Exits can be Emotionally Draining


In 2006, I quit a top notch job with the largest marketing services agency in India as its CEO and took an entrepreneurial jump into what seemed like suicide. The company I was working with had recently been acquired by a global agency and if I had played my  cards right, I could have looked at a continuous career growth and possibly an International move a few years down the line.

Everyone and their’s monkey’s uncle told me that I was making a bad career choice jumping ship. But when you are young, brash and ambitious who listens to advice? And so I set up shop in a small 300 sft space and hung up my shingle. My first client lasted all of 4 months before I gave it up. My next client lasted all 9 years of my businesses existence until a few days ago, I gave it up and sold my business to a competitor.

As an entrepreneur one always dreams of an exit. However the truth is entrepreneurs are an emotionally charged lot. They create babies out of nothing and watch it grow. Letting go of one’s baby can be extremely challenging and emotionally draining. At least it was for me. Signing the agreement papers was perhaps the most saddest part of my 9-year old journey as an entrepreneur. I felt devastated by the end of the day.

Several times during the months that actually  preceded the sale I asked myself several times whether I was making the right decision. As always while my heart kept saying no, my brain kept telling me that it was the right decision. Playing football with my heart and brain was not an easy job.

The decision to sell was something that my co-founders and I had taken formally several months ago. Nine years had taken the toll on our partnership and each of us had grown professionally with differing ambitions. It was a charged situation which I believed was best dealt with by a clean exit for all of us so that each of us could continue in our entrepreneurial journey in their own manner.

I am suddenly now faced with a piquant situation that very soon I will start coming to a near empty office bereft of all my fellow colleagues, my co-founders and my clients. In a single instant I have surgically removed a very large part of my emotional make-up of 9 long years. And it can be depressing as hell!

Psychologists usually recommend patients who have had a sudden loss of a close one to take up a hobby or get a pet. As an entrepreneur I can only think of doing one thing- Starting Something Fresh

And that’s what I am going to do now. Creating my first baby was a whole load of fun. And I firmly intend to re-create that feeling. I have now two young babies that I have created some months ago. Hopefully both of them will grow up to big and strong businesses in the years to come. And off course I had better start preparing myself for the day when they will both exit me.

Until the next dream, keep doing something fresh.


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