When should I give up?

23 replies
...on a particular project, that is. I'm NOT talking about internet marketing or entrepreneurship as a whole.


A surefire path to success in anything worth doing is to fail fast and fail often. If you don't believe me watch Michael Jordan's “Failure” Nike Commercial.


But I'm not here to debate that. What I do want to ask my fellow Warriors is do you guys have some sort of mathematical formula that helps you decide whether or not to bail on a product launch, website, or campaign?


Being the emotional hopeless romantic that I am, I have a tendency to hold onto ideas much longer than I should. I'd like to take my flawed human emotions out of the equation as much as possible. That way I can make my decisions based on cold hard numbers.


Right now my formula is as follows:


If revenue > cost then continue to tweak what is working and drop what isn't. If cost > revenue for x amount of days/weeks/months then it's time to restructure my plan or drop the project entirely.


It works ok, but it still leaves room to permeate my “feelings” on the project. Like I said, I'd like to get that out of the way as much as possible.


So tell me, how do you guys decide when the fat lady has sung her sweet song of defeat.
#give #give up #project #website
  • Profile picture of the author fin
    Pistols - Handstand push ups - Chin ups

    Your most recent article mentions one of them. It doesn't say much, in fact, nothing at all. Get to the punch line and add the beef.
    Hey... If that's not the site your talking about, it at least gives me an idea about what your producing.

    It doesn't breathe any life into me. RESEARCH your topics better. Plus your writing style.

    On the bodyweight exercices - WHY?. I don't know by reading. You tell me someting but I'll click away.

    That's my "fitness opinion"

    For my "IM" opinion, which I don't have any authority for, your theme and whole "look" of the website is below par, to say the most. If your serious, invest in a classy theme and HIT IT. Don't try to make money of a horrid website. Invest either money or time in your future, and let it pay you back while your drinking cocktails on the beach.

    Good luck, mate. Your website hits something. Just not the wallet, BUT you can change that.
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    • Profile picture of the author jjbalagosa
      Originally Posted by fin View Post

      Pistols - Handstand push ups - Chin ups

      Your most recent article mentions one of them. It doesn't say much, in fact, nothing at all. Get to the punch line and add the beef.
      Hey... If that's not the site your talking about, it at least gives me an idea about what your producing.

      It doesn't breathe any life into me. RESEARCH your topics better. Plus your writing style.

      On the bodyweight exercices - WHY?. I don't know by reading. You tell me someting but I'll click away.

      That's my "fitness opinion"

      For my "IM" opinion, which I don't have any authority for, your theme and whole "look" of the website is below par, to say the most. If your serious, invest in a classy theme and HIT IT. Don't try to make money of a horrid website. Invest either money or time in your future, and let it pay you back while your drinking cocktails on the beach.

      Good luck, mate. Your website hits something. Just not the wallet, BUT you can change that.
      Thanks for the feedback fin. But I wasn't really talking about my own sites or campaigns. <removed from sig>

      (Speaking of which, I've let that particular one drift by the wayside. It's been neglected for months and I just have "filler" content on it for now. Perhaps I'll get back to it next year some time. ...Or maybe not. That's part of the problem.)

      I was talking about the business concept of letting things go, in general. I've heard Jason Fladlien talk about ending projects as soon as fail, and he's mentioned that knowing that failure point is crucial.
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      • Profile picture of the author fin
        That's cool, mate.

        When you say you want to let go, what part seems to be the issue?

        Is it the content? Sales funnel, traffic... etc?
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        • Profile picture of the author jjbalagosa
          Originally Posted by fin View Post

          That's cool, mate.

          When you say you want to let go, what part seems to be the issue?

          Is it the content? Sales funnel, traffic... etc?
          I actually don't have a particular issue right now. The campain that I'm currently on is actually doing great. (Revenue > Cost and all that )

          I've just been reading books on business start-ups and also picked up a video series on product creation by Jason Fladlien. And a recurring point these authors and gurus try to drive is to know when to call it quits. So I wanted to open a discussion on the topic with the successful marketers on this forum. Just for mere purpose of adding to my knowledge base.

          However, I do appreciate your willingness to help man! You're awesome!
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      • Profile picture of the author Classic
        I have a "3" rule.

