Moments with an M.E.O.

Solosode: Should You Quit Your Business?

June 03, 2022 Britt Lanza Season 3 Episode 123
Moments with an M.E.O.
Solosode: Should You Quit Your Business?
Show Notes Transcript

I have gotten so many messages this month about business owners feeling burnt out and so frustrated that they want to quit, or are questioning if they should quit their business. After the second one, I was curious, and after the FOURTH one today, I knew I needed to make an episode about it. It's totally valid to question yourself, your business, and feel like a lack in sales, especially during these economical times. Episode 123 of the Moments with an MEO podcast is about whether or not you should quit your business. 

In this episode, I go over: 

  • Questions you should ask yourself to do some internal work when questioning if you should quit your business or not. 
  • Why people quit too soon, and a story of a real person and his uncle who learned this lesson the hard way. 
  • My thoughts on the cultural normalcy of the phrase "winners never quit". 
  • If quitting your business is a failure, or not. 
  • The five things you should focus on if your business isn't doing too hot but you're not ready to give up. 
  • Eight things to consider that will tell you it's time to quit your business. 

Connect with Britt:
Instagram @new_altitudes

Check out MilSO Box here:

Britt  0:00  
The guy that they ended up selling this equipment to, he called in a mining engineer to look at the mind and do a little calculating. And they found that the vein, which I guess is like the mining term for like, where all the gold would be, was about three feet from where the derbies had stopped drilling. So this random guy who just got all this equipment for stupid cheap became a millionaire.

All right, yo, today, we are talking about something not so fun and light hearted, but like something serious, and that is, should you quit your business? Now I've had multiple conversations in the last two weeks with more than three like this is multiple conversations with one on one clients who are feeling burnt out feeling frustrated, feeling like they are running a million miles an hour and not pushing the needle forward. They feel like they're doing all this work for nothing. I wrote down a couple quotes from my one on one clients. Today, someone asked me, it just feels like a lot of work. Maybe I shouldn't be doing this. What do you think? The other day someone asked me, maybe this is a sign from the universe, that I'm not meant to be an entrepreneur. We all feel this at some point in our journey, especially in the beginning, when you're figuring out the foundational pieces when you're trying to put together everything to make a full picture of a puzzle. And you're not alone. If you feel this way, either if you have felt this way, or if you feel this way now. So a few weeks ago, I did the podcast episode, I'm going to link it in the show notes. But it was a solo episode on nine ways to get unstuck in your business. You resonated with this episode, which is good. I'm glad that you resonated with it. Because I put it out there when these same clients were coming to me going, Brett, I think I'm feeling burnout. I think I feel stuck. And when you get stuck like that for so long. Eventually the frustration becomes so overwhelming that you're like, should I even be doing this? Should I just give up? Should I just quit. So today, I want to go over the difference between giving up and quitting your business. And I also want to talk about maybe some things that you should ask yourself to figure out if you should quit, or if you need to power through and figure out another option. And I've got those other options as well. So before we dive into some solutions, I think the first thing is like you really need to do a deep dive internally. And this internal work. Nobody likes doing internal work. Nobody likes turning the mirror around, like what's in my heart and what's in my head. But there's quite a few questions that you can ask yourself, that should tell you the answer of whether or not you should quit or not. The answer may not come immediately. This may be something where you have to ponder this for a little bit. This is a big decision, especially if you've been running your business for multiple months or multiple years. I want to start with just some simple questions. So question one, is your ego tied to your business outcomes? And what I mean by that is, does your definition of success of your own personal success? Is it related to your business success? Or is it different because you are not your business? You are a business owner, but you are not your business. And so whether your business is succeeding, or quote unquote, failing, if you will, not doing not performing in the way that you wish it was? Does that determine your internal worth, like how you perceive your worth how you perceive your success level, because I'm here to tell you that your business is going to go up and down forever and ever and ever. It's a constant roller coaster. And this ebb and flow of growth and decline and growth and decline in growth and decline. If you're basing your own personal worth, or your own personal success on your business success then like in a perfect world, which we're not in, that'd be 50% of the time you feel like a failure and 50% of the time you feel like a great success and

