Sometimes You Have to Know When to Give Up… and Start Over

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There’s a fine line that most (if not every) internet marketer will walk at least once if not multiple times.  That line divides working on a project that has not yielded any results and giving up on that project and starting over with something else.  This is a very very fine line and if you choose the wrong side you could either be wasting your time and money or you could be throwing away something that could turn out to be very profitable.

It is hard to walk away from something that we’ve invested our time, effort, money, and damn hard work into.  A lot of people will see walking away as a failure.  Why?  Look at it as a lesson learned.  Let me give you an example from my own history.

The second website I ever built was a blog & forum for deals.  I saw sites like Slickeals and Fatwallet and I wanted to create something just as good if not better.  I worked on this site for over a year full time while I was also working a full time job.  I hired a few people.  I spent every waking minute trying to grow my site.  And in the end I walked away from the site.  At the time I felt like I had failed.  I wasted a year of very hard work.  I wasted all my spare money… I didn’t eat out, I didn’t go to the movies, I didn’t go to the bar.  I put everything into this site.  It just didn’t work out.  I understand today why the site didn’t work out back then.  I didn’t have enough capital.  I didn’t have enough experience.  I didn’t have enough knowledge.  I also understand today that I did not fail and I did not waste a year of my life.  What I did was spend a year learning.  Think of it like going to school.  You pay a ton of money.  You work hard.  And in the end you are just left with knowledge and experience.

Walking away was very hard to do.  But you need to understand the opportunity cost.  What else could I be doing if I walked away from a project that wasn’t working out and instead I started on a new project today.  In one year, which path would lead me to a better place.  Walking away was hard, but it was smart.  It was smart because the third ‘real’ site that I built was a big winner for me.  It catapulted me into making real money online.  I was able to take that money and grow what my online business.  I was able to take that money and invest in domain names.  I was able to be in a much better place today because I walked away from a project back in the day.  You can get emotionally attached to a project and not being able to cut free from it can really hurt you.

On the flipside, a lot of internet marketing requires hard work and patience.  You put so much into a project and when you don’t see the results you want you feel dejected and a lot of people stop making an effort.  They give up on the project and walk away… too soon.  Some things take a while before success is had.  Giving up too soon can cost you big time.  And there’s the fine line.

You need to be able to objectively step back and analyze what is going on.  There will come a point where you need to cut your losses and move on, but you need to learn to identify that point.  Making a decision in haste, or while you are emotional is never a good idea.

There are two quotes that have stuck with me through the years concerning failure and success.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”  – Michael Jordan

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  – Thomas Edison

Failure is a big part of success.  Admitting defeat on a project and regrouping and coming back stronger on your next project is not a symbol of weakness but of strength.  Most successful people did not strike it big on their first attempt.  Remember, you can’t succeed if you never try.

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