When to Admit Defeat In Building an Online Business

thumbs down -- when to admit failure in building an online business.I don’t want to discourage anyone, but the fact is that there does come a point where you have to admit that your online business is a failure and that you need try doing something else. What point is that exactly?

Stephen King’s Axiom

The decision of when to abandon a particular business differs for different people, but I am reminded of a line I read many years ago from author Stephen King about writing: When you should you give up trying to get published? After six rejections? Certainly not. After 600? Maybe. After 6,000? My friend, after 6,000 rejections, it is time to try something (anything) else.

I’m paraphrasing a bit because I don’t remember the exact quote (I read it back when I was a teenager [in the days when online meant using a text based BBS] and dreamed of publishing a novel – something I still want to do, but which looks increasingly unlikely as time goes on). However, the basic sentiment is that the point where you need to admit defeat differs for each person, though there is a breaking point that everyone needs to accept. Now, all that having been said, here are some pointers to help you decide:

Are You Making a Living?

Look, if your online business is a side thing and you enjoy it, then there is no real reason to throw in the towel even if you aren’t making a whole heck of a lot of money from running it. If you don’t enjoy running your online business, then it doesn’t really matter – you’ll lose inertia anyway. On the other hand, if you find that your online business is consuming your time and making it impossible to earn a living, then you may need to think about how you’re going to pay the rent.

How Long Have You Been Trying?

This goes back to Stephen King’s axiom. If you’ve been banging your head against the wall for three years and still can’t show more than fifty bucks for all your efforts in all that time, then there is something wrong and it’s time to look into other options. On the other hand, for some people, six months will be the breaking point. I do recommend however that you give an online business at least that much time since it does take time for SEO efforts to work.

Have You Tweaked Your Site?

Making money online means endless experimentation. Even when your site is successful, you’ll inevitably attract copycat competition and that means that you need to work hard to recreate yourself. If you’ve found that your site isn’t making any money, then you should ask yourself whether or not you’ve taken the time to actually do some tweaking of your site.

Are You Bored Out of Your Mind?

Finally, the question that you really need to ask is this: are you absolutely, positively bored out of your mind with running your online business? If so, then maybe it’s time to try something else. No job is perfect and no job is always interesting. However, if you really find the idea of writing one more article or page or creating one more video for your site fills you with dread, then my friend, it’s time to try something (anything) else.

4 thoughts on “When to Admit Defeat In Building an Online Business

  1. How long would give a child to learn to walk?

    When it comes to business, it firstly depends on what it means to you and how badly you want to do it. Only because your online business is not happening at a moment it doesn’t mean that you should abandon it, but that you should sit down, analyze it, figure out what is not working and what needs changing/improving.
    If there is a market and potential in your business niche, then there is opportunity for you to do well.
    The only reason I would justify dropping a business is if there really isn’t demand and you are unable to generate interest.
    Remember, while persistence is important, repeating the same things expecting different results is a definition of insanity. So, if something isn’t working, figure out a way to make it work. Educate yourself further and on continual basis and you’ll find ways to make things happen.

    1. I don’t say to abandon it just at the outset. However, after a certain amount of time, you do need to face facts. I mean using your child analogy, if God forbid, your child was still not able to walk when he’s 10 years old, then you must conclude that there is something wrong and that you need to accept it rather than continue to push him to try to do something he clearly can’t do.

  2. Great Content on Online Business. It’s right we need change our strategies every time to build a Online Brand.

    To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. (Winston Churchill)


    Sean Davidson
    Unique Contacts

    1. Very true. However, I think that ultimately the key is simply being willing to fail. If you are willing to be a failure in order to learn something then you are ahead of the game compared to most other people trying to make money online.

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