so that's not realistic and that's not sustainable. This is not something that you can just be like okay, Brett, I'm just Just kind of snip the cord that's tying my ego to my business outcomes. Like that's not how it works. But being able to identify that that is where you're pulling your own self worth and your own self success level. Understanding that yes, this is how I'm perceiving that is a great first step. There are other things that you can do, you can get a therapist, you can get a business coach to kind of help encourage that, you can have a business bestie to help remind you twice a month, set reminders in your phones, on random days, every month to just reach out to them and go, Hey, just a reminder that you are worthy and that you are successful. Even if you're not like I encourage you to send your business besties texts, have some sort of accountability, have somebody holding you accountable. And again, that could be a coach, that could be a therapist, that could be your spouse, that could be a business bestie to kind of help remind you that that is the the thought pattern and work on removing it. And again, this takes work like this is internal work. The first thing that you should ask yourself is, is your ego tied to your business outcomes and make sure that that's not the case? And if it is, work towards removing that. Number two is is your business hurting you? And this one's deep, but I mean this in multiple ways. Is your business hurting your financial stability? Is it sucking you dry? Are you worried that in three or four months or three or four weeks that you are not going to be able to make whatever bill payment is going to be due? Is your business hurting your mental health? Are you constantly being dragged through the mud by your business? Are you depressed, we have quite a few episodes on anxiety and depression, and how common it is as a military spouse. And I will link those in the show notes as well. I can just tell you right now that your business is not worth your mental health period, like your mental health comes first. We are constantly talking about you know, you have to fill up your cup first before you can pour into others or, you know, when the oxygen mask drops from the aeroplane vent like you're supposed to put your mask on first before you help others. If your mental health is being dragged through the mud because of your business, that is a sure fire sign that you should not have your business right now. Does that mean quitting or giving up? Or does that mean just a pause? That's up to you. But your business is not worth your mental health? I promise you that. Is your business hurting your marriage. There are plenty of military spouse marriage podcasts out there. And there's plenty of military marriage issues and concerns, as it is that we don't need to be adding another one to the mix. So there is a difference between your marriage, hurting your business and your business hurting your marriage. But it's just something to consider as well. If your business is hurting your marriage, what is more important to you? And again, there's no wrong answer to any of these questions. And then if you're doing this internal work, it's also good to ask yourself, why do I want to quit? Would that actually solve the problem? Would that actually fix whatever it is I'm feeling? Would it solve that? And if the answer is no, then what you're feeling probably has nothing to do with quitting your business and has 100% to do with something else. And then my final question for you is does the idea of the business expanding and growing? fill you with excitement? Or drain you of all energy when you think about it? And if your business magically disappeared? Poof gone tomorrow? What's your initial feeling? Is it relief? Is it terrified?

What do you feel when you do that? So from exploring these further and deeper and really sitting on it, maybe setting a timer on your phone for 10 minutes and writing one of these questions at the top of your paper and then just writing for five minutes. You have five minutes. But for five minutes just writing down one of these questions at the top of your paper and then just free writing and whatever spills out don't worry about grammar. It was really hard for the Enneagram three in me, but just write and then keep writing because I promise you you're gonna think that you're done, but that timer has not gone And off yet, so just keep writing anything that comes to your mind. Basically just like word vomit on this page, and then read it back afterwards and see if you can see any common themes or any common emotions that are throughout the piece that you've just written. And you can crumple it up or rip it up and throw it away afterwards. But do this for you do this internal work, especially if you've been sitting there contemplating, should I quit my business, you need to do this, this is huge. This is the difference between being a business owner and needing to sign up for indeed, or you know freshening up your resume. So this is a big deal. So once you've asked yourself those questions, I want to encourage you in a few other areas, just some things to think about and some things that have been on my heart lately. The first being that a lot of people quit too soon. And I want to share with you a story that I recently heard it was on a YouTube channel that I honestly, I don't watch, I don't even know what it was called. But they were talking about quitting too soon. And as I was preparing to record this episode, I did of course, some research. And I found this story and it's about the difference in three feet of gold. So basically, this guy named our you Darby and his uncle, they drilled for like weeks and weeks and weeks, he was like, I'm gonna be, you know, this gold miner in Colorado. And for weeks and weeks and weeks, they were drilling in the hopes of finding gold. They could not find any gold. And so when they just decided like, okay, like, we can't find any gold, we're just going to quit, and we're going to sell our mining equipment to this guy for a few $100. I'm not even joking. And the guy that they ended up selling this equipment to he called in a mining engineer to look at the mind and do a little calculating. And they found that the vein, which I guess is like the mining term for like, where all the gold would be, was about three feet from where the derbies had stopped drilling. So this random guy who just got all this equipment for stupid cheap became a millionaire taught Darby and his uncle a lesson, never to quit. And Darby later became a millionaire in the insurance industry by never quitting again. So this random guy is just like, yeah, cool, like all buy your equipment for stupid cheap. But what he did, which is key, as he called in a mining engineer, this guy was like, I don't know anything. But I can outsource I can lean on someone else in my network, someone else in my community, I can ask the professional ask somebody who knows what the heck they're doing to look at this for me. And literally three feet into digging, they found VA gold that this other guy spent weeks and weeks and weeks looking for he just quit too soon. And I think that that happens a lot. I think a lot of times we get scared. I think the newest statistic that just came out in the last few months is that over 10,000 businesses die or fail, I guess if you want to call it failure, fail every day. Every day 10,000 small businesses die. It's too many. I mean, yes, entrepreneurship is not for everyone. And I don't encourage every single person in the whole world becomes an entrepreneur, I just don't think not only would that not sustain our world, and the communities in the way that everything is structured. But it just wouldn't be sustainable for everybody. Not everybody is meant to be a podcaster or a blogger or YouTuber, or an entrepreneur. And that's just the way of things. But I do think many people quit too soon. They quit right before they strike gold. And they would have never have known that they were that close to gold. Because they quit they give up. So I just found that story really interesting.

