Knowing when to leave your business
Tuesday, November 26, 2013/
I’ve had people say I was crazy for leaving my former real estate agency when I sold my share a few years back.
Since I’ve left it’s gone from being a very successful six agency group to the largest network of real estate offices in the state. I’m so proud of my former business partner and the team he’s built and what he’s grown with the company we started. I have nothing but respect and admiration for him – but I also knew it was the right time for me to leave when I did.
Since I sold my share in my agency, after a sabbatical from the industry, I went back into business with former colleagues and started a new real estate agency. By design, we’re smaller and we will never attempt to do what my former agency has done in terms of conquering the state in all aspects of real estate. We’ve grown slower than my former real estate agency. At this point in time in my former agency we had five times the revenue with 10 times the staff.
Just as I was able to craft what I wanted from my investment portfolio with properties 2, 3, 4 and onwards, learning lessons from property 1, I also learnt lessons from parenting my first child that have resulted in many things being less daunting with bub number 2. I’ve been able to shape this new real estate venture so that it better suits my needs and where I am in this journey of my life.
Would I have made a higher annual salary if I’d stuck with real estate agency number 1? Almost definitely, but I wasn’t getting half the joy I get walking in the door at my current agency – for a number of reasons.
Did I not repeat any mistakes in real estate agency number 2? Sadly, but meaningfully I repeated the exact same largest mistake I’d made the first time around. But assessing and reassessing it as many times as I have, I’m not sure I could have avoided it either time and still achieved the eventual goal. What I did learn was how to extricate myself from it and protect myself better.
So how did I know it was the right time to leave? How do you know it’s the right time to leave anything? When do the cons outweigh the pros? When does the joy you’re getting become outweighed by the frustration? When does any monetary trade-off not compensate for the gnawing feeling inside your gut saying that it’s time to try something new?
And finally – when can you push yourself off the ledge into the unknown and take the risk? That one’s the hardest.
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