It’s important to have a reliable barometer that helps us gauge when it’s time to leave the ‘proverbial party.’ For me, the party I am exiting is located at the School of Management at Boston University. However, for you the ‘party’ might be a customer relationship that has gone awry, a business partnership that has seen better days or perhaps even the company you launched.
Do you know when it’s time to leave or do you often overstay your welcome?
Sell High – Buy Low
Investors playing the stock market have searched high and low to know the exact right time to exit the market. For them, it means knowing when your portfolio has peaked and before it begins spiraling downward. Unless you’ve got some special insight, finding the perfect time to exit is hard.
Let’s face it, being able to walk away is an important skill set and something you need to do before the proverbial table is cluttered with empty beer cans, the pizza crusts are piled high, and your head is spinning. Sometimes your friends or colleagues are there to show you the door… other times you just have to listen to your gut, pick yourself up, wipe off the crumbs and exit…. remembering to always thank your host. Here is my thanks to my host for the past 13+ years – Boston University (BU).
BU is an amazing university – one that I have been proud to call my home (at least part-time) for over a decade. But eventually we must all recognize when it’s time to fly the coop. I started teaching at BU less than 18 months after I launched my consulting practice in 1999 and it gave me the grounding, support and credibility I needed to build a reputable marketing consulting firm focused on helping entrepreneurs and business owners grow their own businesses.
I learned an exorbitant amount from my colleagues and my students and had the opportunity to be introduced to publishers like McGraw-Hill (published my first book) and to travel to exciting places like China and Nigeria… opportunities that would not have happened if I had not made a connection that originated at BU (unlike Kevin Bacon – most of my connections were only 1 or 2 degrees… not 6 acquaintance links apart).
However, my gut has been shouting, ‘it’s time’ for quite a while. I believe I made a solid contribution to BU and my time there was well spent. But I’m ready to leave. Now, starting ‘Year 16’ of Marketing Edge Consulting Group, my passion for educating entrepreneurs and small business owners has grown exponentially. This has led me to create the Edge Institute – the training division of my firm. I am thrilled and blessed that I have found my passion so with a renewed energy and a focus on developing training programs for businesses; I am ready to leave the BU party.
This week I began the next chapter of my career. I am teaching entrepreneurship courses and even a class on ‘Creativity and Idea Generation’ at Babson College (ranked #1 in entrepreneurship for 20+ years) and focusing on the Edge Institute to ensure it has the bandwidth required to ensure its success.
But alas I will never fully leave BU. It’s been my home for too long as well as my alma mater (MBA ’91). My son, Ben will carry on the legacy as he becomes a member of the BU class of 2017 this Fall. So, there will always be a Terrier in the family (besides the two barking ones that rule our household). Thank you BU for being the amazing host that allowed me to get to this point in my career.
What’s On the Other Side?
As Alexander Graham Bell said:
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
Here’s to not looking back with regret but with high hopes and renewed energy towards the new future that has opened. I look forward to seeing you on the other side.