Starting a business is always going to be hard. If it wasn’t, everyone would own a successful startup. And while it’s great to give things a red-hot go, there’s no shame in admitting when things just aren’t working out for you and your business. A successful entrepreneur requires a certain amount of stubbornness, but it can also be the thing that stops them from letting go when they should. So, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur (or even if you’ve been in the business for years), how can you tell if it’s time to let go and move on? Here are the top three signs you’ve got a business going nowhere.
#1. Actually, It Is You…
If you’re feeling lacklustre, the first thing you need to look at is whether your business actually has a future or not. How are your competitors doing? Do they seem to be having similar difficulties and challenges, or are they steaming ahead of you? This is a great way to check whether all businesses within your sector are struggling, or (no offence) whether it’s just you.
Assessing the overall climate and gaining a better understanding of the success of your business practices can give you a clear cut sign of whether you’ve got a dud or not. If you do find your competitors are faring much better than you are, don’t despair. This knowledge allows you to see where you aren’t measuring up, and from there you can make the necessary changes that will hopefully facilitate success in the future. Remember, no one ever fixed a problem without first realising it’s there.
#2. Stranger Syndrome
If you get to a point where you’re unable to even recognise yourself, your actions and your motivations, this is a surefire sign of entrepreneur burnout. Working so hard to get a business up off the ground is all-consuming, and success is great but it’s not worth losing yourself in the process.
Businesses are demanding, and balancing that with a life outside of work is extremely difficult. Without proper care, something has to give, and eventually it does. Every startup adventure will test even the most steely of resolves, but if it’s starting to take a toll on your mental and emotional health, it’s just not worth it. If you feel this is something you’re experiencing, taking a break is the best way to not only give yourself some well-deserved time to relax, but to see whether your heart is still in your project or not.
#3. From Fiery Passion to Who Gives A F—
There’s no denying it, starting your own business is a thrill. Every entrepreneur who ventures out into the world with high hopes, fueled with such a fiery passion their energy levels rival the Duracell Bunny, would agree. It’s normal for that energy and excitement to wane, but if you’re at a point where you’re dragging your feet and have absolutely no desire to even step into the office, that can be a bad sign.
Even at your most exhausted, you should still be able to muster up some enthusiasm for your project. If you can’t, perhaps take a look at why that is. What’s caused you to feel disenchanted towards something that obviously sparked such a passion in you not long ago? Have outside influences dampened the experience, and can that be remedied? Or do you just feel as though you’re fighting a losing business battle?
Quitting something comes with a certain amount of guilt, which is pretty unavoidable. But there’s absolutely no shame in walking away from something that isn’t going to benefit you. While it might feel like a blow to your pride, admitting that your business is going nowhere can only open you up to future projects that have a much better potential. Success is never reached if you hold onto failure, and you’ll never find out what’s in store if you cling to something that is going nowhere.
Author: Ronsley Vaz
Ronsley is the founder & chief day dreamer at AMPLIFY. He is an author, speaker & serial entrepreneur.
He has a Masters’ degree in Software Engineering and an MBA in Psychology and Leadership. He is known as the creator of We Are Podcast – the first Podcasting Conference in the Southern Hemisphere, and the host of The Bond Appetit Podcast and Should I Start a Podcast. He has an audience of over 3 million in 133 countries.