Transcript: How to Know When to Quit

October 25, 2022

AMY PORTERFIELD: “This is when you know you made the right decision: when you decide to quit and you absolutely feel a rush of relief and joy over the decision. Sure, I felt a little shame, or, actually, in the beginning a lot of shame, felt a little sadness. But I could deal with those instantly, where I still felt the relief. I still felt the happiness that I made the right decision for me. So the joy, the happiness, the relief far outweighed any shame or sadness I had around it. And I think that is a big telltale sign.  

“So quitting isn't always a bad thing. In fact, my good friend Tyler J. McCall, he quit his entire online business, which was a very successful online business. And on TikTok, he talks about how quitting can actually be a superpower because it takes an incredible amount of bravery and courage to say, ‘Nope, I'm not doing this. This isn't right for me. This doesn't bring me joy.’”  

INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started. 

AMY: The Duct Tape Marketing podcast, hosted by John Jantsch, shares marketing tips, tactics, and resources for small- to midsize-business owners and marketers. John recently did an episode where he talked about the topic of analytics, specifically tracking results either for your own business or your clients who you work with. The episode’s called “What You Should Be Tracking in Your Marketing Efforts and Why.” And I know my audience. I know you love to know benchmarks and numbers and analytics and what you should be tracking. So you are going to love this episode. He also talks about the other marketing aspects, like how to support your customers and build an online community. 

So, you can listen to the Duct Tape Marketing podcast wherever you get your podcasts. Enjoy. 

Hey, there, friend. Welcome back to Online Marketing Made Easy. 

I wanted to check in and see how you're doing, because I, for one, cannot believe it's late October already. This year has absolutely flown by, and here we are in the full swing of fall, sipping on spiced beverages and enjoying the best that sweater weather has to offer. And I have to tell you, October has always been my most favorite month.  

I think, you know, what's really fun is now that I live in Nashville, I get to see the seasons. Being a Southern California girl all my life, I didn't even know what a season was. I'm not exaggerating. Like, we did not have seasons. So to watch the leaves turn and to see the weather get a little bit chilly and a little bit crisp and—like, overnight, it felt like—it's kind of exciting to me and very new. So I love fall.  

Not to mention, now that we are officially in the fourth quarter of the year, I've been starting to hone in on some of my goals for 2023. I've been evaluating what's worked and what hasn't over the past year, both in business and in my personal life. And as I've been doing this, it's really got me thinking about the idea of letting go of the things that no longer serve me.  

Now, I'm not sure about you, but I grew up in a household where quitting had a very negative connotation. And I know that's really common in our society. And if you're anything like me, you've probably caused yourself a heck of a lot of anxiety trying to figure out if you should quit something, whether it's a relationship, a nine-to-five job, a business that you started, a hobby, or even a commitment that you've made to yourself or someone else.  

The decision to let something go in your life is certainly not an easy one. And that's why I wanted to record this quick little episode for you so we can explore together this idea of quitting and how to know if you should quit something, and if you do, when is the right time to do so?  

So if you find yourself really hemming and hawing over how to move forward, there's one simple question to ask yourself right off the bat to figure out if it's something that you want to continue investing in or not. And that question is, does this thing, whatever it may be for you, light me up when I think about it?  

Now, if the thought of this job or person or business or goal or relationship, etc., whatever it is, makes you excited when you think about it, then great. Keep going, my friend. I would urge you not to throw in the towel. No matter if it's difficult, a challenge to you, you know, something that's like, “Oh, I don't know if I can make this work, but it excites me, and I want to see if I could see it through,” then, you are on the right track. That is bringing you joy. That is bringing you fulfillment. Keep going. Keep going.  

On the other hand, if something about this thing, whatever it is, gives you a funny feeling in the pit of your stomach and makes you a little nervous, then here's where you should explore those feelings a little more.  

