The Molzi Story, leaving day.
Well the time has come, six years and one month after starting up Molzi in my spare bedroom, it's time for me to say goodbye.
Three years ago I would have been devastated to think about this day. One year ago I'd have been terrified. But now, my overriding feeling is excitement, and that's why I know the time is right.
A sad day as I say goodbye to Molzi. Can you believe I'm not a trained graphic designer?
Back before Molzi was acquired, it was fair to say that it was my baby. I absolutely loved running and growing a business. I enjoyed working with a team of highly ambitious people and we genuinely thought we could take over the World. It was quite a unique opportunity in our careers to be part of a new sector that we were helping form, and we knew it.
Molzi took the majority of my headspace for many years and probably even took priority over my actual children too often. Everyday felt like we were moving the needle and were achieving something. To imagine this day back then, as I step away from Molzi and many of those same people, I would have been devastated. But for me, the process of selling Molzi was when I started to emotionally detach. The idea of the money waiting at the end of the process and what that might mean for my life took over my thoughts and Molzi started to feel like an asset rather than a baby. Doesn't feel nice to write that, but I can't think of a better way to say it.
Rewind one year, when we had recently started our earn out as part of Brainlabs, I would have been terrified at the prospect of this day. For the four years of running Molzi I knew exactly who I was. If someone asked me what I did for a living I could rattle off the old elevator pitch. Suddenly I wasn't the CEO of Molzi, I was an employee within a business I didn't know too much about. It quickly dawned on me that the things I was doing day-to-day at Molzi maybe wouldn't add value now that we were part of a larger company. In the space of a few months I had gone from feeling like I had everything under control, to feeling like I was just getting in the way. Doubts of what my skills actually were. Yes I had the money from the sale, but at 39 years old I still (hopefully!) have a lot of time to fill before I pop my clogs.
I had a huge crisis of confidence, despite life being so perfect on paper. And the thought of being kicked out back into the real World without a plan would have filled me with dread.
But anyway, despite my ramblings up to now, this blog isn't meant to be about the past, it's about today. I wanted to try and capture my feelings on the day that I say goodbye to the business I created (formerly known as Molzi by Brainlabs/Molzi/My Baby).
The overriding feeling is of excitement. Over the last six months I've allowed myself to start thinking about what comes next. It reminded me initially of the few years that preceeded Molzi, when I was so desperate to do something I was thinking up ideas daily. I've tried to be disciplined to make sure I don't jump into too many crazy projects (see this blog for some of the rubbish I can come up with!). But now that I have a plan, I'm like a dog with a bone. My family have noticed, my friends have spotted it. I'm back to the annoying habit of constantly sending myself emails with ideas and tasks to do. I can spot the signs in me that I'm ready to be released back into the World of start-ups, so I knew it was time to go.
But of course it's also a sad day for me. Less about saying goodbye to the business, but more the people within that have been on this mad journey with me, and made it all possible. My proudest moments of Molzi aren't the client wins or hitting the targets. It's seeing people that took a gamble to join us, when we weren't necessarily the safe bet, and watching them progress both inside the business and also externally. Obviously life has changed significantly for me thanks to Molzi's success, but it's amazing to see the impact it's had on others too (hopefully mainly positive!). And I can't take the credit for that. Molzi was an environment where you made your own luck. People were empowered to take on big challenges and own them, and I love seeing people taking that ambition into other businesses and continue to thrive.
So I will certainly miss the people that I will no longer speak to every week. To be honest, there's also a slight fear that I might not speak to many people at all once I'm gone. In the same way I sometimes had to prioritise Molzi over my family, I certainly also did over my 'non-work' relationships. A common sacrifice I think with founders, and not one that impacts at the time due to the gap being filled with fighting fires and chasing growth.
My life as a full-time blogger and grass cutter begins.
Tomorrow I go from being a CEO, to an SVP, to a full-time blog writer. Slightly ironic for anyone that knows how much I struggle to read anything longer than two sentences without getting distracted. You will be sure to hear about my future plans over the coming months, but for now I just want to take the opportunity to thank everyone that has been a part of the Molzi story. The team, the clients, our super supportive network, even the one Linkedin troll we had back in the day (probably a future blog).
That was all a really long way of saying, excitement and sadness. They would be the two conflicting emotions that I feel today.
Thanks as always for reading, and look out for the earn out edition of the Molzi story coming soon :-)