It’s hard to admit when things aren’t working out. When they don’t go the way you had planned and hoped.
You set sail on your new adventure. Friends and family waved you off and wished you well. You were excited and full of optimism, heading off into the sunset. And then.
After five months at Intercom, a company I have long admired and still do, I made the hard decision to leave. I wish I could put all my reasons in a box and present them tied with a bow, but life is infinitely messier than that.
It’s been a humbling, exciting, draining experience. The truth is, things didn’t go how I had hoped they would; or perhaps my hopes changed along the way. So much of the tech and the startup scene relies on people being all in. On dedicating some of your best working years and talents to a company’s vision and mission. I realised I wasn’t ready to go all in on someone else’s dream, I had too many of my own.
I considered writing an ‘exciting new adventure’ post. But, while I am excited for what’s coming next (more on that below), sometimes it’s important to cut through the rose tint we are tempted to put on things. I’m all for positive spins and a happy mental attitude. For celebrating joyful moments and proudly sharing hard-won accomplishments. But it’s also okay to peek above the parapet and say: this hurt. This was a tough decision. This was far, far from perfect. This wasn’t glossy and glamorous. It’s not as fun to hear, or as easy to celebrate, but anything that brings you closer to becoming who you are is worth celebrating, even if the road there was a bumpy one.
Over the past few months I have made incredible friends, worked on fun, interesting projects, and learned so much. It’s impossible to imagine doing what I’m about to do next without these lessons, so I will forever be grateful for them.
What I’ve decided to do is start up my own thing. A true circus girl, I have many interests and passions and I’ve realised that no one job can tick all those boxes, no matter how awesome it is; a beautiful suit is no good if it doesn’t fit you right.
So, I’m designing my own. Hopefully it will blend meeting and photographing creative people and new places, exploring technology and where it’s taking us, and working with makers, be they in the worlds of startups, design, food, craft or interiors.
I’m excited about crafting a career filled with quirks and odd corners that fit my personality, strengths and values. I hope to be able to document what I learn about freelance life here – the nerdy apps I’m using, interesting reads and links I come across, and a surprise project or two ;).
Navigating the challenging waters of owning my own business won’t be easy. Lack of security, mad hours, having seven or eight bosses instead of just one, and no mentor to learn from or colleagues to banter with are just some of the hurdles to overcome.
So yes, it won’t be the fanciest suit out there. But it will be custom-made.