The Causey Consulting Podcast

On Strategic Quitting & Radical Acceptance

April 14, 2022 Sara Causey
The Causey Consulting Podcast
On Strategic Quitting & Radical Acceptance
Show Notes Transcript

Facing an impasse? Wondering if it's a temporary roadblock or a total dead-end? It's important to know when to quit or when to persevere.

Key topics:

✔️ Seth Godin talks about strategic quitting in The Dip. But how do we know if we are in a dip or we are at a dead-end?
✔️ Sometimes, waiting for market conditions to change while you try something else is a smart move. You don't have to give up on your dreams - you just wait for more advantageous circumstances.
✔️ It pays to be honest with yourself and have those "at what point" discussions. At what point do I change? At what point would I go broke? At what point would this just not be worth it? Be real with yourself.
✔️Radical acceptance is not the same thing as saying you approve of bad behavior or that you aren't willing to stand up for yourself. 

Links I discuss in this episode:

Need more? Email me:

Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at And now, here's your host, Sara Causey. Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. Today I want to talk about strategic quitting radical acceptance and what I call at what point discussions. If you're listening to this today, I feel confident that you have reached some place or time over the course of your adult life where you have had to have one of those, at what point discussions with yourself. So what do I mean by that? Well, I will use myself as an example. As you guys know, if you're a frequent tuner, enter to this podcast or you read my blogs and LinkedIn posts, then you know that I am pretty willing to tattle on myself, to discuss my foibles or decisions I may have made at different points in time that didn't work out. And I'm going to pull the curtain back in that same vein today. As some of you know, and as I've talked about, at different times, I have been trying like hell, to expand my farming operation, I do some animal rescue and rehabilitation. And it's been on my mind and on my heart for a long time to be able to do more of that type of work. It's always been the vision that I've had for my agricultural pursuits. And I've just been in a place where I'm landlocked. And I'm a bit hamstrung, and there's really not going to be any way to do the type of expansion that I want to do. If I stay where I'm at. So naturally, I started up like Don Quixote fighting the windmills, I guess I went on this real estate quest, in the midst of an absolutely insane real estate market. People were buying things that were absurd. Where I live in the Midwest, somebody could plop down a shotgun shack or a burned out house trailer. Not kidding, I'm talking about one room shack with half the roof gone, or a house trailer that had been the victim of a meth lab or a fire, have put it on 12 acres and saying we want half a million for it, and they would get it and it's like, Are you are you guys nuts? Who in their right mind is buying property for that insane? No amount of money? Like on some common sense gut level? Surely you know, that the high prices can't last? Surely, you know, it's going to take a really long time for the cost of living and inflation to naturally catch up to a point where you would be able to make a profit on that if you ever needed to sell it. I mean, what what are you guys thinking? What's going on in your headspace, that would make you believe that was a good idea. And I had been working also with a wartime can ciliary, a business advisor and someone that had better experience than myself on being able to navigate the market and give me some good financial advice, good tips and tricks of the trade, so to speak. And he gave me some wonderful insights. But at the same time, that became part of my at what point discussion with myself. At what point do you just strategically quit? At what point do you have some sort of radical acceptance of reality? Because this is nothing futz. I mean, it just is. There was a property I went to look at, and it was overpriced, but it was not insanely overpriced. It still had at least a glimpse of sanity in the pricing that was done on it. And it was bizarre. I don't I don't really know exactly what happened. I don't know if they had been using some really strong cleaning chemicals before they had the open house or if there was some kind of radiation happening. I don't know what was going on. But as I was walking through the house, checking out the scene, kind of trying to pick up the vibe, I got so dizzy. In the laundry room that I almost passed out, I had to grab onto their washer and kind of get my bearings again because I was so foggy headed and had bad vertigo. And I thought, I don't know what's wrong with this place. But clearly there is something wrong with it. And this is not this is not the place for me. I don't want to get into a money pit or a place that has all kinds of problems especially if you are talking about something like radiation or chemical problems. I mean, again, maybe they just sprayed like so much Lysol or they combine mind cleaning agents that they shouldn't have and cooked up some World War One mustard gas and their house by accident, I don't know. But I'm like, some something here is clearly gone wrong. So I'm just gonna get on back in the car and get there was another property I looked at where the house was in pretty bad shape, it had some significant structural issues at play. And to me, it seemed like the kind of property that an investor or like a professional house flipper or a company would want to buy as an investment property so that they could flip it, they could get all of the issues taken care of spruce it