Actually, before I go on any more, just indulge me for a minute. Can you think of something that comes to mind when I say maybe there's something right now that you should quit doing or quit experiencing or quit indulging in or quit being a part of? Can you think of something before I go on? because I think this episode—and this episode’s going to fly by fast because it’s a Shorty—but if you had something in mind right now, I think what I’m going to have you do in these next few moments could make more sense or be more valuable for you. I already have one I'm going to share with you, my personal one. But can you think of something? Work, personal, whatever it is, if something popped up for you, great. If not, then just use this later. But again, if there's something that kind of gives you that pit-in-your-stomach feeling, then I think we need to explore it.  

And let me just say, being nervous isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I think it's normal, and sometimes a good thing. There's a big difference between having butterflies about something because it's a new challenge versus knowing deep down that it's not the right decision for you. So you have to be honest with yourself. Just because something makes you nervous and anxious and like, “Oh, my god, I don't know if I can do this,” that is not a reason to quit. But you know the difference between, “Oh, I'm so nervous if I can do this,” versus “I hate this, or I do not want to do this anymore.” It could be walking a fine line, or sometimes it's not, but just be honest with yourself.  

Now, if you're scared because you're afraid of failing and you don't want to embarrass yourself, I hate to break it to you, but that's not a good reason to quit. So if you're like, “I want to do this, but people are going to think I'm a loser if I can't figure it out,” or “What will people think if I fail? So I'm not going to do it at all,” no, no, no. That's not what we're talking about today. You are not going to quit because you're scared of failing. That's something that we do it scared. Remember, we've talked about that a lot on this podcast. We just do it scared. You need to really do some mental work and push through that type of fear and anxiety, because if you use those feelings in a productive way, they can actually be a huge driver for success.  

Now, in the times where you have a gut feeling that something just isn't right, that you shouldn't move forward, or you should let it go, that's what we're talking about today. That's what I want you to pay attention to. In fact, I recently—I promised to share my own example—I recently made the decision to quit a goal I set for myself, a goal I set for myself two years in a row that I didn't accomplish.  

So if you've been with me for a while, you've heard me talk about the 29029 climb. So basically, it's this climb that you do, and if you climb it a certain amount of times, you've climbed Everest. And I really wanted to do it with Hobie. I thought it would be, like, just something great for our relationship. And it would be great because—I talked about this on the show—I wanted to push myself physically. And I'm always timid to do so, and so I thought, “This would be a great way to push myself physically and really come out of my comfort zone and show myself what’s possible.” And this year, I've been working on mind over matter, like, over and over again, so I thought this would be a really great way to use my mind versus just my body to get me though it. So there’s a lot of reasons why I wanted to do it. 

But like I said, a couple of years ago I said I would do it. And then, actually, COVID hit, and it got canceled, but I didn't re-up. I just said, “I'm not doing it.” I was very glad it got canceled. And then I thought, “No, no. You wanted to do it,” so I signed up for it again, and then I realized, “I'm not going to do this.”  

Here's the thing: I wasn't interested in the training that it would take to get me there, because it is, like, intensive training. And every time I would go to train for it, I was miserable. It took away the fun of going on my walks with Scout. It took away my desire to get healthy because it was just miserable. The training was long and grueling, at least the training I created for it, and it was just not enjoyable. And instead of coming back feeling really good and recharged, I was mentally depleted after those sessions.  

And I also realized that when I made the goal initially, it wasn't because I thought I would actually enjoy the journey and the accomplishment. Oh, no. I made that goal to be able to say that I did it, and I don't think that was right for me. I want to enjoy the journey of a goal, and I'm learning to. I'm learning that. I learned that a little bit too late in life, that it's not the end game, but it's the journey and who you have become along the way. I didn't do it for that. I did it just to say—I signed up so I could say I did it, and that really probably took a huge spark of joy out of the whole thing.  

And most importantly, I really just want to enjoy how I'm spending my time as I get older. And so I just knew that it wasn't making me happy, like, the whole experience. At that point, I got to this point, I thought, “I couldn’t care less if I did or not. I am not happy getting there, so I'm not going to do it.” 

Now, again, coming from a household and a father that made a big deal about never quitting—I won't get into the trauma of my childhood, but there was a moment that I gave up on something, and I got in so much trouble. My dad yelled at me. I remember like it was yesterday, crying in the car, and telling me, “You're a quitter. What do you have to say for yourself?” and all this, like, horrible stuff that he did to me on that day for quitting soccer. For the record, I was in some tournament, and I didn't want to do it.  

