Here’s a secret: It’s OK to quit. Knowing when to leave a job or drop a client from your life is just as important as taking on new challenges. Quitting — a job, a person, a brokerage, a business plan — can be a way to have more by having less.

I read a book once about knowing when to quit. I didn’t like the book much, and I never finished it but passed it along to a friend. I ended up learning everything I need to know about quitting by quitting that book.

Quitting is part of my plan for the new year. I am not going to close up my company and sit on a beach, or in a snowbank. Nor am I going to stop writing because writing has always brought me joy.

There are plenty of things to quit. Like when we make a mistake and become so in love with it that we can’t let it go because it is our mistake or decision, and we have to stick with it.

Sometimes sticking with a mistake is exactly the wrong thing to do. It might be better to learn from the mistake and move on without dwelling on it. It is easy to make new mistakes to take the place of the old mistakes.

Identifying the mistake

Last weekend, I spent around three hours shoveling over 10 inches of snow, and I spent at least that much time trying to start the snowblower. I siphoned the gas tank and replaced it with fresh stuff, but the dang thing still wouldn’t start.

Snowy sidewalk

The next step is to try a new spark plug. I found the tool I need to take the plug out and put in a new one. I know where to get the spark plug. That should be simple, but it never is with cold hands on a winter day.

When the machine starts, it is a wonder. It is large and self-propelled, and it is red. It has hardly been used and is in mint condition as it rarely starts, and mostly sits. It eats through the snow with the greatest of ease. It really is a wonder to behold the tall snow plume it generates.

That machine is a great example of a mistake that we fell in love with, even though it is the source of anger and heartbreak. We would be much better off today without it and by now we would have hired someone to clear the snow. I would have had more free time over the weekend and I would not smell like a gas station and my hands wouldn’t be all cut up.

If there really is a Santa and if he is listening, I want him to know that if the snowblower were to disappear on Christmas morning, it would indeed be a merry Christmas. I feel like I have been that good this year, and by now, I should be off the naughty list.

I would no longer need to store a snowblower 365 days a year so that I could work on starting it before I shovel. There would be more room for my bike too. I can definitely picture the empty space where the snowblower was.

Making room and moving on

Sometimes there are people in our lives or even clients that should be quit. They may be too demanding, or maybe they just cause too much stress. Every moment we spend taking care of one client or being stressed out is time that we can not spend looking for or working with great clients.

Over the years, I have had clients who have become my very closest friends. I have worked with so many wonderful people.

As I start to close out 2021 and continue to plan for 2022 I am thinking about what I should quit and what I should get rid of to make room for the new year.

There are some subscriptions I will cancel because even though they are for things that I am supposed to use for marketing I don’t actually use them.

Sometimes we need to quit friends or even relatives that seem to suck the joy out of our lives. Joining the wrong real estate company or being in the wrong office can derail a career. Moving on can save it.

As the year comes to an end, think about the snowblower in your life. You have one somewhere. You bought something that is taking up too much room in your life and isn’t giving anything back.

You made a commitment to someone or something, and it isn’t working out. It is taking your time and your money and maybe you smell like a gas station because of it or maybe not, but you get what I mean.

Maybe your snowblower is old office equipment that was expensive but that is so hard to use or slow that it makes you cry. Get rid of it!

How we spend our time matters. While I was siphoning gas out of the snowblower I could have been doing something more productive or fun even. Sometimes quitting one thing can make room in our lives for something that will bring us joy or maybe more income.

Think about how getting rid of something or even someone is a way to have more instead of less. Make quitting something part of your new year’s resolutions or your 2022 business plan.

Teresa Boardman is a Realtor and broker/owner of Boardman Realty in St. Paul. She is also the founder of StPaulRealEstateBlog.com.

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