Why Does An Entrepreneur Quit & How Not To Be a Quitter
By Manish J Massy
It doesn’t matter what phase of business you’re in right now — whether it’s the new, exciting puppy love phase, the steady phase, or the momentum phase, at some point you’re going to hit a wall. And when you hit the wall, you’ll feel like everything is going to collapse. You may feel like it’s not just the end of business, but the end of life. And the way you behave and react when you hit the wall creates a habit in your life. And one of the worst habits, if not the worst habit, is quitting. If you pick up this bad habit, you’ll keep quitting, and the next thing you know, every single time you hit a wall, you’ll quit.
I have a system that I’m going to talk to you about today, with different points about why an entrepreneur quits and how to not be a quitter.
However before I even get into it, I want you to think about it in a completely different way. Think about what you worried you about 10 years ago. If you’re 30 right now, think about what kept you up at night when you were 20. Was it a relationship? An argument with your parents? Your bike payment? What did you worry about 10 years ago? Now ask yourself if you even worry about that today. Was it the end of the world? No. The same is true with business. Every single person that builds a big business, has to, at many different points, slay some dragons. The better you get within time, the easier it gets to slay the next dragon.
Now let’s talk about the reasons:
I believe the number one reason people quit is because they’re overwhelmed.
What causes overwhelm? One reason is that you’re performing, building a business, and the next thing you know, one of your competitors is beating you, and you feel overwhelmed. Then you notice that somebody opened a business, and even though they have less experience than you, they’re beating you. You feel overwhelmed. It could be you’re not performing at a level that you should be performing, and you’re overwhelmed. It could be that a mentor of yours is challenging and pushing you, and you feel overwhelmed. Perhaps you’re facing certain financial issues and feel overwhelmed.
You may say things to yourself like, “You know, honestly, I don’t think I can run a business because I’m dealing with my marriage and my kids, and my mom told me the other day that I’m not being a good son.” Or, “I got a text from an old friend that feels like I’m no longer a good friend and I just feel so overwhelmed. I don’t think I can handle this!”
When you feel overwhelmed and under pressure, the easiest thing to do is what? Quit. The good news is, yes, you’re overwhelmed, but if you can get through the overwhelming phase, you’re going to grow to be a whole different person on the other side.
#2: Lack of Results
No matter what you do, if you lack results, it’s purely a reflection of a lack of activity. Lack of results doesn’t happen accidentally.
Let me explain to you what I mean by this. Let’s say that you’ve never played cricket before in your life. You may even be the person that says, “Honestly, Manish, I can’t stand it when you use cricket analogies in your articles because I don’t follow cricket.” No problem. You’re the perfect person for this analogy.
Let’s say you’re 20 years old and have never held a cricket bat in your life. Our goal is for you to make 2 runs in 6 balls. If you have to make 2 runs in 6 balls, what are the chances of you making 6 runs in 6 balls? Because you’ve never played cricket before, can we say zero? Or maybe you’ll get lucky and make two.
But here’s the second equation. What if I say you have an unlimited amount of over’s. Do you think you’ll eventually make 6 runs in 1 over? Yes. See, the lack of results is a reflection of lack of activity. If you only take 1 over and you miss, of course it’s not going to work.
As an entrepreneur, you need to take so much activity to create results because initially you’re not an expert; you’re an amateur. People hate it when I say it, but I’ll tell you one thing about capitalism and sales. It’s 100% proven that anybody can make it in the world of sales and capitalism because it’s purely a mathematical formula. But when somebody doesn’t get results due to lack of activity, they quit. And they think it’s their industry. They say it doesn’t work for them, even though it’s worked for hundreds of thousands of others. It’s not that it doesn’t work. No, you simply have the habit of quitting.
#3: Problem Magnet
The next reason people quit is that some people are problem magnets. I call it a crap magnet. They just tend to attract crap in their lives. And one of the reasons why people attract crap in their lives is because they want to.
This may be tough for you to hear, but I’ll tell you why some people want to attract crap in their lives. It’s because if you attract crap in your life, it’s because you have an out for why you didn’t make it. You may say:
- Well, I didn’t make it because my family was going through ____________
- My car broke down, and because of that, I didn’t make it
- I didn’t make it because of my teacher
- Well, I didn’t make it because I had a kid and I was a single father or mother
- I didn’t make it because my marriage didn’t work
- Well, I didn’t make it because I didn’t score that well in my exams
No, you kind of want those things to happen to you so you can advertise it and say that’s why you didn’t make it.
Here’s the kicker. The people that make it also had those things happen to them. They just don’t advertise it, because the more you advertise it, the more you attract crap. And the less you advertise it, the less crap you attract.
If you go out there and you keep talking about how your life sucks and what happened to you, you’re telling the world, “Please send more crap my way.” And eventually, you quit.
#4: Bad Decisions
Life is about decisions, and the choices we make. And quitting is about bad decisions.
Bad decisions could be someone telling you, you can’t build a business or you’re not smart enough. Instead of distancing yourself, you keep going back and spending time with that person.
When you catch the flu or a cold from someone, you don’t know how you got it. It could be that you shook someone’s hand and they had the flu and gave it to you. You are never able to pinpoint where you got the flu.
Just like you never know who you got a flu or cold from, when you sit down next to someone and they tell you, you can’t build a business, without knowing it, you just got flu from them. The name of the flu? It’s the “you’re about to quit” flu.
