What makes people quit?
Now, this question comes directly out of several experiences that we have had over the last few months and weeks that have lead us to question the need for our business, the efficacy of our business model and what it all means.
However, every time we have discussed these thoughts, feelings, and emotions with others, the admonition of “Just don’t quit,” keeps coming back to us over and over again.
The majority of this support and tacit encouragement comes from close friends, some family members and people in the overall community who recognize the value of what we do.
But that leads us back to the question: What makes people quit?
Here are some statistics:
- In the United States alone, the divorce rate among first marriages is 3.6 per 1,000 and among second marriages it is even higher.
- A 1998 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics also makes the pessimistic case – that 80% of small businesses survive their first year, 65% survive their second year and 55% survive their third year.
- According to the BBC, US researchers found people typically lose between 5% and 10% of their weight during the first six months of a diet. But the review of 31 previous studies, by the University of California, said up to two-thirds put more weight on than they had lost within five years.
So in some of the most important areas of our lives (health status, relationships, financial decisions), where we make momentous decisions, upend everything sometimes, we then turn around and we quit continuously and neverendingly.
- Is the commitment to hard?
- Is the time to put in too great?
- Is the social approbation to heavy?
Or, are we all just lazy?
Is there a time to quit? Probably not the time that Byrds were talking about in their apocryphal song, but nevertheless, is there?
In the military, there is an idea known as a “strategic retreat,” which is a euphemism for what civilians would call a retreat, a failure or just quitting.
And yet, we abhor cowardice, we hate “quitters” and we encourage people to persist, have grit, “grind it out,” and all the other things that we say, while we simultaneously think: “Boy, I would’ve quit THAT long ago.”
Maybe the question isn’t why do we quit relationships, military strategies, business efforts, ideas, or each other; but, maybe the question is instead:
Why do we persist?