I was inspired a while back from a question about when to call it quits in business. Let me start with a brief intro and some background about myself and my personal business journey, otherwise you would have no reason to listen to my advice.
I want this answer to motivate you and I want this answer to enable you to think logically about your current or prospective venture.
My name is Mike, I am 36 years “young” and I am just an average guy living in Texas with my wife of 10 years and our 3 girls. I am a web developer and besides a few software sales jobs in my early years, web development has consistently been a incredible passion of mine.
I kicked off my entrepreneurial career in 2006 creating a business by the name of Vessio, offering website maintenance and development services.
While my business is now thriving and consistent, this was not always the case — it took 7 excruciating years of scrapping by, living off of peanuts, bouncing from apartment to apartment, and constantly trying to re-innovate my process to establish some sort of traction for the business.
Finally, in 2013 I saw results. I began to collect the rewards of all of my past failures, all of my accumulated knowledge from years of “trying”, and most importantly began to feel accomplished.
If it wasn’t for my relentless passion in the field I was pursuing, my business would never have seen the light of day.
Here’s what I learned
In my experience, if your business idea feeds your soul and energizes you, the only other ingredient you need is time.
Usually when you get the feeling of reduced passion and motivation for a project or idea. That does not mean it is time to quit. It usually means you simply need a minor positive “win” to reignite your ambitions for the venture.
We (as in humans) are quick to give up without quick results but most startups take an incredible amount of time to gain traction. My advice would be that if you feel like giving up, it means you are not working hard enough.
Give it more time. Give it another creative push.
When should you give up on your startup or business?
I am only qualified speak for the online space in terms of business ventures. In this regard, if you have exhausted all efforts — paid ads to gauge real interest, experimented with social interests, successfully used organic placement from publishing contextual content, and you have still found that targeted prospects are not expressing interest in your business or idea.
After 2 to 5 years, it might be time to re-evaluate your idea or come to the conclusion that the market is not yet ready for your idea.