Life after Startup – how it felt to sell my company

Now that I sold Funk-e, the number 1 question I got, was: how does it feel?

Since I have been busy with this process for the past few months this is also why I didn’t really post many new articles.

But now that I have the extra time again, let me try putting this into words through the story below, while it’s still fresh.

The moment of truth

It’s 08.30 in the morning, it’s snowing and I’m driving to the notary to sign for the sale of Funk-e, the first company I built and which I spent 14 years of my life building ever since I was 19 years old.

I turn the radio off, and as the cars in front of me start slowing down for a traffic jam, I am suddenly surrounded by silence and snowflakes.

A feeling of sadness paired with a warm feeling of nostalgia overcomes me.

I awkwardly swallow some tears as I think to myself: “what the hell kind of emotional rollercoaster is this?”

I think of the late nights working in a tiny office eating microwave lasagna with my co-founder, the extremely over the top business retreats in barcelona, San Francisco and Scotland, where eventually lots of culture was built instead of just business plans.

And also, I think of the hundreds of people that we worked with over all these years; employees, clients, freelancers and partners that all believed in our mission and said YES, to whatever we were proposing.

And now, it all comes down to this dry administrative moment at the notary in snowy Bilthoven.

By the time I park my car in the parking lot, I land with my feet back into the practical task that awaits me.

A friendly atmosphere welcomes me into the little office, where I shake hands one more time with the buyer (Richard) that kindly bought me a bottle of Champagne.

We have a cup of coffee after the signing, where Richard imparts some words of wisdom on my next steps as entrepreneur. Given the fact that he is 20 years ahead of me in his journey, I listen attentively.

The way back home

As I close the car door behind me and navigate back home, I suddenly feel a little lighter.

It feels as if I had just taken off a very heavy backpack that I had been carrying around for a little too long.

Slowly the snowing stops, and the sky clears up revealing a few cool white clouds contrasting the early slowly darkening winter sky.

I think of the huge challenges that lie ahead of me with my new adventure called Superconnectors and the moment feels surreal.

14 years are suddenly behind me, and a new, (by now) clearly defined chapter lies ahead.

Selling VS not being operational

1 year ago I gave myself 2 years to discover new markets, startups and especially people and gear myself towards building a new company.

The first 6 months after stepping out the day to day at Funk-e I was all over the place.

From suddenly being super relaxed, to bored, to anxious for not having enough to do, to actually being super busy with a new activity.

Now that the official press release of the sale is out into the world, I can really let go and look back with pride on what we have built.

After having gone through all of this last year, I thought that selling would not be a big extra step. But it definitely is.

Stepping out of the operations is a temporary relief from the day to day problems of a company, but it still didn’t really free up my mind.

I would still worry about the monthly swings in revenue while having less direct influence.

So even though I had reduced 80% of the hours spent on daily “busy” work, it still occupied 50% of my thoughts and emotions.

Now however, I feel closure and slowly that mental capacity will be redistributed to new problems to solve.

I can best summarize it as: nostalgic for the past and lighter for the future.

So yeah, I guess that’s how it feels 🙂

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