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This post is based on episode 90 of the ProBlogger podcast.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve talked about two of the most important things you’ll ever do as an entrepreneur:
starting, which is all about acting on your ideas rather than just thinking about them
persisting, which is all about not giving up when things get tough.
Unfortunately, not every idea you have will be a success, no matter how long you try to make it work. And so I’d like to wrap up this little series by talking about when you might be better off quitting.
Digging in the wrong spot
In last week’s post I told you about the Cavanagh brothers, and how they earned themselves a fortune in gold by not giving up when so many other had. It’s a great example of persistence, but only because they were rewarded for their hard work. If they didn’t find any gold, it would be a story about how they should have given up and moved up the creek with the rest of the miners instead of wasting all that time and effort.
Like it or not, some ideas will have you digging in the wrong spot. And no matter how long you stick at it, you’ll never find the gold you’re looking for.
But how can you tell when you should quit and move on rather than dig your heels in and keep going?
As I said last week, there have been times over the years when I’ve felt like quitting. And to help me decide whether I should quit or keep going I asked myself four questions.
1. “Am I enjoying it?”
Does the blog, project or business you’re working on give you energy? Is it something you enjoy?
Now I’m not saying you should quit immediately if you answer either question with “No”. (That’s why I ask myself the other three questions I’m about to tell you about.) But if you feel that what you’re doing is sucking all the energy and joy out of your life, it may well be worth considering.
2. “Am I good at it?”
Take an objective look at the work you’re doing. Do you think you’re good at what you do? Are you producing a high-quality product or service? (It’s probably worth asking other people what they think at this point because it can be hard to be objective about your own work.)
If the consensus is that you are good at what you do and you are producing a high-quality product or service, then it might be best to keep going despite everything else.
3. “Is there demand for what I’m doing?”
You might be feeling a little despondent about your blog. But try to forget about that for a moment and think about its potential. What could your blog be like in the future? Is there a demand for what you’re producing? And is that demand likely to grow?
You might not be having much luck with your blog right now simply because you’re a little ahead of the curve. Wouldn’t it be worth sticking with so that when everyone else catches up yours will be the blog everyone comes to for help and advice?
Of course, if there isn’t a demand for what you’re doing, or that demand will eventually peter out because you’re blogging about something that has disappeared or is about to (e.g. Google+), then it may well be time to quit.
4. “Are people responding to what I’m doing?”
What do other people think of your blog? What are your audience numbers like? Are you getting lots of comments? Are your posts getting shared on social media?
Now’s the time to look beyond the feedback you’re getting from people and at the cold hard facts (or stats) such as how much traffic you’re getting and how much you’re earning.
Let’s face it: If you’ve been blogging for 10 years in the hope of becoming a full-time blogger but still aren’t earning enough to quit your day job, it may be a sign that you need to think of something else. I know of many bloggers who probably should have given up years ago because they’re investing all their time and energy for very little reward.
Weigh up all the answers
The idea behind these questions is get an overall picture of how you and your blog are doing? I like to associate each question with a word:
“Am I enjoying it?” – energy
“Am I good at it?” – quality
“Is there a demand for what I’m doing?” – potential
“Are people responding to what I’m doing?” – results.
And it’s important to look at all four answer when deciding whether or not you should quit.
For example, a lot of bloggers quit simply because they don’t enjoy it and it’s sapping their energy. But they may be oblivious to how good they are, and how many people are hanging off their every word.
An alternative to quitting
If you’ve asked yourself these four questions, and quitting still seems like the best option, I’d like you to ask yourself one last question before you pull the plug: “Could I pivot instead?”
Yes, it might be time to quit this blog, project or even business. But chances are it still has a lot of value, and you may be able to use some of it in another project.
I’ve met a lot of successful entrepreneurs over the years. And I can’t think of any who have achieved their success by travelling in a straight line. Most (if not all) of them have done it by pivoting and changing direction.
I believe that to be a successful entrepreneur you need to be able to not only persist with the task at hand, but also spot new opportunities and quickly change direction to pursue them.
Over to you
Are you thinking of quitting something? What were your answers to the four questions? And could you pivot rather than quit completely?
Let’s talk about it in the comments.
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
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This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.com.When you think of work-from-home jobs, you may think that they don’t pay the same as their in-office counterparts. Not only isn’t that true, but there are many jobs you can do from home that pay well.
Below, we’ve got a list of 10 work-from-home jobs at $25 per hour (or more), along with the average hourly pay rate based on information from PayScale. While this list doesn’t include every job that pays $25 an hour, it does include links to remote jobs available on FlexJobs right now!
Note: FlexJobs is a subscription service for job seekers that features flexible and remote jobs. The monthly subscription costs allow us to fully vet and verify all of the jobs on our site — which has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau — ensuring that customers have a safe and positive job searching experience.
1. Medical writer
Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock.com
Average hourly pay: $41.40
Medical writers create manuals, training documents, patient education materials and other documents. They may work at pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, medical equipment companies or other health-related companies.
2. Technical writer
Iryna Rahalskaya / Shutterstock.com
Average hourly pay: $25.01
Technical writers translate complex technical information into consumer-friendly and easy-to-follow documents. They primarily create user manuals, but they may also create how-to guides, or write white papers, journal articles and other types of supporting documentation.
3. Speech-language pathologist
fizkes / Shutterstock.com
Average hourly pay: $39.04
Although they work primarily with children, speech-language pathologists may also work with adults to help them overcome difficulties with speech and language processing. Because speech difficulties range from mild to severe, speech-language pathologists must create individualized treatment plans and strategies for each patient.
4. Certified public accountant
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com
Average hourly pay: $30.55
Certified public accountants do more than prepare tax returns. They also help clients review their financial information, prepare tax and finance documents, and stay educated on changes in tax laws or government regulations. Certified public accountants may also perform audits and suggest ways to improve bookkeeping and record-keeping.
5. Registered nurse
Cryptographer / Shutterstock.com
Average hourly pay: $29.95
Most registered nurses work for hospitals or medical clinics, although they can work for outpatient facilities, private practices or rehabilitation facilities. Their primary duties are related to patient care and include administering medication, monitoring patient recovery, and patient and family education.
6. Software developer
antoniodiaz / Shutterstock.com
Average hourly pay: $28.24
Software developers create the applications that run computers, phones and other devices. They may develop custom programs or develop programs that integrate with an existing system. Many software developers are familiar with multiple programming and database languages. This common work-from-home job frequently pays more than $25 an hour.
7. Project manager
Pixel-Shot / Shutterstock.com
Average hourly pay: $25.80
Project managers define milestones, goals and timelines for projects. The project manager is also responsible for coordinating everyone who works on the project to ensure they meet their goals and keep the project on time. Project managers also manage the project budget to make sure there are no cost overruns.
8. Business consultant
Branislav Nenin / Shutterstock.com
Average hourly pay: $34.42
Business consultants help companies find more effective ways of conducting business. They may suggest improvements that streamline billing and collecting procedures to increase cash flow or suggest process improvements to improve the company’s overall efficiency.
9. Software engineer
Life_imageS / Shutterstock.com
Average hourly pay: $35.44
Software engineers are different from software developers in that the engineer maps out the way the software will function. They define what the program will do and how it should perform. Software engineers work with other programmers and coders to ensure all parts of the program work together.
10. Senior recruiter
Dragon Images / Shutterstock.com
Average hourly pay: $30.40
Senior recruiters work with their team to ensure that company staffing needs are met. They create strategic approaches to attract the best talent to their talent pool and help the company figure out what salary and perks they should offer.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.