        I give a site 3 months (if it's a small, 3-5 page niche site) to hit the first page of Google or to see very significant increase in rankings. If it's moving up rapidly and very close to the goal come the 3 month deadline, I'll keep promoting it and/or paying for SEO work. If if it's not close, or close but not moving up that much anymore, I drop it and put any new money into the sites that are working and/or into building new ones, or starting new IM ventures in other respects besides SEO.

        If it's emailing solo ads, I also use "3"

        I'll test 3 ads and see how they do and look at my return on investment. If one or two of them (or all of them) come close to breaking even or lose just a little money, I'll tweak them them (yep, you guessed it, up to 3 times) and test them again. If they're that close to being profitable, often just a little tweak can mean big gains. If they get about the same ROI or worse, I drop them and focus on the winners.

        You can use "3" over and over again in a variety of ways, and I've found it works for me.

        On a personal aside, I have a site that I love. It's an authority type site and it's in a challenging niche. It's going to be big one day, but I needed to prioritize how I spend my money, so when it hit one of my hard "3's" I have in place, I stopped pouring money into it and I'm putting that money where I get the best return.

        Will I keep promoting it? Sure! It just doesn't get anywhere near the bulk of my dollars like it used to. I'm putting my money and time where I'm getting the best results. As you said, sometimes things influence you on a very emotional level, and you have to look at the numbers and move on.

        That rule of 3 and the 80/20 principle are two that influence me a lot.

        Hope this helps. I wish you all the best!
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        • Profile picture of the author jjbalagosa
          Originally Posted by Classic View Post

          I have a "3" rule.

          I give a site 3 months (if it's a small, 3-5 page niche site) to hit the first page of Google or to see very significant increase in rankings. If it's moving up rapidly and very close to the goal come the 3 month deadline, I'll keep promoting it and/or paying for SEO work. If if it's not close, or close but not moving up that much anymore, I drop it and put any new money into the sites that are working and/or into building new ones, or starting new IM ventures in other respects besides SEO.

          If it's emailing solo ads, I also use "3"

          I'll test 3 ads and see how they do and look at my return on investment. If one or two of them (or all of them) come close to breaking even or lose just a little money, I'll tweak them them (yep, you guessed it, up to 3 times) and test them again. If they're that close to being profitable, often just a little tweak can mean big gains. If they get about the same ROI or worse, I drop them and focus on the winners.

          You can use "3" over and over again in a variety of ways, and I've found it works for me.

          On a personal aside, I have a site that I love. It's an authority type site and it's in a challenging niche. It's going to be big one day, but I needed to prioritize how I spend my money, so when it hit one of my hard "3's" I have in place, I stopped pouring money into it and I'm putting that money where I get the best return.

          Will I keep promoting it? Sure! It just doesn't get anywhere near the bulk of my dollars like it used to. I'm putting my money and time where I'm getting the best results. As you said, sometimes things influence you on a very emotional level, and you have to look at the numbers and move on.

          That rule of 3 and the 80/20 principle are two that influence me a lot.

          Hope this helps. I wish you all the best!
          I'm a huge 80/20 fan myself! Your rule of 3 is pretty sweet. I'm finding that 30, 60, and 90 days are a sweetspot for testing.
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          • Profile picture of the author Classic
            Originally Posted by jjbalagosa View Post

            I'm a huge 80/20 fan myself! Your rule of 3 is pretty sweet. I'm finding that 30, 60, and 90 days are a sweetspot for testing.
            Yeah 80/20 is amazing in it's simplicity and it's power when leveraged to it's fullest potential. I still smile and stand in awe at how it shows up over and over in just about every thing.

            Gotta love it.
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            • Profile picture of the author Marketing Fool
              I don't have any magic formula...I just go by a gut feeling.

              But really, I hardly ever give up a project. I might change it till it doesn't even remotely resemble what I started out doing...but I just keep tweaking and testing and changing till I get the thing to profitable.

              Or if it's an utter disaster I might just scrap it...again though, it's a gut feeling.

              Most people have a little failure and immediately bail...those people are never really successful though IMHO.
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              • Profile picture of the author jjbalagosa
                Originally Posted by Marketing Fool View Post

                ...again though, it's a gut feeling.
                I've heard the saying that intuition is right 100% of the time. My problem is I sometimes have a hard time telling the difference between my intuition and my fear.

                The methodology of testing and tweaking is what made Tim Ferriss his fortune. It also, is what got his buddy Ramit Sethi successful enough to get on Fortune.com.

