by Paul Casey

When to Cut Your Losses

How do you know when to abandon a current path and move on?

  1. When positive results have ceased on a regular basis. To continually invest in a losing course of action is futile, yet it’s difficult to admit that it’s simply not working. It’s often helpful to get an outside perspective, to ask you the tough questions that are obvious to someone not emotionally attached to the situation.
  2. When staying with this plan is becoming destructive to your (or your team’s) well-being. Most of us are loyal to a fault, wrestling with setting appropriate boundaries, and lose sight of how negative outcomes are affecting us (and those around us) at our core. We begin acting out the pain we are experiencing–and it’s not like us to violate our core values with those misbehaviors.
  3. When you have gone the extra, extra mile to turn it around. It never feels good to abandon an effort when you cannot say you have tried multiple options over time to make it work–options that have even pulled you out of your comfort zone and have cost you additional time and money.
  4. When a new course of action has the likely potential of producing new life/vitality for the same/less effort as now. While being careful to evaluate new opportunities against real (not pie-in-sky) standards, you may be able to visualize the seeds of growth on the other side of this loss that will help you make a fresh start.

If these 4 scenarios are true, you probably know what you must do next to initiate a necessary ending. Need some help in building the courage or the plan to make it happen? Let me help. Reach out at


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