Winners Never Quit — Baloney!

We’ve all heard the old adage, “Winners never quit, quitters never win.”  Is that really true?  Does that mean that if you’re driving from Detroit to Miami and you suddenly realize you’re actually headed for Savannah you would simply continue on?  Or even speed up?  Or just “try harder?” Of course not – you would immediately correct your direction, even if it meant going back to Atlanta to get back on the right road. 

Why is it that in jobs or businesses people often believe that if they just persist, somehow things will get better?  And that they need to be loyal and never show signs of “giving up?”  

In this week’s 48 Days Podcast I answered this question from Margaret:
“I would like to know what to do when you are working so hard and everything seems to continue to fail. Do you change plans or what?”

I quit

Quitting a job does not mean that you’re quitting your commitment to provide for your family.  Quitting a business does not mean that you are walking away from the thrill of controlling your time and income.  Quitting a ministry or non-profit organization does not mean that you’ve given up on your desire to change the world or help the less fortunate. 

Your job, business or ministry are just tactics to accomplish your bigger vision.  Your “purpose” or “calling” define the big goal.  If your job is clearly a dead end, it makes perfect sense to quit, take your skills to a better fit and release your ability to provide for your family.  If your business is failing, learn from the experience and start in a new direction.  I constantly have areas in my business and personal life that are on the bubble.  If they are not proven successful in a very specific period of time – they’re gone – I quit but keep moving on to success in other ways.
Here are my recommendations:

  • If your job provides nothing for you but a meager paycheck, plan to quit and be gone in the next 30 days.
  • If you have been running your business for one year and after expenses it’s only netting you $500 a month, quit and find a new venture.
  • If you started a non-profit and after two years you find that you are spending 80% of your time on administrative work and have no real economic model for continuing, consider linking arms with an established organization.

 Winners quit – they quit quickly and often.  Yes I know we hear that quote about nothing matters but persistence, but if you are a duck trying to climb a tree, all persistence will get you is web feet that are to sore to even swim well.  Have the maturity and guts to quit the ineffective things in your life. 

While we’re at it, ask yourself if these well-known adages are always true:

  1. The customer is always right
  2. Everything happens for a reason
  3. Never judge a book by its cover
  4. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks
  5. Absence makes the heart grow fonder
  6. Better be safe than sorry
  7. Good fences make good neighbors
  8. You can’t have your cake and eat it too

Don’t let commonly accepted clichés misdirect you from the unique path you are on.

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24 Responses to “Winners Never Quit — Baloney!”

  1. Timothy Peterson Says:

    Hello, To whom it may concern my name is Timothy. First i like to say thank you for all the encouraging letters you send via email it has really givin me a different perspective on life. Right know i am in the same type of situation you wrote about in your article winners never quit. This so much on time, everthing described about finding a job that allows me to be and to be challenged is not where i work now. I need to buy a house because i for the past several years i owed taxes. So my plan is to pay these bills i have on my credit report which amounts to about 1,000 dollars which will bring my score where it needs to be. My plan is to work this job long enough to get the house and then quit and seek employment that best fits me.If you have any tips or suggestions please do not hesitate to emaill me back i would greatly appreciate the adivce you give. Plus i need a mentor that could help me navagate through tihs season in my life the early 40’s if you know what i mean. Well that’s it for know thanks for reading my comment.

    God bless
    Timothy Peterson

  2. Jim Harstad Says:

    I agree Dan with your comments on never quit ! After 25 years as a fulltime income from Amway/ Quixtar and 14 years at diamond Club I watched the big ship sink 10% a year for 8 staight years. The people were starving and 90% were making less than $500 / month after 5 years of seminars and effort. The major problem is when you make a stand and leave the business, the organization demonizes you rather then being honest with the people. It was like breaking out of a cult. Sad but true. Jim

  3. koos Says:

    Thanks Dan
    I have been Pastoring a Church for the last for years and even though we did all the right things. Outreaches seminars guest speakers etc. Everybody that visit say they don’t understand why we don’t grow because its a good atmosphere and all that. After years we only have people in attendance, but has let over to the Lord personally. I’ve taying with the idea of just doing evangelistic work but did not wat to be loser because only losers quit
    Thank you for you timely e-mail

  4. Melody Says:

    Great article! And very timely in my case.

    Over the past few days I have been introduced to a lot of new people and each one always wants to know what I do for a living. My response always starts out, “Well, I am an Instructional Designer by trade but…” What comes next is usually an excuse about the poor economy and lack of money in company budgets for frivolous things like training. The statement works well but the truth is that I quit my 80+ hour a week, life-draining job in corporate training over a year ago and began writing. I made great money as an ID but I got tired of coming home to find that my friends had gone camping without me or I had missed another of my niece’s softball games. It has been 18 months since I started freelancing and in that time I’ve had some financial difficulties that would have been a non-issue with my corporate salary. This, and the frustrated looks of my friends and family, has made me question if I’m doing the right thing. I’ve been hearing a lot of adages lately as folks try to tell me that I need to go back to the safety and security of a well paying job and get rid of the headaches that come from constantly scouting for new projects and shuffling monies around. I don’t want to quit pursuing my dream so instead I think I will quit listening to the detractors in my life and focus most intently on having my cake and eating it too.

