Everyone has one word that they associate most with  entrepreneurship.

For me, it's "hustle."

As entrepreneurs, we have the mindset that perseverance is key. We tell ourselves that we just have to keep grinding, and that our hard work will eventually pay off.

Unfortunately, entrepreneurship isn't that simple. I wish it were as easy as grinding away relentlessly. But the fact is you can work harder than 100 percent of your competitors, and still struggle to grow your business.

When this happens, you just have to recognize that what you're doing isn't working, and either make a change or move on. Take Richard Branson, for example. He loved Virgin Records, a record label he started in 1973, and did everything he could to keep it going. But in the end, it just didn't make sense for him to continue the business.

Eventually, Richard Branson sold Virgin Records. While he called it "one of the most painful things" he has ever had to do, this allowed him to focus on more profitable projects, and he went on to grow Virgin into the conglomerate that it is today.

Quitting doesn't mean you're a failure.

Many entrepreneurs I know equate quitting with failure. Here's how they see it: as long as they're still in the game, they have a chance of succeeding. If they quit, however, they're accepting defeat, and admitting that they've wasted months or even years of their time.

Personally, though, quitting was what allowed me to become successful. Here's the back story: early in my career, I was taking on as many projects as I could -- anything that involved sales, I was game to try.

I did real estate, I flipped cars, I ran a landscaping business, I even bought Bowflex on Craigslist and resold it on the Arizona Republic. While I was making good money, I was a slave to my multiple jobs. I took calls from prospects all the time (even on Saturday nights!) and I spent all my time working.

Now, I came to realize that in order to stay sane and not burn out, I had to choose one project to focus on, and cut out everything else. I decided to work on A1 Garage, and I quit all the other projects that I had on hand.

I'm not going to lie: my income went down drastically in the short-term, which was a tough pill to swallow. But 10 years later, I've grown A1 Garage into a business that makes over $30 million in revenue per year -- and even though it felt like I was taking a step back by quitting, this was crucial in helping me move 10 steps forward.

If you've been struggling with a project or a business for some time now, take a step back and carefully evaluate whether it's worth continuing down this same road or if a big change is needed.

Published on: Jan 25, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.