By Kathryn Peck
Selling a business that you started and that you put everything you had into to get it to the point where it was successful, productive, and can thrive without you; it’s the ultimate goal for any entrepreneur. I can only imagine that, in a way, this must be what it feels like to send a child off to college. You do the best you can raising your child, loving them, guiding them, and letting them go. And if this is true, I’m not sure I can do it 4 more times.
I can only imagine that, in a way, [selling your business] must be what it feels like to send a child off to college. You do the best you can raising your child, loving them, guiding them, and letting them go. And if this is true, I’m not sure I can do it 4 more times.
My business, a baby and maternity boutique in the Boston area, sold in 2019. Everyone kept saying “congratulations!” to me, but I had trouble joining in their fanfare at the time because of some unexpected feelings of sadness and loss. I seemed to be experiencing what happens to many entrepreneurs following the sale of their business: feelings of isolation and a sudden lack of purpose (which, I know is crazy, because I’ve got 4 little ones at home to care for!). My identity had been tied up with my baby store for long that I felt a bit lost without it.
But I’ve ridden the wave of postpartum sadness before following the birth of each baby, and know that this, too, shall pass. I had to remind myself about one of the main reasons for selling in the first place: to slow down and spend more time focusing on my family, and it's exactly what I did.
Following the sale was a period of transition and reinvention for me. I set some goals that got me through and reminded myself that I had, and still do have, many other things that need my immediate attention: my children, our move, and the sale of our home.
And now, a true entrepreneur at heart, it's time to start the next business venture.
About the author: Kathryn is the owner of Bicycle Pie and mom of 4 little ones. Also a writer, editor, and former owner of one of Boston's premiere baby boutiques, she continues to write about motherhood, children's products, family life, and all other things that test our skills and patience as parents.