I chatted with a friend, who has decided to close down his start-up. He worked on it for a few years, underwent a major pivot, and, in the end, realized, it wasn’t going to work out. All this while having his first child, too.
He is closing down the company. He called me to ask for advice on various jobs for his next gig.
“None of them,” I told him. “At least, not right now.”
I then became even more blunt: “Leave the baby with your parents and take your spouse for a long weekend away. Re-connect with her, express gratitude, and have fun together.”
I think it’s very easy to leave a job behind, but it’s very difficult to articulate one’s next step unless you allow for some “simmer time.” It’s easier to articulate why you want to leave a job; it’s much harder to articulate to where you want to go next.
“From” vs. “to”: they are very different situations.
I told my friend that he was probably feeling guilty that his start-up failed, particularly as his spouse was earning most of the inbound cash and that they had a tight budget. That he was probably feeling internal pressure to overcome that guilt by finding a new job quickly.
I’ve written before that self-criticism is an entrepreneur’s biggest obstacle, IMO. We criticize ourselves, and, if we are not careful, sabotage ourselves.
So, the irony is that, after failure, giving yourself a break is usually the best thing to do. Give yourself permission to mourn the end of a company. But, give yourself permission to have fun, recharge, and relax before the next job.
I hope my friend and his wife will have a wonderful time.