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This is a tough one.  My latest post for Forbes.  I'd value any of your comments over there on the Forbes blog as I think many of you here have great personal insights into this difficult question.
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Alex Lawrence's profile photoSebastian “baboo” P.'s profile photoArif Islam's profile photoChavdar Petkov's profile photo
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I love the last line - "There is no honor in drowning."
 
After have been through this several times having started both winning and loosing businesses, I approach the question a bit differently.

First, fundamentally your business is an investment. That is great if it is also your passion but that can blind you to the economic realities of the situation.
Given that, I like to approach any new venture using lean start up principals. Quickly create hypothesis and test them. If they work out as your expecting move on. If not, then adjust. If nothing works, then move on to the next company/idea. I don't see this as failure but more of living to fight another day. Jay Carlson's example that Cheryl cited is a good example.

Second, if this is a more ongoing concern. Pretend that someone just gave you your company (or you just got offered your job today). What would you do? Many people get stuck in the whole "throwing good money after bad" routine. They figure if they are already down 100K or 10 years into a bad job then what's another 50k or year. The problem with that thinking is that those are sunk costs. They are gone. (Note, that there still may be some intrinsic benefits, i.e, only one more year to full retirement)

BTW - I also posted this on your Forbes thread. I really like Google+ for the discussions.
 
I read a Freudian slip here: "This is a tough one. My last post for Forbes." Matched the picture; I think I'd decorate my office door like that on my last day in the old job xD
 
Hi Alex, great article. It is indeed a question I am facing myself lately. Would the questions be same for someone working for a company but looking to start his own business?
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