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January 14, 2011
Enlightened Quitting: How to Cut Loose and Unlock Success
I’ve jammed with hundreds of entrepreneurs to fire up their businesses and break through revenue blockades. I call these sacred one-on-one sessions Fire Starters—and rightly so. During these phone calls, sparks fly. Mindsets get scorched. A-ha moments magically unfurl. And often, people leave with a stop-doing list.
They decide to stop doing the stuff that “sucks” immediately. They straight-up quit—intelligently and gracefully. They throw in the towel. Close shop. Give up. Move on.
Over the past year, I've witnessed two store closings, three blog unpluggings, two staff firings, three complete rebrandings, and some serious product line slashing. And to each passionate quitter, I say, “YES! Make way for success!”
Here's the thing: Fulfillment has to be personally defined, and success isn’t one-size-fits-all. You don't need a storefront to be a wildly successful retailer. You don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to race ahead of the competition. You don't have to retain staff members who are slacking off because you're a humanitarian or unionized. (Besides, cutting someone loose so they can go hone their true talents is profoundly humane.) If it's not working, you get to stop doing it—yep, just like that. Quitting is a form of enlightenment.
Yes, success is gritty business. You've got to put some hustle in your bustle. You've got to devour intensity Wheaties for breakfast. But there's a difference between joyful rigor and mindless slogging. Slogging doesn't work. It just doesn't. You can't plant misery seeds today and expect an abundant crop next season.
I hear the miserable statements time and time again:
"If I just hang in longer, maybe she'll come up to speed.”
“If I keep practicing, I'll learn to love Excel.”
“It might sell in the spring, if I just keep at it.”
Fess up—it ain't workin'. You know it. I know it. And you're not honoring your innate brilliance unless you move on.
8 indicators of when it’s time to throw in the towel:
1. You’ve got the Sunday night blues (dreading Monday).
2. You use the phrase "it sucks" to describe any aspect of your situation.
3. You "drag your ass" to it.
4. Dismal sales (yes, the universe speaks in dollar bills)
5. Not a whole lot of “thank yous” coming your way.
6. No sparkles. No synchronicity. No star-crossed moments.
7. Your #1 customer is your mom.
8. Seething resentment and vitriol towards your staff…your clients…yourself.
The quittin’ time clues are so generic that we just plow past them, carrying a sense of duty and ego (and fear of flopping). But vitality is a sensation, and it requires a sensitivity to signals and surroundings—and the courage to stomp your feet in sync with the signals of life.
Don't worry about how you're going to fix what's broke. Just ruthlessly notice what sucks. You’ll feel a heady rush of honesty when you do. You might even feel a strange sense of elation; “I Know It Sucks” euphoria. And when you're high on the truth, you've got a bird’s eye view of where to go next. So, shut down. Power off. Re-orient. And announce your new destination.

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Danielle LaPorte is the creator of WhiteHotTruth.com, which has been called "the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality." She is the author of "The Fire Starter Sessions: Spark Your Genius. Make It Matter," an inspirational speaker, former think tank exec, news show commentator, and lead author of "Style Statement". Follow her on Twitter. 

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