Richie Norton

Start stuff

THE ART OF QUITTING: THE ONE QUESTION TO ASK YOURSELF

The Art of Quitting

(Photo credit: Andreia)

I’ve written a lot about starting things. What about when it’s time to stop? Is it ever okay to quit?

Like creating a masterpiece, quitting is an art: you have to decide what to keep within the frame and what to keep out.

There’s a difference between casual quitting and strategic quitting.

Casual quitting is lazy. It’s when you quit because you don’t want to do the work. Casual quitting can lead to significant loss.

Strategic quitting is smart. It’s when you end something because it’s part of a larger plan to take advantage of greater opportunities. Typically, you strategically quit because you’ve done your research, thoroughly tested the idea and evaluated the opportunity and discovered it’s a dead end. Strategic quitting can lead to significant gains.

As Seth Godin says in The Dip: A Little Book that Teaches You When to Quit, “Strategic quitting is the secret of successful organizations.” So, if you’re gonna quit, make quitting a part of your larger vision for the future. The same way you’d sacrifice a pawn in chess “in the hopes of gaining tactical or positional compensation in other forms.”

Ultimately, whatever you decide is a decision that you have to make (and live with) on your own. So before you make that decision, ask yourself this one question:

Are you giving up or are you strategically quitting?

I agree with Winston Churchill when he said, “Never, never, never give up.”

And…

I agree with Peter Drucker when he said, “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.”

Perhaps these two conflicting quotes can be cleared up with another: “Quitting is not giving up, it’s choosing to focus your attention on something more important. Quitting is not losing confidence, it’s realizing that there are more valuable ways you can spend your time. Quitting is not making excuses, it’s learning to be more productive, efficient and effective instead. Quitting is letting go of things (or people) that are sucking the life out of you so you can do more things that will bring you strength.” ― Osayi Osar-Emokpae

Here’s the deal:

  1. Life’s short.
  2. There are many ways to make a living and a difference in this world.
  3. Quit smart.

Happy (guilt-free) quitting!

Written by on May 5, 2014 | Permalink | Trackbacks (0)
4 Comments post a comment
  1. Mike Goncalves May 05th 9:45 am

    Great stuff Richie!
    LOve the idea of strategically quitting and the thought of letting go of things (or people) that are sucking the life out of us so that we can do more of the things that will bring us strength. perfectly stated. Thanks!

  2. Mark May 06th 10:22 am

    So true Richie! Thanks for this post! I think we get so caught up in “never quit” that we handcuff ourselves to the way things are right now!! Good stuff!

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Would you keep reading these books based on only the first sentence?

First Lines from 10 of my favorite business self-help books - by Richie Norton

 

I love good business books. I love good self-help books. I own hundreds of them. I spend a lot of time and money on these beauties and each has impacted my business and life in it’s own way. Often, I’ll get into a book and stop after just reading a few sentences because it gets my mind going and I immediately have to start jotting down ideas for implementation.

I thought it would be fun to share the first sentences of some of my favorite business / self-help books (listed below in no particular order). It’s an interesting study because as an author myself, I know that an absurd and disproportionate amount of time goes into the first sentence. I have fun trying to think what the author was thinking when the first sentence was crafted and the impact they hoped it would have on the reader.

Would you keep reading these books based on only the first sentence?

Enjoy!

FIRST LINES FROM 10 OF MY FAVORITE BUSINESS / SELF-HELP BOOKS

1. As a Man Thinketh

“The aphorism, ‘As a man thinketh in his heart so is he,’ not only embraces the whole of a man’s being, but is so comprehensive as to reach out to every condition and circumstance of his life.” – James Allen (First published 1902)

2. It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be

“Nearly all rich and powerful people are not notably talented, educated, charming or good looking.” – Paul Arden (First published 2003)

3. Banker to the Poor

“In the year 1974 Bangladesh fell into the grip of famine.” – Muhammad Yunas (First published 1999)

4. Linchpin

“The world has changed (again) and the stakes are higher than ever.” – Seth Godin (First published 2010)

5. Outliers

“Roseto Valfortore lies one hundred miles southeast of Rome in the Apennine foothills of the Italian province of Foggia.” – Malcolm Gladwell (First published 2008)

6. Good to Great

“Good is the enemy of great.” – Jim Collins (First published 2001)

7. The Speed of Trust

“There is one thing that is common to every individual, relationship, team, family, organization, nation, economy, and civilization throughout the world–one thing which, if removed, will destroy the most powerful government, the most successful business, the most thriving economy, the most influential leadership, the greatest friendship, the strongest character, the deepest love.” – Stephen M. R. Covey (First published 2006)

8. Rework

“We have something new to say about building, running, and growing (or not growing) a business.” – Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson (First published 2010)

9. Egonomics

“Ego is the invisible line item on every company’s profit and loss statement.” – David Marcum & Steven Smith

10. The Art of the Start

“There are many ways to describe the ebb and flow, yin and yang, bubble-blowing and bubble-bursting phases of business cycles.” – Guy Kawasaki (First published 2004)

Hat tip to my editor Lisa Mangum for the idea.

Written by on April 4, 2014 | Permalink | Trackbacks (0) Topics:

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10 Simple Ways to Start Making Your Idea Happen Today

After the idea, comes a flood of resistance.

Ever noticed how immediately after you have a fresh idea comes a flood of reasons why you shouldn’t do it? Steven Pressfield calls this the “resistance.” There’s a very real battle that rages on in our minds between thought and action.

Those who fulfill dreams, contribute to the world and live without regret are those who push through the resistance.

Here’s 10 ways to overcome the resistance and make stuff happen.

1.  Start by picturing yourself succeeding.

“Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.” —DR. JOYCE BROTHERS

2. Relax and work with what you have already.

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” —JOHN WOODEN

3. Commit at least 15 minutes a day to working on your idea.

“Either you run the day or the day runs you.”—JIM ROHN

4. Set a date to reach a specific milestone.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” —STEPHEN COVEY 

5. Ask someone to hold you accountable.

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” —ELBERT HUBBARD

6. Pay attention to what you’re doing.

“Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention.” —JIM ROHN

7. Don’t worry about fitting a certain mold.

“Why are you trying so hard to fit in, when you’re born to stand out.” —OLIVER JAMES

8. Get a mentor so you can jump the learning curve.

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” —ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

9. Do the work the mentor tells you to do.

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.” —JERRY RICE

10. Remember this: You’re good enough. You deserve it. The world needs your contribution. You got this.

Never think that you’re not good enough. A man should never think that. People will take you very much at your own reckoning.” —ANTHONY TROLLOPE

 

Written by on March 15, 2014 | Permalink | Trackbacks (0)
2 Comments post a comment
  1. Nate Mar 19th 6:55 pm

    Thanks for the great reminders Richie! I’ve been reading about resistance a lot lately in an online life planning course I’m taking. These tips hit the nail right on the head – reminds me of the quote “whether you think you can or you think you can’t – you’re right”

    now to implement the tips! Thanks again!

  2. Diane May 13th 8:23 am

    I’ve finally set my date and even though it’s two years away it is marked on my calendar. In two years when my last son leaves for his mission I will be opening up my shop selling kids clothing and specializing in blessing /christening apparel and baptism dresses. My date is July 31. There it’s official! Thats my birthday so I can’t think of a better way of spending my birthday than fulfilling a lifelong dream. Thank you for all the encouraging comments to keep us going,

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