Walking Away

[I’ve been meaning to write this post for a few weeks now, but kept pushing it off. Trapped here at home as I am right now, with painters painting our new windows, now seems like as good a time as any.]

As everyone who reads this knows, I left Reactivity, the company I founded with BJR & BJR, in December, after 7 years there, in just about every role and job you can imagine. Reactivity is doing well — really well, in fact — continuing to close new customers, getting good reviews in the press, and really serving customers well. And to be honest with you, while there were some parts of my job that I didn’t like all that much (150,000 miles flown in a year is a lot), on most days I liked what I did. But I still decided to walk away.

Lots of reasons — ones that I feel good about — but that’s not what I wanted to talk about in this posting. What I wanted to talk about is how I feel having left. I guess I thought that it would be an extremely emotional thing to do, and I’d be feeling it now, weeks later. But it’s been remarkably emotion-free for me. Don’t misunderstand: I care about & miss some of the folks there that I built the business with and worked shoulder-to-shoulder with. But it isn’t an emotional thing. I don’t have separation anxiety from Reactivity or anything like that — every once in a while in a meeting I’ll feel a little funny not having business cards, or having to explain who I am — but it’s not really a big deal.

I’m not sure why I’m feeling in this emotion-light way — although I have a few theories. (Incidentally, I had lunch the other day with a friend who founded and walked away from his own company (Vividence) — he’s had this same reaction.)

One theory is that after 7 years at Reactivity, with a restart, multiple tricky financings and a lot of ups & downs, there just wasn’t much emotion left. But I don’t think that’s it.

Another theory that I have that I think is probably correct is that Reactivity has given me a confidence that I’ll always (or often, at least) be able to create and find environments that I’ m really happy in . Which means that while I’m proud of what we built there, and enjoyed many of the pieces, I have a feeling that I’ll be able to find or create good places to be going forward. They won’t be the same, of course — and I think there’s probably no experience like starting your very first company — but I have a confidence that things will work out just fine.

Anyway, I’m not 100% sure that this will make sense to anyone but me, but wanted to capture what I’m feeling.

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