- quit your job and started a new business.
- designed a bold new product and started marketing it.
- coordinated a new outreach project in an underserved neighborhood.
- convinced your boss to let you run with an exciting new idea.
- finally launched your blog.
Here’s the problem: 6 months have passed and things aren’t going as planned.
- Nobody’s hiring you.
- The market isn’t embracing your new product.
- Very few people have volunteered to help you with your outreach.
- Your new idea hasn’t produced the fruit that you expected it to.
- You have far fewer readers than you originally anticipated.
If this is where you’re at, you’re plagued by doubt.
This is the intersection between vision and reality; the critical moment in any dream or idea’s developmental process. You had all these grand visions about what you were going to do to change the world, but the world is ferociously resisting that change.
You could admit defeat and pack it in. Sometimes, that’s the move that will save your nest egg from utter destruction. Other times, its the move that will cause you to quit the race when you were just a few precious steps from victory.
Choose your next move wisely.
Where am I?
If you’re going to properly make this decision, you need to know where you’re at. Are you soldiering through the trials that stand between you and success? Or, are you simply banging your head against a wall?
In his book, The Dip, Seth Godin refers to these two scenarios as the Dip and the Cul de Sac.
This is the low valley we have to travel through whenever we’re engaged in any worthwhile pursuit. If you’re a naturally talented guitar player, the Dip is the hours of practice that lead you to mastery. If you’re in the service business, the Dip is the months without pay (and sleep) as you build up your client base.
The Dip is temporary. It is almost a rite of passage.
The Cul de Sac
The Cul de Sac is the Dip’s evil step brother. It looks and feels much like the Dip while you’re in it, but with one giant distinction. It’s a dead end. There is no other side that you’re working towards. It’s like running a race without a finish line.
A cul-de-sac is not temporary.
What do I do?
Don’t go at this alone. Proverbs 11:14 says this:
Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
Swallow your pride and seek the wisdom of friends and mentors whom you trust. These advisors will be able to provide you with wisdom and guidance. It often takes getting outside of ourselves to find the best answers.
Dig in and get to know your circumstances. If the market is rejecting you, try to figure out why. Seek to understand your situation before you even begin to doubt yourself.
Think about it long and hard. Think until your emotions have left the building. If you make this decision based on emotion, you’re 90% likely to choose poorly.
Sometimes, we don’t think about it and we attempt to make important decisions apart from the purest wisdom available to us in the Holy Spirit. Avoid this mistake at all costs.
Don’t make this decision lightly. I’m willing to be that you’re much closer to victory than you are to defeat and all you have to do is stick it out. If you do admit defeat, however, I would pray that you find encouragement in the following posts:
If you’ve decided to stick it out, however, you’re going to want to come back tomorrow, because we’re going to go ahead and move forward with 3 Steps to Saving Your Business.
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