Business – quit or continue?

October 31st, 2016 by Patricia Jehle Leave a reply »

Hold your cards? Or Fold them?

The Art of knowing when to keep on going and when to quit.


Business is a lot like gambling, and oh-so-long-ago a famous country western singer, Kenny Rogers, wrote a song called “The Gambler”- I have known it since my childhood. One of the phrases is “You’ve got to know when to hold them (cards)… know when to fold them.” When to keep playing the hand you’ve been dealt and when to quit.


When do you continue on your chosen path and when do you change and do something new? That’s the question.




  • Your idea is great, your strategy is perfect, you are doing the right things and life is good, or looking good, at least
  • You – and your team – have the right competencies (or are willing to learn them, fast)
  • You are focusing on the most important things, the ONE thing really (always remember that 80/20 principle)
  • You have a decision-making process already in hand to decide if and when change needs to happen and you are willing to change
  • Your systems are workable and they also allow you to focus on your one thing
  • Your income is greater than your expenditures- remember to always keep score of your “takings”, as the Gambler would say
  • You are still very passionate about your idea and you are moving forward with it




  • You are misunderstanding the signs (here’s a most awesome TEDtalk on this: )
  • You idea becomes more important than anything else, including other people, especially those close to you. (are you willing to lose everything to make your idea succeed, and if it still fails, what will you have left?)
  • Your cons now outweigh (even if they don’t outnumber) your pros
  • You can’t answer important questions, like, “Why are you doing this? Why is x, y, or z happening? How did you miss that?”
  • Your short cuts are cutting you and the business short and you are not doing “the job” right
  • You have tried “everything” and it’s just not working
  • The market has changed since starting and the future is not looking positive
  • The only thing keeping you from quitting is your pride and your fear (this is a BIG ONE)
  • You have continued losses with not much change in sight, even with bootstrapping and cutting costs everywhere
  • All that extra work you have done has not made a difference and you still have little to show for it
  • Your priorities have changed and you have a different view on your idea
  • There are probably other very good reasons, too.


If you do it, QUIT with a STRATEGY in Mind


Seth Godin wrote abut quitting in The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) and in it he mentions the difference between a cul-de-sac and a dip, pointing out that when you face a “no way out” situation with a business, it’s time to cut losses and move on to something new.


Make sure you have TIME

Sometimes you just need a break, a refocus and then you can continue, perhaps with only slight changes. If this is possible, it may really help your business idea. Take that time, refocus with a coach, mentor, or a mastermind board and then continue moving.





Mistakes are part of being human, and it is no shame to make them. Remember a failure is not forever and it is (usually) part of your future success. The moment you learn from your mistakes is the moment you are on your way to the next better idea. The moment you accept it isn’t working, admit it and move on, you are already moving in a positive direction.


Remember, quitting the wrong activity enables you to start the right one. Your next idea might just be the perfect one, and if this present one is weighing you down financially, with your time and energy, emotionally, you may not start the next best idea.


A positive attitude of winning, even when you fail, is the key. Be true to yourself and your values and abilities; think positively about yourself even if you fail. Accept and own the quitting and then move on. Be thankful for what you have, what you have learned and remember that the next idea might be your best.


As Kenny Rogers puts it in his song,


Every gambler knows

That the secret to survivin’

Is knowin’ what to throw away

And knowin’ what to keep

‘Cause every hand’s a winner

And every hand’s a loser…


May you next hand be a great winner. I wish you much success with it!


Your fellow business gambler,

Patricia Jehle


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