So I probably haven’t quit anything since that day, so this was very cathartic to me to say, “You know what? No. I do not want to do this,” so I quit it. But this time I quit it for good. You will not see me signing up for this dang race again, because I know it's not something that I really want to do, and I wasn't doing it for the right reasons to bring me joy. So there you have it.  

But with that decision, there's also been some shame, especially at first. Now, you can probably know why, based on my upbringing. I felt shameful that I had committed to this goal multiple times, and my friends were still going to do it. So Stu and Amy McLaren, who I love dearly—they're like family—they're going on their second time, and I was supposed to do it this time with Stu and Amy. And they're doing it—funny enough, it might be this weekend that I'm recording that. Isn't that funny? So coincidental.  

So I felt some shame. And I told Stu that. And he's like, “Amy, never feel that way. You're not letting me down. You just do what is right for you.” He’s such a good friend.  

And I also felt a little bit of sadness because I wanted to do something big and special and rewarding with Hobie. I don't know why I wanted that, but I did. And so I was feeling all these emotions that came along with quitting this big, audacious goal that I set for myself.  

And I started to realize that there are other things that we can do instead, though, to build our relationship and have an experience together, things that maybe fits both of our personalities better, because truth be told, Hobie absolutely did not want to do this big climb. Hobie’s been in the military, in the fire department, and he's done a lot of physical challenges, and he's like, “My body is breaking down. I'm good. I do not need to do any of that.” But he was going to do it because I wanted to do it, which, come on, got to love the guy, right?  

So anyway, I started to look at other ways that, like, if I wanted to push myself, if I want to mentally become stronger, even over the physicality of things, if I want to have a great experience with Hobie that challenges us, there are other things I could do that I can enjoy the journey there and still get a lot of accomplishment out of it. So I started to explore what those are. 

So all this to say, quitting isn't always a bad thing, because when I quit, I felt so much sense of relief. I was so glad. I was, like, hallelujah. This is when you know you made the right decision: when you decide to quit and you absolutely feel a rush of relief and joy over the decision. Sure, I felt a little shame, or, actually, in the beginning a lot of shame, felt a little sadness. But I could deal with those instantly, where I still felt the relief. I still felt the happiness that I made the right decision for me. So the joy, the happiness, the relief far outweighed any shame or sadness I had around it. And I think that is a big telltale sign. 

So quitting isn't always a bad thing. In fact, my good friend Tyler J. McCall, he quit his entire online business, which was a very successful online business. And on TikTok, he talks about how quitting can actually be a superpower because it takes an incredible amount of bravery and courage to say, “Nope, I'm not doing this. This isn't right for me. This doesn't bring me joy. I can find a better way to get there, and that's okay.”  

He also talks about how we don't have to quit while we're down. You can actually quit while you're ahead, which I thought was interesting. I kind of quit that climb while I was down. I didn't make the decision to quit while I was in the workout session, like, climbing these hills, because I know you can't make a big decision while you're in it and kind of miserable. But I made the decision in knowing that I wasn't enjoying something.  

But on the flip side of that, so on my way down, on the flip side of that, Tyler, his business was doing well. He could have continued to grow it, make a whole lot more money, and, you know, do with it what he wanted. But he quit while he was on the upside. And I thought that was a really interesting take on things.  

And, you know, he talks about this on TikTok, where he quit his online business. Like, for those of you listening, that's a big freaking deal, right? Imagine quitting the business you've spent all this time creating. And he didn't sell it or anything; he just stopped it. And he said, “You know, I had to make some sacrifices.” I don't even think he called them sacrifices, but he moved out of the house he bought with his husband, and he moved into a rented apartment in Chicago. So he went from one state to another. And also, he was in North Carolina. And then he also, they got rid of their cars. He talked about a few other areas that he's downsized, and they're super happy with their decision.  

Now, I don't know what he'll do from here, and he might come back with another business or something like that. But for now, he's just going to take his time. And I think that's noble.  

