You’re allowed to stop if it’s not working

How do you know when you're allowed to quit? If it's not working, you're allowed to quit. Click through for 4 ways to tell it's time to quit and give up!

It’s 6:30 pm and I’ve spent the entire day in my pajamas. Not for a good, fun, ‘treat yo’self’ reason but for a ‘so busy you don’t have time to get dressed’ reason.

I’ve been wearing these pajamas while I ghostwrite and proof four, 700-word blog posts. I’ve been wearing them while I schedule a month of Facebook and Twitter updates. I’ve been wearing them on a conference call with a client who talks over me, interrupts me, and requests three rounds of edits.

If ‘this isn’t working’ had a uniform, it’d be pajamas-as-workwear.

I’m happy to report that this ‘too busy for real clothes’ era is in the past. These days, I have a set of morning habits that include putting on real clothes and walking the dog before I even read email (!!!)

But before I could do that, I had to
a) acknowledge what wasn’t working
b) stop doing the stuff that wasn’t working

Friend, in case you need it, here is your permission. If something’s not working, you’re allowed to stop.

You’re allowed to stop using a social media platform

You can quit Instagram if it constantly makes you feel less-than. You can notice that Twitter only sends you 1.8% of your traffic and throw in the towel. If Facebook feels like a big high school reunion you don’t want to attend, you don’t have to be there.

There are, of course, lots of very valid reasons to use social media to promote your business and connect with friends. But if it makes you feel bad and it’s not working for you, you don’t have to use it. My friend Alex doesn’t use any social media – none! Not even in her personal life! She has a great career and lots of friends. It’s possible!

As a sidenote, I’m giving up on Twitter. If you follow me there and you want to stay in the loop, you can still find me on Facebook, Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter.

You’re allowed to stop offering a service, course, or book

Last year, I stopped ghostwriting and effectively cut out 60% of my income. Was it terrifying? Yes! Did it feel amazing? Also yes!

I was tired of putting all my energy into other people’s work and giving you, dear readers, whatever was left. I was tired of having my words appear under someone else’s name on Big Deal websites. I was tired of writing so much that I started to develop wrist issues.

Earlier this year, I pulled my old travel ebooks. Sure, I could have rewritten and updated them. Yes, that would have made sense because I’ve published a jillion travel-related blog posts. But I simply didn’t want to. I’ve written everything I want to write about travel.

There are tons of  travel bloggers who would be thrilled to tell you how to travel solo or pack in a carry-on. I’d rather  you give your money to someone who’s excited to teach you those things.

If you asked me about it, I’d just scream “Packing cubes and a shampoo bar!” and then skulk away.

You’re allowed to let clients go

If you don’t want to work with someone – because they don’t respect your boundaries, because you don’t believe in their work, because they show up to every meeting unprepared – you don’t have to work with them.

You can even stop working with someone just because you want more time to play with your pet or hang with your BFF!

In a perfect world, we’d all have plans to replace the traffic or income we lose when we drop these things. And that’s a good idea! But the truth is, when something’s not working it’s probably bringing in a pretty negligible amount of money compared to the effort we’re putting in.

You’re allowed to stop doing something just because you don’t want to do it anymore

It should also be said: you’re allowed to stop doing things even if they are ‘working.’ My friend Kristen killed a six-figure, passive-income offering because she’d prefer to work with people in person. Katie’s pausing her one-on-one coaching, even though she’s great at it.

There are lots of ways for something to ‘work’ or ‘not work.’  Just because you’re making money, landing clients, or bringing in traffic doesn’t mean something is ‘working.’ If you’re losing sleep or self-sabotaging, that’s a clue that something isn’t working. Click To Tweet It’s not working, regardless of what your analytics and bank account say.

Similarly, something can be ‘working’ even if you’re earning $0 and getting seven pageviews a day. Are you excited? Inspired? Do you look forward to sharing your ideas and connecting with people? Good news – it’s working! Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

I want to hear from you! What have you stopped doing in your business? What do you WISH you could stop doing? Tell us in the comments – we might be able to help you figure out how to stop!

P.S.  Everything I use + recommend to run my business

Photo by Grant Ritchie on Unsplash

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  1. Cynthia

    Great post, as always! Totally beside the main point, but I’ve finally figured out that Twitter is pretty awful for directing traffic to your website, but really amazing for building a community and finding like-minded people! Of course, your heart has to be in it.

  2. Kristen

    This is great! I just decided to stop teaching classes that don’t directly relate to running fitness. I was spending to much time planning and driving around to teach 1 hour classes and having no free time for what I really wanted to do.

  3. julia

    It would not be possible for me to understate how badly I needed to hear this right now. Thank you!

  4. Noelle

    This post came at EXACTLY the right time for me, thank you!!! I’ve been burning out on a side hustle for over a year and a half now…after getting past some personal life issues that I thought were the cause of burnout, and after STILL feeling burnt out months later, I have determined it’s finally time to let it go – even though it is successful and the extra money is great, feeling like I just want to be swallowed up by the couch forever at the end of each day is not particularly great.

    • Sarah Von Bargen

      Yes! Good for you for making the choice that’s right for you!

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