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TII #011: Should You Quit Your Project?
A list of signals indicating whether to quit your project or not.
Reading time: 2 minutes
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In the past 2 years, I have built several projects, many seeing little to no success some seeing decent success in terms of money earned.
One of the things I struggled with in the beginning, was knowing when to quit working on an idea to focus on something else.
There are many ways to deal with this, one being a challenge like “12 startups in 12 months” like Pieter Levels famously did.
A challenge like this serves a few purposes. One of them is to make sure you don’t procrastinate on launching and testing whether there is any interest in your product or service.
But what if you aren’t doing a challenge like this?
What if you have an idea that just takes longer to realize, or maybe you don’t have the time to work on something full time?
How do you know when to call it a day and focus on something else?
Here is how I figure out whether to quit an idea.
Listen, I get it.
You've been working hard on this project for a while, and it feels like you've hit a wall.
It’s fine to continue for a while and “not give up” or “overcome the challenge“.
But there comes a time when you've tried multiple approaches and still aren't seeing results.
This is when you should reevaluate.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a cookie cutter method to knowing when to quit, but recognizing the following signals should help you make your decision easier.
In the beginning of building something I’m always enthusiastic.
Nothing can stop me working on the problem and time flies by working on it.
But this phase doesn’t last forever.
Especially if there is no progress in terms of sign ups, sales, etc. building the software or business quickly becomes a chore.
Unfortunately, when you lose your motivation your work also suffers. It becomes harder to concentrate and to focus on what needs to be done.
Look out for times when you feel like this multiple days in a row. You might have hit your motivation low.
As we get older, get more experience and meet different people our goals evolve.
Maybe the project you have been working on doesn’t fit your current mindset and goals anymore.
One thing I noticed in the past year was many people want freedom or rather autonomy to do what they think is best.
I noticed for some of the projects I have built, they are actually leading me further away from my goals.
This is when I decide to take a step back and reevaluate whether I’m doing the right thing.
Be honest with yourself and make sure that your projects align with your long term vision for your life.
I absolutely love learning.
Learning daily stimulates me, makes me happy and keeps me going.
It doesn’t matter whether that is something technical or learning new marketing tricks to grow the business.
As long as I’m learning, it feels like I’m personally progressing.
Even if you decide to kill your current project, you still carry the learnings from that project to the next.
Without the fulfilment and stimulation we get from learning, it often makes work arduous and borderline unbearable.
At the end of the day, we are building these projects to serve us. If they don’t do that, it’s time to reevaluate.
Now, I know it can be tough to let go of a project you've poured your heart and soul into.
But remember, "quitting the wrong work is necessary so you can make room for new and more fulfilling opportunities."
Take a break, reassess your goals, and trust yourself to make the right decision.