Ok I know what you're thinking, isn't quitting wrong? Quitters never win, etc. But let's be real, sometimes quitting can lead to a new chapter in your life is that is positive and allows your personal brand or business to bloom.
Many of us start our entrepreneurial journey by quitting corporate life and somehow as a society, we've made that the fantasy but quitting what we may have thought was our "dream job" is negative and wrong. I say it's time to debunk this myth.
The Time I Quit My "Dream"
For most of my career, a large part of me wanted to become an entrepreneur. I knew I had what it takes to build a business of my own, I just didn't know what exactly. Funny enough while planning a surprise anniversary party for my parents (fresh out of design school) I decided to create invitations and stationery for this event. Word spread and I picked up a few similar gigs with family and friends until one day I received a phone call from a random bride. Within days I found myself creating a logo and building a brand for a business I thought I wanted.
In came Vibrance Designs my bespoke event stationery side hustle. I would always joke that I fell into that business without giving it much thought - but that was the truth. I wanted to see it bloom into something I could take on full-time, but in those moments I never realized how much I needed to let go. It took me almost 10 years to quit! When I did I felt a weight lifted off my chest. Now Vibrance Designs does still exist but today it's more of a passive income, an online shop filled with templates that anyone can easily download and use. Long story short, I quit creating custom work for brides and grooms and decided it was time to focus on what I truly loved - branding. I would have never made it here unless I quit what I thought was my "dream."
To pivot or to quit... that is the question...
Sometime quitting something doesn't necessarily mean letting go of everything - it could mean pivoting. For example, instead of quitting on Vibrance Design's cold turkey, I pivoted and adjusted the business to work for me. The same happened to me when I initially started Roop Creative Agency. My offering looked very different. Newly escaped from the corporate world, I had a bit of a corporate mindset when setting up my initial offering. I saw it wasn't working and made adjustments to my offer to better suit my ideal client's needs. I knew I didn't want to quit because I didn't see those signs (which we will talk about below) but I needed to pivot to make things work.
Just because something isn't working doesn't mean the answer is to quit but to rather study, understand, and listen then pivot to make things work. This might mean letting go of aspects or quitting certain parts of your business to allow others to shine.
There are several signs that it's time to quit (or pivot).
Your passion has faded I remember feeling anxious and stressed consistently when it was time to quit Vibrance Designs. It was very similar to the feeling I would get working in corporate. I wasn't able to focus on building what I was truly passionate about (my branding business) because I was so busy finishing up orders. Spending more time there than where I really wanted to be was dreadful. It's not that I didn't enjoy the work, or meeting excited couples, I did. I just didn't feel like I was spending my time and skillset wisely or to its full potential. My passion was gone and I no longer felt like I was giving 100%. It's ok to feel this way from time to time but consistently is a red flag. That's when I realized I wanted to quit and really focus on building my branding business - because my true passion was helping entrepreneurs and small business owners. There is nothing wrong with passion fading or shifting.
Your profits are low Most times, when your passion fades - so do profits. It's because you're no longer giving 100% to building your business. Or you've realized the need for your service/product has shifted. Not everything lasts forever and if profits are lower than expected it's time to pivot or perhaps move on. Now that doesn't mean if your business struggles for the first few years it's bad (most do and don't make a profit till year 3-5), nor does it mean you're not allowed to have a bad year or two due to unexpected circumstances. However, if you are seeing a consistent decline in profits -- month, after month, year after year it's time to rethink your plan.
Your lifestyle doesn't align It's important that your business aligns with your lifestyle. I've seen this happen to numerous clients, who started as service businesses and realized that their life no longer allowed them to allocate the number of personal hours they needed to maintain a profit. Instead, they pivoted and quit the service-based industry adjusting their offering to be a product. Not only did this allow them to bring more hours into their days - their income became 100% passive. I've even seen some clients who had the opposite and with more time on their hands can now offer more one-on-one services, which they couldn't do before. Several life moments can affect how you align with your work. Whether it's having a child, sending kids off to university, becoming a caregiver or wanting to live in the country and be away from the city. Many reasons why people want a small business is to be able to afford freedom. If you're sacrificing that plus the above then it may be time to rethink things.
At the end of the day, there is a lot you need to consider prior to quitting or pivoting. It's not a simple shift or answer that can be given to the masses because it's so individual. Consider the above and take some time with the information that comes your way. I know for me it wasn't an easy decision to let go of Vibrance Designs the way that I did. It was emotional, stressful and simply hard to say goodbye, but seeing all the facts in front of me, I realized I needed to do it in order to enter the next chapter of my life and take Roop Creative to new heights. I would have never been able to do this with that weight holding me down.
Are you thinking about quitting or pivoting aspects of your business but not sure where to start? It may be time to discuss your branding and see what is working and not working. Consider booking a 1:1 Brand Audit and Coaching Session where we can sit down together and create a real plan that works for you!