It’s Time to Quit… IMP#30

September 4, 2014 - 16 Comments

There’s conflicting advice out there for an entrepreneur like you: on the one hand, we’re told to never give up, to pick ourselves up and keep going after each failure and scramble over any obstacle in our way.

On the other hand, we’re told to be smart and know when to quit, because you don’t want to be endlessly fighting a losing battle, right? And even if you’re not outright quitting, you should be flexible and “pivot” your business to make it better match the market.

But how do you know whether staying the course, pivoting or walking away is the right decision to make, in the moment? In today’s (short) podcast episode, I propose a simple answer to this question:

Podcast Audio

Click here to download the mp3 file of this episode.


  • How to Escape from Pivot Limbo – if you’re stuck in your business, this post helps you analyze your current situation and make the right decision to get un-stuck.
  • Stop the Premature Pivot (podcast) – more details about when you need to make a change and when you need to get more data, before making a change in your business.
  • The Impact System – my entire, detailed system for creating products, launching them and scaling them up (yes, all this is free content).

I hope you enjoyed this mini-episode. If you have any questions, thoughts or your own stories to share, please leave a comment below!

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About ​Shane Melaugh

I'm the founder of ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes and over the last years, I've created and marketed a dozen different software, information and SaaS products. Apart from running my business, I spend most of my time reading, learning, developing skills and helping other people develop theirs. On ActiveGrowth, I want to help you become a better entrepreneur and product creator. Read more about my story here.

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  • Tim Lester says:

    Hi Shane,
    Good to see some common sense instead of the normal drive yourself into the ground rhetoric.

    Just wondering what do you think about speechpad to convert your podcast to text and put in the post. Do you think it would be worth the investment at $1/minute with extra possible traffic?

    I know it would be hard to test/know but what is your gut feeling?



    • Thank you, Tim!

      Yes, the podcast transcript thing is something I’ve discussed back and forth in the past as well. I think for the traffic alone, it’s not worth it. But what might be worth it is offering the transcript in exchange for a social share or in exchange for an email signup. That’s something I want to experiment with in the near future.


  • Thank you so very much for sharing your ideas and ethics. I really appreciate the standards that you live by. It’s so rare today to see someone that sets high moral and ethical standards for themselves and then have such an unwavering commitment to stand by them regardless of the personal price.
    I guess that why I love TCB so much. Because I believe the person behind it genuinely wants to help me to succeed by providing me with a product that will acttually do just that. Thank you again for your thoughts, your product and your sincerity. You have my respect and appreciation.


  • Excellent podcast Shane your technique makes so much sense on so many levels. I truly believe you have a winning formula here. Thanks for sharing and more importantly thanks for being you.


    • Thank you, Jule! It’s a formula that has served me very well, so I’m glad it “clicks” for you as well. :)


  • Hi Shane;
    I enjoy your common-sense insights into how to operate a business that truly benefits others. I’ve heard it said that if your business is not offering a product that has a higher end value to the user than the monetary exchange would imply, then you should get out of that market. Which suggests that, with such an approach, you’re only taking their money and running. In other words a sort of scam artist.

    I’ve been reading a number of books on creating a success mindset, lately. This is every bit as important as finding a good opportunity. A mindset is just a way of thinking, based on your own set of beliefs (beliefs which may or may not be true). Without a success mindset, you will likely give up at the first roadblock. This is mainly because you only assessed the opportunity, you didn’t assess your level of interest or passion.

    In order to truly assess whether to abandon a current project, and change direction, you need to rely on your intuition, rather than your current results, your ego or anything others are telling you. For most people, they have difficulty tapping into their intuition, as their ego is telling them to push forward and be successful. Your intuition however, is always right. Your ego lies to you most of the time, and holds you back from succeeding.

    Keep up the good work.


    • Thank you for your comment, Tim!

      Yes, absolutely. The basis of any healthy business is that your customers are getting something that’s worth more to them than the money they’re exchanging for it. This is what I refer to as a value based business.

