You’re going to have some losses that you’re going to have to bounce back from and some things that are a little unforeseen that you’re going to have to deal with. ~ Tony Dungy
You want to be a good leader, and you feel that this means you go to the mat, all the time, every time. But sometimes, it’s just time to say “Okay, enough, time to pack it in.” How do you know when it’s time?
Give Up? Really?
Sometimes the best possible course of action is to just give up. If you’re bogged down in a bad project, or you’ve lost your focus, maybe it’s just time to pull up stakes, say “enough already,” and move onto the next thing.
If this sounds too much like one of those horrible “art of failure” posts, sorry. That’s not what’s intended here. We’re not telling you to embrace failure and learn from it – we’re saying that sometimes, you just have to cut bait. Let go. Move on. Don’t look back. When there’s nothing you’re getting, and there’s nothing left to give, it’s done.
Ask yourself, can anything be salvaged? Answer honestly. If you’re saying “no,” then give up.
1. How Do You Feel?
Have you lost your enthusiasm for a project? Does your pitch to a potential customer sound something along the lines of “I guess you don’t want to buy my product… I don’t blame you.” Are you to the point where you can’t muster up so much as an iota of enthusiasm for whatever it is you’re trying to work on? Do you just want to crawl under the carpet and die? When people talk about your project, do you do everything you possibly can to change the subject? Give up.
2. Are The Numbers Wrong?
You’re looking at the financials for your project, and everything’s upside down. You’ve got more going out than you have coming in. Profitability? Oh, as if! If no amount of change or tweaking is going to make a difference, what do you suppose you should do? You got it – give up.
3. Do Other People Think You’re Wasting Your Time?
If you’ve given your all to an idea, focused hard, worked like crazy, and it’s still not working, and people outside your main frame of reference are saying “Why are you keeping this up?” think about what you’re doing. Evaluate your progress. If there isn’t any progress? Give up.
4. It’s Hard to Let Go
No one is saying that giving up is easy. Often, you want to keep on going well beyond the point where you should just pack it in. Maybe your reputation is at stake, or maybe you’ve sunk too much of your own money into a project to feel comfortable just letting it go. Maybe you’re even approaching personal bankruptcy. Here’s a news flash – if any of this sounds familiar, you’re definitely in too deep. So what should you do? Give up.
If there’s no hope of recovery, no possibility of pulling it out of the fire, you might just have to accept the fact that you’ve failed. You took a risk, you experimented, and it didn’t work out. There’s no point in drawing things out, you have to give up!
5. Don’t Bother With What If
What if you’d done things differently? What if you’d done B instead of A? What if you’d taken Route C instead of Route D? Oh, for heaven’s sake, stop it. You can’t go back and rewrite history. Everyone makes bad decisions, and everyone has things they wish they’d done differently. You can’t go there – if you do, you’re just going to end up out more money and nothing’s going to change. It’s time to give up.
6. You’re Only Human
You made a mistake. Years are gone. Money’s down the toilet. What do you do now? You give up. You move on. You do it better the next time. Push the button on that ejection seat, get out of there, and give up.
Pick up, move on, try again. Don’t chase a dead dream. Know when to give up.
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