When To Call An Idea Quits!
Updated: Jul 18
3 Measuring Sticks To Help You Determine When To Drop An Idea & When To Push Forward
Tips for Entrepreneurs
As an entrepreneur, it's common to get new and exciting ideas. In fact, it can even be overwhelming at times to keep all the ideas straight. But, have you ever let go of an idea and been left wondering if you made the right choice?
Perhaps you felt shrouded in mild guilt wondering if you should have pushed forward, or worse, maybe soon after you called it quits you saw someone else with your idea in the marketplace and kicked yourself for not persevering!
At one time or another, every entrepreneur has moments like these. Today we are talking about how you can tell if it is time to throw in the towel or push yourself onward and how to overcome the debilitating shame or guilt that may hold you back from succeeding in another way.
The Freedom Business Community is for budding entrepreneurs who are looking to build passive income businesses to help them escape the demands life has on them. It's time to CREATE A LIFE YOU LOVE! Measuring Sticks to Test Your Idea Recently I was chatting with an entrepreneur who mentioned she had an idea she hadn't run with and when she went back to pick it back up she realized it no longer reflected who she was and what she was about. Conversely, I listened to an episode of the podcast Big Money Energy with Daymond John the founder of FUBU clothing company who shared his on and off love affair with the apparel business. He experienced failed businesses along the way but kept coming back to the apparel industry where he dressed musician. Eventually, his perseverance paid off HUGELY and he attributes his success to following his why. I'll link the episode in the show notes so you can listen to it. It's a great episode. These two stories depict clearly one of the primary measuring sticks with which to test your idea against. 1 - DOES IT ALIGN WITH YOUR WHY? The first entrepreneur knew her idea no longer aligned with her why and felt completely satisfied letting it go whereas Daymond John kept coming back to his why until he discovered the magical brand that aligned with his personal mission. Discovering your why could be a mission in and of itself. I know it has been for me, but I'll say this... when an idea aligns with my core values and the more clear my values become, the more success I have with my ideas. I have found this to be the case with the Freedom Business Community. I've had the idea to start a membership for over a year, but I couldn't think of specifically what I wanted it to be about, who it would serve, and how it would tie into my overarching brand. One day, after receiving a message from one of the PIE tribe listeners who shared with me her new business idea, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to help people who are desperate to leave their current job or income-producing position and help them create a freedom lifestyle business the way I have been able to. Chills even came over me when the clarity hit and since then the flow has come so naturally. I can relate to the pain of feeling imprisoned by a career, longing for more, longing to have the freedom to spend time with my family, live in a beautiful place, and adventure in nature. All the things I had dreamt about. I was not willing to wait until someday and I know there are others who are in the same position just jockeying to figure out the right move, the right timing, and the right path. My why is to live my best life, be my best self and make lasting memories with the people that matter most. Connecting with others who are ready to fly the coup and reach for their best life is in perfect alignment with my personal mission. You see, testing your idea in this fashion is a great way to determine its worthiness. Pursuing an idea that aligns with your why helps to ensure you will maintain the passion that can be the catalyst to help you persevere through challenges. 2 - DOES IT ALIGN WITH THE MARKETPLACE After you have confirmed your idea aligns with your why also confirm it aligns with the marketplace. Consider doing market research to determine the efficacy of the solution your product offers. For example, I put a post in a Facebook group that said I was looking to interview women who were seeking to leave their job and live a free lifestyle. My goal was only to speak to them to hear what problems they are facing and what goals and dreams they have. In talking with these women I learned a lot about common struggles and emotions that women are facing who feel trapped by life. I also got a glimpse of just how many people are truly desperate for a change. It would be one thing to simply qualify an idea based on market need, but ideas go a lot further when backed by passion and ambition. This is why you want your idea to pass both tests. 3 - IS YOUR IDEA RECESSION PROOF The third test to apply to your idea is to determine how recession-proof it is. This is not an exact science, but I would advise to start by simply thinking through your idea using historical data to test it against. Here is an example, Mary Kay says they are a recession-proof business. It is part of the training new consultants get. They have historical data to back this up since their company has been in business through multiple recessions. They stake their claim on the fact that women love their products and will continue to want to look their best even when money is tight. Working in the automotive industry I noticed dealers did well through most economic situations. When economies were great more people bought new vehicles. In downturned economies people spent money in the service department fixing their vehicles instead of buying new ones.
