Braving a Tough Decision – Reflections on a Year

I was going to let the year marker pass quietly, almost unnoticed until I was sitting next to a much lauded neurobiologist at dinner who asked “what made you decide to sell your company?” As I was enjoying a week of “geeks vs nerds” AKA “what I did on my summer vacation”, I decided to distill the answer into something relatable.

“Did you ever hit a point in your research” I asked “where you felt like you’d taken an idea or hypothesis as far as you could and felt that it was best to hand off to someone else to carry forward with fresh perspective and energy?” Nod. Nod. “That’s the point I hit”. More wine ensued.

Montana is a good place for reflection.

Montana is a good place for reflection.

The decision wasn’t quite as easy or cut and dry. There were many factors and much self-examination which went into the decision to sell. I knew my loyal and trustable staff would losing their jobs. Until you’ve been personally liable for employee paychecks and livelihoods it’s hard to understand that everything is personal on the small business level.

However there were the actual business and personal factors to consider. The leap to the next level of customer acquisition was going to be expensive and would possibly outweigh the sales for the coming year. Additional equipment would be needed and staff to be trained. The company needed to move to support our potential expansion. Could I do all this?

One thing I know about myself is I enjoy starting up and running businesses. Over the past week people I met asked “So what do you do?” and I replied “I run things, I’m just generally in charge”.

So when the offer came to buy my company I thought, “Yeah, parting with this is gonna suck, many people won’t understand.” But another part of me then thought “You know, look at all you’ve done in the past 7 years, they’ll be more interesting business projects out there for you somewhere”.

I talked to my DH, my dad, trusted friends who would give me their no BS opinion  debating the pros and cons, but ultimately I knew my answer. Yes, I was ready to let go.

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