Knowing When TO Cut Your Losses

by Young Che on March 19, 2008

I just finished joking with a friend of mine that I pay people to listen to me complain about my business. I was referring to a 2 hour meeting I sat through this morning with a small business consultant in a desperate attempt to get a new perspective on my current business. She asked qualifying questions to best determine the type of assistance their organization could possibly offer me. I had so many complaints about my current business that it was clear that I had some other issues that needed resolving that had nothing to do with running my business more effectively. I explained to her that I wanted out. She is definitely not the first person to listen to me rant about being stuck in the wrong business but sticking with it because of the security the income represents. In fact, I’ll tell anyone who would lend me an ear. Most of my friends and family are tired of hearing about it and also don’t have a clue of what type of helpful advice they could offer me because most of them really don’t understand my frustration. I don’t understand it fully. One thing that I do know is that I am fighting for my own personal ability to choose what I want to do for a living. I don’t understand what is so wrong with that.

It really doesn’t make any sense for me to continue to make attempts to justify my decision to others in my mind. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to make this decision sound completely logical to myself and whoever is willing to listen. The fact is it does not make sense on a strictly logical level. I am literally proposing shutting down a business in a field that I have intimate knowledge in through years of experience to step out into a completely new realm in which I don’t have a whole lot of skills or earning potential. Whenever I try to describe to my wife how I am planning on earning my living after I shut down this business she is left with a confusing look on her face because I honestly don’t know exactly when or how I am going to realize positive cash flow in this new direction I am absolutely itching to venture off in.

Sometimes I find myself thinking back through the years trying to determine how exactly did I get to this point in my life. My “Plan B” has become my “Plan A” in terms of career choices. Looking back, I never really developed a well defined, “Plan A.” Now I have to be honest with myself if nobody else and be willing to go through the 8 steps of Atonement with myself. The first step is to point out the wrong. I have wronged myself by making the mistake of choosing the wrong career choice. I also have to be honest enough with myself to admit the wrong to myself. I am doing it today. I admit that I made a mistake in this career choice. The other steps take a little more time and effort and if you are not familiar with the 8 steps of Atonement I hope to discuss them at greater length in future writings. In short I am attempting to forgive myself and move on. It sounds easy but is a little tricky.

I’ve done everything that I can possibly do to try and make myself feel good about the career path that I’m currently in. It just doesn’t make it a right decision no matter how many ways I deceive myself into thinking that it will work out for me even if I continue to do something that doesn’t reward me properly. A lot of people close to me have told me that my attitude of dissatisfaction with my current career path is that of one who is being ungrateful. Last year I wasted time and energy trying to defend myself and explain how I really wasn’t being ungrateful. Sometimes you have to know when to follow your gut feelings or what we commonly refer to as intuition. I think that’s the point that I am at in my life.

There are some strategic decisions to be made about how to exactly transition out of one business into a totally unrelated business. I also have to consider the ripple effects my decision will have on those around me. I have to take into consideration how this decision will affect my family, my business, my customers and my staff. Most of all I have to consider how this decision will affect me. If I am doing something that is rewarding to me as a person and generating enough time and income to live the lifestyle I desire that would bring a level of fulfillment into my life.

The business consultant that I met with this morning thinks that it is possible for us to implement some changes to my operation that could help my business run itself without my involvement in every little detail. I told her that I was already trying a few things to implement that very scenario and she gave me a couple of helpful suggestions. I am definitely going to transition out of my current business into another one in which I think will be a much better fit for me.

First things first, deciding to move on. Check.

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