The point of no return has been reached.
My resignation from my current company, after 5½ years of loyal service, has been made public. And it has had some very interesting responses… leaving me feeling everything from loved and to-be-missed, through “yes, life carries on without you”, past “no comment” to a moment’s-silent-pause when I tell them I am starting my own business. A silent pause that ignites my own insecurities – and makes me remember that this is MY journey, and I need to believe in myself, because not everyone else is going to.
I actually resigned about a month ago, but was asked to keep it quiet from colleagues, clients and industry until they had worked on a succession plan. This plan is now almost in place, and so yesterday was chosen as D-Day.
I was given the requested pre-warning, so that I could let my own team of 2 staff know before they get the company “we wish him luck on his future endeavours” e-mail.
Not knowing when said e-mail would pop into 90 inboxes, I quickly ushered them into a nearby boardroom, and broke the news to them.
And then I waited, anxious about when the e-mail would surface and what the reactions would be.
One of the reactions that surprised me most, was a former team member who said, ”I’m shocked. I’m floored, I thought you of all people would never leave!” Which was corroborated by others telling me that I am seen as being very loyal and ra-ra about the company, and that is why they thought I would be the last to leave… interesting! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed being here, and learnt so much, but I am not a corporate animal in the long term.
I had the requisite curiosity-calls, “where are you going” – and the normally quite surprised response when I mentioned I’d be going home, and working for myself.
I told my 2 biggest clients yesterday too – who were both sad to not work with me in this capacity anymore, but both equally happy for me to be following what I want to do. They really have become friends, and I will almost miss them more than anyone else in this case. We’ve had great times working together – and my only regret is that one of them found out over facebook before she got my personal call…
There were some conversations where there was a loooong pause right after I uttered the words, ”I’m starting my own tour operator”. A pause that my inner insecurities interpreted as “what is he thinking? He can’t do this!”, but which may actually have been either a quiet wish-that-they-could-do-this-too, or just surprise at this change.
Either way, it reminds me again that this is the journey for me, myself and I. and that I need to believe in myself, and surround myself with others who are positive and supportive.
And it’s not just about starting my own company – it’s about living the portfolio lifestyle that I aspire to – being master of my own time.
So that I can work till 11 pm if I want to, and go for an audition or casting at 10 am, or coffee with my mom at 2pm. So that I can fill my day with things I really enjoy and am good at, and passionate about. Arranging travel to and in Africa for visitors, acting, and whatever else comes along.
Watch this space – World in Africa Travel is on its way!