                Good stuff!
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie123
    Failure is a relative word. For me, I give something up when I no longer have the energy, passion, or enthusiasm to continue something. Yes, I do for a moment lament the waste of resources I gave a project, but counter that with the lessons I have learned. I also try not to rebound and throw myself into something to quick, as I need to evaluate myself. Hope this helps...peace!
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    • Profile picture of the author fin
      I know you said the BW article is just fill, and maybe so, but what's your other stuff like?

      Is that the problem?

      Just to dissect, you told us BW exercises are great.

      Why?

      Everyone goes to a gym so why are BW exercises great? Why is it better to train at home?

      Your article told me to do BW exerciess. What can that achieve that weights can't?

      LEVERAGE!

      Why is leverage important? Because you can exert more force of the muscle, which in turn makes you get bigger, lol.

      How can you blast the weight training routine out the water? Leverage, yes, but how?

      Squats = Pistols (Hindu squats, NO. Endurance, maybe, or even adding a dumbell makes it better.

      Bench press = Handstand push ups or planche push ups.

      Lat pulldowns = Chin ups.

      Why, why, why.

      Whats the difference between those and weights?

      What has it done for people? Have people achieved great bodies because of this?

      Really...

      ... Well what was their plan?

      Have you?

      Pics?

      Did anyone get more girls? (Cause that's important.)

      Was it easier to train at home?

      Did it save more money? Did it save travel time? Did it make you feel healthier? Did it prevent injuries?

      You see, in the short stuff i've written, it will make the reader trust you. It will make them believe you have the answer (which I hope you have.)

      You say your stuff in filler, but what is filler?

      It's the same as a blank page.

      In fact. it's worse. It shows serious people you don't CARE and YOU JUST WANT MONEY.

      Make an effort, but please don't write anything.

      You can change this. Try 100% in everything you do and YOU WILL see a difference.

      Thing of the customers.

      Good luck.
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      • Profile picture of the author jjbalagosa
        Originally Posted by fin View Post

        I know you said the BW article is just fill, and maybe so, but what's your other stuff like?

        Is that the problem?

        Just to dissect, you told us BW exercises are great.

        Why?

        Everyone goes to a gym so why are BW exercises great? Why is it better to train at home?

        Your article told me to do BW exerciess. What can that achieve that weights can't?

        LEVERAGE!

        Why is leverage important? Because you can exert more force of the muscle, which in turn makes you get bigger, lol.

        How can you blast the weight training routine out the water? Leverage, yes, but how?

        Squats = Pistols (Hindu squats, NO. Endurance, maybe, or even adding a dumbell makes it better.

        Bench press = Handstand push ups or planche push ups.

        Lat pulldowns = Chin ups.

        Why, why, why.

        Whats the difference between those and weights?

        What has it done for people? Have people achieved great bodies because of this?

        Really...

        ... Well what was their plan?

        Have you?

        Pics?

        Did anyone get more girls? (Cause that's important.)

        Was it easier to train at home?

        Did it save more money? Did it save travel time? Did it make you feel healthier? Did it prevent injuries?

        You see, in the short stuff i've written, it will make the reader trust you. It will make them believe you have the answer (which I hope you have.)

        You say your stuff in filler, but what is filler?

        It's the same as a blank page.

        In fact. it's worse. It shows serious people you don't CARE and YOU JUST WANT MONEY.

        Make an effort, but please don't write anything.

        You can change this. Try 100% in everything you do and YOU WILL see a difference.

        Thing of the customers.

        Good luck.
        Actually those aren't my articles at all. The by line of the latest one states it's written by a fellow named Stevey Mcgeown. I was actually just using content from ezine articles to autopost to the blog. It probably still has some articles queued up.

        There's a thread somewhere that talked about making money with amazon product review sites. I wanted to see if I could make any money with a fully automated one. The blog only took a couple hours to set up and I've already made more money with it than I put in. (But not enough to make it worth my time.)

        As for adding generic articles to it. The main purpose for that project was to test if throwing different mix of keyworded articles had any impact on traffic. Getting more specific, I wanted to see what the actual impact was if I strictly used syndicated material for the blog articles and my own, more unique, articles for the product reviews. The test is was inconclusive and I've since moved on.

        Don't get me wrong, I love the fitness niche. (I regularly train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and compete.) But I'm not competent enough to actually brand myself in it, right this moment. That's why my name is nowhere on the site.
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        • Profile picture of the author fin
          That's cool.

