Sometimes we have to be patient and sometimes we have to get moving. Wisdom is in knowing when to stay and when to go. Know when to quit. I know, it's easier said than done, but we all know when we’ve exhausted certain possibilities, and quite possibly ourselves, in the course of finding out. Wouldn’t it be great to know everything first?

That could save a lot of time. One way is to train your brain to do some assessing first. Do the ‘scenario’ test: If I quit this job, what will tomorrow bring? Maybe some adventures, but without a paycheck. What if I stayed in this job? The same old stuff, but with a paycheck. What if I thought about a new career? A good plan, because you can stay in your job while you’re working towards finding something more challenging. Sometimes that will even open up opportunities in your present job. Do the brain work first. Ask yourself a lot of questions. Planning now for the future will help you to know when to quit.

If, after trying to make your current situation better, it is an obvious dead end, then it’s a good time to move on. Maybe it’s just not a good fit. It’s like a relationship: on paper all the important things seem to add up, but the chemistry just isn’t there to make it work in reality. Jobs can be that way, too. I’ve hired people with terrific credentials only to find that they simply don't work out. You have to cut your losses quickly. That’s a good thing to learn if you want to be successful.

I talk a lot about momentum, and for a good reason. Business requires a tempo, too. We all know when we’re humming along and everything seems to work versus when everything hits the fan and it’s just not working. The best thing to do is shut off the fan, let the dust settle, and simply start over.

Not everything we do will be successful. The so-called Midas touch is definitely so-called and not usually good for longevity. When we hear of extremely successful people, it’s usually safe to assume they’ve encountered some obstacles or had difficulties along the way. There’s a lot of trial and error before something is effortless or polished. Michelangelo said something I can relate to, "If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all." The problem is, we usually only see the end result and not the process.

There was a guy who was a very successful businessman, but his first passion in life was the piano. He was very dedicated and disciplined, and achieved a certain virtuosity, but he finally realized he would never be one of the greats. In other words, he knew he would never be a Horowitz or a Gould, and he had very high standards for himself. So he quit the piano and applied himself to business and he became enormously successful. He just knew that he should move on, and he did. He remained a musician in his private life and maintained a healthy balance for himself with his interests. He said if he had remained a pianist, he would have been frustrated and it would have warped his sensibilities. He did a lot of thinking before he made his move, but he knew that quitting was the right decision.

Quitting is not always easy to move on. You'll leave something behind, but sometimes what’s ahead will be better. I convinced a friend of mine who was being devoured by Wall Street to go into something he enjoyed doing, which at that time was golf. He made the break with Wall Street, which initially wasn’t that easy, and he has been healthy and successful in the golf business ever since. We’ve got to do things we’re suited for and hopefully that we enjoy. Success is a great feeling. Success should add to your health, not detract from it.

I sometimes tell people they are not cut out to be entrepreneurs because it’s true. Some people are, some people aren’t. It will save you a lot of time and hardship if you can figure that out first. As with anything, you have to see how you handle pressure and the risk factor. It’s similar to going through the set of questions we had at the beginning of this article. Learn to scrutinize yourself. It’s very helpful to take courses like these, to learn as much as you can in every situation, but still try to find the time to learn to think for yourself. As Confucius said, "Learning without thought is labor lost." Don’t let that happen to you. Learn, work, and think in equal proportions and you’ll be going in the right direction.

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