Know When -- and What -- to Give Up in Order to Move Forward

Giving up is often looked down upon but can be your key to success.

It’s likely that you’ve seen this meme pop up : A mugshot of Winston Churchill, with his characteristic bow tie and cigar, rallying readers to “Never, never, never give up.”

Well, Churchill never said that. What he actually said was “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never -- in nothing, great or small, large or petty -- never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense . . . ”

Another exception should include “entrepreneurship.” Because knowing when to give in, to cast off bad ideas, processes or people who hold you back is an unconventional skill that’s absolutely necessary for building a successful business.

If certain ideas aren’t panning out, you need to know when and what to give up on or you’ll go broke, drive yourself crazy or probably both! Especially in this quickly changing world, you need to be fast and decisive and understand what to give up on.

You can’t just give up on everything because something isn’t working, though. Don’t give up on the overall mission, the big idea.

In order to give up, you have to gain something. It’s necessary to give up in order to pivot, to maneuver and ultimately push forward.

Give up on things that aren’t moving you forward.

You should always be making changes and actively looking for them. I regularly sit down with my director of operations and go through our systems and processes to come up with better ones and toss out old ones.

We evaluate what needs to change to get us streamlined to the next level and we’re not afraid to give up on whatever’s not working.

Sometimes I’m guilty of making too many changes, which can get complicated and convoluted. But, we’re always giving up on old systems, processes, technology -- we’re giving up on things constantly as a company.

Sometimes it’s something like a CRM. Or deciding where you’re putting your marketing dollars, or whether to streamline or outsource a position.

Imagine your success.

Shift your mindset to understand that giving up isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can often be a good thing because it frees you up to consider new paths, overlooked solutions and creative ways around obstacles to success. This is the essential.

Know that you can always improve.

Figure out what you’re doing now that you might just be doing out of habit and comfort. What are you holding on to because it feels safe? Sure, we’ve heard the phrase “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” -- but it can always be better.

It’s important to question your processes: What’s new, what’s better, what’s next. Ask what you’re not doing that you could be doing to make your business more profitable, better for your customers and more satisfying for your life.

Take a measured risk.

Start with something small. Giving up doesn’t have to be giving up on something big. But, you should challenge yourself -- a higher risk can result in a higher reward.

Keep moving forward.

Don’t just give up for the sake of giving up; give up to pivot, to move ahead perhaps in a slightly different direction, but always trying to move forward.

Change demands thought, not impulse.

Give up strategically in this fast-changing world. Consider the models, systems, and processes that move you to your goal. What’s your new strategy? Where’s the data behind it?

It’s vital for you to understand why you’re giving something up because it can go south pretty easily if things are constantly changing. “Why am I doing this?” is usually a good place to start, but remember to follow that up with “what am I trying to achieve?”

As an entrepreneur, you want to protect your “baby,” but you won’t take your business to the next level if you’re stubborn and stuck on your original plan if it’s even just a little broken.

We’re taught that giving up is bad from a very young age so it might not feel comfortable at first, but believe me, it’s very liberating when that baggage is released.

Technology is helping us move on to new and better concepts, systems, ideas so you often give up without realizing it when you upgrade your phone or computer.

Continue to practice the art of giving up and it will pay dividends! 
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