Some days you wake up, and you're excited about what you're working on. And then there are some days you can't bear to drag yourself out of bed.
It could be you're not excited about what the day has in store for you because the last client you took on is a nightmare from hell. It could be that you're experiencing some anxiety about even showing up thinking that the entire world has its eyeballs focused directly on you. It could be that you merely have a case of Groundhog's Day where every day feels the same, and it's too fucking boring.
Mike Rowe recently said that “happiness is a wonderful symptom but a terrible goal.”
Because at the end of the day work is work no matter what you're doing whether you're doing the bookkeeping or trying to find the perfect chandelier.
When we have those times in our life when we're wondering if it's time to call it quits it should be at that time that we make a decision. Here are 10 signs you're ready to call it quits:
1. You don't know who you are anymore. Maybe you decided that who you are in real life wasn't going to compete with the Instagrammable world we live in. Perhaps you thought that by mimicking what that other designer is doing would be the answer to putting more money in your bank account. So when you wake up one day running a business where you can't even see a single shred of who you really are in it.
2. You're broker than Corey Feldman. Maybe you're in a bunch of debt or looking to take out some loans to keep the business afloat. The problem with that is there's not enough money in the world to fix a bad business idea.
3. You're not hitting your goals. Whether that means your income goals, growing your email list, or social media numbers, or increasing your workload - if you're not meeting your goals you're not growing. And if you're not even tracking your goals, you need to start.
4. You're one step from kickin' It with the pill bugs. One day you're fine the next day at the doctor wondering what the hell went wrong. If you are finding yourself becoming unhealthy because you're not taking care of yourself, you also won't be able to take care of a business because you'll be 6 feet deep. Overindulging in alcohol, shitty food, and even experiencing depression will take a toll on you.
5. You've pivoted more times than you can count. While changing the direction of your business sometimes is a natural process if you're changing it because you're not getting any results and thinking if you just do this thing a different way it'll make all the difference and it doesn't? It might be time to throw in the towel.
6. You're spending too much time doing shit you hate. While you might be excited every time you get to do a mood board but you also find yourself wanting to poke yourself in the eye with a pencil when it comes to doing your bookkeeping, that’s a problem. Especially if you can't afford to hire out the task that you hate due to your lacking income.
7. You love your services more than your clients do. You have a design service that you think is so awesome, but you can't understand why no one's buying it. You might find yourself providing a solution to a problem that nobody has.
8. Your clients aren't coming back for more. That's not to say that every customer will be a die-hard fan but if no one's coming back for more that's a problem.
9. You didn't research the market. Finding out that what you want to provide is impossible or is something that you can't scale, without a backup plan to grow your bottom line, you'll be in deep doo-doo.
10. Your competition is leaving you in the dust. If it appears to you that your competition is growing and making significant strides in their business while you're not, it means that you can't figure out how to differentiate what your offering.
11. You think you can get by without learning SEO or doing social media. Sorry, Charlie, there are just some things in life these days that you've got to do whether you like it or not.
12. The fun is gone. Maybe running your business has taken a toll on you. Wearing all the hats when you first start your business can be exciting and terrifying at the same time. And if your company never grows enough for you to outsource some of those tasks when you're tired of them, the thrill goes out the window.
All of these warning signs may be a wake-up call that you may need to call it quits. But if you're not ready to go back and start working at Lowe's helping people pick paint colors for their kid's bedroom then now is the time to see what changes you can make in your business to change the direction it's going.
Lastly, I'm going to say something that's probably unpopular. Not all designers are meant to be business owners. While we may hate having to work for someone else and we want to have a business that lets our creativity run wild, at the end of the day that's the smallest portion of running a business.
Beyond just all the administrative duties that a business owner has to take on the essential thing to remember if you want to keep this business going is that you should be making an incredible impact on somebody else's life. If you can't say that’s true, then it's definitely time to call it quits.