The one where we redefine entrepreneurship
Thank you for reading.
It’s been a minute since I wrote one of these emails – I apologize for the radio silence.
If you’ve been following along with my journey on either Twitter or LinkedIn, you will know how the first part of 2022 has gone for me. To sum it up, not great. In fact, the first four months of 2022 have been the most difficult months of my career and I really hit a new low.
Things are much, much better now, but to get to this point, I had to make some pretty significant sacrifices.
First, The Taproom.
I started The Taproom in 2017 and really defined myself by its presence. I was The Taproom. The Taproom was me. I put everything into it to make it succeed.
Until I didn’t.
In early 2021, I found myself lost in my career and craving a new challenge, which ultimately led to starting Govalo. As you can probably imagine, to call running two companies concurrently a challenge would be a gross understatement.
I’ll save you most of the details, but I’ll summarize it by saying I financially kept the company afloat for its last 6 months, amassing a pretty significant amount of debt just to keep it running. I had to make the heartbreaking decision to let everyone go at the end of March because I couldn’t financially support it anymore.
Now for Govalo.
With the debt I took on and no longer pulling a salary from The Taproom, I had another difficult decision to make. In order to pay my bills and make loan payments, I had to leave Govalo and take a job elsewhere. I couldn’t survive on a startup salary anymore.
In April, I let my co-founder know that I would need to step away from Govalo and let her run it full-time so I could take care of my mental and financial wellbeing. It was at this point where I felt that things could not possibly get worse; I felt like such a failure walking away from not just one but both businesses I started. I withdrew from everyone and took escapism to a whole new level:
Which brings me to today.
I want to start by saying thank you to everyone who reached out after making my departure announcement in April, and for giving me the time, space, and energy to heal in a way that would make me whole again. I can confidently say I am a much better place now, and I’m once again excited for the future.
I started at Spot AI as their first Engineering Manager (we’re hiring!) and receiving a paycheck from a company where I didn’t run payroll for the first time in my professional career. I’m still freelancing on the side (still under The Taproom’s name, just as a consultancy), and this summer I will be the Master of my own Masterschool (deadline to register is in 2 weeks).
If there’s one major takeaway I’d like you to have from this very personal story, it’s this:
Whether you’re freelancing, heading up your own company, or you’re running a business on the side, you’re still an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is not defined by the amount of time you dedicate to your own personal craft; it’s the heart and hard work you put in every single day to pave your own path.
I’ll share more about how I balance a full-time job with freelancing in a future newsletter.
Thanks again for sticking around, and thank you for reading.
Your friend always,