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Never Quit*

As you may have noticed on our social media feeds – we like motivational quotes. On Mondays we post Maclendon Monday Motivation to kick the week off with some feel good mojo. On Friday we post #smartuprising to remind us of the people who inspire us that push the limits. We have two motivation boards in our kitchen that the team pins little quips to inspire each other. As entrepreneurs – the path less traveled can feel daunting, surrounding ourselves with motivation is a testament that going down less traveled path can be beyond an amazing experience. People have broken down barriers, overcome adversity, and pushed the limits to BGR8 in their field. It feels good to know we are not alone.

One motivational mantra I frequently come across is “Never Quit”. Do a quick Google search of “Never Quit” and you hit the motivational mecca. “Winners never quit, quitters never win”. “Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever”. “Remember that guy that gave up – neither does anybody else”. These are pretty heavy and direct feelings that quitting and failure are synonymous. But are they really? I am not sure how the entrepreneurial spirit would survive in a land without quitting. Quitting doesn’t mean you don’t care or you don’t have drive – often times it is quite the opposite.

I began my wealth management career at a world class firm. The technology was cutting edge, strong leadership and an ever-present branding campaign. I learned so much there, but knew I wanted to take my practice to a different level. I became involved in leadership, asked if I can change some of the current limitations, tried to push the limits and realized I couldn’t. So I had to quit. That’s right – the man that constantly pushes my team and my family to always try their hardest and live a loyal, dedicated life was now a “quitter”.

Quitting doesn't mean you don't care or you don't have drive - often times it is quite the opposite.

In embracing my new found “quitter” status I founded Maclendon on a promise of putting my clients first. I can offer unparalleled, uncompromised advice with exceptional personal service. I knew that having a limited product tool box was not enough for my entrepreneurial clients and I wanted to be able to offer more. I now have the opportunity to do so. All because I quit.

Reflecting back on my career trajectory and the motivation – never quit – mantras, I can’t help but think there are two different reasons to quit. If you are quitting because you are lazy, afraid, overwhelmed, not driven – then these mantras will serve you well. But if you are quitting because you know the activity is stunting your personal growth, your time would be better used elsewhere, or there is a better opportunity for success if you quit this activity and start another, quit!

Two Paths

When people look at the landscape of where to take their career they typically envision two paths. One is the conventional path. Join a big organization where there is a sense of security and structure. You move along this nice, wide and beautifully cemented path. You understand what the next steps are and you don’t quit as you climb the corporate ladder.

And then there is a path of the entrepreneur. But this path of persistence isn’t just a straight shot. There are limitless routes along the entrepreneur path. And sometimes you will take a few steps down one path, and have to back out or pivot. You have to be flexible, driven and passionate. It takes a certain level of tenacity to explore these little offspring paths that frequently lead to dead ends. That is where quitting is ok. Don’t just put your head down and forge on. Stop, strategically think, understand your limits and quit when you know that path wasn’t the right choice. Celebrate that you have the power to quit. Failures are the best lessons we encounter as entrepreneurs. Quitting gives you the opportunity to start again, but this time you are wiser with a greater sense of awareness. Your goals become more refined, you can innovate and grow. Quitting gives us opportunity.

Financial Planning Two Step

When I think about quitting at the portfolio management level, my thoughts turn to time. When the markets rumble and an investor wants to sell out of their holdings, is that what is best for their long term goals? Quitting their current allocation can truly derail an investor from where they want to be in the future. Giving up on your allocation because the pressure may seem overwhelming isn’t always the best option. Having candid conversations with your advisor on why you want to change, holding tight and looking to the future may be your best option.

But that doesn’t mean that you cannot quit in your financial plan. Maybe you wanted to buy a home in Hawaii but you change your mind – quit that goal and replace it with another. Or maybe you thought you would sell out of your business in 5 years, but there are some interesting projects happening and you want to hold out longer, quit that 5-year goal. Financial planning isn’t a set it and forget it rigid document. It is a dynamic living plan that ebbs and flows with your personal goals.

Winning for the sake of winning does not make you a winner. The true winners have the strength to quit and fail to enjoy the life they choose, design and create.