The Best Way to Win Is to Know When to Quit

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Sometimes you have to cut your losses and move on.

It might be the economy, it might be a bad break or you might have had the right idea but at the wrong time. There is a nearly infinite number of reasons why projects don’t pan out, and such failures are inevitable. The mark of a great business mind isn’t in never failing, but never letting that loss define you. The question for the entrepreneur is, how do you do that?

By quitting. Knowing when it’s time to cut your losses and move on is one of the most useful and underrated implements in the entrepreneurial toolbox. Refusing to quit when necessary is equivalent to staying put on a sinking ship. You’re doing the best thing for yourself and the rest of your team when you put an end to a failing initiative before it can become a full-fledged disaster.

Call it “constructive quitting.” It’s not the ultimate failure, but the kind that lets you build toward something better. The difference between constructive quitting and true failing is what happens next. If you’ve done it correctly, a temporary setback becomes the first step to something greater.

It probably sounds counterintuitive, especially when you’ve been trained to keep moving forward as you put your business together. The ability to keep that instinct in check is the difference between blind ambition and real, lasting success. It’s a lesson that has continually popped up in my decades in the financial sphere, and one that budding entrepreneurs can certainly learn from.

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