We have heard that ‘winners never quit; but then we have also heard, ‘doing the same things over and over will not get us a different result’. Winners quit the right stuff at the right time. They know when to hold and when to fold. A strategic quitter exits from the current platform and they do it when they see no future in that industry. They quit at the right time knowing the right time is at a distant or the idea is too old fashioned and plentiful. Successful companies have quitted on several projects that weren’t working.
Successful business leaders like Richard Branson, Larry Page and Jeff Bezos have let some companies live and others die and always, ceaselessly, experimenting. In total, while Branson is known to have started some five hundred companies, he has also shut down the two hundred of them that didn’t work.
Strategic quitting also means to quit on tasks that have the least long-term significance. In order to reinvent one self, you have to continuously do what’s major to your success and to discontinue doing those things that won’t really matter to your long-term success. To make any shift worthwhile you need to lose the sight of all other distractions that’s holding you back.
Re-inventing oneself takes several experiments, iterations and failures to arrive at the right measure of success. The key is to fail fast, fail cheap and to fail forward. Remember, strategic quitting is not an emotional decision; it’s always a rational and intuitive decision applying common sense above all else.