Brazen Careerist is opening offices in Washington, DC. Our CEO lives in DC, so Ryan Healy is moving there — along with Photis, the developer (who I convinced to move from Philadelpia to Madison by telling him that his life would suck and he would die a slow, painful career death if he did not come work at Brazen Careerist and he said forget it and slammed the car door in my face, but then he moved to Madison anyway.)
You'd think I’d be panicking that the center of the company is shifting to DC. But really, I have been aiming to remove myself from the center of the company for a while.
Those of you who have been following the drama of Brazen Careerist know that it started when I was working 100-hour weeks, and I convinced two bloggers, Ryan and Ryan, to move to Madison with me to start a company.
I was scared I was doing something crazy. Now it’s clear to me that all entrepreneurship is crazy, and it’s like an addiction. But it’s also clear to me that the timing was perfect for all of us. Ryan and Ryan are really not cut out for corporate America — they are born entrepreneurs sitting in cubicles in the Fortune 500. And I was not cut out to be a stay-at-home mom. So we all sort of rescued each other.
Then we went through three very difficult years together. Up and down financing, constant adjusting to each others' personalities, propping each other up when we felt like the company was stupid, and bringing each other down to reality when we were certain we'd take over the world.
Running a startup is so intense. And it's impossible to not feel very close to your co-founders. So I had a good-bye party at the farm.
Before dinner, I gave a tour. I felt self-conscious when I was catching the pigs. I wanted to look good at it, so I looked like I belong on the farm. Like each of us is ending up where we belong.
We visited the donkey in the pasture. I was the only one who wanted to ride her.
The chicks were more popular than the donkey.
The farmer taught everyone to play apple baseball next to the orchard. Chipping the apple is a base hit. If the apple explodes in the air it's a homerun. Here’s a picture of Photis at bat. (I always think that more women should be dating Photis. He is cute and smart and funny, and speaks Greek. He’s also pretty high up on the weird spectrum, but I have a feeling that women who read my blog are women who like weird. So you should email me if you want a date.)
Photis had a knack for pitching apples.
I cooked dinner, which is significant because when Ryan and Ryan first came to Madison I invited them for dinner and didn't cook. You can't cook meals when you work 100-hour weeks. But at this point, I find I’m happier cooking for everyone than managing them.
So I'm sad to see the company shifting to DC. I am not sure where I fit right now, and the company is doing a lot of cool stuff that does not depend on me. But we have each grown so much since we started the company. And I think that’s what we each want most from a job — the excitement of rapid personal growth.
And I guess this is a thank you note, to Ryan and Ryan and Photis: Thank you guys for how much you taught me during the first phase of the company, and thank you for your patience, and humor and insanely huge ambitions. And here’s to phase two of Brazen Careerist.