  5. Jay Shetler Says:

    Hey Dan, your blog reminded me of a poster I saw at, a very funny (and sometimes profound) “demotivational” website. It is a poster of a tennis player on his knees with his hands in his face in utter failure. The caption below says this:

    Quitters never win, winners never quit, but those who never win AND never quit are idiots.

    If you go to and click “demotivators by name,” you can see that poster and all their others! It will give you a great laugh (and maybe some gift ideas for co-workers and friends).

  6. John Shoemaker Says:

    Wow! You hit the nail right on the head.

    For the last two years I’ve worked in a job creating a new sales division for a national non-profit. I’ve learned some new lessons (patience, etc) but I absolutely hate the environment.

    I’ve usually worked for myself…and would walk away from projects that didn’t fit…but for some reason I’ve been holding on to this one…and have literally been sick to my stomach for the last ten months.

    Holding on to security is costing me my sanity…and health.

    Thanks, John

  7. Dan Says:

    The challenges of the unknown may be somewhat intimidating – but the alternative of “holding on to security that is costing me my sanity…and health” or hoping that by hanging on with a company you will experience “the safety and security of a well paying job” are considerable worse options. I’m meeting with executives from all over the country who thought they had safety and security only to discover it was only an illusion.

  8. Jim Blakeslee Says:

    Dan, I attended your seminars when they were in the churches halls of Nashville back in 1998. I had retired from the US Army Special Forces and was searching for what I was supposed to do after all that adventure. We learned that what we were looking for was what we had left…..adventure! So, my wife and I used Dave Ramsey’s plan to get out of debt in 1999 and ever since then we’ve been walking out of employment positions every time our interests were put behind the “company line”. My wife and I (combined) have been to the UAE, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq as government contractors (doing what we did in the Army for much more money), Germany twice (and saw all the castles!), Alaska (what an years adventure that was!) and South Carolina (hot muggy and full of crime) all in the last 8 years. We recently paid cash for 17 acres and a small house in Arkansas where we are going to have a rock farm and pretend to be retired. Yeah baby! You will never know what lies on the other side of the river unless you jump in and swim across. At the very least you will have had a bath when you get to the other side. :}

  9. Marshall Johnson Says:

    After 40+ years working for peanuts and trying several businesses; stuck in a dead end corporate sales job (all in broadcast and advertising), I quit and took on the challenge of running three small radio stations for an owner who needed help from someone with my background and education. Finally, I love my work to the point what my paycheck looks like is not a priority. How well the company does I run and how quickly my people progress is really my reward. As the company grows and the people grow, so does my paycheck. I love what I do and my job each day is to advance; just plain advance. I don’t wait for things to get better. I seek constantly for the better things.

    A final thought: God is my source. And as my creator, I must have faith in his love and direction and purpose for my life. I read Jer. 29:11 everyday. He has a plan for all of us.

  10. Tim Says:

    Dan, just a from a former 212 member (but just joined 48 Days Net!) I have finally narrowed down my passion. Many thanks for your input.

    I am wondering HOW one should practically plan to leave their job with a meager paycheck in 30 days? After three years at salary, my contract ended July 31 and I have been offered non- guaranteed hourly teaching beginning in September. So I really need to find something more stable.

  11. Bob Roman Says:


    Great Stuff. I am stuck in a job that pays very well. The infamous “Golden Handcuffs”. I would like to do something else with my life but at 53 it is very difficult to make a decision like that. Thank you so much for this post and the one on being a seminar/workshop leader. That is what I want to be.

    Bob Roman
    Milwaukee, WI.

  12. Andy Traub Says:

    Dan Miller…you are the man!

    “Winners quit – they quit quickly and often.” You just wrote my biography for the last two years. I’ve quit 4 jobs in two years and it’s been awesome! People think I’m nuts and it’s great. I love what I do because I choose what I do. I do what I do because it’s what I’m good at and what blesses other people. I could make more money doing something I don’t like to do but that’s no way to spend 40+ hours a week now is it?!

    Winners do quit…and I’m happy to declare that I’m a quitter.

    Sometimes quitting helps you win in life. You’ll never see THAT on a pillow!

    You’re a blessing – Great post brother.

    Your Techie Friend,
    Andy Traub

  13. Jean-Paul Holcomb Says:

    Thanks for saying that out loud. I have repeatedly chosen to be too loyal to jobs that were not helping my family’s income. I am starting the process of finding the work I love. Thanks also for the suggestion to commit to being gone in the next 30 days. Here goes.


