I talked to several business owners this week who are seriously considering exiting their businesses and looking for corporate jobs.
These entrepreneurs have good products/services, but gaining traction is taking longer than they expected, or there have been serious roadblocks they didn’t anticipate.
Welcome to the club.
Growing a business is tough! None of this is unexpected, but at some point you wonder if your business is EVER going to work. Are you just investing more time and more money without a reasonable expectation for a return?
I don’t know. And I certainly don’t have your answer. What I do know is that nobody makes a good decision from this place of frustration or exhaustion.
Instead of throwing in the towel, maybe you need to take some of the pressure off. Maybe you need something refreshing. Maybe you need some business sorbet.
During a long multicourse meal, it’s not unusual for a restaurant to serve you some lemon or other flavor of sorbet to cleanse your palate. They do this because after tasting many wonderful things, you need to reset your taste buds so they can experience the next new delicacy and appreciate it appropriately.
When you are heads-down in your business, you are not appreciating – and probably not even noticing – the good aspects. If you pull up, do something different, or even do something else for a while, you may come back with fresh appreciation and new insights.
I have talked with many entrepreneurs over the years who just needed to take a break. It might be a long weekend, or it might be a week or two off, but they were just tired and needed to go chill somewhere.
You might think you can’t take time off, but usually you can. You’re usually not too important to take time off.
Every entrepreneur I have spoken to has some skill or suite of skills they could pitch doing for someone else. You can build your friend’s website, set up their social media campaign, catch them up in QuickBooks, or write their business plan.
Seriously, you can organize someone’s office or kitchen. Paint their garage. You have something you could sell.
It can be very refreshing to do something for someone else. Only having to use a few of the skills you have developed growing your business can feel downright relaxing.
Maybe you should try to get a project or two to take some of the immediate money pressure off and buy some time to think things through and make the right decision.
If you need more cash quickly, contract work through a temp agency or online posting may be a good choice. You might be a part-time or full-time employee for someone else for a few weeks or a few months.
And yes, you could get a higher hourly rate on your own probably, but you didn’t have the time or energy investment in finding the work, so you might be totally happy to have somewhere to go, work your magic, and be paid on a regular schedule for doing it.
Contract work has some urgency to it usually, so if you’re in the right place at the right time, you might start the next day or next week. This has happened to me personally, and to many of my clients.
They need a warm body and it might as well be yours.
All of these flavors of business sorbet give you time to think and make the right decision. If exiting your business is the right choice for you, then you should do it.
But, more often than not, a little time away can help you find the enthusiasm and motivation to get back to work and fix your business.