When is it Time to Walk Away {My Story}

Posted April 17, 2017 by Thirty-Something Angie in Business & Productivity / 18 Comments

How do you know when it's time to walk away from a good thing? This is my story about learning the difference between chasing glitter and finding diamonds.

Do you ever hear a phrase and just get it stuck in your head?  I know sometimes I do!  Most recently, the phrase that has been stuck in my head is, “don’t lose a diamond chasing glitter.”  I don’t know who this quote is credited to, but it speaks to me so strongly.  If you’ve ever struggled with knowing when it was time to walk away from something big, you probably relate to this quote, too.


You see, I’ve been struggling with something for a long time now.  As you know, I’ve spent the last 8 years building up a handmade business.  I spent 8 years dreaming, planning, creating, marketing, rebranding, and building up this business into something amazing.  All of my time was spent either working on it or thinking about it.  I loved this business.

But one day, I decided I wanted a little more.

While I was busy with my business, I turned down a lot of other opportunities.  I stopped freelance writing (which I loved), and said no to a lot of suggestions my friends and family made.  I missed writing and sharing my passions so much though!

Related: My Small Business Organizational System

Somewhere, deep down, I began to realize that I needed something else.  As much as I enjoyed my knitting business, I began to realize that it wasn’t something I wanted to do forever. It wasn’t helping me reach my really big goals in life. Still, I tread on.  I had poured so much of myself into this business, and walking away was not an option.

How to Know it's Time to Walk Away from a Good Thing

So, I decided to start a little blog on the side…

That’s when Thirty Something Angie was born.  I wanted to write and share my words with the world again.  It was just a little side project.  Something to do for fun when I wasn’t busy fulfilling orders for my business.

I didn’t even really know what I wanted to write about.  I just knew I wanted to write and share what I know.

Before my blog even launched, I was totally hooked.  The branding, the networking, the writing…it all came so naturally.  More naturally than any of that had ever come with my knitting business.

I’ve always struggled with networking and speaking “on brand,” and had begun to feel that it was hopeless.  It wasn’t until it came so naturally to me with my blog that I realized I’d been trying to force this aspect of my business for so long.

Related: 10 Blogging Lessons I Learned in My First 6 Months

Over the course of the first few months, this blog grew faster than I’d imagined.  I was waking up excited, and had so many posts and ideas I wanted to share.  I found myself creating graphics, free printables, and Instagram photos in my free time instead of knitting or designing.

Slowly, without even realizing it, I had started pulling away.

When I Realized I Was Focusing on Glitter

In the last decade, my husband and I have spent a lot of time trying to force something to work that really wasn’t meant to be.

We moved across the country and struggled for 3 years to make it work.

We did everything in our power to get a certain job that would have resulted (probably) in the destruction of our home life.

At one point, we even went as far as trying to buy a house with no money, because we were determined to own a home.

With every single one of these ideas, we eventually decided to give up and let fate happen.  Every single time, something bigger and better was waiting for us. We just had to make room in our hearts and in our lives for it to show up!

How do you know when it's time to walk away from a good thing? | Remember: Don't lose a diamond chasing glitter.

Sometimes, we are so focused on making something work with our goals that we refuse to see that it can’t.  At least not as fully as it should. If you find yourself struggling to make something work time and time again, maybe it’s possible you are focusing on the glitter, and not on the diamond.

This was true for me when we moved home.  It was true when we turned down a horrible job opportunity.  And it was true when we decided to wait a few years to own a home.  Every single time, we found our diamond when we stopped chasing the glitter.

That’s how I knew it was time to walk away from something I poured everything into. I won’t lie and say it was an easy decision. I shed a lot of tears, and had to do a whole lot of soul searching, but it was still a decision I knew I had to make.

It’s Okay to Say “No”

Moms are fierce.  There isn’t a mom I know that couldn’t do anything she set her mind to.  But, just because we can do anything doesn’t mean we should do everything.

When we try to spread ourselves too thin in the hopes of doing everything we love, what we’re really doing is robbing ourselves of the opportunity to truly excel. I don’t want that for myself, and you shouldn’t, either.

How do you know it's time to walk away from a good thing?

There are a lot of really good things in my life.  My craft business was one of them.

It gave me a project to focus on when I was suffering from post-partum depression.

It gave me a way to help support my family when we struggled financially.

And it gave me a creative outlet and helped me meet so many great friends and customers.

Without it, I wouldn’t have learned anything about good photography

There comes a time, though, when you have to learn to say “no” to good things, to make room for the truly great things.

I’m walking away from a really good thing, because I know it is making room for great things.

I’m ready to pour more into this blog.

It’s time for some really big things to happen. I have so many grand ideas that I simply didn’t have the time to complete when I was focusing so much elsewhere.  I’d love to write a book based on the topics I’ve written here in the past.  I’d love to introduce new topics to the blog so we can broaden our discussions.  This blog is my diamond, and I can’t wait to share it with you even more!

Have you ever had to walk away from a good thing?  How did you know it was time?

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18 responses to “When is it Time to Walk Away {My Story}

  1. This really resonated with me because I recently turned down a “good” job (lots of perks and benefits) but felt it didn’t quite align with my faith. It was hard but I don’t want to lose that diamond in the meantime! 🙂

    • Thirty-Something Angie

      Hey Sarah! It’s so hard to turn down something that seems like such a good thing! We have to have faith that something better is out there waiting on us. Good luck!

  2. I’m trying to juggle 50 different things right now and I feel like I’m being spread way too thin. I’m not sure what to give up though. Nor do I want to give up any of it. I’m glad me and my husband aren’t the only ones who really want to own a home but have to wait as well!

    • Thirty-Something Angie

      Hey Lauren! It’s so hard to choose, and I am still struggling with the decision, but I know it’s the best thing for us! I don’t have to quit completely, but I can’t let it be a main focus anymore. I truly think that holding on to too many things was keeping me from excelling at any of them. I wish you luck in your decision!

      And hang in there! We actually do own a house now, but when we waited until we were ready and found the RIGHT house, everything just fell into place so perfectly! It will happen.

      • I’m so glad you guys own a home now! That’s great for you. Someday me and my husband will get there. It’s so hard to decide what to let go of. Hopefully I’ll get some clarity soon.

    • Thirty-Something Angie

      Hey Kristen! That’s it exactly. I know that a lot of the time I put into that business has helped me start this business (I mean, I write about working from home, so of COURSE it’s made a difference), but it still feels weird to quit doing something you did every day!

  3. What to focus on is always such a tough decision, especially as creatives. I remember some months back I kept seeing some version of this phrase appear: ‘you can’t do it all, find your focus’. It made me realize that I had to reevaluate my goals and pick the highest priority dreams. I’m so glad you chose to focus on writing – you create such compelling and insightful posts that really grab my attention!

  4. It’s awesome that, even though you’re ready to walk away from your crafting business, you see all the great things it’s done in your life! Enjoy focusing on your blog more!

    • Thirty-Something Angie

      Thanks Lisa! I am walking away because it no longer serves my goals, but it was definitely a great journey that brought me where I am today! I feel like I have outgrown it, though.

  5. Thank you Angie. I understand what you went through since I am going through the same thing. I am closing my brick-and-mortar flea market April 30. I have been freelancing for the last couple months and absolutely love it. It feels like my new passion is being over-shadowed by the store. Three more weeks and I am going to be a freelance ninja!

    Good luck in your NEW!

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