aLearning Blog

Online Learning for Trade Associations

How Willing Are You To Cut Your Losses?

Posted by Ellen on May 5, 2011

It’s one thing to recognize how important it is to just cut your losses and walk away when something isn’t producing the results you expected or the development/integration of a new system is taking more time and more money than you can afford. “We’re so far into it now,” you say, “that we have to make it work.”

Or really?

Here’s a small example. Years ago, my husband bought me an expensive pen that was guaranteed to last a lifetime — not just the housing, but it would never run out of ink. How is that possible?!? But it was beautiful and I liked how it wrote when I tried it out in the store, and — fan of pens that I am — decided to add it to my collection of Watermark, Cross, Sensa, and other pens.

Before long I realized that it was painful to use for long writing stints, so instead of using it for taking notes in long meetings (in those days before laptops went with us) I tucked it away.

Since then I’ve taken that pen out and used it now and then, but every time I do I have to bleed off a big blob of gunky ink that accumulates at the tip. Ugh!

But to get our money’s worth out of it, I go through this messy ritual every few weeks.

Until today. I opened the pen cap to make a quick note and before I could blink my hands were covered in ink. It didn’t exactly explode, but that gunky mess had somehow gotten onto one finger then metastasized like cancer all over me.

On my way to the sink to wash my hands, I dropped that beautiful, expensive pen into the trash.

It was time to cut my losses.

What about your programs? Are you offering anything that’s not lived up to its promise? Anything that’s more of a pain to deliver than the benefits it’s providing?

Is it time for you to cut your losses?

Oh… and that guarantee that the pen wouldn’t run out of ink? They were right. In all the time I had that pen, it never ran out of ink.

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