It’s difficult as a business owner to be able to cut loose on an idea. We take it very personally, which I think is part of being a business owner. But the biggest issue I see is not cutting loose on a project when it’s just not working.

I think, in general, we can be too wishy washy. There is something to be said about putting your nose to the grindstone and working very hard — even if it takes a while. Overnight success is not a reality. You need to make sure that you are not cutting loose an idea just because you’ve been at it 15 minutes and it’s not working. That’s not a good business move.

Before you start a project, define what success looks like. What does success look like for you and this idea? You can’t know when to cut an idea loose if you’ve never defined success.

I hear customers and KRose Marketing group members say,

        “Well I quit that because I was a failure.”

        “OK what defined it as a failure?” I ask.

        “It wasn’t working well,” they respond

That’s not enough.

People tell me all the time,

        “Social media isn’t working for me.”

        “OK, how many times have you posted in the last week?”

        “Well I posted once.”

Of course it’s not working for you because you’re not putting in the effort. Looking at your Facebook page is not doing work on Facebook. You have to know when you’re actually putting in the effort and when you’re not.

When you start an idea, you have to define what success would look like. If it’s booking 100 consulting clients and when you only book one, you say this project didn’t succeed. But if you defined success as booking 5 clients and you booked 4, well that’s still success even though it might not have been 100 percent success. You still booked 4 out of 5, which was your goal.

How to know when to cut an idea loose - KRose Marketing

It is time to cut loose an idea is when you have not reached the marker of success and you’ve tried many avenues. Make sure you aren’t calling everything a failure. If you wanted to book 5 customers and you only booked 3, to me, that’s still a success.

I practice “Good, Better, Best” when I define levels of success in life. What is good, what is better, and what is best. Say you want to book 5 consulting customers. Maybe good is 3, better is 4, and best is 5. Are you defining success properly? Are you executing it in the best way possible?

If something isn’t serving you or your customers well, feel confident calling it off. You don’t owe it to anyone to keep doing the same services. You have to trust your gut. I think that’s most important — that you listen to your intuition. If it’s telling you that this project isn’t serving your customers well or you don’t love doing it, get rid of it.

Read on the blog about how to Let Little Moments Fuel You when you are feeling discouraged.

The reason you’re in business for yourself is to serve people and do what you do best. If it’s not something you do best, end it and feel confident ending it. Make sure you’re not ending projects because they’re not reaching a level of success you never defined. Otherwise you’ll be wishy washy and jump from project and business to other projects and businesses without ever achieving much.

Make sure you know success and also make sure you are putting in the effort before you throw in the towel.

Download our Monthly Success Guide to start setting goals, define your version of success, and prepare to reach those goals well!