WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU FALL OUT OF LOVE WITH THE COMPANY YOU CREATED
I became an entrepreneur because I wanted to feel free. I wanted to run my own show, and manage my own life according to ME. I wanted to hold myself to a higher standard of excellence in my work than was possible at the companies I worked for and with. I was brimming with ideas and wanted the ability to bring them to life and run fast. But there came a point where I felt enslaved to my company instead of free because of it.
When I think back to that beginning time when I first started my own business, it was totally exhilarating. It felt like every little win was HUGE and I can remember feeling like I was in constant celebration mode. I felt alive.
As time went on, I found my footing as an entrepreneur and the business grew. But in this growth, something started to slowly happen. As the business expanded, I was gradually, and totally unknowingly, becoming disconnected from myself.
The reason for this, though I didn’t realize it at the time, was simple. I was investing all of my time, money and energy into a definition of success that wasn’t truly my own. I owned a consulting company, and, by external measures, the track for a successful consulting company equates to “Get more clients, bring in more revenue, hire more staff, grow. Get acquired, or eventually step back and live off the company while other hired guns run it.”
For a while, I followed the model, and it totally worked. But I ultimately got to a place where I was so consumed with this idea of success that I was operating solely from a place of strategy and not at all from my heart. I was so afraid of not succeeding that I was over-thinking everything and had lost touch with why I became an entrepreneur to begin with. Eventually, instead of feeling free because I started my own company, I felt enslaved to it.
By the time I realized this, I was so discontent that I wanted out. I longed for an escape hatch. Fold the company. Sell the company. Take a sabbatical. Start from scratch. Second guess everything. I was in a state of perpetual turmoil.
I’m happy to say that, though the temptation was strong, I did none of these things. Instead, I invested my time, money and energy in myself, (through coaches, programs, retreats, seminars), so I could get so close to my purpose and what lights me up that I had a ringing clarity on what to do next. I re-connected with my heart, and used it as the foundation on which I could then build a strategy to inject it into my company and into my future growth and new offerings. It’s the best investment I’ve ever made.