How do you know when it’s time to stop?

I had to think, rethink, then re-write that title about 6 or 7 times before I landed on the right wording.  I didn’t want readers to think I’m 1) dying  2) planning to stop crafting bath & body or 3) both.  So this is where I landed and I’ll say this much – I’m not ending or closing my business.  I’m just pondering the process and the lead-up to it based on another maker’s decision discovered just today.

A friend of mine is leaving the B&B business but is going about it in a very organized, well-planned method.  She’s thought of a two-year exit strategy based on her emotional needs and where it’s leading her now as opposed to where she was years ago when she first began.  I have to say it’s bittersweet news as we’re both in the same industry, she once lived in the same city I do now though she now lives along the coast which is where I long to be and we’ve had many good discussions.  She’s realized that the business no longer feeds that inner need it once did and another focus is slowly forming for her and she’s heeding that call.

So her plan is at once sad as well as encouraging.  I only hope that when the same issue comes along in my life I can face it with the grace and good sense she’s so clearly exhibiting.  I truly admire her strength & wisdom.

If business no longer drives you to leap from your bed in the morning.  If it no longer pays its own way after numerous efforts to get it there. If the motivation to create something that brings others comfort & joy is missing.  If retailers and wholesalers’ interest in carrying your product is not enough to bring a tingle along your spine. It’s truly time to walk away.  Find a new path.  A new focus.  Bring light into another avenue that means something to you on some level whether it be professional, emotional, mental, physical, philosophical or psychological.

Know what the signs are, heed them and alter course.  Yes, it’s scary.  Nothing is guaranteed.  No one can promise it will go smoothly.  You may feel you are failing, but if you don’t even try, that is the true mark of failure. To fall down means you’re trying and each stumble is a learning experience.  It teaches what NOT to do the next time on that next step.

So find your path, your new path, whether it’s your first or your tenth or more, find it, follow it, pick yourself up and move forward when you fall because it taught you something you didn’t know before. It’s all about growth anyway.