Virtually every personal development “guru” and business “expert” extols the value of persistence and perseverance. Quitting is considered the ultimate sin.

Phooey.

Quitting is valuable. Important. Even crucial to your success, both in sales and in life.

If your sales, your career, your project, your relationship isn’t where you’d like it to be, your best course of action may be to quit. Throw in the towel. Jump ship.

Want proof?

In 1993, after winning three NBA championships, Michael Jordan—one of the greatest basketball players ever—quit basketball altogether. Why? He had lost his passion for the game and needed a new challenge. He found that challenge in baseball, but discovered he wasn’t good enough to play at the major-league level. What did he do? He quit! Jordan returned to basketball and led the Chicago Bulls to three more championships. Quitting the first time enabled Jordan to rediscover his love of basketball. Quitting the second time enabled him to channel his passion and skills where they could have the greatest impact.

When Steve Jobs returned to a struggling Apple Computer in 1997, he slashed Apple’s 15 product lines to just four. In other words, he quit on 11 product lines. That allowed Apple to focus their resources on the few products that had the best chance of succeeding.

No. 61 (Rust and Blue), 1953, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

The artist Mark Rothko quit on his childhood ambition of becoming an engineer, moved to New York and became one of the most famous painters in the Abstract Expressionism movement.

Financial guru Suze Orman quit her job as Vice-President of Investments at Prudential Bache Securities to start her own company, which led to her writing nine best-selling books and becoming a TV personality.

Bill Gates quit Harvard to form a little company called Microsoft.

Coke quit on New Coke because…..ummm…..nobody wanted it. (Pepsi quit on Crystal Pepsi for the same reason.)

Shall I quit with the examples? Fine.

Here are nineteen perfectly good reasons to quit a job, a product, an approach, a project, a sales campaign, a habit, a customer, a vendor or a relationship (professional or personal):

1. You suck at it
2. You hate it
3. You’re bored
4. There’s no money in it
5. It’s not working
6. It’s getting worse
7. The product sucks
8. The people suck
9. The boss sucks
10. What you initially thought turned out to be wrong
11. The results aren’t worth the effort
12. You’re asked to do something unethical
13. You’re being lied to
14. The person is abusive
15. They’re too unreliable
16. You’re being taken advantage of
17. There’s no support
18. It’s bad for your health
19. It’s preventing you from being effective in other areas

I’m not saying you should quit at the first sign of trouble. Nor am I arguing that it’s okay to blame everyone and everything else if your job, your life or your product sucks. (The problem could very well be you.)

I’m just saying that if things aren’t working, quitting may be the best thing you can do.

Quitting on a lousy company can lead you to a better job with a different company. Quitting on a failing product can free up resources for a newer, better product. Quitting on a terrible employee can create an opportunity for someone who will perform more effectively.

In short, quitting enables you to move on. To new ideas, people and opportunities.

So here’s an important question: What—or who—do you need to quit?

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