up, make it look very current and modern, and then put it back on the market. As a consumer not looking to have to do a flip house, it just didn't seem like the kind of place that a private individual or a private family would want to take on and try to DIY it in the house was not in good shape. And the any kind of like outbuildings or structures that would be used for animals were not in good shape. And the people had left an overwhelming amount of junk. It looked like something from an episode of Hoarders. And it was like they had just walked off from the property and said To hell with it, we're just gone. And they had like a chicken coop. And to give you an example of the level of don't give a damn, they had just left chicken poop all in there, they hadn't even bothered to like get a broom and sweep or get a shovel and a wheelbarrow and take the the chicken waste out of the chicken house. I mean, it was like the ultimate. I don't know if it was just pure laziness. I don't know if somebody got sick and they couldn't do it. I don't know what the backstory was there. But I just thought for the amount of money that they're claiming this house is worth, I just I cannot wrap my brain around paying and the insane amount of money they're trying to charge for a house that's about to fall in and dirt and junk everywhere. And when I told the realtor yet no, this, this isn't for me. I appreciate you coming out here meeting me and letting me take a look. But I'm not going to be making an offer. This just isn't right for me. She exploded. I mean, it was like she took it very personally, I think in her mind, she had already sold the house to me. And when she found out that that was not going to happen, she just wanted somebody to explode on. But while I was actually in the house looking around and like trying to not fall through the sub floor, I kid you not she was in the driveway, like recording marketing tic TOCs. And I'm like, I really hope that she's not out there getting on her tic tock channel saying that she sold this house today, because it's not gonna be me. Guess what? It's not gonna be May. So when I finally got out of there, I just like I kind of had a headache. And I'm going, what? What even is this? Like, at what point? Do you say to yourself, it's just not worth it to keep on keeping on. You've been after this for almost a year, you've looked and you've looked and you've looked you felt like you were seeking but not finding you were knocking, the door was not being opened to what's going on? And at what point do you say to yourself, it's time to strategically quit. And that scenario really inspired me to get on and record this podcast episode. Because that is a very human situation. It's not relegated to trying to buy a car or a house. It can be in a relationship, it can be in a job it can be in a career or a business you've started. At what point do you say I'm in a dip. And I I don't know if it's worth it to just quit and cut my losses or if I need to try to go on. In the Western world, our culture so often tells us this mantra of quitters never win. And winners never quit, which is complete BS. That's just simply not true. And one of the things that I appreciate about Seth Godin, his book, The dip, is that he really gets to the point. Sometimes in order to prosper, sometimes in order to get ahead, you will have to quit. Not every venture or project that you start in life is going to be a venture or a product, a project that you need to finish. The analogy that I have used before is someone's sitting in the casino at a slot machine in the middle of the night just putting more money in and pushing the button and pushing the button saying well, I'm due for a win any minute now. Any pull of this handle any push of this button could finally be me at least winning my money back and so they just keep mindlessly feeding the beast. But just because you're sitting there saying I'm due for a win any minute now. That doesn't necessarily mean that you are you could sit there and continue losing money over and over and over again. And at what point do you say to yourself, it's time for me to get up and acknowledge the fact that I lost all of this money and move on with my life, I can make up that money some other way. But if I continue to sit here at this slot machine and feed the beast, it's only going to get worse, I could lose my entire savings account, I can lose my entire house, I could max out my credit card just sitting here all night, I have to choose something different to do with my time and my effort. And Seth Godin really gets into that in the dip. There's an article on, which I will link to in the write up for this episode, where Author David Finkel talks to Seth Godin to get his take on Okay, well, what exactly is this idea of the dip, and I'll read from that article now. I met with Gordon several weeks back to talk about this very question, which was the subject of his 2007 classic the dip in Gordon's classic, pithy style, the book laid out how to determine if you were in a dip, and should persevere through it. Or if you were in a dead end, and should cut your losses and move on to another path, strategy or tactic, as Gordon shares in his book, if you're in a dip and can persevere the rewards on the other side are immense, with the larger the dip, the greater the commensurate rewards. If on the other hand, you're actually in a dead end, with no real chance of succeeding, then the faster you quit and reinvest your resources of time, attention and money into a more productive pathway, the better. And quote, that was something that bit me in the butt, big time, in my first iteration of self employment, I was in a dead end, but I kept telling myself it was just a dip. And that as soon as I got