Is it time for a business breakup?

how to answer the question "should I stay, or should I go?"


Three Things You Can Do Right Now to Spend More Time Doing What You Love. Horse-inspired wisdom to help you tame the chaos of your frenzied life.

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Glennon Doyle Melton said on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, “If a woman feels like she needs to choose between saving her marriage and saving her soul, she should save her soul.”

That struck me, not only because I know that marriage has it’s struggles, but also because I think the same principle can be applied to owning your own business.

It’s like a marriage, right?  You show up everyday, whether you feel like it or not, and you work your ass off in hopes of some sort of payoff.  Or because of the deep love you have for what you’re doing or the greater purpose you feel underneath the surface of the daily grind.

But there can come a point, even aside from that deep love and the greater purpose, when it might be time to consider that you’ve had enough.  That on a soul level, you’re done.  Tired.  Need to move on and do something else.

Maybe you need more financial support.  Maybe working for yourself isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and you actually like the community and reliability you find working for someone else (when you’re not the boss).  Maybe you want to spend more time with your family, and balancing that with self-employment isn’t your bag.     

I think I do this more than most, the questioning and considering if my business is still “right” for me.  (Maybe it’s an INFJ thing?)  I’ve been teaching dance for 20 years now, and I fight in the day-to-day to remember why I’m still doing it.  To find pleasure there.

I recognize that this beautiful place I’ve built with the help of many other beautiful souls provides so much to so many people… mamas have a family friendly, professional studio to take their little ones to; the dancers have so much fun they ask to go back to dance every single day; my employees tell me I’m the best boss they’ve ever had.  How amazing is that?

And yet my soul gets tired.  Right now, the answer to my question “should I stay, or should I go?” is to stay.  But when the day comes for me to go, here are a few of the things I know will tip me off:

  • I’ve done the self-reflection required to know that I’m not quitting just because it gets hard sometimes
  • The joy no longer outweighs the stuff I don’t like to do as a business owner, you know, the accounting and the employees not showing up, etc.  
  • My gut tells me it’s time, when the scales tip and staying feels scarier than moving on
  • I know my amazing staff, these young women I’ve grown to love, will be well taken care of  🙂

These are the reasons why web design and coaching are still my side gig.  I love, love them, but leaving my studio and going full time doesn’t feel right yet (though I’ve been asking the question for years – haha).  

But maybe you’re in a different position.  Maybe you’re asking yourself, “Should I stay or should I go?” and you’re not clear on the answer yet.  Here are the questions you can ask yourself based on my points above:

  • Are you quitting just because it’s hard?  Or have you done the self-reflection to know that it really is hurting too much to stay?  (PS – I can help you with that)
  • Are you reaping enough rewards to make the stuff you don’t like about your biz worth it?  Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the shit sandwich that comes along with everything in life.  Everything.  So in business, you have to pick something you like enough to eat the shit sandwich that comes along with it.
  • What feels scarier, staying or going?  This is a good clue!  

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Elizabeth Appell

And here are two great questions from Jennifer Louden:

“Am I suffering enough to do something about it?” and “Am I hungry enough for something more to take this risk?”

Great things to consider when trying to decide if it’s time for a business breakup.  Or any breakup for that matter.  😉



Three Things You Can Do Right Now to Spend More Time Doing What You Love. Horse-inspired wisdom to help you tame the chaos of your frenzied life.