From Einstein, to Henry Ford, to KFC, and Walt Disney, stories abound of mega-entrepreneurs who before their mega-success were habitual “failures.”
But is it possible that there truly is a time to “throw in the towel” on your fledgling business?
Deciding to press on in your business when things look bleak can be difficult. Part of you may feel like you simply can’t stand another day. And another part of you may feel like walking away would be the end of everything.
When you truly believe in the vision you have for your business it’s hard to step back and look at everything from an objective perspective.
Today, I’m going to give you four questions you can ask yourself to obtain the objective perspective you need to make a good decision.
Four Questions to Consider Before You Say “Yay” or “Nay”
First ask, “Do I have the ability to keep going?”
Our society admires people who put everything on the line for their dreams. But the truth is we are all human, and we all have limitations. If you stand to lose your spiritual well-being, your family, your house, or your health over your business efforts it may be time to reprioritize the place your business has in your life.
While you have to make every effort to see your business succeed, that kind of damage to your life means you’ve allowed your priorities to get out of order. And when your priorities are out of order, your business can’t succeed anyway.
You have to realize that despite what many would have you believe, your business and your life are not separate. And where you are miserable and failing in one, you will eventually be miserable and failing in the other. It’s time to make first things first.
Second ask, “Am I honestly doing all I can do to succeed?”
If you think you can just build a website, create some business cards, go to a few networking events, and watch the Benjamin’s roll it – snap out of it!
Building a business is hard. It requires intense levels of effort, commitment, and investment. Your business cannot succeed if you don’t get the training you need, if you don’t market effectively, and if you don’t deliver products and services with excellence.
Don’t make the mistake of believing that you can pray for God to make your business a success, manifest your ideal clients, and hope things will work out.
For your business to succeed, you must take massive intelligent action in the right direction. If you’re not doing these things, it may not be time to pull the plug on your business because you haven’t given it a fair shot. But if you won’t do these things, start looking for a job. Business success cannot happen without them.
Third ask, “Have I built a business that meets a need, or fulfills a current desire in the marketplace?”
Slick marketers might have you think otherwise, but you can’t sell things people don’t want or need. If you are doing all you can to turn a profit in your business by getting training, marketing well, and serving your clients with excellence, but you still can’t gain traction – you may be peddling bogus goods.
For some entrepreneurs it’s easy to fall in love with their own idea. So much so, that they are unwilling to accept the fact that it’s not a profitable one. What you must remember is that the fundamental goal of your business is to MAKE MONEY. If you’ve failed to do that, despite all proper efforts, it may be time to find yourself a truly profitable idea.
Fourth ask, “Do I have want it takes to endure the marathon that is building a business?”
If there is one thing I’m bound and determined to get across to budding entrepreneurs around the world it’s that there is no such thing as overnight success.
There may be exceptions to that rule, but generally speaking, it’s a myth. And unfortunately, some people just aren’t cut out for the marathon that is entrepreneurship. And it is a marathon! It’s a marathon run on uneven terrain, with peaks and valleys, unexpected storms, and poorly planned detours.
You’ve got to have mega endurance, training, tools, and support to make it through.
For some people this is a challenge they live for, it’s the reason they chose this road. For others it’s pure misery, and making it to the finish just isn’t worth it. Which one are you?
It’s okay to decide having your own business isn’t for you. You didn’t fail at anything. I promise you, how ever you feel about entrepreneurship, the process has taught you more about who you are and what you want from life.
Some people simply work better in supporting roles, and that is a beautiful thing. Without supporting cast members an entrepreneur could never execute on their own big vision. If you’re a supporting role type of person, embrace that and be proud of it. You’re as valuable to the whole as you would be if you were leading the charge.
All Thing Work Together for Good…for Those Called According to His Purpose
No matter what your heart tells you as you ponder the questions above, remember that one, two, or even three unsuccessful attempts at building your own business doesn’t mean it’s not for you.
“No” doesn’t necessarily mean never. It just may mean not right now. Trust that God will work all things together for your good. Realize that every experience affords you the opportunity to learn something new and become better in life. Recognize that there are many things at play in your life experience that you cannot fully understand or see.
Maybe there is something else you are truly meant to do. Maybe what you think you want right now, you’ll find out you don’t. Maybe you need to learn some things right now that you can only learn through this experience.
Because at the end of the day, you can’t be any other place in your life than where you are right now – there is no other moment than now. You couldn’t have made different choices, because if you were going to – you would have. So, be open to the idea that what might look like a detriment to you is actually for your benefit, and continue stepping boldly into the person you are meant to be.
Where the Rubber Meets the Road
If after considering the questions presented to you today, you still feel at a loss about your path don’t forget to assess whether or not your business is bringing you closer to your purpose and your goals rather than away from it.
If you’re doing work you don’t enjoy, if your health and family life is falling apart over it, or if you’ve made every effort to get your business going and you’ve made no progress, then you need to decide if what you’re doing is worth it.
There is no such thing as permanent failure. You can fail to reach an objective, to bring about a desire result, or to make progress in the way you wanted to, but that doesn’t mean you’ve failed.
Failure is just another word for experience wrapped in a negative connotation.
Ask God to show you what you should do. God speaks all of the time. The problem is – we don’t listen. We might pray or ask for God’s help with something, and then immediately strive to make something happen in our own strength.
And although we are responsible for our actions and must do our part to bring about results in our life, if you’re going to ask God for direction, it would serve you well to stop “doing” for a bit and listen.
Make a point to seek God in prayer and then pay attention as He speaks through His Word, people, circumstances, and directly to your heart.
If you are faced with the decision of whether or not to continue on your entrepreneurial journey, get to a quiet place, talk to God about your need, and ask Him for direction. Then, listen. Think about these questions. What does your heart say?
I bet you’ll know just what to do.