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?”
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:
- The customer is always right
- Everything happens for a reason
- Never judge a book by its cover
- You can’t teach an old dog new tricks
- Absence makes the heart grow fonder
- Better be safe than sorry
- Good fences make good neighbors
- 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.