Some very cool things would happen when I was jamming with my clients in my one-on-one Fire Starter sessions (a service of mine that I put to bed earlier in the year). Ah-a’s, elevated perspectives, connections. But my favourite phenomenon was when someone decided, with a nudge, to give up on what’s not working. Throw in the towel. Close shop. Call it quits. I witnessed store closings, blog unpluggings, staff fires, complete re-namings of brands, and some serious slashing of product lines. YES! Making way for success!
Here’s the thing about defining fulfillment on your own terms. You don’t have to have a storefront to be a wildly successful retailer. You don’t have to get up early in the morning to beat the competition. You don’t have to keep staff who are slagging because you’re a humanitarian or unionized (besides, cutting someone loose so they can go hone their truer talents and bliss is profoundly humane.) If it’s not working, you get to give it up – quickly, just like that. Quitting is a form of enlightenment, I tell ya.
Yes, success is gritty business. You’ve got to hustle your bustle. You’ve got to eat intensity Wheaties for breakfast. But there’s a difference between happy rigor and inane slogging. Slogging doesn’t work. It just doesn’t. You can’t plant misery seeds today and expect to get a juicy crop next season.
I hear this time and again, “If I just hang in longer… Maybe she’ll come up to speed. It might sell in the summer. If I dig deeper, I’ll learn to love Excel.” Fess up – it ain’t workin’. You’re smart to see it. You’re brilliant if you move on.
Indicators of when it simply is not working:
1. You use “it’s sucks” in a sentence to describe any aspect of your situation.
2. You “drag your ass” to it.
3. Sunday night anxiety (dreading Monday.)
4. Dismal sales (yes, the universe speaks to us through cash flow.)
5. The bleak absence of synchronicity.
6. Not a whole lot of thanks coming your way.
7. Your mother is your best customer.
8. Seething resentment.
The clues are so generic that we just plow them over with duty and ego and fear of totally flopping. But vitality is a sensation, and it requires a sensitivity to signals and surroundings – and the courage to flow and shout and stomp your feet in sync with the signals of life.
Don’t worry about how you’re going to fix what’s broke. Just notice what sucks with ruthless honesty. It’ll be a momentary rush 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 new vantage point of where to go next. Turn the lights off when you leave. Announce your new destination.
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About Danielle LaPorte
Danielle LaPorte is the author of the book The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide for Creating Success on Your Own Terms (from Random House/Crown). An inspirational speaker, former think tank exec and business strategist, she is the creator of the online program The Spark Kit: A Digital Experience for Entrepreneurs and co-author of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan. Over a million visitors have gone for her straight-up advice on DanielleLaPorte.com, a site that has been deemed “the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality.”