This article comes from Entrepreneur.
Our rational brain (and Economics 101) tells us to ignore sunk costs, but in reality, that’s easier said than done. Here, a few things to consider when you’re deciding whether it’s time to deploy your parachute.
The act of quitting is emotionally charged, particularly when you worked so hard to attain a project or position in the first place. Our first instinct is often to blame ourselves — if only we hustled harder or longer, things would be better. This can quickly lead to spirals of self-doubt and shame. These subjective experiences can influence our decision-making, leading us to forge on, against our better judgment, in a fruitless endeavor.
A better approach is to remove the emotions from the equation and crunch the numbers. Put simply, determine whether your current business is profitable.
Once you figure out whether your current occupation is profitable, also consider what it’s stopping you from doing and the earnings that you’re foregoing there. Let’s say you’re a freelance designer and thinking about starting your own agency. Those gigs might earn you money now, but they also take time away from a potentially more rewarding opportunity.
According to Godin, the choices we make to pursue one activity rather than another can be expensive, like watching Netflix instead of doing something more enriching: “These hours you could have spent reading a book, coaching the local handball team, or giving back to the community, you chose to be watching television,” he writes.
This might be the hardest question. It means going beyond the surface — past how something looks on paper or what people will think — and deciding whether the day-to-day experience still makes you happy. Of course, there will be moments of stress and even pain, like if we’re on a tight deadline or receive a bad review. But at the end of the day, you should feel your heart is still in it.
Tech founder Mark Asquith shared how he quit his first real business just a year after launching. Writing for Entrepreneur, Asquith explained: “The problem was that I’d become disenchanted, after such a short amount of time with what I had been sold on by the books and the success stories of the people I knew who had started their own businesses.”
He had to “really dig deep” to discover what the issue was, but ultimately, it led him to quit and enabled him to launch another, more successful business that very same year.
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