I also noticed that recreational dealerships - dealerships that sold ATVs, RVs, and motorcycles usually did not fair well in downturned economies. I made a mental note never to take a job in those industries. Ask yourself, when people are barely making enough for food and gas will they continue to buy things like and fill in the blank with what you are offering. Will people continue to invest in coaching? Could you tailor a program uniquely so that it fills a need even to people in a struggling economy? If you think there is a chance your idea could fail in a poor economy then I recommend thinking open-mindedly and ask yourself if you can make it more recession-proof, or are you willing to take the risk and pursue it despite a possible downturn? In short, the three pillars with which to test an idea are; does it align with you, does it align with the marketplace, and is it sustainable in a downturn economy? If the idea meets these three pillars then go for it with all you've got! How to Bounce Back From A Failed Idea Resiliency = the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. You've probably heard the phrase "children are resilient." As a parent, I've had plenty of moments marveling at the resiliency of my own kids as they cope with a stomach bug, knock on the noggin, or even a snappy sibling quarrel. I'll never forget this one time my husband and I were at a Goodwill in Arizona. At the time my oldest son was about 2 1/2 or 3 and he was in a cart with my husband while I had my 10-month-old son in my arms whilst trying to shop for summer dresses. My second born son was one of those young-guns that could not be satisfied with anything that was not his idea. His idea was to run around the store, grab anything and everything off the shelf, and hide among the clothing racks. My idea was to have him sit in the cart peacefully in acceptance of the passing time as I lazily combed through the dress rack. Well, he was not having it and decided to scream loudly in protest. Embarrassed beyond belief I decided to carry him which gave him some satisfaction. Any parent knows that carrying a baby and trying to push a cart is darn near impossible. I decided to just grab the few dresses I had and head to the changing room. On my way, my right foot stepped on one of the dresses that was touching the ground. With both of my arms full my son and went crashing to the cement floor his poor little forehead taking the brunt of his fall while my semi-free wrist took the rest as I tried to protect him. OMG, the moment is so real in my mind it is bringing me to tears just sharing this. His scream was deafening. His forehead was like a cartoon image where the lump boings out in raging redness. Immediately my husband and I dropped everything and left going immediately to the ER which was about 2 miles up the road. I was shaking, my older son was looking around in wonderment grilling me with questions about what happened and my husband was shouting at me while driving grilling me with questions about how my son was doing. I was turned in my chair watching the knot on his forehead continue to rise. It was awful! I was so grateful the hospital was so close. We pulled in, got checked in. Thankfully they got us in front of a doctor quickly because I don't think I could have handled the wait. This next part is no joke- by the time the doctor came in my son was calmly walking around the room exploring everything without a care in the world. You'd have thought that whole dramatic event never happened. Meanwhile, I was in full tear mode. Certain my son was having major brain damage. The doctor observed him, checked him out, held us for observation, and eventually let us go giving us a checklist of things to watch out for related to head injuries. Even driving home I was still feeling the effects of this experience and I went on about it with my family and friends reliving it every time. My son on the other hand was happy as a lark. Some pain reliever and cuddles and he was off playing again. His resiliency helped him heal both emotionally and physically. Later, that same child broke his leg while on a school field trip skiing. Yes, he is my accident-prone kid. Months after the leg was healed and the cast was off he was still afraid to run or put any significant amount of use on his leg even though the doctor gave him the OK. Isn't it interesting as we grow how our memory serves as a block holding us back from moving past traumatic events? We hold onto the memories which essentially keep us from being able to pivot and keep going. Here is the secret to cultivating resiliency. Forgiveness. You see, the only reason we struggle to move on is because somewhere deep inside we are holding onto that quote "Failure" and letting it define us. The cure is to forgive ourselves for our shortcoming, find compassion for the choice we made and empower ourselves to move forward with encouragement. Even now, I still haven't fully forgiven myself for carrying the dresses in a way that caused me to fall. If I had, I wouldn't still be so effected by the memory. That's how you can tell if you have forgiven yourself fully - when you think about the triggering event you no longer will feel emotional. You'll feel satisfied that what happened happened and you can simply learn from it and go anew.
In summary, you can cultivate resiliency and get over your deemed failures more quickly by learning to forgive yourself.
Alright my budding entrepreneur friends, that's it for this week's Monday mindset episode. Until next time. Bye for now.