By: Constance Lee Menefee

Do you know when it's time to quit?  Bill went out on his own after years of working for others.  A few months into his computer repair business he began having chest pains and shortness of breath.

Doctors found nothing physically wrong with him, but warned that he was under lots of stress. Bill decided that working for someone else was better for him, so he called his clients and said he was closing.

Sue and Betty worked together for several years before becoming partners. The partnership lasted only a couple of years until Sue realized that it was not working for her. Betty wouldn't agree to business counseling; luckily, they had the foresight to have drawn up a detailed agreement that specified how to handle a business split.

A spouse dies, a partner has mid-life crisis, you see the light, get bored or just plain want out.  Quitting is not always the best way to resolve a situation.

When trying to decide to leave or dissolve a business,  you should map out as many pros and cons as you can.  If you have a pattern of leaving activities in the middle, maybe this is the time to make the stand and not quit.

Take some time; talk to trusted associates about your situation. Consider what kind of financial or time investment you have made to date.  Can any of this be re-couped?  Perhaps you have gotten all you can from your investments.  That may be a sign it is time to move on.

Will your departure leave someone else in the lurch?  If so, can you offset that by bringing in someone else, or providing some kind of support or advice?

Maybe you simply need to expand or change your role in the company rather than leave.  Perhaps a sabbatical would give you a needed break.

Life is too short to stay in bad situations, but your business touches many lives besides your own. Weigh the decision carefully and honestly before deciding to quit.

  Article originally appeared in the Cincinnati Post, Feb 25, 1997