          I was just meaning that might be an angle you might look at in order to make more sales.

          I now know it's not your article, but it's still one your site.

          Maybe the articles aren't the problem and it's something else. I'm sure you'll work it out.
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  • Profile picture of the author NestZone
    If is something worth doing keep it up.
    If others are succeeding in it, why not you?

    Keep focus, keep going on with the tweaking. You did finally hit the point and will hit great.
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    • Profile picture of the author 3genter
      Originally Posted by NestZone View Post

      If is something worth doing keep it up.
      If others are succeeding in it, why not you?

      Keep focus, keep going on with the tweaking. You did finally hit the point and will hit great.

      Never surrender...keep at it, change things up...sooner or later something will stick.
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      Tim Somers

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  • Profile picture of the author RobKonrad
    Totally depends on the project.

    My general rule of thumb: I will hold onto it if it produces losses, but I can SEE (and calculate) a possible turnover that will produce bigger returns than investments.

    So I'm willing to endure losses as long as I see there's a breakeven point.

    Cheers,
    Rob
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    This blog is awesome: http://www.robkonrad.com/blog. Read it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jager
    Originally Posted by jjbalagosa View Post

    I love that commercial so much haha, Michael Jordan was the NBA legend when I was a kid. Then I grew up, he stopped playing, and I didn't care about basketball anymore.

    Being the emotional hopeless romantic that I am, I have a tendency to hold onto ideas much longer than I should.
    You know how many times it took Edison to build the light bulb? That's how many tries you should give it until you give up.

    Unless you're say, selling pet food online, then just give up before you start.

    IF it's a good decision, then commit. That's it.
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    I have to return some videotapes.

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    • Profile picture of the author jjbalagosa
      Originally Posted by Jager View Post

      You know how many times it took Edison to build the light bulb?
      I believe he produced over 10,000 prototypes until he finally made it work.

      But that's my point. Edison knew how to fail fast enough to make 10,000 prototypes doable. And that's one of the things I want to get good at. I want to develop or find methods that can provide me with instant feedback.

      That way, I can try my own 10,000 things and quickly find the one gem that works the best... without wasting a lifetime in the process.

      What if Edison took a whole month to deem a prototype wasn't going to work? By that amount of time he would have taken over 833 years to create the light bulb!
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Lots of threads about giving up on this forum and there always have been. The majority of people responding to these threads try to give encouragement with words like, never give up, stay with it, try and try again, etc.

    Encouragement is all well and good and the people giving the encouragement certainly mean well. But here's the thing.

    If you're trying to build a business with a model that doesn't work, or one where you're not working it properly you're screwed. And all the effort and hours spent will still get you little or no results.

    I see posts every day where people are looking for certain "tools." These are often scrapers, spinners, spammers and other apps designed to "game" the system. I'm not saying this is what the OP is doing, I'm simply trying to make a point.

    Gaming the system with a hit and run business model is, for the most part dead. The "system" (meaning Google, Youtube and other Internet heavyweights) will no longer stand for dirty tricks, spamming and dumping garbage on the net.

    People buy backlink packages guaranteeing thousands of links that either end up on some unrelated and meaningless 'directory' site or worse, on some poor fool's blog where s/he needs to spend valuable time removing the litter someone has callously placed there. Little by little the system is shutting the doors to this kind of marketing.

    So if your business is based on something other than legitimate marketing strategies you're going to be frustrated. And it won't matter how many people are on the sidelines encouraging you to stay with it because you'll be working at something that no longer works.

    I'd say the majority of people starting threads stating they've tried and tried and still haven't made any money are working strategies that are no longer effective or never were except for the product creator who made questionable nonsense sound appealing. And again, I'm not suggesting the OP is doing anything wrong.

    What I am saying is that if you're stalled in your marketing efforts you need to look at what you're doing and determine if it's something that will actually bring profitable results. That's the question that needs to be answered before you stick your nose back on the grindstone for more punishment. Good Luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author jjbalagosa
      Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

      Lots of threads about giving up on this forum and there always have been. The majority of people responding to these threads try to give encouragement with words like, never give up, stay with it, try and try again, etc.

      Encouragement is all well and good and the people giving the encouragement certainly mean well. But here's the thing.

