I wanted to post about this subject because it is so integral to understanding the “why” of Successful Dropout.

To most of us, the word “dropout” has a negative connotation. It is reserved for describing people who “just couldn’t cut it” or “didn’t have what it takes”…in other words, quitters.

But what I teach here at Successful Dropout, is a different kind of mentality around quitting.

I believe there are situations where quitting is truly the best decision, where deciding to stop doing something is the best way to start doing something.

In these situations, quitting is not giving up, it’s choosing to focus your attention on something more important. Quitting is not losing confidence, it’s realizing that there are more valuable ways to spend your time. It’s not making excuses, it’s learning to be more productive, efficient, and effective instead. Quitting is letting go of things (or people) that are sucking the life out of you so you can do more things that bring you life!

Sometimes you have to leave a path in order to find (or create!) a new one.

Also, more often than not, quitting for the right reasons will be HARD. You know how the right decision is usually the hardest and scariest to make? That principle applies here too. In other words, if the thought of quitting comes easily to you, you might want to re-examine your reasoning.

There are more of the wrong reasons to quit than the right ones. Simply put, if you are planning to quit, make sure it’s not for any of these reasons:

  • Fear
  • Discomfort
  • Anger
  • Self-pity
  • Someone else’s negative opinions
  • Past failures
  • Unrealistic expectations

However, if what you are doing is draining the life out of you, stop it! You have one life to live. It may be that at the end of your life you will most regret the things you didn’t quit.

My first business was a residential and commercial painting company. It was a great business and it was the RIGHT business to start my entrepreneurial journey with, and I learned a ton. After a few years though, I began to realize how unhappy I was, even my friends and family were noticing.

By then, my business partner and I had built up a fairly decent sized organization. The thought of leaving it was extremely scary. It was now a solid business and I could count on the income, and on top of that, I was used to sharing the responsibility of running a business with another person.

Leaving to launch my own business seemed crazy. I would be essentially stepping away from everything I had worked for the past few years, with no guaranteed income, and without a business partner that could share the load.  But at the end of the day, I chose the risk of leaving over the unhappiness of staying, and I have no regrets.

I knew leaving was the best decision, because it was hard, scary, and I had doubts. I wasn’t quitting because I was uncomfortable, angry, or just wanted a change of scenery. I left because I was discontent, I knew that part of my journey was over, I was feeling called to go a different direction…and I knew in my gut it was the right thing to do.

And when it was done, I had more respect for myself, and that was the final validation I needed.