When Something Isn't Working in Business

When Something Isn't Working in Business | Lemon and the Sea: It's okay to let go of things that aren't serving your business.

We all try things in business and in life, but they don't always work out the way we expect. Especially with all of the business advice out there, it's easy to think that trying a new approach or creating something will mean success and big bucks. Unfortunately, no one can guarantee that something that worked for them will also work for you.

So what do you do when something isn't working?

It's tough to admit that something you've spent time on and are excited about just isn't gaining traction. If this is something you're experiencing, you need to evaluate why it isn't working.

  • Are you putting in the time and effort your project needs?
  • Does what you're creating match your message?
  • Do your products fill a need for your audience?
  • Is the timing just not right?
  • Should you be focusing on something else instead?

Sometimes, even if you're doing everything right, things still don't work out. And that's okay too. There's something bigger at play in your business than the things you can control.

Is this what God has called you to?

I struggle with this a lot. I'll have an idea, get really excited and think it's going to be the next big thing, work on it for weeks, and then launch to crickets.

When I started Inspired Online, I expected the response to be huge. After all, I'm bringing on some pretty awesome ladies and giving people access to ask them questions live without a sales pitch or a 12 email sequence. It didn't work out like that: in fact, I only had a few people attend live and most of my interviews were just me and my guest.

While I loved getting to talk one on one with these people and the videos are super valuable, the project didn't bring the response I expected. I questioned for a while where the disconnect was and couldn't really find an answer. I'm still not sure (and when I start planning for next year I'm still hoping for growth), but I've come to think that maybe the timing just wasn't right. Or maybe God had a more personal connection in mind instead of trying to answer a million questions.

When you've been working on something that isn't doing as well as you hoped, it may be that it just isn't right for you. It can be tough to let those ideas go, especially if you see someone else have success with something later, but it's important. You can't spend your time chasing something that belongs to someone else.

In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about ideas coming to you, but not always staying. Sometimes you're not the right person. Accept that. Someday, for some idea, you will be the right person.

Should you keep going?

I don't want you to take this as a licence to give up. Some projects take more time and need to be fleshed out and nurtured more. If you give up on everything as soon as it gets hard, you won't accomplish anything. But there are times when it is time to let go.

  • Is it draining or invigorating?
  • Does it fit your big goals?
  • Does it follow God's path for you?
  • Are you stretched too thin already?

It's okay to let go, move on, and try something new. Even if something worked before, that doesn't mean it always will. 

I believe that God has a calling and a purpose for all of us. But sometimes, that changes over time. It may be that you're called to do something for a while and then feel God moving you in a different direction. It doesn't mean you were wrong before, just that God is preparing you for His plans.

Are there services, products, or ideas you need to let go of?