I also find it interesting that in our culture in our society, you know, there's this winners never quit kind of mentality, and you just have to always power through. I think that that's kind of BS as well. To be honest, I just don't subscribe to that. I don't think that quitting is necessarily a failure at all. I think that quitting can sometimes be a strong move, depending on what it is in what capacity. People quit toxic relationships, people quit toxic marriages, people quit. Things that are draining them or not serving them people Quit things that are making their mental health worse. And I don't see any of those. As a failure, I see that as extreme courage, a lot of humility. But I don't see that as a failure, I see that as a success for them as a human being.

And I want you to know that no matter what you choose, if you're listening to this episode, and you're like, Brett, I am on my last breath. And after doing all this internal work, from this episode, you decide that this is not for you that you're going to quit your business, that it is not a failure, and that your feelings, both the frustration and sadness, of heartbreak, are valid, whatever it is, you're feeling, you're valid in those feelings. If you have gone through this, if you're like, Brett, I've done all the internal work. And I've decided that my business is failing, quote, unquote, but I'm not ready to give up, what do I do? I've got a couple solutions for you. And then if you are in the other half, where you're like, Nope, I need to quit, I've got some more, so just hang on a second. But what to do if your business is quote, unquote, failing, but you are not ready to give up, you don't want to quit yet. Neither option is valid, quitting or not quitting, they're both valid, and they're both going to be like, whichever you choose is going to be the right answer. If your business is not doing too hot, but you want to keep going, there are really like five things that I really focus on for you. The first is cutting expenses. A lot of times we feel drained financially, and that's one of our biggest motivators for quitting our business is that it's just sucking us dry. It's not bringing in the same amount that it's putting out. And that can lead to a lot of issues both financially and within your marriage, if your spouse or significant other is struggling to see the value in home these extra bills for your business. So I want you to think about what current expenses you have, in particular, the monthly expenses. And I want you to scale back. Now these expenses are called assets. So whether you are paying for software, paying for a streaming service, paying for a website, paying for outsourcing, like really look at all of those things, and figure out what do you need? And what can you live without in your business? And this could be a temporary thing, like until you really start bringing in the money. What do you need to pause? And this could also be a great time to reflect and go, You know what, I've been paying for that for six months, and it is not helping, like why am I doing this? Pay attention to wording in contracts. If you have a contract with someone, and you want out whether it's a coaching contract or something else, reach out to them anyway, even if the contract states something I will say I was in a coaching agreement for a year, I did six months, I did not see the results that I wanted, I did not have the relationship that was promised. And so even though there was like a $1,700 charge to cancel the contract, I went to her I jumped on zoom with her to go over my concerns. We went through everything and eventually I just cancelled and she allowed me to get out of the contract without paying extra. And that saved me over nine grand. I did the thing I really didn't want to do because I hate confrontation. And I just went to her. And so we just talked about it. Read mutually, to break the contract. If you're sitting there going, I've got all these contracts. I've signed all these things. It never hurts to ask. Because if you don't ask the answer is going to be no. And if you do ask the answer might be no but it might be yes. So you're that much closer to a yes by just asking. And if it's a no then it's a no and like this lesson learned. But cutting expenses and scaling back really focusing on the assets, right the things that you're paying for the things that you own their business as well, that really matter and that are really moving the needle or bringing in the cash, because that's the first thing you have to do especially if the reason that you want to quit is a financial instability and we're concerned. Number two, I want you to focus on sales. Sometimes we're too focused on making it perfect on paying attention to all the fancy little details that no one except you are going to notice that we don't actually sell the item. It's not the thing. It's the thing that sells the thing. That's important. Because you can have this thing if you're, you know, making an invention, or you're working on a service, or you have these beautiful crocheted projects are like whatever it is that you're trying to do. If you're just sitting on them, then you're putting out a lot of money for nothing, because you're not selling them. You have to be the biggest sales advocate for your business, because it's just you. No one else is going to sell it for you, unless you outsource and pay for that. But again, we just talked about scaling back. So this is not the time for the excusive Wahlberg, I'm just not good at sales. Because I can promise you that you don't have to be good at sales. In order to be a strong business owner, you don't have to be a content creator on Instagram, in order to be a super successful small business. Those are both myths that social media would love for you to believe but aren't true. And so if you need help with sales, hit your girl up. That's what I'm here for I got you. But this is not the time to say but I'm not good at sales, which means I can't focus on sales, because that's BS. Again, it's not the thing. It's the thing that sells the thing.

