A RADICAL Move: 3 Reasons I’m Closing Down My Company
17 Mar 2014
When you first launch your business, you’re excited about following your passion and being able to do what you love on your own terms. You write up that business plan, network like crazy, print out that brand spankin’ new stationery and put up that web site. After months, and sometimes years of hard work, you start landing the type of clients you’ve dreamed about and making more money than you would, had you stayed at your full time job. But it’s quite the roller coaster ride: one month you’re hiring several consultants to help you manage the overflow of work, and another you don’t have enough to pay all your vendors. But somehow, it always works out and you come out on top.
This was my life. For as long as I could remember, I’d wanted to become an entrepreneur. When I first opened my firm—Vibrant Design Group—in 2006, I was passionate about great design and serving clients from nonprofits and small businesses to government agencies and Fortune 500 corporations. I loved developing brands and designing everything from logos to brochures, and exhibits to web sites.
I just knew it was the beginning of something great when in 2010, we won our largest contract ever. A high-profile project, the finished product received lots of media exposure, tons of accolades and employed more than 200 people. I even brought on a business partner. It was quite a high. And then a funny thing happened: nothing. For the next three years, I was unable to land the same type of work that I had in the past and stubbornly held on to “my baby” even though, admittedly, I no longer found the work as fulfilling, and it was barely paying the bills. Maybe we just needed to tweak our sales pitch and re-brand. Nope, that didn’t work. Or change our focus? That didn’t work either.
My business partner and I finally decided that it was probably time to move on and lay this poor baby to rest. It had had a great run and both of us had started feeling the pull of other opportunities igniting our creativity in ways that the business hadn’t in a while. It took some serious soul-searching and honesty on my part, but I finally realized it was time to let go of this one thing so that God could do something new and RADICAL in my life. My main three reasons for deciding to close my company this spring are:
- The love was gone. Without passion in business, you are doomed to fail. Often, we fail to see we've lost that passion when we’re so deep in the business which we’ve built, because it’s our baby, and we don’t want to feel like we’ve given up on “our baby.” When I realized that I was no longer as excited about brochures and web sites as I used to be, I knew it was time to do something different.
- I was no longer growing. I had done just about every type of project I had wanted to do when I first started Vibrant Design Group. Without realizing it, I had reached just about every goal I had set out to meet when I launched eight years ago and had outgrown my own company.
- I had started dreaming another dream. What I’m doing now with my Bold & Fearless blog and brand, my upcoming book, Whose Shose Are Your Wearing?, and other projects I’m working on, are things that I’ve wanted to do for a long time but put on hold because I was still committed my design firm. Although my mission of inspiring change through culture, creativity and communication hasn’t changed, the tools I will use to fulfill it have. And that's okay.
In this season of change, I am so excited to join Doreen Rainey, Lori Greiner, Laila Ali, Jean Chatzky and so many other phenomenal women at this week’s Get RADICAL Women's Conference in Reston, Virginia. When making this type of RADICAL move, it’s so important to be surrounded by a great support network, inspiring mentors, and incomparable learning opportunities to push you to the next level—and help you confidently dream another dream.
**Note: I will be receiving a free ticket to the Get RADICAL Women's Conference in exchange for being a part of the media/blogger team. However, all opinions/views shared are my own.