Op-Ed: What Should an Entrepeneur Do When All Else Fails?

Here are eleven things to consider before you throw in the towel.

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As a business owner, I often have multiple roles to juggle. I am a father, husband, director, small business consultant, financial advisor, community volunteer, etc., etc. The list goes on and on. I also know I am not alone; as you may also have multiple roles and responsibilities to attend to, just like myself.

However, it often seems that because you are focused on so many things, things may not work out as you planned. Sometimes things can go wrong, at the wrong time, when you have a plate full already. At that stage you can be tempted to throw in the towel and give up.

In my experience, you have three choices. You can:

  • throw your hands up in the air in despair and give up, or
  • face the issue directly in the eye and become creative to overcome it, or
  • focus on something else

The choice is yours! We may agree that the first and last options are inappropriate and will not lead to a quick resolution. So, what do we do when all else has failed?

Here are eleven things to consider before you throw in the towel.


  1. Go back to the original concept.

    Ask yourself the following questions: Why did I start this in the first place? What am I trying to achieve? What did I do wrong? Does this feel right? Was my concept right in the first place? Should I look at this from a different angle?

  2. Get expert help.

    Enlist the help of an expert that is familiar with the issue you are dealing with. It is true — we cannot be experts at everything. Meanwhile, not all expert help comes with a high cost. You can consider a paid professional, but a friend or family with expertise and opinions you value may be a good starting point. At this juncture, you should also gain feedback from clients and customers using an online survey or focus group. The key here is not to delay, get help as quickly as possible, before it is too late!

  3. Take some time to reflect.

    Step back from the issue and take as long as you need, or can afford. This should include some solitary time where you are completely relaxed and can focus on the issue at hand without distractions. Usually this involves going into a different environment.

  4. Give it time.

    Maybe your idea just needs some more time to bear fruit? Maybe your plans were too optimistic or aggressive? Maybe the new product or service needs some more time in the market? Sometimes you can go only as fast as the market and the decision maker can go … so be patient.

  5. Get a new team.

    You may be working on a project with an internal or external team and the team dynamics may not work out. It could be time to change the team composition, assign new roles or bring in an external consultant?

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