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Start ups: 3 reasons to give up right now (and 3 reasons why you shouldn’t)

by Stephanie Holland on February 2, 2015

When is the right time to give up?


The first 18 months is a wild ride: excitement; challenge; learning; self-development.

Yet when the excitement of starting up wears off and things haven’t turned out as you hoped (or as fast as you hoped) you might find yourself doubting, second-guessing, and questioning your decision to keep going.

18 months is not a long time in the scheme of things. Not really.

But it can feel like a really long time when things don’t go to plan and your sales cart isn’t ka-chinging.

Everything is taking three times as long to make, create, and launch; your cash is running out twice as fast as you projected, and you’re just not feeling it.

Giving up is always an option. Because what have you got to prove?

Nothing. To no one.

This is your thing. Your life. Your idea, after all.

Do it or don’t do it, to paraphrase Yoda.

But things get to be a bit much. Your survival feels compromised and you begin to feel like you’re on the edge.

Do you back away, or take a big leap?

The truth is you’ll get to this point and have to make this decision daily.

Every. Single. Day.

So here are 3 reasons to give up, and 3 reasons not to … for when you get to this point and you really don’t know what to do.

3 Reasons to GIVE UP RIGHT NOW

1. You no longer have any time, energy, or money

You’re running on empty, or dangerously close.

You don’t even know how you’re going to pay rent next month, yet alone pay all your subscriptions (even the bare necessities like web hosting, an online shopping cart, accounting software etc.). Moving in with your parents is an option but do you really want to go there?

You know no longer wake up full of beans but with a deep sense of dread and What the f*ck am I doing?

Free time? What’s that?

2. Your relationship is falling apart

Not just your romantic one; you barely see your friends (frankly they find your constant bemoaning a bit of a drag), and you don’t even like hanging out with yourself any more.

Over it!

3. Your passion has subsided

You jumped in headfirst raring to go, consumed by the excitement of starting up, but you just feel a bit ‘blah’ about it now.

Basically, you’re tired. Exhaustion & passions aren’t great bedfellows, in fact the former is a real mood killer.

You know exactly what I mean.

It means you you get distracted easily, procrastinate like a pro, and avoid the work!

So what’s the point?!

But hang on JUST. ONE. SECOND, you impulsive decision-maker, you …..

3 Reasons to TAKE A LEAP (of faith. Or whatever). Don’t give up!

1. You’re probably on the verge of a breakthrough

The edge indicates close proximity to extraordinary breakthrough.

Life + business can get particularly gnarly when something is about to tip over into amazing-ness.

There’s seems to be neither rhyme nor reason to this other than perhaps to test your commitment at the last hour.

Do you really want this?

I mean: really, REALLY want this?

As you affirm YES! every day, your resolve strengthens and smashes through walls brick by brick, dismantling the barrier and use those same bricks to build the dream.

(Setbacks are opportunities, right?)

The result you’re looking for is right in front of you.

2. You can scale back: go smaller and smarter

So many aspiring entrepreneurs go in TOO big!

Big money, working 24/7, and MASSIVE ideas.

If things aren’t working out how you’d hoped, strip away all the bells and whistles.

Go back to asking the following questions:

What is the essence of your idea? What is it’s core function? Why is it necessary? How is it game changing? What is the smallest iteration of your idea (product or service) that you could sell/ make/ create/ launch right now?

It’s easy to drown yourself in the detail, the features, and embellishments.

Keep in mind: Many of the (best) biggest ideas, projects, products & services start as really simple things:

Google started as and, when it was in the testing phase and was working under the website of Stanford University. Apple started by selling 50 units of Wozniak’s Apple I Computer at $500 apiece to a local retailer. Even Disney started out small, with the filming of the “Alice Comedies” in the garage of Walt Disney’s Uncle.

Even if you don’t want to create a Fortune 500 company (and especially if you do), why would you start bigger than they did?

Really. Why would you do that?

Gauge the temperature of your idea on a smaller scale, before you go BIG (again).

3. You have the chance to be a leader

You were pretty adamant when you started up it was absolutely the right thing to do.

You sold up and shipped out (metaphorically speaking) to follow your dream, despite the protestations of friends and family ranging from: ‘Are you sure’  to: ‘You’re completely insane.’

Many people persist with their ideas simple because they want to be able to say: ‘I told you so.’

(Bad. Bad. Bad.) Wrong angle.

This just needs a little modification. Persisting to demonstrate the possibilities available to us all – in life and business – is a truly noble deed.

When those around see what happens when you go for it, they’ll be inspired to do the same. Maybe one day we’ll have a world full of inspired people. That’s the dream.

And anyway: Get more rest, exercise and relaxation and you’ll be right as rain. But really do that. The right relationships can weather life. Audit yours: are they energising or draining? Passion needs daily activation. Write down your goals and dreams every morning + evening.

Have you felt the pressure to give up? Tell us your best advice in the comments below for other business owners struggling right now?

Photo credit: Vic

Stephanie Holland - Leaders in Heels Guest writerStephanie Holland is a strategist & traveller passionate about living with a wild vision & helping others do the same. She thinks everyone deserves to live with passion, purpose, and vision, and she’s on a mission to empower aspiring entrepreneurs with perspective shifts & strategic frameworks that slice through the bullshit, smash upper limits, and minimise guesswork of self-made entrepreneurship. Grab Your FREE Guide to Validating Your Business Ideas DREAMS So They Make You Insanely Rich.

Stephanie Holland
Stephanie Holland is a digital strategist and startup coach who got the digital *bug* from the original startup rebels (yahoo!, msn), cementing a career in exploration and discovery that continues to satisfy a crazy curiosity for life in general.Launching her own brand in early 2014 she offers a *killer* combination of vision creation formulas with powerful strategic frameworks so that purpose-driven people can change the world with their own digital-savvy brands. She coaches and consults with some of the most inspiring people in the new economy — so they can change the world, one strategy at a time.
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