I know. Reading the title of this post makes you uncomfortable, right? It made me uncomfortable to write it. In the business world we are constantly told to keep going, keep pushing, don't quit. It's like a mantra now, "Never surrender, never give up!" And you know what? They're right... until they're wrong. Wait. What?
I've been in the self-employed game and startup world my entire adult life. And unless I get an incredible offer from a company that I admire (you know who you are), I'll probably always work for myself. After all, I've gotten so used to checking that self-employed box when filling out forms. But when is it time to quit?
Since my last "successful" company had to close it's doors I have been involved in no less than 10 ventures in the past five years. Yeah, it sounds like a lot because it is. I see the potential in so many projects that it is hard for me to say no, usually to my own detriment. But I always give my all when starting a new project. A couple of these have worked out and the rest have fizzled out, for various reasons.
Over these past years I've started and abandoned most of these companies, while only keeping the couple that worked. I fully believed in the potential of each one, otherwise I wouldn't have started them, but potential does not equal profitability. And the sooner a project is tested and evaluated, the sooner you can decide to adapt or abandon it, moving forward and onto your next project.
I hear people complain all the time about how hard things are, about how tough life is, about how unfair things are. And yes, sometimes life can be a bitch, and yes, sometimes the stresses of life causes that damn nerve in my eye to start twitching, but over all, just quit it. Quit whining. Quit complaining. Quit blaming. It doesn't help. By all means, share your thoughts, share your feelings and share your fears. But please, don't stop there! Keep going!
People wish for all sorts of things in life, and perhaps we are in an age where someone can truly be almost anything they want. The world is literally at our finger tips. The complete knowledge of all mankind, from the beginning of time, is located in that small object in your pocket. Anything and everything you might want to explore, right there, a few keystrokes away. Want a better job, take classes. Want to improve your knowledge or skill in something, watch a video or read articles. Want to meet someone, there's an app for that. Or maybe you want to start a business? Thanks to technology, you can launch and test a business in a few days, or even a few hours. Amazing.
But it can be hard to take that first step. It's easier to destroy than build. And it's easier to complain than create. I watch in amazement how people spend every available second texting, messaging and playing games. I'm as susceptible as anyone, and have spent my fair share of time glued to my Xbox but it's a trade off, like anything else. I intentionally delete all games from my phone, as they are time-killers. I choose to use that time to help further my personal goals.
It may feel like you have no time, but what if you started using those minutes you "fill" with distraction, and started taking advantage of your precious time? It's not easy. Apps and games are built to engage and addict. And they are just one more thing you'll have to quit. Believe in yourself. Invest in yourself. Spend your time becoming the person you want to be, whatever that may be.
There is only one thing you can never quit. Never ever quit on yourself.
Follow Dean Soukeras on Twitter: www.twitter.com/dsoukeras