Winners never quit? Bullsh*t!
Posted on 23rd November 2023 at 10:28
It’s a long-held view that ‘winners never quit, and quitters never win’, but we are calling bullsh*t on that, once and for all!
Why do we feel so strongly about this?
Firstly, the Purple Story you know and love wouldn’t be here at all if it weren’t for KT deciding to quit corporate life and branch out on her own!
Secondly, the entire Purple team also quit careers in other areas, from hairdressing and dog grooming to hospitality and marketing, in order to pursue work with more purpose.
So, when it comes to understanding the power of a well-timed ‘I quit!’, we’ve been there and done that and seen what a force for good it can be.
Why is quitting powerful?
The idea that you should persevere with something that is no longer serving you or taking you towards your goals, just because ‘giving in’ is seen as a weakness is nonsensical. In fact, it even has a name – the ‘sunk cost fallacy’. This explains our bias towards committing future resources – time, effort, or money - based on how much we have already committed, rather than on the potential for future success.
This is why we stay in jobs or careers we hate and in relationships that have run their course. We feel we’ve come too far to back out now. We might have become accustomed to the lifestyle attached to them, or fear starting again, so we dig in and ‘never give up’, as we are so often told is the only way to succeed.
If this feels familiar, know that you are not alone. It affects everyone, even big business and government – how many large projects continue well past their commercial viability just because they can’t admit that the final outcome will never match the unrecoverable vast sums already spent?
Being able to make decisions based on where you are today and where you want to get to tomorrow, rather than what you did yesterday, is a much more powerful way to live.
Choosing to quit
There is a caveat, however. Feeling empowered to quit does not mean that you excuse yourself from ever doing anything hard or difficult. You still have to push yourself and get uncomfortable – that’s where the growth is, don’t forget.
The skill is knowing where the line is between proactively choosing a different path and just not wanting to do the hard yards. Luckily, the hugely successful Steven Bartlett (Diary of a CEO, Dragon’s Den) came up with a nifty framework in his book Happy Sexy Millionaire that you can refer to whenever thoughts of quitting start to surface.
Where to start?
Think about your current situation objectively. Do you want to quit because you’re finding things difficult? Or are you just not enjoying it? There is a distinct difference between the two. In a work setting, things might be hard because you don’t have the knowledge or support to achieve, or you might be overwhelmed by the volume of work. Not enjoying it might relate more to the substance of the work not aligning with your values, or having obnoxious work colleagues.
Think about where you would like to be in future. Knowing what you are aiming for will allow you to assess whether enduring the current situation will be worthwhile. Don’t forget to make sure your goals haven’t changed – just because you wanted to hit a certain target in the past, doesn’t mean you still do. If your wants and needs have changed, adapt your goals accordingly.
Make a decision. If you think the outcome will be worth it or you can improve the situation, persist. If not, make your exit plan and go with grace. Whether it is a job, relationship, financial investment, or even deciding whether to continue decorating with a colour that really doesn’t work just because you’ve already done 3 walls, there is no need to make quitting antagonistic. Always focus on the positive future you gain, rather than what you’re leaving behind.
Quitting is never ‘failing’ if it takes you closer to the life you want to lead. In fact, it might just be the fast-track to ‘winning’ you need.
If we can help you, your team, or your business know when to quit, get in touch for a friendly chat.
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
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