And I'll tell you this, the part of me that was raised as “You never quit,” ten, fifteen years ago, if I saw Tyler do that, I would judge him. And I would think, “Oh, you gave up. You’re a quitter, and you're just weak.” Tyler, if you hear this, I don't think that about you. I'm saying my judgy self years ago that didn't know better would have probably judged him in really bad ways, which meant I would judge myself if I quit. This time I wasn't judging. I felt the feelings, but I wasn't judging.  

Looking back, I think some of the best decisions I made in my business were quitting when I was at the top and I didn't even know it. So when I was putting together this episode for you, I thought, you know—actually, I think I said it, like, two minutes ago. I never quit anything. That is a lie. That's actually not true. I shouldn't have said that. I have quit things, but I've never really identified them as. “Holy cow, that is so brave that you quit.” I've never given myself credit for that. And I invite you to look at things that maybe you've quit while you were ahead as proof that you were able to do it.  

So I quit a partnership, where we were making millions of dollars together. And that partnership actually brought in more money, more value, more impact into my business. But I quit it because I knew in my gut it wasn’t right for me.  

So as I was putting together this episode, I'm like, “Wait a second. I actually do understand what Tyler's saying. I quit a partnership while it was still successful.” Now, there were aspects of the partnership I didn't like, so let's be honest, right? But it's still, like, if I stayed with it, it still would have been successful, but I knew it wasn't right for me.  

I also made the decision to quit two of my digital courses. So one was a really big moneymaker for me. It was called the Profit Lab. The last time I had launched it, it made nine hundred fifty thousand dollars. That's the most money I'd ever made in a launch.  

However, I never looked at that as quitting it. But then when I did this episode, I was like, wait a second. Yeah, I quit that product because I wanted to do something bigger and better, so I had to take a chance. And if I never quit the Profit Lab, I would have never, years and years later, gotten to the point that Digital Course Academy came into existence, which is my bestseller of all time.  

And so if you're scared to quit something, whether it be in your business or your personal life, I just want to tell you, you don't know this yet, but I want to tell you that something incredible could be waiting for you on the other side if you're patient, that you have no idea about. And I have a really good friend that always says, “What's next is better.” No matter what it is, what's next is better.  

Now, you could say, “Mm, not necessarily.” Well, it's all in how you think about it, my friend. So if I told myself, “Okay, I'm going to quit the Profit Lab, but what's next is better,” and the next thing I created was Webinars That Convert, an old program that I've since retired, you could have said, “Well, maybe not. Maybe Webinars That Convert won't make as much money.” And actually, I don't know if it made more than the Profit Lab, but what I'm trying to say is, but then that led to another course that led to Digital Course Academy.  

So what's next is better. As long as you're looking for it, you will find it. If you are looking for the thing that is better, you will find it. If you're scared to quit and you think, “Well, what if something bad happens?” you will find that as well.  

So use this. When you close doors, when you say no to something, when you quit something, what's next is better. Add that to your mantra list. It makes a huge difference.  

I quit while I was on top because I knew I wanted to move in another direction. And I know money is tempting, but I'm here to tell you, sweet friend, that it cannot be your only motivation in business. So when I think about, like, am I letting the money drive me?—like, I'm always checking in to make sure my ego's not getting the best of me. And I think about quitting a multimillion-dollar partnership. I could have stayed and made more money, but I didn’t. Quitting the Profit Lab, making great money. I could have stayed with that, but I didn’t. Things like that, I'm glad that I'm not just chasing the money. And I just want to share that with you, that if you allow yourself to quit for other reasons than just, “But it’s profitable, so I should stay with it,” what’s next is better. What’s next could be insanely profitable. 

Okay. So shifting the conversation just a bit. One other thing that's a hot topic at the moment is this big cultural shift towards voluntarily quitting your nine-to-five job. The great resignation is what they're calling it. And over the past two and a half years, many people have taken stock of how they spend their time, where they find meaning, their hopes for the future. And they found that their nine-to-five jobs aren't bringing anything to the table other than a steady paycheck.  

