Yesterday I announced the closure of my first startup. I was dreading it for weeks but now that my intention is out there, I feel a sense of relief. Relief in that it’s one less thing in my life I won’t be devoting my energy into anymore and knowing that I’ll be okay with that.
There were a few factors that led to my decision: stiff competition after Airbnb rolled out with their Co-Hosting program, my upcoming travel plans, our upcoming wedding plans, but most of all my heart just wasn’t in it anymore.
I first came to that idea, funny enough, while I was meeting with a new client for her orientation. She was planning a month long vacation and needed someone to manage her Airbnb while she was away. We spent over an hour chatting about traveling and when she started asking me about Hostcall I felt this forced enthusiasm come through, like when a friend shows up with a bad haircut but she’s digging it so you feign a smile and say you love it. It was that feeling.
I loved the whole meeting new people part and showing Toronto to visitors from all over the world. A few hiccups happened and super late night checkins but the downsides for the most part were pretty minimal. Deep down though, I knew I wasn’t in love with my startup baby anymore but I didn’t have the guts to walk away knowing how much time, energy, and money went into it.
I spent the next month suppressing my thoughts and continuing on business as usual when I came across Jennifer from Simply + Fiercely’s blog post about recognizing when a change is needed and learning to let go.
The post was eyeopening. I’ve been following Jennifer’s blog since the beginning and she’s invested a ton of her energy on building her readership, developing an e-course, and hustling like a girl boss. Then out of nowhere she just disappeared. Regular blog posts turned into a two month hiatus, until she reappeared again with this post explaining that she felt an urge to change things up. That we only have so much of ourselves to dedicate to things that we need to focus on what truly matters. I read the post over and over again and two weeks later when I received an email that my Hostcall domain was up for renewal, I knew it was time to pull the plug.
I’ll be honest, despite the signs and the sense of doing what was right, there were moments when I felt like I was being a quitter, that I was giving up. I was almost ashamed to tell Andrew and my family of my decision but when I did, almost everyone said the same thing, “You did it, now it’s time to move on to something new.” I feel that.
It was a great learning experience for me and so rewarding to see an idea brought up during a girls’ wine night become a real operating business. Many thanks to everyone for their support over the last two years. It was a fun adventure but now it’s time to conquer something else!