out of the dip, the rewards were going to be great. I was just I was going to find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But the fact of the matter was, I was in a business model, that did not work well, for me. I was also in a highly competitive, saturated market. And I felt like I was beating my head against the wall every day. The analogy I've used before is feeling like Sisyphus, rolling the boulder up the hill only to have it roll that down again, every night. I never felt like I got ahead. In that business. I felt like I was always robbing Peter to pay Paul living off of financial fumes trying to play credit card roulette. And it was horrible. And I wish in some respects, that I had realized much faster than I did, that I was in a dead end and not a dip. And I wish that I had gotten out of denial. With that being said, the silver lining is that failure is one hell of an awesome teacher, we do tend to learn more from our mishaps and our foibles than we do when we're living off the fat of the land. And we're on the mountaintop and everything's great. So I can't say that I regret all of my decisions in that business, because it gave me so many great insights as to what I didn't want to do this time around. But for those of you listening today, you want to take a good, honest appraisal of whether or not you think that you're in a dip, or you think that you're at a dead end. And there are six questions in David finkles article with Seth Godin, where you can assess that big question of am I in a dip? Or is this a dead end? And I'll read those six questions for you here. Does the pathway you've chosen somehow meaningfully involve your best abilities and strengths? If you do persevere through the dip? Are the rewards on the other side worth the effort? Do you actually understand what it will take for you to get through the dip? Do you have a game plan that is likely to get you to the other side of the dip? Do you have the staying power to get to the other side? And finally, has anyone else ever done this before? So that's a pretty good set of questions that you can use to determine is this worth it? And am I am I at the point of at what point do I just say to heck with this and walk away? So to offer up myself as an example in thinking about this real estate quest? It's like, what is it going to take for me to get through the dip? And are the rewards on the other side of the dip worth it? Well, yes, being able to expand being able to help more animals, being able to have a little bit more peace and quiet in my life. Yeah, hell yeah, of course. All of that's worth it. But is it worth doing right now? Is it is it maybe worth having a strategy change? And once I looked at it from that perspective, I felt a greater sense of ease and peace. You know, I was watching a video recently that was recorded by Orlando miner and I will also drop a link to it in the write up in case you want to check it out for yourself. But he is talking about housing market foreclosures, and in the video, which was published on March 28. The headline is foreclosures increased by 700%. One of the things that I enjoy in the video is he's like, Huh, I wonder why that could be happening? Hmm. Like sort of sarcastically musing and he's like, I, I wonder if it's because people got FOMO. And they decided to rush out and buy all of these properties that were grossly overpriced. Mm hm. I wonder. So I thought back to Warren Buffett's famous quote, when everybody else is panicking, it's time to get greedy. And when everybody else is getting greedy, it's time to panic. And I I meditated on that I got very still and very calm and very quiet and took all of that RIT of anxiety and anger and frustration out of the situation. And I thought, you know, it might not be a bad idea, given the increases in cost of living and inflation, given the fact that this can't last this insane market where people are paying top dollar for shotgun shacks and burned out meth lab house trailers. It this can't last in the market will correct it always does. The pendulum always swings back. So might it not be a bad idea to wait, you know that there are going to be people they get foreclosed on, you know that there are going to be people who overloaded themselves financially. They got FOMO they got in a bidding war, they bought a property that they really couldn't afford, or they they got hooked up with a broker that did some kind of behind the scenes chicanery, and got him into a house that they couldn't afford, whether they realize it or not. And listen, guys, it doesn't matter what somebody is telling you. I have heard so many times, well, this isn't 2008 We're not just giving out mortgages to anybody with a pulse. We're just so much more careful now. There's still all kinds of string pulling and POM greasing and bullcrap that can go on behind the scenes to get somebody a mortgage that they really can't afford. And we're seeing this already, if foreclosures have increased by 700%, as of March 28, what does that tell you? What it tells me is that there's only going to be more of that happening as people get squeezed, as inflation goes up as your cost to just by normal comestibles at the grocery store gets higher and higher each week, how much it costs you to fill up your gas tank, how much it costs you to heat your home in the winter. I mean, there are certain things in life that are have to have items and certain things in life that are nice to have, but not necessity items. And it's a sad reality. But I do think we are going to see more foreclosures and I think we're going to see more people that got overloaded, or they bought a money pit that they could not afford to remodel and fix up, they're going to want rid of those burdens that they took on during