When to Pull the Plug


Hi, everybody, I’m Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. This question is pretty straightforward.

“How much time is reasonable to invest in a new business idea before you give up on it?”

The answer to the question is that’s a very personal decision, but I will tell you this, most people give up on their business idea too soon. Most people quit too soon. Most people don’t– Do you do that Marty?

Marty: I have a personal example even.

Mike: Is that right?

Marty: Yes.

Mike: Rory like you gave up on an idea you had?

Marty: I actually moved from New York, came out to Las Vegas, and I own a bunch of reptiles. I noticed that a lot of the stores don’t sell the kind of food that I feed them. I decided I was going to start a business and do it myself and I did. It got to the point where I got burned out.

Mike: Making reptile food.

Marty: Yes, it was way more than I ever, ever planned on it being and that was the time I decided it wasn’t benefiting my life anymore so that’s why I-

Mike: Got out?

Marty: -backed away from it a bit.

Mike: Did somebody else start a reptile food business?

Marty: I actually ended up selling it-

Mike: Oh, nice. Look at you.

Marty: -to a store here.

Mike: Wow. Well done. There you go. You got rid of it. When you got rid of it, did you wish you would have kept it?

Marty: No, not really.

Mike: No, you’re good to be out of it. I got out of the reptile–

Marty: I value my free time and my personal time more than I did the money.

Mike: All right. Here’s the answer to the question. If you don’t have a group of advisors around you, if you don’t have people around you giving you good counsel, you’re going to want to give up a thousand times. I bet you most of us have had an experience at least once in our life where we had a good idea and we didn’t follow through on it. I am going to see somebody, two people, after this shoot that has an amazing business idea and they just won’t pull the trigger.

They won’t get started. That’s equally a problem, right? If you just have the idea and you’re not willing to execute on it, don’t torture yourself. For me, it’s about execution. Here’s the idea. What am I going to do with it? Then hold on to it. The are a lot of businesses– Look at Amazon.com. Amazon.com lost a fortune. Fortune for years. Bezos never gave up on it. I think he can pay his rent now. I understand.

So don’t give up too soon. Surround yourself with advisors. Make sure those advisors give you good counsel and keep working on it a little bit at a time. Where people get discouraged is that they shelve it and they don’t go all the way in on it.

I hope that was helpful.

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