Know When to Leave 

I recently saw an outstanding interview excerpt with Jerry Seinfeld in which he confirmed he turned down one hundred million dollars to create a tenth season of “Seinfeld”. Humorously, he said (in all seriousness) he could’ve gotten more from NBC. He went on to explain that the show had run its course, and he didn’t want to risk souring such a strong, positive relationship with the audience. 

Look throughout history…very, VERY few people do what Seinfeld did. How many CEOs and managers overstay their welcome? How many business owners should get out of the kids’ way and “retire”? How many athletes tarnish their spotless reputations by trying to stay in the game when they’re older and slower? How many community leaders and volunteers don’t invest in the next generation of leaders? 

I can think of only a handful of Seinfelds: Seinfeld, Roger Federer, arguably The Beatles, and a few others. 

How do you know when it’s time? My rule is simple: when you’re no longer having fun and you can’t find a way to make it fun anymore, it’s time. 

Your internal enthusiasm dies long enough before it’s externally noticeable, so when your enthusiasm tapers and can’t be recaptured, begin your exit. 

And if you’re still not sure…it’s probably time because if you’re “not sure”, you can apply the old adage: it’s either “hell yeah!” or “no”. 


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