In fact, I was recently interviewed about this topic on FOX 5 DC that actually got picked up by Yahoo! And it was around this topic of quitting. And there was a recent survey of five thousand women, and this survey found that more than half of these women want to quit their job in the next two years, and only 10 percent plan to remain with their current employer for more than five years; 53 percent report feeling more stressed than last year, with 40 percent—get this—40 percent of those women surveyed stated that they're burnt out, and that's the main factor in their current search for something new.  

So this is a big deal. Like, people, and women specifically in this survey, are feeling as though they don't want to stay where they're at. They want something different.  

Now, if you've been with me for a while, you know that this topic is near and dear to my heart, because fourteen years ago I made a huge decision to leave my full-time job to do my own thing. But the decision to quit your full-time job is a really, really big deal. As much as you might dislike it, your job likely provides you with a steady paycheck, paid time off, health insurance. And for some people, it truly isn't an option to quit. So if you are in a nine-to-five job or in any situation that is making you unhappy, and you know that there's so much more out there for you, but you're scared of the security you'll lose by quitting, I get it. In fact, I just wrote a book called Two Weeks’ Notice. It's not even out yet. It's out next year. But I wanted to put this bug in your ear because it's all about becoming your own boss and turning your passion or side hustle into a full-time lifestyle.  

Look, there's nothing worse than jumping ship in your job and then finding yourself stressed and unsure of how to pay the bills. Some people are literally quitting with nothing to jump into. That's got to be scary. Talk about stressful, overwhelming, anxiety producing, that would do it. But they're so desperate to leave behind what is sucking their soul that they're like, “I'm done. I'm quitting.”  

And some people are in relationships, so they're looking at their partner like, “Can you please just pull me through right now? Can you please pay the bills? Can you please help ends meet while I figure out what the heck I'm going to do?” So that's how desperate they're feeling.  

But my advice for you is if you are waking up every morning and dreading what is in front of you, whatever it is, the work that you do, if you are dreading, figure out something you can do on the side that will earn you money. That way, when it's the right time, you can confidently quit your job and move towards creating the life that you truly want. 

Now, I know many of you listen to my podcast, and you already have started your online business. Whether it be a side hustle or a full-time thing, you're in it. But many of you—because I've taken enough surveys to know, and with over a million downloads a month on this podcast, there are a lot of you that are in a nine-to-five job, and you're listening to my podcast, wanting to start something, or maybe even already dabbling, but it's not really coming together, but you have that desire to eventually move past what you're doing now and into becoming your own boss, and that's why you're listening.  

So if that's you, then this is for you. So I have a very exciting announcement. If you've been following along in terms of the countdown to my book launch, then you know that I've actually created a brand-new digital course, but it's exclusive to my book Two Weeks’ Notice. When you preorder my book, you get this brand-new digital course. It's called The Side Hustle Starter Kit: The Ultimate Step-By-Step Plan to Create and Launch Your Side Hustle in Just 30 Days (Even If You Have No Clue Where to Start). And it is for free. So you get my entire digital course for free when you preorder my book.  

Now, I'm excited about this because what I do best is create digital courses and helping people build their businesses. So I literally created a brand-new digital course. All you have to do is preorder my book. And here's the cool thing. If you're listening to this when it goes live, this episode, we added a bonus that's expiring today. It's called the Five-Day Mindset Reset: Step Out of an Employee Mindset, Embrace Your Inner CEO, and Build Beliefs That Move You Closer to Where You Want to Go. It's a five-day inspiring audio experience to help you when you find yourself stuck in self-doubt mode and questioning whether you can really do this side-hustle thing or build a business at all. It happens to every entrepreneur, my friend. The important thing is that you actually are aware of these thoughts and feelings and know what to do with them so you can keep moving forward and building your business so you don't go back to that nine-to-five job or you don't stay there too long. So this Five-Day Mindset Reset will help you reframe your thoughts and create an inner framework for how to stay focused and motivated, even when challenges inevitably arise.  

So if you go to,, you can get this digital course for free and the extra Mindset Reset bonus. All you have to do is preorder the book. I'll tell you how to do it when you go to If you're thinking about quitting that nine-to-five job, stick with me. I'm your girl. I'll help you get there.  

I hope you enjoyed this episode, and I will see you soon for more entrepreneurial goodness, same time, same place. Bye for now. 

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