Are You a Quitter? Maybe You Should Be.

by Joe Plemon on October 7, 2009

Quittin' Time
Creative Commons License photo credit: Photo Mojo

Most of us have grown up hearing, “Quitters never win and winners never quit.” Sound good, but is it always true? Career coach Dan Miller challenges us to consider what road we are on and, if it is the wrong one, quit and change directions. If you were driving from Paducah to Nashville and the sign said “St Louis 50 miles”, would you continue on, or even speed up? Would you simply “try harder?” Of course not. You would change directions even if it meant going the opposite direction for a while in order to get on the right road.

While we don’t have huge traffic signs charting our career path, it is nevertheless very possible that you are headed the wrong direction. It may be time for you to quit and go a different direction. What holds you back? Could it be the mindset that quitters never win?

Quitting a job does not mean that you are quitting your commitment to support your family. It simply means that you are not going to waste more of your precious time doing something you hate and is taking you nowhere.

Yes, this is scary for most of us. And quitting today with no plans for tomorrow is not wise or prudent. The key is to begin the thinking process that there may be something better for you. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What am I passionate about?
  • If money was no object, what would I be doing with my life?
  • What would I like to be doing five years from now?
  • What do I need to be doing now in order to be where I want to be in five years?

Remember: persistence is important only if you are on the right track. Miller points out that If you are a duck trying to climb a tree, persistence is only going to make your webbed feet too sore for swimming.

Sometimes quitting the wrong thing takes guts. We default to what we already know rather than risk trying something new. How about you? Should you be a quitter? I hope you have the courage to go for it.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Len Penzo October 7, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Great post, Joe!

This is something I have been struggling with more and more myself as I get older.

I continually tell my pre-teen kids that they absolutely HAVE to make sure they find something they are passionate about – I don’t care if it is underwater basket weaving – and throw everything they’ve got into it.

People that are passionate about what they do are the happiest people I know. As for the money – it will eventually come.

All the best,



Joe Plemon October 8, 2009 at 7:38 am


We have four grown children, all in their 30’s. They thank us regularly for encouraging them to follow their dreams. This path, for them or for me, is seldom smooth, but doing so will prevent the eventual regret of wondering what could have been.

Keep it up with your kids. They will appreciate it. And hey…they might become the best underwater basket weavers ever.


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