Like any relationship, sometimes the spark gets lost and we want to move onto something else. The problem is, we're often incredibly tethered to what we've built.
What do we do about it?
Should I feel guilty about this?
There's nothing that says just because we invented a job that it has to be our favorite job of all time. We love pizza, but that doesn't mean it should be the only food we eat for the rest of our lives.
Our interests absolutely change over time, and there's no reason our interest in our startups shouldn't change too.
What are my options if I want to bow out?
It depends on the quality of our team (if we have one).
The strongest move would be for us to level up all of the people around us so that they can have more agency and take more command of the startup.
If that's not an option, it means searching for our own replacement which, to be honest, is incredibly hard (but not impossible!) to do.
The other option, of course, is to sell it to someone else, however, if we've lost interest in our startup, it's often hard to think that someone else is going to magically have more interest than we did as the Founder.
But it does happen, so it's not ruled out!
What happens if I don't do anything?
When’s the last time you heard of a startup becoming successful while the Founders checked out in the process?
The first step is recognizing we’re checked out and coming to terms with it. The second step is putting a deliberate plan in place to get us out of the way of our own startup's future.
It's OK for our feelings to change. It's what we do about it that matters.
In Case You Missed It
How Do I Quit My Own Startup? (podcast). What happens when our Startup is doing really well but we want to move on anyway? Wil & Ryan discuss the reasons we may be compelled to walk away, how to fill the role we leave empty, and what life after quitting might look like.
When Should Someone Else Run My Company? Finding someone to replace the Founder is a really dicey proposition at a lot of levels. When it comes time to replace ourselves, it won't likely be for a single skill we lack, but more for an entire set of experiences that we lack.
Can I Go Back to Having a Boss? For many of us, the thought of becoming the employee again may feel like a monumental step backward. But it does have its advantages. Even if we decide to go back to being a Founder afterward.