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“The tide must reach its lowest before it turns.”
Chinese Proverb

“What do you mean you’re quitting your job?”

I hear the disappointment in Emelie’s voice. After sixteen years of friendship, I can “see” the expression on her face even though we’re talking on the phone. I die a little inside. There is nothing I hate more than disappointing people, especially Em.

“You know – closing up shop, giving the keys back, and heading down a new path,” I say nonchalantly. I don’t want her to know I’m as disappointed in myself as she is.

“You can’t be serious, Nicki! What else are you going to do? You love organizing people’s stuff.”

I don’t think she realizes that when she’s this upset her voice raises a notch.

“Plus,” she continues, “you’re one of the best professional organizers out there.”

I pull the phone away from my ear. “Yeah, well I’m so good at it that I’ve worked my way out of business. Since all my former clients are perfectly arranged, none of them need me anymore, and no new clients are knocking down my door or tying up my phone lines.” I glance at the planner on my office desk to confirm my statements. Yep, empty. “Clients are kind of critical to having a successful business, Em.”

“Have you tried everything? Marketing? Networking?”

I cringe at her suggestions. They are Darth Vaders to my Luke Skywalker. I loathe them.

“How am I supposed to pay for advertising when I’ve spent all the money from the inheritance my dad left me on office rent and my bank account has three figures?” I wait to let that revelation sink in. “Plus, you know how I despise going to network meetings and selling myself. It never goes well, and I’ve never earned any business from them. I’ve used everything I learned from my marketing degree to get clients and make money. Mom’s groups. Articles. Posting on all the social media channels and attending ‘Grow Your Business and Your Bank Account’ seminars.” Now my voice level booms across the phone. I take a deep breath to calm myself. Em doesn’t deserve for me to unleash my wrath on her.

I sigh. “I can’t force people to hire me, and I certainly can’t change the minds of even the messiest and disorganized to see that they need me. Trust me; I’ve tried.”

Professional Organizer, Nicki Mayfield, is quitting her job and searching for new pastures. But is that the right thing for her to do?

She’s young, bright, and capable. What if she stuck with it a little longer? Her success might be just around the corner!

But maybe it wouldn’t.

So that begs the question, how do you when it’s time to quit?

While it’s a completely personal and subjective decision, there are a few indicators that might help you figure it out:

  1. When you’ve lost your passion and the task seems more like a chore than a joy.
  2. When you’ve exhausted ALL your efforts and resources and still come out empty-handed.
  3. When the time seems right.
  4. When another door opens (and is probably outside your comfort zone) and you feel the need to walk through it.
  5. When you can internalize that quitting isn’t failing, but doing what’s right for you, your time, your purpose and your worth.

While these aren’t the only determining factors of whether or not you should quit, they can guide you to a deeper understanding of where you are and where you want to be.

That’s where Nicki found herself.

However, her best friend, Em, thought she was simply giving up. And that’s why Nicki got so upset. She knew that quitting and giving up, while often used interchangeably, aren’t the same.

Quitting is:

  • What you do when you know something isn’t right or isn’t worth continuing.
  • Doing what is best for you even if it doesn’t seem like the logical choice.

On the other hand, giving up is:

  • Something you do when something gets hard and you don’t want to put forth the effort
  • Knowing there is more you could be doing but not bothering

Nicki wasn’t giving up; that’s not her nature. She was quitting.

Although she knew her decision wouldn’t seem logical to others, deep down she felt it was the thing she was being called to do. She didn’t understand why (and won’t until much later), but she made the courageous decision to do it anyway.

With one brave act, she opened herself to all that God had perfectly arranged for her.

The question is, will you?


**This excerpt is from my novel, Perfectly Arranged. If you’d like to read more, sign up to receive notifications of future posts:

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