We all know that persevering is the key to success.
In fact, it’s been the take-home message of many of my success blogs.
I write a lot about the importance of digging in when the chips are down, of persevering when you feel like downing tools and going home.
They’re important traits and many successful entrepreneurs have had to endure hardships before they became successful.
But you know what else I’m a big fan of? Being realistic.
In other words, knowing your strengths and changing direction or altering your strategy when your current one isn’t working.
But here are a couple of questions people regularly ask me: how do you know when to keep going and when to give up?
What are the signs that your idea will never work and it’s best to start again with a better one?
They’re not easy questions to answer, but with a bit of self-knowledge and research you can come up with your own answers.
Roughly though, here are some guiding clues:
1. Check your obstacle
In order to work out if an idea is worth pursuing, you need to look at the kinds of obstacles you’re facing.
Are they bumps that are tough but manageable or are they solid brick walls?
Can you climb over the hurdle or around it, or does it stop you dead in your tracks?
If there’s no imaginable way for you to overcome the problem then it could spell the end of that particular business or project.
Make sure you’re properly able to identify the problem.
Many people swear they’re facing a solid brick wall when they’re merely facing a bump.
It may be tough to get over, but that’s why resilience is so important.
2. Check your mind set
A good question to ask yourself is: how do you feel about your business?
Are you still enthusiastic and passionate about it or has the struggle to make it work made you feel burnt out and exhausted?
Let’s be clear here: most entrepreneurs will be exhausted during their first few years of starting a business, but we should not let that stop us.
There should still be a light that burns within you — that desire to succeed and make it happen.
Sometimes that light is extinguished altogether and, if that is the case, then it’s important you look after your health and wellbeing.
Take some time off for you and if the passion doesn’t return then you need to question your direction.
Nothing happens without passion.
It’s the rocket fuel that gets you where you need to go.
3. Check your finances
Some ideas are more expensive than others and it’s not unheard of for people to spend tens, if not hundreds, of thousands on an idea they’re emotionally invested in.
Tread carefully here.
If you’re putting money into your business and there are signs that it’s already working for you, that you’re getting returns on your investment, then Bingo! Money well spent.
But what if you’re not?
What if you keep sinking money into the business and nothing is working, which makes you sink even more money into it, and so on.
This is not a great sign.
In fact, it’s a sign that you need to try your hand at something else or move your idea in a different direction.
You see, even if you do decide that you’re barking up the wrong tree, there’s no shame in that at all.
It takes a wise person to admit when something isn’t working and do something different.
Even if you have failed spectacularly, it doesn’t mean your next idea will.
In fact, there’s a good chance it won’t.
You’ll be sharper, smarter, and well aware of the brick walls you need to avoid on your second time around.