Friday, October 15, 2010

Ready to throw in the towel? Don't.

In my work with entrepreneurs, and as an entrepreneur myself, I see the temptation to throw in the towel time and time again.

The cycle is a bit like this:
1. We get energized about an idea, an opportunity, or a project.
2. We start to put energy behind it. We start talking about it, marketing it, submitting a proposal, etc.
3. Then the receptivity we get back isn't quite what we wanted.
4. We take this feedback and start to feel disillusioned, discouraged and our energy wanes.
5. We are tempted to "throw in the towel" by either abandoning the idea, changing course, or cancelling the effort.

This happened to me just recently. I was hosting an event that I almost cancelled 2weeks before because I had very few registrations at first, but I pushed through and eventually had a very successful event with great attendance. I learned a great lesson: just when you think you need to quit, it's exactly when you shouldn't, especially if you believe in your idea and what you are doing. I have been surprised many times when I didn't throw in the towel to see that my idea did in fact "pull through." It is as if, I was being "tested" to see how much I believed in my idea.

I don't think I am alone in this. Even the great entrepreneurs that break through and grow substantial businesses go through this time and time again. You just have to read "Delivering Happiness" by Tony Hsieh to see this. They push through because regardless of the receptivity or the temporary set-backs they believe in their idea.

So next time you are about to "throw in the towel," think again. This may be a great time to recommit to your great idea.

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