What could possibly make someone walk away from a 7-figure business? Have you ever felt like giving up on your business?
Recently, we stumbled across THIS blog post from a popular online business content creator and it reminded us of THIS blog post and also another email newsletter we received from a successful coach canceling her latest launch and offering refunds.
It got us thinking… 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔
What makes someone walk away from a 7-figure business?
And what can YOU learn from these stories about the importance of authenticity, pivoting, and allowing your own inner compass to steer you towards a business that is flexible enough to evolve as you do?
Have YOU ever felt like totally walking away from everything you’ve built?
Shutting down your programs/services or drastically pivoting or maybe even walking away entirely?
We’ve been there! Thankfully, we’ve learned four things that can help you not only recognize when you’re starting to veer off-course and run a business you no longer love but also what to DO when you start to feel that way so you can use your inner compass to find your way back to something that feels aligned and right for you.
The four things we’ll cover in the rest of this article:
- Developing your own “lane-assist” warning.
- Why “playtime” matters
- How to “break the frame” and resist the business mandates that drain you
- And lastly, how to make “choosing the hard thing” easier, which will ultimately keep you on a path that feels right instead of chasing someone else’s dream
Just to get it out of the way, we’re going to assume you aren’t trying to build a $100,000,000 business. You’re more focused on building a calm business, one that generates enough revenue, and a business that allows you to work with a schedule that creates a great life and doesn’t burn you out.
It’s likely you’re reading this article and not at the calm business finish line. Instead, you’re at one of those pivotal moments, trying to figure out what to do next?
If you’re in this spot right now and you KNOW you need to course-correct, wegotchu!
Trust Your Inner Compass by Developing Your Own Lane-Assist Warning
You know those sensors in cars that yell at you when you’re even a little bit drifting into another lane?
All the sudden you hear beep beep beep, and you’re thinking, “hey man, I was just trying to steer around that big semi truck because my wife has driving anxiety and she yells at me when we get too close to trucks around the turn!”
Well, we need to develop that annoying alarm system for our own brains and bodies.
It starts by figuring out what YOUR unique indicators are that tell you you’re sort of going off-course.
For Caroline 👩🏻🦰 (the person writing this article to you): It’s usually a particular brand of anxiety, this feeling in the pit of my stomach like, ohhh that’s actually NOT what I want to be doing. That doesn’t feel true to who I am.
For Jason 👨🏻🦲 (Caroline’s husband and biz partner): For me it’s not anxiety but it’s this sense of boredom or dullness with what I’m doing. If I can tell I’m not embracing my weird and doing things differently, those beep beep beeps come screaming at me.
Step 1 is to ask yourself: When was the last time I did something in my business that didn’t feel right?
This is the important part of developing your own lane-assist warning. You need to take note of when things feel out of alignment and pay closer attention to that in the future.
As time goes on and you get more in-tuned with your business triggers, you can start to hear the metaphorical beep beep beep and know you need to change something.
Avoid Hating Your Business by Practicing Playtime
Running a business rarely feels “fun” to most people. It’s mostly to-do items, customer support, getting frustrated with technology, wrestling with changing algorithms, etc, etc. BUT, it doesn’t all have to be dark clouds and feelings of wanting to flip the table over and give up!
Three ways we add fun to our business
Playtime Business Tip #1: No Bad Ideas Brainstorming
Business requires a lot of brainstorming and it can often be seen as a chore or something laborious. We’ve flipped the script on this by always starting a brainstorming session with NO bad ideas.
- Any idea is fair game for 10-15 minutes
- It’s best done with 2 people to go back and forth
- Seriously, any idea is on the table!
- After 10-15 minutes of silly, nonsense ideas, we start to think of good/better ideas and then the real brainstorming starts
For nearly 10 years, we’ve been doing No Bad Ideas Brainstorming and it’s made verbal whiteboarding a fun activity for us.
Bonus silly tip: If you’re ever stuck and in need of an idea, use our go-to silly filler idea — Selling pickles in New York City. Why that idea? No clue, but it’s been around for a long time as a way to move meetings forward.
Playtime Business Tip #2: The phrase “Donkey Kong Country”
Please raise your hand if you’re a child of the 90s and you remember playing this Nintendo 64 gem of a game, Donkey Kong Country??
Even if you never played the game, the gist is very simple: When you’re ABOUT TO BE in the heat of a business discussion, decision, task, or diving into an intense task, think about Donkey Kong Country.
It’s a video game where two gorillas collect bananas and balloons, dodge wooden barrels, and fight an enemy called a Croctopus. There’s nothing serious about that and that’s why it works!
By uttering the phrase “Donkey Kong Country” before getting into a task or to-do that is going to raise your blood pressure, you add a bit of fun and levity. You think about those cute characters and you reduce the stress of the moment. And of course, feel free to replace DKC with whatever game makes you happy, just be sure to pick a silly one!
Playtime Business Tip #3: Change the location!
This one seems simple, but it’s wonderfully helpful, especially if the location you move to evokes a feeling of fun or enjoyment.
For us, this typically means going to a favorite coffee shop. Or, a walk down to the beach where we can breathe in the salt air.
We’d wager you can immediately think of a happy place near you that brings you joy. This is the place you should go whenever you need a break, a reset, or just have to change your mood. Identify this location and use it whenever you need to change things up!
Break The Frame and Question All Assumptions
Break the frame means looking at whatever assumptions you have or constraints you’ve put on your business and questioning all of them.
So often we start hating our business because we start doing things that we think we SHOULD be doing instead of what we want to be doing. In our businesses, we question every single “frame” and as an exercise, we try to BREAK it in a way that better aligns with who we are.
“What would it look like if I didn’t have to..”
This guiding question has been a game-changer for our inner compasses.
A perfect example of this question in action was back in 2021 when was asked, “what would it look like if we didn’t have to use social media at all to promote our WAIM Unlimited coaching program?”
The frame or the modern business convention dictates that you HAVE to be on social media these days to market your business. But we wanted to challenge this assumption and see if it was actually true. What would being off social media look like? How would we think about marketing and promotion? Would our revenue and audience growth plummet??
The answer for us? Our revenue (and overall happiness) has INCREASED since we stopped using social media for business.
Now, we’re not saying you can quit using social media today (although maybe you can??), we’re just saying to take a hard look at every single frame of your business and challenge the shoulds.
How To Make Choosing The Hard Thing Easier
Finally, sometimes you’re going to find yourself in a place where you’ve changed and you have to make some hard decisions to ensure your business evolves with you as a person.
You might be like one of the authors we mentioned at the beginning of this article who wrote about taking a long sabbatical from work or stepping back completely and quitting a big project. This might be the only way to course correct back to a business you love and that feels calm. But… HOW do you do that?
You remind yourself that hard NOW is always better than harder LATER.
When you make the hard choice now, you are doing something really important: you’re choosing your own happiness.
It can absolutely be scary, but the pain of a big pivot is temporary. What’s MORE painful is years of running a business that feels misaligned where you’re compromising who you are at your core. When you ignore your inner compass for years, that’s when drastic decisions happen.
When we read blog posts or stories about people quitting, stopping, or taking breaks from their business, we cheer for those people!
It takes a lot of courage to choose yourself and follow your own inner compass to a business that is authentic and sustainable.
Most often, people around you won’t understand why you need to take a break. But, just because people don’t understand why you’re making a decision doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.
The next time you find yourself feeling stuck and like something isn’t quite right, we hope this article and the four strategies in it can help you move forward in whatever direction feels right to you.
And, we hope these tips help you BEFORE you have to completely blow up your business.