That’s what bad decisions are. A bad decision is you should have stayed at the office on Friday night when you didn’t hit your numbers, but instead friends asked you to go to the nightclub and you went. Why’d you go to the nightclub? You don’t have INR 5 Crores in the bank yet. You haven’t made your millions yet. Or maybe you don’t feel good today, and instead of studying and immersing yourself in your industry, you go out and shoot pool.
Those are bad decisions, and you are the one that controls bad decisions.
Procrastination gets so many people. It’s when you say, “We’ll do it later. Not right now; maybe later.” That’s a terrible, terrible habit. It’s just as bad as quitting because typically quitting is a by-product of somebody that constantly procrastinates, and then all of a sudden they start quitting everything. So procrastination hurts a lot of people.
“Believe You Me”
#6: Being a Loner
Number six is an interesting one that I want to dive into and that’s being a loner. Being a loner hurts a lot of people in business.
Let me put it this way. If you’re married and you’re going through some issues in your marriage, the worst thing you can do is not have someone else that’s ahead of you in marriage to talk to. If you’ve been married three years, it may not be a bad idea to talk to somebody that’s been married for 20 years and has three kids. They can tell you that what you’re going through is normal. They may say something like, “Here’s what happened to me and my wife. Here’s what we went through and it’s fine.”
When you have that conversation, you’re not all by yourself. But if you’re a loner, you think you’re the only one that’s going through the problem. Because you’re a loner, you’re afraid.
No, you have to have some people around you that are at a similar or higher level than you to tell you, “I’ve been there before. He’s what you’re going through.”
When You Hit the Wall
If you’re in business and hit a wall and don’t have the right people to talk to, you’ll think, “Man, I’m the only person going through this. I must be horrible at what I’m doing in this business. I’m an underachiever. There’s no way in the world I’m going to make it in business.”
No, that’s not true. You’re simply a loner, and because of that you’re not around people that will kick your butt a little bit or lift you up when you need it. Being a loner doesn’t help you.
Some people say, “Well, Manish, I don’t really get it, because aren’t you supposed to a loner when you become an entrepreneur? When you get to the top, you’re all by yourself.”
Are you kidding me? That’s a lie. Who’s alone at the top? How many over 20 Crore value homes are there in your city? Two? How many over 20 Crore value homes are there in your country? Three? C’mon, man. There are millions of over 20 Crore value homes. There are a million people at the top. You’re not alone at the top. You just have to find the others that are also at the top.
Now there are times when you’re in your car by yourself on the way to the top. You may feel lonely at times. But you can still find people that are at a similar, if not higher position than you that can lift you up.
Next is selective hearing. It’s very problematic if you listen to the wrong thing. Here’s what I mean by selective hearing.
If you’re down and out, overwhelmed, and want to quit, everything you look for will be what? Signs to quit.
For example, when you’re out driving, you see a sign that says, “Too much pressure in your life? Maybe you ought to come and work at Reliance and get an INR 29,000 salary and benefits.” And you’ll think, “That’s a sign, because I was just thinking about health insurance! It’s a sign God’s given for me to quit!”
The Sign across the Street
No, no, no. That’s selective hearing, because right across the street there was a sign that said, “You can have all your dreams,” but you didn’t look at it.
Selective hearing is when someone reminds you of good things you’ve done and then tells you two areas where you need to improve and what you hear and say is, “Did you hear what he said on the conference call? He told me those two things I need to improve in. What he’s trying to say is I’m not good. This is why I can’t do it.” No! That’s selective hearing. You have to choose what you listen to.
And the last one is, “who’s in your ear?”
I was recently at the TIE Gurgaon convention. A very, very successful 100 Crore a year type of guy came up to me and said, “Hey Manish, I will never miss a Medium Article by you. Never. I have read every single article you have written so far.”
That’s great. But my articles can only be 5 to 20 minutes long. What else are you reading to? Who’s in your ear? Who’s feeding you? Who has influence over your life and tells you what to do? Are you listening to people that are ahead of you? Do you listen to people that feed your fear?
The Most Important Appointment of the Day:
The most important appointment of an entrepreneur is the last appointment of the day. It’s the last person you talk to before you go to sleep. Whoever that person is — your girlfriend, boyfriend, mom, dad, brother, sister, wife, husband — whoever the last person that you talk to before you go to sleep, whatever they feed your ear, that’s what you’ll dream or have nightmares about.
So if before you go to sleep your spouse says, “Babe this is scary. I see you being so stressed. I see gray hair,” you’ll wake up with fear, and want to quit.
But if you go to sleep after the last appointment of the day that says, “Babe, I know it’s tough, but I believe in you. Honey, I don’t know what it is, but I just believe in you. Son, I believe in you. Brother, I believe in you. Sister, I believe in you. Girlfriend, I believe in you.
There are only two people in the world that need to believe in you: yourself, and one other person. If you have these two people, you can take over the world if you want to. So you have to make sure you talk to somebody that believes in you, and you need to make sure you believe in yourself. Not having that is one reason why people quit. And quitting is something that as an entrepreneur, you don’t want to do.
If you have any questions about today’s article, comment on the bottom. And share this with another entrepreneur; because I will tell you, there are a lot of people going through difficult times right now. So share this message with a handful of people and you’ll be amazed by the response and how grateful they’ll be.