I Can’t Do This Anymore

Running a company (multiple companies) for 16 years is hard – running a company by yourself is even harder – running a company while dealing with depression is impossible. I’m just one person. I have a personal life; a family, a home, pets that are our kids, and a variety of my own personal quandaries as well.

If you’re familiar with or have depression, you know that if everything isn’t going well, then nothing is. It doesn’t take long for it to take a toll on the mind, the body and the soul – it’s been almost 5 years now.

Right now, I feel defeated. Empty in many ways. It’s not the long hours, hearing “no” constantly, or even feeling under-supported or inadequate – I can deal with the lack of support – it’s the uncertainty that’s been the biggest factor. Not knowing…anything.

“Imagine rowing a boat by yourself across the ocean with 100 various-sized holes in the bottom of it, with no land in sight – that’s what running a company by yourself feels like.”

With uncertainty comes doubt; Will I fill enough holes and still make progress that day/week/month? Am I going fast enough? Will I make it there before I sink? What is “there”? Is it all worth it? Is. It. Worth. It? That question is what did it for me.

It’s not. It wasn’t. At least not for me. So much of my time has been wasted, or otherwise spent on something, at the time, I felt was more important. My relationships suffered – people I care about were neglected and so was my happiness – leaving me alone, sad, and upset.

I’m just now realizing, far too late, that “time is a person’s most valuable asset”, so, how could I spend any more of it doing something I wasn’t happy doing? Plus, the motivation isn’t there, I’m not pursuing a goal, and I’m no longer the positive and outgoing person I once was.

This feels like giving up, giving in, or quitting, and no matter who says otherwise, I just can’t grasp that it’s not. What I am sure of is that I can’t do this anymore – I can no longer spend my time and be financially dependent on something that isn’t enjoyable.

While I’d love to continue building something of my own, it’s time to do something else, with others. It’s time for a pivot to a career that sparks joy and to one where I can leverage my 16+ years of experience as a startup founder/investor/operator to support other founders and their startups – it’s what I love doing. If and when I figure out what that looks like, I’ll post an update here.

This was difficult to draft, and terrifying to post – Thank you for reading.
If you have thoughts, comments or questions please leave them below or email me.

Update: This blew up on LinkedIn. Thank you for all the support.