Number three is learning. Typically, if you are running out of solutions, if you are out of ideas, if you have no vision left, and the vision could be the biggest difference between success and failure 1,000%. If you're like bread, I've got no ideas, it means you don't have enough knowledge, there's something that you don't know, the more that you know, the more choices you have, and the more solutions you can test. So if you're struggling in an area, or if you're struggling with your whole business, then the current personal development books that you're reading aren't working. The current courses that you're taking aren't working, the current coach that you're working with isn't working. And it's time to mix it up and learn something else. And as we learned in the Three Feet From Gold story, if Darby had outsourced, if Darby instead of quitting his business had gone to the engineer himself. And that engineer had been like, bro, you're three feet from it. Literally success being a millionaire is three feet in front of you, do you think you would have quit? Or do you think he would have kept going? I would really hope that he would have kept going. Really hope that that three feet would have made a difference. If he had known that gold was literally three feet in front of his face. Sometimes it's about learning and sometimes it's about outsourcing to those that know. So sometimes it's just asking somebody else a question. Sometimes it's just asking your coach, or asking your business bestie or asking someone who has no idea, anything about what you do to just get a fresh perspective. Number four, you should focus on relationships and your network. Lean on and reach out to those in your community. Seek help outsource, ask questions. Get involved. Tell people about what it is that you're struggling with right now be open and vulnerable. Because again, that's going to lead to a better trusted brand. If you're on our email list or on Instagram, you just learned about that not too long ago, from our content. That's how you build a trusted brand is by going Hey, guys, like I really need help in this area. Can you help a girl out? Let them know what you need, and people will show up for you. And number five, if it comes down to it and you're like Brent, my businesses quote unquote failing, but I'm not ready to quit or give up. The fifth thing that you can do is you can beef up your business. That includes setting SMART goals, and not giving yourself excuses not accepting excuses from yourself. And you also need to know what you need to know. What do you need to know? Do you need to know more about sales? Do you need to know more about accountability? Do you need to know more about social selling? Do you need to know more about scaling back expenses? What is it that you need to know in order to have the solution to your problem? And then where can you find that answer? Is it a book? Is it a podcast? Is it a YouTube channel? Is it just Google do you just need to google it tomorrow? So beefing up your biz.

Now I want to talk about if it's time to quit, and I've got seven things that will kind of help you distinguish one It's time to throw in the towel. And I'm actually going to add an eighth one, I'm going to start with vision. And I guess this kind of goes hand in hand with number two, which is that your dreams have stopped. Vision can be all the difference in the world. If you have a vision, if you have a passion, if you are motivated, and you can see it in your head, and you've got the dream, and it's probably not time to fold them. But if those dreams have long since died, if the vision is no longer there or no longer valid or important to you, then it might be time to quit your business. If your body is saying that it's time to quit. Now, I've heard multiple business owners even recently, but definitely through the podcasts I edit. For the podcast production team I'm part of, they talk about, they literally were diagnosed with limes disease, or they were hospitalized for weeks on end because of the stress level, or they gained over 200 pounds due to stress in their business. And their body was breaking out in hives. And it was all stress, it was all that mental health with their small business. So if your body is saying so it might be time to throw in the towel. If there's no more passion, if your heart's not in it, if there's no money, if you are dried out if your savings is gone, if you've got nothing, if it's between your mortgage or your rent, and your business next month, it's probably a good time to throw in the towel. If you don't like who's buying your product or service, this may seem off. But let me tell you what if the people bring in the income doesn't matter if your business is a million dollar business, or a six figure business or a two figure business. But if the people bringing in the income annoy you if you don't like them, if you hate working with them, you're burnt out 100% You're burnt out or your messaging is wrong. And it may be time to throw in the towel. If you complain a lot about your business. Here's something ask your friends and family if you complain a lot about your small business and tell them to be honest. And don't be offended if they say yes. But if you've been on the fence between quitting and holding out, and you do nothing but complain about your business day in and day out, it's probably time to throw in the towel. It's not worth it. That's again affecting your mental health and those around you because let's be honest, hearing someone complain about something gets real old real fast if you have sloth syndrome, and honestly, I'd never heard of this term sloth syndrome until I was doing research for this episode. But it makes total sense. It's when it takes you like three to six times longer to get that thing done that you need to do. Like this thing would really only take you 15 minutes, but it takes you an hour and a half or you're constantly procrastinating because you hate it. It's either time to outsource or quit your business. Now this brings me to something really important. It's so, so important to do what you love. But that's not enough. You have to love what you do every day, not just the overall mission. So like, you can't say Oh, I'm doing what I love because the mission of my business is to save the planet. If you don't love what you do day in and day out, you're gonna burn out. That's not like, that's gonna suck. You're gonna hate that.

