Big projects begin with a mix of anticipation, excitement and confidence. Then things start to get more challenging and less fun. Then, over time (months, years) things get real hard, the money leaks through every crack, you lose faith, and the project becomes a stressful quagmire for you and those in your inner circle. Then people start to say things like, “why are you doing this to yourself?”

What really sets successful artists & entrepreneurs apart is their foresight to recognize when the ship is sinking, and their courage to make intelligent decisions (so they can move on and get excited about the next project). However too many “personal” factors get in the way of smart choices:

— The righteous voice in your head is programmed to say, “Never Give Up.”
— You’re embarrassed to tell others that the project failed.
— The fear of bailing out trumps the stress of staying in.
— You need to prove something to yourself.
— You’re afraid to make a big change.
— You dwell in denial.

I’ve said this before: It’s ok to let things fall apart. Let things go south. Let the whole project “breakdown” and collapse if necessary. Truth is, breakthroughs are usually preceded by breakdowns, and if we squirm to avoid the breakdowns, we actually deprive ourselves of the real grit from which breakthroughs arise. I know it’s not an easy choice to let the boat sink. However, all things considered, it just may be the wisest.

“The most talented captain can’t save a ship with a hole in it.” —Bob Lefsetz


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