Monday, 18 July 2011

Not with a bang but a whimper

Apologies to TS Eliot for stealing his line, but that is exactly how this week feels to me. You see, in exactly one week's time I will be going on holiday. And while I'm away, sunning my buns in Turkey, the 1st of August will stealthily arrive. I won't have a clue what day of the week it is, as is the way when you're far from a computer, calendar and relentless daily schedule.

But the 1st of August is a big day. It's the day I officially hand over ownership of my business. And while I will do a bit of covering work for the new owner in late August, this is in effect my last official week on the job.

Selling my business was absolutely the right thing to do. My passion for PR has gone (I'm not convinced it was ever really red hot enough to call it a passion) and it's always good to leave the party before you've had enough.

But my business has defined me for the last five years. It has filled almost every hour that I haven't spent looking after the kids (apart from the hours I blog and that time I sailed over the ocean). I grew it from nothing. I learnt as I went. It was scary and fun and exhausting and pride-inducing.

It meant I could go to to dinner parties and people would say: 'What do you do?' and I could say: 'I run my own business.' It felt great. I had a sense of purpose. I won awards. I could give comment as an industry expert. I made a living AND got to see my children. And that was my original goal in setting it up.

I know it isn't a global empire or a multi-million pound concern. But it's what has made me 'Me' for the last five years. And all of a sudden it's going to be gone. I feel as though I'm losing a part of my identity. Even more sad, I feel as though the clients I have worked with for many years (some of them for all five of the last years) are much more than just clients. They're friends. I have a real, genuine, vested interest in how well they do. And it feels like I'm breaking up with all of them.

I want to hold a giant party for all the people I've worked with over the last five years - the clients, the suppliers, the freelancers, the journalists, the bloggers, the network of business mums - and say: 'Hey, it's been a blast! Thank you for working with me. I'm so glad our paths have crossed.'

But I won't. I've done my hand overs. I need to say my good byes. They'll be quiet. Professional. That's how they should be. It doesn't stop me from wanting to throw a party, quaffing champagne and slices of cake like you would if you were leaving a job for new horizons.

No, I shall simply slip moorings quietly and head out in search of new adventures. I've done it once, I know I can do it again. Whatever 'it' might be.

Farewell Peekaboo - you've been a good little ship.


Sally said...

Good luck with whatever you do next, Melissa - it's been a pleasure working with you, and following your adventures.


Home Office Mum said...

thanks Sally - am sure our paths will cross again regardless

Helen @ Business Plus Baby said...

Good luck Melissa! I always seem to focus on business start-up stories, so you've made me think about the other end of the business lifecycle - doors closing, moving on and of course, fresh opportunities. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do next, too.

Home Office Mum said...

Hi Helen

If you want me to write you a guest post on exiting your business, let me know.

Jen said...

I love your post. Really sums up how I feel about the whole work/being a mum thing. Good Luck in whatever you decide for your future x

nappy valley girl said...

Have a wonderful time in Turkey. It must be sad to say goodbye to your business but I am sure it will be the start of something new and exciting. (And just think how cool it will be to be able to tell people at parties, "Well, I just sold the business I built up..." - sounds so impressive._

About Last Weekend said...

Good luck in your second life - good on you!. I really don't know how your ran your own business and had a blog let alone kids. Props! You deserve your buns bronzing in Turkey.

Perfectly Happy Mum said...

Wow! Only just read this. I understand so well how it made you feel, i feel so much like I am my business and it is me that if we ever had to part that would make me feel very uneasy. Like you say though it is the start of something new and exciting so I hope you are fully enjoying it! :)

Anonymous said...

Good Luck Melissa.