Tuesday, March 4, 2014

When to Give Up & Move On

After watching what she would like to have been part of her story called, "An Entrepreneurs Journey". The hit television show the Shark Tank featured Lori Cheeks who came up with an interesting concept to dating called Cheek'd. Anybody who has been fighting to make something successful in life needs to see that there is not always light on the other side of the tunnel. This is something that the shark tank panel made very apparent on this ventures pitch. You can make mistakes, you can be fallible, you can screw up in life, and you will succeed if you stick with it. The sticking with it part however is sticking with something that works. Finding out what works and what doesn't is not beating  a dead horse over and over again because that horse isn't coming back to life and your idea is not going to work.

Certain businesses have a "sticky" factor. That it works right away and it scales from there. If you have been in business for 4 years trying to make it and there's no momentum, sales, products, purchase orders, or anything of substance then you must face the harsh reality and give up and move on. If its a website sell it on Flippa.com or find somebody to take over the project and ask for a bit of equity in exchange for a low low low price. Whatever crazy valuation you put on your business be willing to take at least 1/10th of it because that is a very favorable valuation.
I once worked for a startup that thought they had struck gold with a shoddy website that had little to no visitors and something that could have been coded in a week by a competent programmer. An interested party once said he wanted to do a similar idea and was thinking about just purchasing the website. The price he said he wanted was $500,000 since he spent so much time working on the programming of the site that made zero dollars and zero cents oh did I mention the 0 cents at the end. Yes thats $0.00000. Lots of zeros across the board.  Long story short that startup after being worked on for 5 years just was sold for $8,000 and wasted a half a decade of one poor soul who tried to make an idea work that never had a chance. The idea always belonged in the trash once it was apparent that it was not going to work but yet kids remember the little train that could.
This is no different then poor Lori Cheeks who doesn't want to give up. Giving up is not letting your dream die. It's being realistic and finding out what works for you. 9 out of 10 businesses fail so do not be afraid to try something 10 times and fail 9 of those. We can't all create unicorn businesses but you should learn from each failure and use that to make your next venture should you choose to accept that mission an experience that will help you to mature and succeed more so then you did in the last venture. If you can't give up and move on when you need to then I hope you enjoy eating Ketchup and Mustard sandwiches.

All too many entrepreneurs fall prey to an idea that they believe is going to "Revolutionize" an industry. Truth be told outside of the iPod not much has revolutionized the way we live in the last 15 years. Match.com hasn't revolutionized dating it just created another alternative that helped people to meet through the most connected communication medium ever. Meeting in person is great but why not just give a business card out and write a line on there with your phone number or better yet become Facebook friends or just pull out that iPhone or Android and exchange numbers like 99% of the rest of the dating world does? 

While creating unique dating opportunities and means of exchanging information in a nonchalant way is a novel idea. There comes a point where there is a line that you must cross when you realize your time and efforts are better spent doing something that will stick.

As Barbara Corcoran stated giving up on her Flower business to start her real estate company was the reason for her success and if you can follow your efforts you will find your passion and get paid but if it's not meant to be much like that guy/girl of your dreams who just wouldn't give you the time of day it's just not meant to be. I was fortunate enough to be given the advice one day that some butterflies are meant to spread their wings and fly rather then be trapped in a cage.

Don't let your other ideas sit idle in a cage.
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