Vince Lombardi said, “once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.” By that token, Mojo Motors isn’t just a bunch of habitual quitters, we are addicts! You might find this nauseating, but fight your urge to spit at your computer in disgust and let me explain.
Riding the subway this morning I listened to Freakonomics Radio, a podcast by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt, the duo, who co-authored the best sellers Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics. They did an episode called “The Upside of Quitting,” in which they challenge our common cultural perception of quitting. They argue that if something is not right for you, ignore the sunk cost and quit it sooner rather than later.
We’ve all heard quotations from the likes of Napoleon Hill, who said, “a quitter never wins and a winner never quits,” General MacArthur, who was sure that “age wrinkles the body, but quitting wrinkles the soul,” and even Mike Tyson, who said “champions don’t quit.” They are all wrong.
No chef perfects a recipe on the first attempt and no person, team or company gets everything right on the first try. Whether it is a coach, athlete, writer or soldier they’ve all experimented, learned, and honed their approach, tactics and skills.
For example, when we do A/B testing for our website, we are setting ourselves up to quit—inevitably one function will test worse than the other and we will quit it. We constantly experiment with our website, marketing mix, and sales pitch. We quit, try something new, then repeat the cycle. We are entirely comfortable quitting a behavior that isn’t supporting our mission, which is to help people buy pre-owned vehicles with fewer headaches.
What we do well at Mojo Motors is to quit early and quit often. If a tactic is not working, we don’t endure, blindly hoping things will miraculously improve; we quit and try a different approach until we find the right one. By quitting early and often, we minimize our sunk costs and shorten the time it takes to find an optimal solution to a challenge.