      I have to disagree with your second point: I wouldn’t ever want to rely on intuition to make decisions. Maybe that’s because I have an interest in psychology, where so many studies show how often our intuition is dead wrong (in surprising ways, too). The safer bet is to base decisions on data and leave all subjective impressions out of the equation completely. That’s an ideal that’s difficult to actually put into practice of course, but it’s what I strive for.


      • Well Shane, since you have an interest in psychology, you may want to check out a pair of books written by Andy Shaw, called “Creating a Bug-Free Mind” and “Using a Bug-Free Mind”. You can visit his website to get an idea what he’s on about:

        It turns out our intuition IS right. It’s our ego that’s usually steering us in the wrong direction, with those subjective impressions and all kinds of crap that isn’t true.

        I’ve been reading these books for the last year, and they’ve changed the way I look at things..for the better. I’m well on my way to finally succeeding at a new business venture, which for a shy person is fairly remarkable. Andy Shaw’s methods are very effective..perhaps even revolutionary. Check it out.

  • I’m a practitioner of doggedness, something like “never ever” giving up … but only to a limit. “Never ever” is just too inflexible for more liking. Everything must have limits, and when it comes to our own businesses, these limits need to be identified. And that’s what you’ve emphasised Shane.

    Two of the most critical limits are investment funds and time. Arguably, time is THE most critical. There’s no point sticking to a project, whatever it may be, if it’s just not producing a return on the invested time. Ditch it. Move on. Find another way.

    Thanks for your insights Shane.


    • Thank you for your comment, Des!

      Yes, that’s a good point. In startup lingo, this is often referred to as the “runway”: as in, how much runway is there left for this business to take off, before we run out of money (and subsequently can’t pay for anyone’s time anymore). For solopreneurs, I think the time factor is even more important than the money factor, like you say.


  • Hi Shane!

    I have to admit, I’m a little torn!

    I agree that you should learn when to quit a particular idea, but I also think that any idea can be profitable…it really comes down to your vision.

    For example, if I had come up with the idea of Facebook in 2003, it would have flopped. Why? Because I didn’t have the VISION that Mark did.

    I don’t think that it’s the ideas that fail- it’s the lack of vision (or poor vision).

    If you think about it, it’s extremely difficult to come up with something “new”. Pretty much ANY idea you come up with has already been done DOZENS of times (or more).

    The key is to do it DIFFERENTLY and with a vision that’s GREATER than the vision of your competitor’s.

    Rant over :)



    • Thanks for your comment, David!

      Nothing new under the sun, I agree. Although having said that: there are definitely ideas that are just doomed to fail, no matter the vision or passion behind them. An idea itself will never “make” the success of a business if there isn’t also good execution behind it, though. Even if the idea is great.

      So, I’d say that the idea can be a deal breaker, but a great idea alone isn’t enough.


  • Hi Shane, I agree exactly. I spent 25 years of my life solving a difficult problem in software development (the general, scalable, software build problem). It was challenging for all the usual reasons plus people thought it could never be done. But I considered it a worthwhile use of my life to get a tiny bit better and more knowledgeable about the problem every day. And that’s what it’s all about, right? Doing something meaningful and enjoyable until the day you die… :-) Cheers, Kevin


  • Just got introduced to your course material and spent the next 3 hours reading through course “Case Study: How to Succeed With Your First Product Launch” and listening to your Webinar (twice). Just want you to know Shane – you are the answer to my prayers. I went through Neil Patel, Sam Ovens, Tai Lopez…. the list goes on. But you my man are the one-stop-shop.
    My friend whom I deeply trust told me about you. Apparently, he has been your follower for many years now. He told me simply this “Delete & Unsubscribe everyone else you know and focus on this guy alone.”
    I can tell you without a doubt – I know now why he said so.
    BTW – I will get in touch with you personally once after I have not only gone through but implemented your advice. You will find me as one of your most unique students.
    Just google “Loy Machedo” and you will understand why.


    • Thank you very much for this comment, Loy. It means the world to me, as it has always been my most important goal to make a positive difference in other people’s lives.


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