  14. Joe Paretta Says:

    “Quit” is one of those words that has a negative connotation. “Change” is another of those words. However, we need to see quitting and changing as essential to our growth and to fulfilling “The Call” on our lives.


  15. Jennifer Bunderle Says:

    Phew – glad to read this – a nice articulation of what we’ve been living! I do take exception to your suggestion to question adage #2 “Everything happens for a reason.” I actually believe this to be true; I may never know the reason or reasons, but I do believe in a sovereign God and I have absolute confidence that He has reasons far beyond my comprehension.

    Thanks for your courage to question what have often been perceived as “adages to live by.” Great food for thought!

  16. Gigi Says:

    Hello Dan, I just like to say thank you for allowing me to post your article from “intouch” on my blog. I just purchased your book “No More Mondays” and it’s awesome!!!

    My passion is to inspire people to go after their dreams. I am learning as I go. And I hope to touch as meany people as you have.

    One of my goals is to do motivational speaking and work shops in my community, letting people know that they can live your dreams (it’s no easy, but it is possible).

    I am not making the big bucks at this time, but I know it’s coming (what ever I set my hands to shall proper. Duet 28: 1-2. So, I am moving along in faith.

    ps. Thanks again and blessings to you and your family.

  17. John Says:

    Hi Dan,

    Liked your article about “Winners Never Quit – Baloney!”

    Just wanted to comment about one of your other well-known adages. I agree with you about all of them except, “Everything happens for a reason.” Because everything does happen for a reason (kind of like the cause / effect reasoning), we may not like or agree with the reason but it happens.

    By the way, I am living proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks–just ask my wife! LOL



  18. Winners Never Quit « N2ition0709's Blog Says:

    […] […]

  19. Roy J. Lyons Says:

    The only one in your list that I believe to be an absolute is, “Everything happens for a reason.” Sometimes we just don’t know what the reason is.

  20. John Gowan Says:

    Good article. I agree with the main point that we need to quit the “wrong” things in our lives. I do believe though that perseverance is one of the keys to success. However, I think there is a big difference between perseverance and bull-headed stubbornness. I think the trick is to determine whether or not the endeavor is part of God’s will for our lives. If we feel that God is leading us down a particular path, then we should persevere no matter what. On the other hand, perhaps the never-ending obstacles are God’s way of telling us that we need to pursue a different path.

  21. Solomon Aror Says:

    Thanks Dan,

    I really appreciate your mail. Why should one continue in moving in the wrong direction in the name of not quitting? The ultimate goal of our lives is to glorify God and accomplish his plan and purpose for our lives, which may not necessarily be tied to a particular organization or workplace.
    One should not just quit simply because –it seems it’s not working–. but that the prospect of ones overall goals and purpose are not being accomplished by continuing in a particular direction.
    Having a change of mind and being double minded are not one and the same. Winners will have to ‘quit’ when it is necessary.

    God bless

  22. Karin Says:

    Like the others on this post..this came to me at the perfect time. I just started a new business line at my company. It’s going well at all and I think they should just quit and move on to something else. They disagree. In fact, they are blaming the failure on me and are working on getting rid of me.
    I’m a step ahead of them…working on my next steps. I’m trying to stay positive and this article is really helpful.

    God Bless

  23. chris Says:

    This is one of those unique quandaries. There is a time to quit. Seth Godin talked about it in his book The Dip. Yet I’ve heard Dave Ramsey discuss that too many people give up on a business or product line too soon.

    But really when do you quit? What if it meets all your criteria and the plug is pulled, yet sticking to it just a bit longer would have reaped the rewards and more that was being looked for?

    There are some who seem to have a knack and are able to quit and land on their feet running. Others repeatedly crash and burn. How does one develop that knack?

  24. Marshall Says:

    An August 12, 2009 re-dux: On October 1, 2009 the owner of the business I am managing comes into the my office and apologizes for his lack of attention and fires me for no particular reason. The previous 5 months saw a 28 percent sales growth, a 25 percent decrease in expenses, a consolidati0n of operations, complete compliance with regulatory agencies and a plan for the next 2 years. He pointed out that he had the best staff he has had ever. So, what went wrong?

    Here is the answer. When we enter into a job, relationship or other situation, do we ever plan our exit strategy? The answer is, NO. Most of us have learned that would be negative thought and selfish. That would be the lie we believe.

    When we negotiate our employment agreement or start our own businesses, do we plan how we exit when necessary? Life is going to throw what it wants to at us. It is better to be prepared. We hang onto a bad situation too long because we have not planned for our exit.

    When we buy a new or used car, we take a look at the resale or depreciation value to help make our decision. Why don’t we do that with other situations in life. Even in the happiest and most successful ofl marriages, one of the partners is bound die before the other. What are the plans in case of an untimely demise. What is the next step?

    Yes, planning for the end at the beginning is very difficult. It mosttimes hurts. However, it helps us make better decisions in the beginning for those we love and ourselves.

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