In 2014 I was five years into taking a business nationwide. We opened 50 markets in a 12 month period of time, developed a predictive valuation tool to value inventory and were powering the backend for some of the countries most notable vehicle search engines. I had another business going at the time and I was pregnant with my second child. Did I mention I was exhausted? Within this time (about a month before Christmas) I was at a technology conference listening to Sheryl Sandberg discuss her Lean In initiative. I was a million months pregnant, hoofing it around San Francisco to meet with our with our partners and was ready to kick back and take in Sheryl’s keynote. As I settled in to the session, I noticed a call coming in from my parent organization, the company that was funding me. I stepped out to take the call. Due to the time change, it would have been unusually late - something was urgent. It turns out the call was to inform me that the board wanted a change in direction. I was to wind down the business. Just.Like.That.
While sitting in a session with one of the worlds most influential business leaders, discussing the initiative to “Lean In”, I received a call to Get Out.
Offers followed to buy our business. I was tempted but it wasn’t the right move. Accepting a deal would have been taking the option out of fear of becoming irrelevant, not having more work after baby vs. a true opportunity to charge toward. I paused.
I went on to partner with experienced tech founders. We developed an industry changing business and three year
s after being told to get out while listening to Sheryl, we sold the company to the very group that called me and told me to hang it up! I led the discussions.
My story illustrates that scary things happen but it doesn’t have to be where the story ends. Also, relationships are everything. If I had blown up on those involved in my initial funding, I may not have preserved the relationships that helped me secure our exit down the road. You absolutely never know what future role you’re currently being evaluated for. So, keep going, protect your reputation and preserve your relationships. You’ve got this. 💪