Thursday, May 1, 2014

Story 1: Why Did I Leave My Job?

No, I did not start a new winery in Paso Robles.

I did not take a huge sum of money to start up something new, either.

My previous arrangement had been to just help start a company for a year or two and then move on to my own stuff. Yes, it is my fault that I didn’t get the courage to get away earlier. But it’s easy to become complacent.

Fast-forward to Febuary 2014. I joined a surf trip and went to Nicaragua. I had done some “dude” trips before where we just sleep on the ground and surf, eat sleep and surf some more. But this trip included people who could advise me on what to do next, the type of people who have been professionally successful.

And a lot of surf trips can be like that. It is a chance for us to think about our lives, distancing ourselves away from everyday situations. We’re able to talk to people who have different perspectives and backgrounds and who can provide different views on things that we may not have thought about.

On this particular trip, I talked about my hope of doing something new or taking on a much bigger responsibility in my current company. With any partnership, over time, there develops some differences. And I’d been sensing that I’d lost direct control over my own fate. Leaving this company for something new had been on my mind for at least two years. I realized all of this by talking to my fellow surf buddies.

But the next question was: what should I do?

I picked up the phone and made some calls. Then I learned that a friend of mine I have known since the start of Stentor, Inc. in 1999 had also recently decided to start a new company. I had also been thinking about employing much newer and cutting edge technology in order to begin solving problems that my previous company was unable to do. (I will get to that in the next few blogs.) We were on the same page.

This was exciting, but the idea of leaving the world of regular paychecks and dipping into my savings was a bit too speculative for me at the time. But ultimately I resolved those issues and decided that I would go ahead and take the chance with my friend.

I drafted a letter of resignation and decided to leave Imorgon at the end of May.

Now I am back in my own control.

Lessons Learned:

  • Get out of doing something I do regularly. Go on a trip with a different set of people.
  • Networking is important. Keep myself exposed to many opportunities. I admit I have not  been good at doing this.
  •  Friends are important (that’s aside from networking with colleagues).
  •  Learn to recognize when you are in control of your own destiny and when someone or something has taken over.