      If you're trying to build a business with a model that doesn't work, or one where you're not working it properly you're screwed. And all the effort and hours spent will still get you little or no results.
      That's what I'm talking about! I want to waste the least amount of time on things that don't work for me. I'm a big fan of your posts man! So thanks for taking the time.

      Originally Posted by travlinguy View Post

      I'm not saying this is what the OP is doing, I'm simply trying to make a point.
      I'm glad you made that distinction. I'm beginning to regret starting this thread, Lol!

      Some people are misunderstanding the reason for this post. I personally don't want to give up on anything right now. I am currently focused on one project and I am very happy with it. At least for the moment, everything's moving along perfectly and as expected.

      I do agree that scraping, spinning, spamming and other stuff like that don't garnish long term business success. I've experimented with it once and it was enough to quickly make me change directions. I consider myself a decent writer and take a lot of pride in producing my own content for people.

      There is no doubt that if your business revolves around providing content, then you better make sure you are giving people what they want. And what people want is unique material that will entertain them or make thier lives/business better in one way or another.

      However, I am a big fan of automation. (Thanks to books like The 4 Hour Workweek.) So I'm always looking to balance bringing a high amount of value to people but at the same time utilizing my time effectively.

      Please people, I don't need any advice on what I am personally doing wrong. :p I appreciate your willingness to help out, but I have plenty of graphs, charts, and analytics that already help me with that. When the time comes, I won't hesitate to ask for assistance.

      Please share your own business principles on how you decide to drop a project or persevere until it's profitable.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    I'm glad you took my post in the spirit in which it was intended. One of the reasons people use to justify shortcuts is that they're inexpensive fixes. But they're really very costly considering the results are almost never sustainable.

    Here's an idea for people struggling to make this thing work and without a lot of money to get started.

    Understand that there are really only three components to marketing online. Those are:
    • Writing - Content and Sales Copy
    • Webmaster Skills, Web Design, Graphics, etc.
    • Driving Traffic
    That's it. There's nothing else. Now each of those items has many, many sub-categories. You might just love getting traffic from Facebook or Twitter or whatever. You don't know or care to know anything else about driving traffic because you're a whiz at what you do. Same goes for Web design or graphic design or writing or any of the hundreds of individual skills needed to make it all work.

    Before people get started marketing they would do well to explore the many talents needed to market online and find one they actually like to do. I found mine a long time ago. It's writing. The OP is a good writer as well. Writing is obviously very important to marketing.

    My point is that there's gotta be something you're good at. If you legitimately try your hand at every possible skill needed online and don't like anything then I'd say Internet marketing isn't for you. I'd also say that there are so many different skills it would be pretty hard for there to be nothing at all you'd like.

    And once you figure out what that is and get good at doing it you have a bargaining chip. And if you suck at writing or SEO or whatever, you trade your skill for someone who can do what you need.

    I've started many business projects trading what I have for what I needed. It's not hard. But don't show up here with 14 posts and expect everyone to beat a path to your door because that's pretty unlikely unless you can absolutely prove you're proficient at something.

    It also makes good sense to become a contributing member of the community before asking people to buy your services or to trust you. Yes, there are exceptions to that notion but they are exceptions and not the standard. One of the biggest causes of failure here or anywhere else is that people aren't ready to make the big move and do it anyway.

    My point is we all have something to offer. Why not develop that skill and use it as a chip to get into the game? When you're doing something you like it's really a lot easier to stay focused and stay on task and actually have success at what you're doing.
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    • Profile picture of the author steppinonup
      As stated earlier, quality is a key. Also a niche that is in demand will produce buyers. Build your targeted list with quality give-a-ways and work your way up.
      All the best. Don't give up, just give good and keep a good thought.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    I often think about ORANGES.

    I sell oranges. Some people buy oranges, some other prefer apples. I sell more oranges during Spring/Summer, thats why I learned to create orange juice to sell on Autumn/Winter.

    We all love oranges, but sometimes we don't want to spend money on them, unless we know a good reason for it. Thats why I keep developing ideas and products made with ORANGES.

    Some are good sellers, some don't. I just use the good ones cause the others take away my time and money. It's quite simple actually. But I never stop creating products with ORANGES.

    Some are hit, some are dumb. It's just business. And it's good to reckon when to stop creating orange carpets... and orange sneakers.

    Signature
    People make good money selling to the rich. But the rich got rich selling to the masses.
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