this wild insane period of FOMO. So one thing that I would say, when you're having those at what point are strategic quitting decisions is, it may not be that you need to completely quit, it may be that you need to wait, you may have to persevere by waiting for the market conditions to be more favorable towards your goal. Now, obviously, while you're waiting, it can be frustrating, especially if you have been working towards a goal for a long time or you have that sensation of praying for this and I feel like God is not even hearing me. I've been seeking and seeking and seeking and not finding I feel like every door that I've knocked on is shut in my face. I don't know how much more patient I can be. I understand, believe me when we're working towards a goal and we feel like we've done everything right. We've had faith we've had belief and the prayers are not getting answered or the law of attraction is letting us down. We're not getting what it is that we're asking for. radical acceptance can be a tool at our disposal to say, I'm not going to allow this to ruin my life. I'm not going to allow this to disturb my mental health and well being to a point of self harm or great suffering. And so I want to read from an article now on very well mind called what is radical acceptance. And of course, I'll drop a link to it in the write up for this episode so that you can check it out for yourself. I'll read now, radical acceptance is based on the notion that suffering comes not directly from pain, but from one's attachment to the pain. It has its roots in Buddhism and from the psychological paradigm put forth by Carl Rogers that acceptance is the first step towards change. radical acceptance can be defined as the ability to accept situations that are outside of your control without judging them, which in turn reduces the suffering that is caused by them in quote. Further down in the article, they offer some steps on how you can practice radical acceptance and I'll read a few of those for you now. If you are unable to solve a problem or change your perspective on it, then radical acceptance may be the answer. When you are in a situation that causes extreme emotions. Try focusing on breathing deeply and examining the thoughts you are having and letting them pass. Watch your thoughts for signs of not accepting. Think about what you would do if You are able to accept what happened. And then do those things as though you had already accepted what happened. Identify the events in your life that you are having a hard time accepting. Make a plan of action, or what you will do. Create coping statements to help you through difficult times. Find ways to ground yourself or calm yourself down. See yourself as an observer, rather than a participant, check the facts and the reality of what you are thinking about. Count down if you are feeling out of control and want to feel calmer. Allow yourself to let go of the need to control situations. Focus on your wise mind instead of catastrophic thinking, see people as human and not all good or all bad, forgive yourself, but also learn how to move on and accept responsibility. Read books about radical acceptance, allow yourself to stop thinking about how things could have been, of course, there are a few more that are really great, as well as some warning signs you can look at. If you feel like I'm I'm trying to get to a place of acceptance, but I'm not, I'm feeling a bit stuck. So I'd highly recommend that you check out that article. So we're going to have times in life, like Seth Godin talks about where you need to determine if you're in a dip and what you're going through is temporary, and you can persevere through it or it's a dead end and you need to make a course correction. We're also going to have times when we have to have those at what point discussions. At what point do I chuck this project in the trash and I move on with my life? At what point do I make a significant strategy change and move in some other direction so that I don't feel so stuck and upset anymore? At what point? Do I just say you know what? I acquiesce? I'm gonna do some radical acceptance and say, Yes, I want to expand. Yes, I would love for this goal to come to fruition. But I may have to do it a little differently than I thought it may take longer than I thought, in order for me to not eat government cheese and Beanie Weenies every night, and actually be able to take care of myself and my family, my animals, I may have to make this effort in a different way. I may have to wait until the prices go down. I may have to wait until the house comes on the market. That's not a money pit that's falling in, somebody wants a bazillion dollars for and that's okay. I really think that the more we can get into that space of here's the reality. I'm very aware of what I can change and control and what I can't we get closer to being able not only to have that radical acceptance, but also to be able to intuit and determine is this a temporary setback that's getting ready to propel me forward into really awesome territory, or is this God or the universe or my gut instinct telling me, you're off on a fool's errand. This isn't meant for you. This is not the place this is not the time you need to make changes. We really want to listen to those still small voices as much as we can, especially in a world full of digital vomit, digital clutter, social media, the TV's running all the time. Take that time to get quiet and to check in with yourself so that you can have that discussion of am I at the point when you need to. We hope you enjoyed today's episode. If you haven't already, please take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and share it with your friends. Thanks for tuning in. We'll see you next time.