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Entrepreneur Mindset

How to Tell If It’s Time to Call it Quits on Your Product, Service or Business Idea

Years ago, I got in touch with a celebrity astrologist.

It was right before I married Murray and I wanted to know if we were “astrologically compatible.” 

So, I received our astrological charts and a report with all these colors on it. Green was good. Yellow was okay. And red was a big no-no. 

Our report looked great! It was all green except for this one area that was red. 

So, I got on a call with the astrologist and I asked her about it.

She explained that even though my report with Murray had this one red zone, all of those green areas actually had the power to transcend that single bit of red.

 But then she said to me, “This is the reason why I’m not really offering these relationship reports anymore. When you give out black and white frameworks, some people decide their relationship isn’t worth it based on this one thing and that’s just not true.”

And I totally get that.

Some people get their chart done and all of a sudden there’s a bunch of yellow and red zones and they think, “This relationship is going to fall apart, I’m outta here!” even though there’s so much that’s good and they can work through the challenges.

And this brings me to today’s post.

I’ll be straight with you… I almost didn’t write it.

When it comes to “predicting” success — or failure — with a product, service or business idea and making a “double down or let go” decision, it’s like a relationship or marriage, there are so many variables, so many elements that play into it.

The truth is there are no guarantees and no easy answers. 

And from what I’ve seen and what I know — the final result — has to do with your commitment, your tenacity, your vision and your willingness to take action. 

So, I don’t want you to read something here that prompts you to give up on a product or business idea that might have worked with the right amount of persistence and with the right execution.

BUT having said that, I know this is an important topic and it’s something every entrepreneur deals with at some point.

 So I’m sharing what I know, what I’ve experienced and the method that helps bring clarity to the decision making process out in the real world. 

The 15 Degree Pivot

If you feel stuck on whether to keep going or quit on a product, program, service or even your entire business, it’s usually because you think you MUST choose 1 out of 2 options — keep going or walk away.

But what if that’s just not true?

What if I tell you I found a way to do both? I call it the 15 Degree Pivot and here’s how it works…

The first thing is to look at your product or business idea or whatever it happens to be, not as ONE thing but as parts of a whole.

Break it all down into sections, aspects, features or segments… whatever works for you. If it’s an online coaching and training program, you might break it into: content/curriculum, group coaching calls, membership site, etc.

Then separate all of that into 2 main categories — the parts that are working and the parts that are not working.

Now evaluate. 

Figure out if it’s possible to tweak, switch, rebuild or rework the things that are not working.

I call this the 15 Degree Pivot because a lot of the time you don’t need to start over from scratch because you’re just 15 degrees away from achieving your goals… and it’s about looking for those pieces — those Pivot Points — that let you turn everything around.

Don’t Throw the Baby Out… 

Here’s the thing…

A lot of the time it could be that your product is good, but you’ve got the wrong audience or maybe your audience is good, but your offer isn’t right for them.

Sometimes it’s something totally different like your marketing message, your price or your delivery method that needs to change.

And sometimes it’s something subtle like context.

For instance, maybe you’re a copywriter and you love writing video scripts but you hate creating scripts for corporate clients.

So, writing scripts is great but when the context changes — when you’re writing for a specific type of client — it’s not so hot anymore. 

I’ve seen a lot of people give up on a project, or offer or service or even their entire business because they don’t like 1 or 2 parts of it.

And the truth is that there are so many elements to what we do in business and so many places where things can go right… and things can go wrong.

With the 15 Degree Pivot you don’t have to throw out the baby with the bath water.

You don’t have to drop everything, stand by and watch your dreams die because you get to double down on the things that work…

And let go of the ones that don’t

It’s Not About How Much You Make

Something else I want you to think about…

Lots of people believe the “double down or let go” decision is all about money.

They consider their return on investment, their profits, their bottom line.

They make every single decision based on how much they’re going to make.

Yes money and profits are critical but based on personal experience (and what I’ve seen working with thousands of entrepreneurs), here’s what I know for sure… 

Building a successful business isn’t just about the money. It’s about much more than that.

I’ve let go of products and services that were making big money for us at Live Your Message but didn’t make me feel the way that I wanted to feel.

So, I’m going to say that a key part of making the right decision is about getting honest with how you feel.

Are you enjoying doing what you’re doing in your business? Does it feel like you’re in your zone of genius?

Are you feeling good about selling your program or service or whatever it happens to be?

These are deep questions and only you have the answers.

Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don’t 

Right now, at the time of writing, I’m feeling kind of raw because I’m at the double down or let go stage with one of my products.

And if you’ve been where I’m at you know how hard it is to make the right decision. 

When we put our heart and soul into something and it’s not where we want it to be in terms of impact or income (or both), it’s hard to keep going and it’s even harder to hit the kill switch.

And it feels like “damned if you do and damned if you don’t”.

But I’m working through this and I’m using the 15 Degree Pivot (I believe in practicing what I preach :-))

I’m going to get quiet and get honest about how I feel about this thing and I’m going to look for those Pivot Points.

And if I know deep down in my heart of hearts that it’s right to keep going, then it could be worth doubling down.

Just like with my husband Murray… I knew in my heart of hearts I wasn’t going to let a little bit of red change my mind and I was right 🙂

Over to you… 

What’s one product, service or business idea where you’re torn between hitting the kill switch or going all in? How do you feel about it? What does your gut tell you, stay or go

Share your thoughts in the comments. I read and reply to each one 🙂 

And if you’re in that “No Man’s (or Woman’s!) Land” where you’re playing with some great ideas for products and programs or you have an awesome product idea but you’re not sure if it will help move you toward your business goals…

You’ll love our in-depth What to Sell When training 🙂

It comes with an instant immersion video plus gorgeous, downloadable companion guide.

It’s super affordable, super easy-to-follow and comes with a What to Sell When strategy session with one of our awesome coaches. When you’re done you’ll know exactly how to choose the right product for the right market at the right time and start generating massive income and impact in your business 🙂

Get your What to Sell When training here

Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. Jerry L Fletcher

    Marisa, this is an honest and truly helpful look at a problem I see frequently in clients of my consulting business. Your 15 degree pivot is a brilliant way to deal with it. It absolves the developer while focusing on a solution that keeps the product/service alive. This one is going in my file of practical solutions. Thanks!

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      You’re welcome Jerry! It makes a lot of sense. Why throw out the baby with the bathwater? Sometimes the gold just looks a little different than you think it does… 🙂

      Reply ·
  2. Jacqueline Lucien

    I have two books out dealing with my subject the ancient meaning of the alphabet and how that meaning influences words we use today. I find some can hear me really fast and some can’t get the significance at all. I know what I am writing is extremely valuable. I just found that one of my books is selling for $100 in the uk and $101 in the emirates. I saw that another author had a New York times best seller that is on the periphery of my subject. but I go deeper and connect more dots. I need help me with my message for a product.

    Reply ·
    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      It’s a fascinating subject that I’ve studied a bit too Jacqueline! The question I recommend you ask is how can you make this super relevant to people now? What can someone do with this info? 🙂

      Reply ·
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About the Author Marisa Murgatroyd

Marisa is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into Online Superheroes, and the creator of Start With You where she helps people just like you to discover the business they're meant to build, not just the business they can build. At 4’11 and a quarter, she’s called the shortest woman in marketing — and that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. She’s the “go to” brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights such as Justin Livingston, Callan Rush, Danny Iny, Alexis Neely and Susan Peirce Thompson. Marisa helps entrepreneurs create a business that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their “inner superhero”, so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives.

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