No one likes to say "I give up." We're taught from a young age that quitting is a horrible character flaw. On the other hand, the older we get, the more we understand we can't do everything. Our time, energy, and resources are limited.
Therefore, here are 5 Reasons I Abandon Projects:
1) Don't fit the schedule
My analytical project manager brain always assigns priorities, rankings if you will, to projects. A leftover from my dot-com days that says if dates slip then features drop. Features, in this case, could be a free short story to include in a newsletter or a perma-free novella told from an alternate POV to boost sales to a series.
2) No longer the right solution to a goal
When planning projects for the next year to 18 months, things change. ~gasp~ Meanwhile, I'm learning more about the business through classes, shared best practices, or trial and error. What was once the best strategy has to be revised. If my goal is to increase sales by 8% over 6 months, how I get there can absolutely result in me dumping one strategy if a less resource-demanding solution comes along.
3) Increase in price
Inflation is real. Budgets are necessary. P&Ls are good business practices. Market changes happen. That awesome resource that was affordable in the planning stages but has since increased its fees so its now out of budget? That kills a project toot sweet. Then are the projects for which I budgeted X but didn't properly account for all the inputs, so it should never have been in my plans in the first place. ~doh!~
It was a genius concept when it was hatched, but it had a window of opportunity that closed, the strategy was trashed in favor of something else, or a third-party stepped up to provide the service/solution/alternative means (aka I'm not the one who has to do the work anymore, woot!).
5) Sailing A Sinking Ship
If it's a group project and key players are flaking out--barring a legal or financial cost of non-delivery--I'm not going to stick around to salvage the project. I spent a lot of my corporate days being the fixer, the catcher, the patcher, and the cleaner. If I'm not being paid handsomely to play those parts, I am not assuming ownership of someone else's failures. Similarly, if it's a group project and it comes to light that asshats abound, I will bail. It's not worth having my brand/reputation dragged through the mud on a crap product associated with crappier people. Harsh? Maybe. Too damn old to care.
Note: It's not to say I'll run away if things get complicated; I take my commitments very seriously. However, I've been in this game long enough to recognize collaborative and creative abuse.
There's no shame in reevaluating a project for its usefulness, its cost (opportunity and financial), or its ROI. That's just smart living. Needs evolve. Strategies evolve. Projects are dumped while others are picked up. If it's not the right project for the goal you want to achieve, then kill it and move on.