Reinvention After Closing A Business

This week a good handful of friends have asked if I regret closing Manic Trout last year. So I thought it a nice time to talk about reinvention. I’m a fan of it. In my late twenties, a male friend I’d known since our teens told me that I’d reinvented myself more times than Madonna. That every few years, I looked completely different and was into new things. I asked if he was saying that as a compliment and he admitted that at first he wasn’t but after thinking about it, realized that he was. Yes, I like to try new things, be it clothes or hair length or hobbies or jobs. Through it all though, I’ve always had the same beliefs, values and have stayed, well, me. But I enjoy change. Not everybody does, and usually, those are the ones who ask me about the changes I’ve made.

If you are new to my life, about a year ago, I made the official, public announcement that I was closing the doors on my handmade jewelry company that I had built from nothing into a thriving, in the press, on TV stars, online company. I had gotten to the point where I had enough. I went through a long period of burnout and finally admitted to myself that the only thing keeping me from moving on was that I was afraid to end the “dream job” I had created for myself. Partly because I had no idea what to do next and partly because I had a weird idea that I wouldn’t get to have more than one dream job (I have no idea why I thought that) in my life.

Guess what, it’s been a year and I’ve never looked back. I have been working hard to create a new dream job. Although I’ll admit that I had forgotten after 15 years what the first few years of a new business looks like, I’ve loved it. It’s been incredibly exhausting and there are times when I have no idea what I’m doing but that’s the secret to reinvention. You decide to jump and then you figure it out as you fall.

The question I’m asked the most by those who have known me beyond this past year? “Do I miss it?” The answer is always an instant no. Not ever. This is possibly due to the burnout, but really, by the time I walked away I was so over it. I have not had the desire to pick up my pliers in the last year and doubt I ever will. Does that I mean I regret having the business? Never. I loved Manic Trout and more importantly, the trouties. I do wish I had ended it a year or two earlier, but I think it was my fear of starting over, of being at the bottom again (although you’re never truly at the bottom after you’ve done it once before) in a business that held me back. I had to gather the strength to face that fear head-on before I could make the leap. And the strength to put the amount of work into a new business that it takes the first few years.

What was the final straw that made me take that leap? The thought of being stuck for another year. I was thinking this morning where I would be if I had not made that decision a year ago. I’d still be angry. I’d still wake up dreading the day ahead. I would not be where I am today, that’s for sure. And although I’m still in the early stages of the business, I love it. And I can’t wait to see what happens next.

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