I love to quit. I get the whole thing about successful people fail more and you can’t succeed until you fail. But my new thing is quitting. I believe that successful people know how to quit.
A couple of years ago we got into short sales. The real estate market was bad and so we changed with the market and learned all there was to learn about selling homes that were underwater (when the mortgage is more than the home can sell for). Short Sales. And it was helpful in getting us through those times. Short sales are tough transactions and the odds aren’t in our favor that they’ll close. Since we don’t get paid unless we get to the closing table it wasn’t too hard for me to say I quit.
Okay, it was hard. It was really hard. Someone would call and they would need help and I would take one more short sale. Learning to quit isn’t easy but I’m in the process so hang in there with me. I’ve also learned to quit in our marketing department. If it isn’t working, I quit. Online referral programs, mailing campaigns, advertising packages. I’ll test it, put our best foot forward and if it isn’t producing results I drop it.
I thought I’d like growing our real estate company. I grew it and then through trial and error I decided that I didn’t want to have more than 10 people in our company. We tweaked some things and learned what we liked, what works and what doesn’t work for us. The thing is there are a zillion models out there and everyone says that they have the best model, they have the right answer and the key to success. But the reality is they figured out what works for them and that is great but I’m not drinking that kool aid because I know that what works for someone else might not work for me. I’ll read the books, I’ll fall in love with a system and then I’ll try it. But I’m not going to force it. If it is right I’ll know, and if it isn’t, I’ll be true to myself and I’ll quit.
Do I teach my kids this? Well kind of. If I were a single mom it would be one of my favorite lessons but I’m not. I have a husband that I love and respect and he believes that when you start something you finish it. I respect that. It just isn’t how I like to roll. We made Alex play violin for 5th grade strings. He didn’t want to. It was an optional class. But he did it and mid way through the class he HATED it. It wasn’t a dislike, it was a horrible experience for him (I’m being way too dramatic here, it wasn’t that bad). Alex begged us to quit. I told Carlos he should quit. But Carlos believed he should stick through the class to the end of the semester. Here is the deal, I would agree with that if his class depended on him to play his part for the concert or something. If there aren’t enough kids on the soccer team and it is going to put out the other kids and the coach to quit, then of course, don’t quit until the season is over. I’m not saying be irresponsible. In this case, I would have supported Alex quitting violin mid way through the class. I pick my battles. I like team parenting so I let that one go and poor Alex had to play violin through the end of the year.
I like following my heart, listening to my intuition and doing what gives me joy. I know that it isn’t always glitter and sunshine, but if a couple of days go by and I’m not laughing and skipping randomly then it is time to do a check in. And perhaps find something that I can quit.