“Of all the stratagems, to know when to quit is the best.” Chinese Proverb
You started your business for a reason. Maybe it was to provide for your family. Maybe it was because you had a great idea or concept. Whatever the reason, you believed in it enough to become a small business owner. Good for you.
The stark reality of being a small business owner is that 4 out of 5 of you will fail within five years. Read that again, the odds against you failing are 80%.
Today, I am going to talk about believing in yourself, and for giving yourself the best chance for success, but if after a few years, you are not at least paying your bills from your earnings from a full time effort, well, it may be time to consider something that no one in this country ever talks about. Quitting.
Why is talking about quitting so taboo in America? A quick look at the self-improvement, motivational market reveals that it is a market that generates over $12 Billion per year. A lot of money is being generated to motivate you and convince you not to give up. There are many household names that have been made by brilliant marketing companies that have crafted very well created imaging. Self-made people who perservered against insurmountable odds in order to succeed. While that may be true in some cases, in most the person didn’t overcome any more difficulty than you deal with every day.
In America, because 75% of all jobs that are created are from small business owners, it is imperative that owners are motivated and encouraged to stick with it. The gravy train of income taxes, self-employment taxes, fees, and such are an important source of revenue for the country. The tax burden for self-employed business owners is almost never discussed openly. It is too shocking to even think about to some.
I want you to think about quitting. That is right. In every case, it is ok to quit. It is your choice. Step away from the cultural bias that we have been brainwashed with over the years. Where hard working Americans stick it out in good times and bad. Think only of yourself today. What about quitting? I want you to look at this realistically. Spending another three, four, or more years chasing a dream that may never succeed isn’t being tough or savvy. It may be foolish, and a waste of important years of your life. What if you did throw in the towel today, and got a job somewhere else? What is tomorrow you woke up without the constant stress of getting through your day as a struggling small business? Would that improve your life?
One of the smartest people I ever met from my youth, who also happened to be pretty wealthy, told me ‘kid, it’s not about knocking it out of the park, it’s about hitting a lot of singles.’ His point was that you could swing for the fences, and strike out your entire life. Or, you could go for sure thing deals that were easy to execute and sell. Do a lot of them and build real wealth. I heard what he said, but it wasn’t until decades later that it really sunk in for me. You are not married to your business. It is merely a vehicle for you to build wealth. Know when to step away from it.
I don’t need to motivate you in this post. You can find plenty of motivational quotes all over the internet. But I do want you to think about the process of separation from your business. Another really smart guy I know, who is a founder of one of the largest PE companies in the world once told me ‘Never get into a deal unless you know how you will get out.’ Too often we grind it out without thinking about this. The one thing we all have is time. We can use it to build business opportunity, or we can waste it on expired opportunity. The choice is yours.
You started your business for the reason I mentioned earlier. Go for it. Try as best you can.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to constantly evaluate where you are going with your business. And, how you will exit your business. Maybe it is selling it to the next generation. Maybe it is selling it though a broker or banker. And yes, maybe it is just simply quitting. That is ok too. Don’t let anyone make you think it is not. If you need help thinking about this clearly, drop us a line, we are here to help.