Quitting is hard.
It’s hard because if you’re like most people, you’d rather have someone else make the decision for you. It’s hard because it’s a risk and if it doesn’t work out then the only person to blame is yourself.
Quitting is a skill.
Knowing when to quit so that you stay ahead of the curve is a muscle you can develop. If you’re lucky, life will give you an opportunity to flex your quitting muscle regularly.
Quitting is also an essential part of you doing your best work.
In his book The Dip—which is all about quitting—Seth Godin writes, “Winners quit fast, quit often, and quit without guilt.” If something isn’t taking you where you want to go long-term then it might just be time to quit.
Earlier this week, I thought a major client of mine had ghosted me. After processing my despair around what would be a large financial shift, I got to work figuring out what’s next.
If there’s one thing that being a freelance writer has taught me it’s to adapt quickly to shifts like this.
Then my client reappeared.
I was faced with a decision. I could re-engage with my client and the project as if nothing had happened. The one exception being my request to be paid a month in advance at all times.
Or I could quit.
I had come up with some other options and adjusted my budget in case they had disappeared. So I could quit and rigorously focus on the work that I feel called to do.
Financially, it would be foolish of me to walk away from my current contract with this client. I am on track to pay off my debt in record speed. And while I do have a bit of an emergency fund saved up, it’s barely enough to cover the next two months of expenses.
Emotionally, however, the only option I have is to quit.
As painful as it will be to wipe out 70% of my income effective immediately, it would be much more painful to stay. To keep doing work that I no longer care about. That is not the work where I will have the most impact and the most fun.
And for the next 4 weeks, I’ll put my money stress as I focus all of my energy on doing my best work.
So I quit.
Just like that, I quit.
So, what do you need to do quit so you can do your best work?