So you have to love what you do every single day you have to love creating the content or writing the emails or, you know, doing the marketing or creating the projects. And if you don't, you either need to pivot, outsource or quit. That's the options that we get as an entrepreneur. You can outsource it over to someone I have Kayla I love Kayla, because she writes the emails. I don't like writing emails. So she does that for me, which is phenomenal. You can pivot. You know, you're in my heart forever. If you're sitting there thinking of Ross with the couch, pivot pivot. That's like the thing of entrepreneurs is pivoting. We're constantly pivoting, constantly shifting, constantly checking in with our clients constantly figuring out what the new thing is the new trend, the new social, all of that So you can outsource, you can pivot, or you can quit. You can say this isn't right for me. And again, there's no wrong answer. The right answer is whatever is good for you, for your heart and for your brain, for your marriage, for your mental health, for your finances. But you have to love what you do every day, and not just the overall mission. And then lastly, this is the last thing, I'm going to wrap it up here. I totally thought this is going to be a 15 minute episode. And I'm going to do a whole episode on this. But I think it's so important to recognize that real entrepreneurs can work for people too. We need to normalize this. Real entrepreneurs can work for people. I remember, somebody interviewed me in June of last year, just a few weeks, I already knew I was quitting, I'd already put in my two weeks, but I hadn't announced it yet. And she interviewed me to be her business coach, which you can do, by the way, you can totally interview business coaches to find the right one, like that's the thing. But anyway, she was interviewing me and she said, Oh, you're not a real entrepreneur, because you have a nine to five. And I was so shocked that I literally said, Well, I don't think this is going to work out even if I was a real entrepreneur. Like you're not my ideal client, because real entrepreneurs work for other people. And I think it's so important to normalize having jobs, whether that's a nine to five, or even a part time side hustle for your business. It is totally valid to do that. I do that. When I quit. Last year, in July, I became a part time contractor for mill Savox, I became a contractor for another small business running their socials. I did that for a couple people between July and December, where I just ran their Instagram and their Facebook, I have been doing the podcast production agency where I literally just edit other people's podcasts through this agency for over a year. Now it'll be a year and a half in the next month or so. And that's just a way for me to fuel what I'm doing to be able to put food on the table to be able to pay for my beautiful house that we just bought. while also being full time entrepreneur, I am my own boss, I choose who I work for and how long I work for them and how I work for them and what capacity and I set my boundaries. But I am not above having a secondary job like your Etsy shop does not have to provide all of the income that you provide for your family, you can have a second option, you can have a second job, you can have a second side hustle, you can have a nine to five, and you are still a real entrepreneur, even if you do that. So before I get lost on this tangent because this is something that really gets me fired up. I will have an episode on this soon. But I hope that through this episode, you either said oh my gosh, but I feel so much better. I just really need to focus on my business. Or you said oh my gosh, Brett, you know what, this is heartbreaking. This is sad. I've put in so much work and I'm so frustrated. But this just isn't gonna work out and I need to quit my business. No matter which direction you go. I just truly hope that this episode brought you direction brought you focus brought you some things that maybe you hadn't thought about maybe brought you a light chuckle because I love adding humor to really heavy conversations. And maybe just maybe tomorrow, you can actually look around and go wow, I love what I do every day and I get to do this every day. Alright y'all take care