How do you know within yourself when to quit?

Discussion in 'Self Improvement and Being Successful' started by Kay, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. Kay

    Kay
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,816
    Likes Received:
    21
    I'm curious about what your quitting threshold is, for want of a better turn of phrase. If you start a new project and know it can easily go either way - success or failure -, how much time and/or effort do you put into that before you decide to throw in the towel?

    Is there a certain point where you stop entirely or a particular criteria it has to fulfill before you'd continue on and keep plugging away? Do you have your own personal red flags that tell you to quit something? Maybe you listen to your head and not your gut or vice versa when deciding. Please share how you make up your mind what to let go and what tp keep. Thanks!
     
  2. Fergal

    Fergal
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Premium Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    10,575
    Likes Received:
    1,165
    Very interesting questions. The paradox between the "never give up" and "don't flog a dead horse" mentalities or attitudes has always intrigued me. I look forward to hearing when people decide to give up.

    For me, it depends on the scale of the project. When it comes to being successful in business, my mentality is to never give up, however if a particular project or idea is not working, I believe in giving up quickly so that I can focus my time on something more productive and that will yield better results.
     
  3. Tecknowoman

    Tecknowoman
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    2
    I take the fail forward fast attitude. Better to action, test, try and then change tack if needed. It is a difficult balancing act sticking with something or giving up and often it is sticking with it but giving up the current strategy for a more effective one.

    It is a valuable skill to build milestones and decision making points in plans.
     
  4. Kay

    Kay
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,816
    Likes Received:
    21

    Thanks to you both for replying! :) Sometimes I think it can be hard to let go of an idea because it's your baby, if you know what I mean. It's good to be disciplined enough to be able to just drop it as soon as you can see it's not going to work, I agree. I'm wondering now if either of you ever go back to those ideas you've discarded or is it a case of once it's dropped, that's it over and do with for good.

    I'm thinking here about a long, long existing idea I've had for a project that I've never got around to actually setting up because I was working on building other sites. I have copious notes on it and have thought many times on and off about how it would all work. Even though I can't find the time for it, I just can't bring myself to throw them out. These notes have been kicking around for about five years now. Do you ever hold an idea on the back burner for that long?
     
  5. Fergal

    Fergal
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Premium Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    10,575
    Likes Received:
    1,165
    I've also got projects like that Kay, and to be honest sometimes I think it's a little unhealthy for me. When my mind wanders to stuff like that, it takes my concentration away from my core activities, i.e. what I should be spending my time on. It's a bit like hoarding in a way, I keep them in mind on the off chance that I'll use them some day. :(
     
  6. Kay

    Kay
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,816
    Likes Received:
    21
    That's exactly it, it's like hoarding. And I don't think it's healthy either which is why I asked. I'll throw out my notes if you will LOL. :D

    No, I'm just kidding. You helped me make up my mind on that. I'm going to get rid of mine because right now all there are is a distraction. Thanks Fergal. :)
     
  7. PaulPinnacle

    PaulPinnacle
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    59
    I'd like to believe that I follow the fail fast, fail forward (and 'fail cheap' :eyebrow:) mentality, as mentioned by Tecknowoman, but my own stubbornness and determination often do make it difficult.

    The more someone says 'It can't be done', the more I wish to prove them wrong. It then becomes a question of how critical you can be of your own endeavours and how accurately you can monitor the potential it (still) holds.

    I'd love to say I have a system to help achieve this for myself, but it's 100% subjective (and very much depends on the project) but sadly isn't always 100% successful.

    If you do intend on discarding of the idea completely (I read a very interesting article recently relating to Google and how they've managed to turn some of their previously 'scrapped' ideas into major successes down the line - I'll see if I can find it again [they also had a number of ideas discarded where they later ended up 'buying in' the very same idea that had been developed by someone else to great success]), it might be an idea to make it 'public' rather than a total 'discard'.

    It obviously depends on the idea and how local/personal it is, but if you literally mean 'get rid' it'd be a shame to see the effort already invested go to waste. In the current climate, where there are thousands of extremely qualified professionals just itching to stumble upon a great idea and have the time available to develop it, you might be surprised at how keen they'd be to run with your initial concept (potentially with some element of partnership/profit sharing if it's a success). Just a thought.
     
  8. PaulPinnacle

    PaulPinnacle
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    59
    Here's the article I was thinking of.
     
  9. Tecknowoman

    Tecknowoman
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ah Paul I was at an interesting talk the other day where the speaker had us relax, close our eyes and then repeated over and over again "yes" to observe our reaction to that word - Me I had a yeah sure reaction which surprised me. We repeated the exercise with the word "no" and this time I had a terribly rebellious, stubborn "screw you" reaction which also surprised me but explained a few things to me.

    The more you tell me how easy something is the worse I perform whereas the more the chips are against me and it can't be done the more determined I am to make it work.

    Try it and see! Around the room our reactions to these two simple words were very different but go a long way to showing in built reactions to words and situations we face.

    For me it was funny because I have been having trouble making a success at something I know I can, I know is easy to be successful at, that many people say is easy to do and which many with less skills and knowledge than me are doing! That is my yes reaction - it is too easy - tell me I can't!

    All I need to do is change me, my outlook and suddenly things are easier.

    Kay we all have drawers full of ideas cast aside. I have given other people some to do with what they will. Sometimes it is not throwing out the idea but the prority or plan.
     
  10. PaulPinnacle

    PaulPinnacle
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    59
    That's brilliant. I've never come across that one before, thanks for sharing.

    I just done it briefly and have to admit my own reaction was almost identical to yours. I also have to admit that I'm less than surprised with the results :eek:
     

Share This Page