When do you know that it’s time? The eighth and final post in a month of posts about how I learned to stop worrying, buck up and do the work.
So if you’re ever trying to decide whether or not to end a project you’ve been working on for the previous 30 months, here’s a recommendation:
Drive across Kansas.
Take a few hours to drink something strong. Sleep it off.
Then drive across Wyoming.
After Springfield, the team shipped off to various parts. The rest of the team got jobs. I headed west for a few days, to visit friends, and to think.
I’ve always found that my best thinking happens when I’m moving. Sometimes, it’s when I’m actually running. Sometimes, it’s when I’m just traveling long distances.
It sounds dopey to say it aloud, but I find that the literal act of heading toward a fixed destination makes me think about where I’m going in my own life.
Some 25 hours in the car across the Midwest and the West gave me time to reconsider where Stry.us had taken me. It had given me amazing opportunities. It had taught me far more than I could have ever imagined about business, and about working with teams, and about learning how to screw up royally and then get up off the mat. It showed me what I could do when I put the right parts in place, and it showed me that I wasn’t going to be able to go back to some desk job.
It humbled me.
But I also started to think about whether or not I wanted to keep it going. It felt like Stry.us was just starting to grow and get moving. Was now the time to put it aside to go work on something else?
I thought about what I had at my disposal with Stry.us. I had a really great website. I had a little bit of attention for the project. I had plenty of time.
But I also thought about the timing for me. I had some momentum, personally. I had a lot of new things I wanted to learn.
And with Stry.us, it had been 2.5 years. Either it had to make money, or I had to.
In the end, it was time to face a hard truth: I was ready for something new, and that meant that Stry.us had to step aside.
It was hard putting the project behind me. It felt like I was breaking up with a longtime girlfriend. I wasn’t really sure who I was if I didn’t have “Stry.us” attached to my name.
But in time, I started to recognize it for what it was: An amazing experience, and an amazing opportunity. It carried me so far, and I’m not really sure how. But I’m sure thankful for it. I got to speak at conferences because of Stry.us. I got to travel all over the country for it — to Biloxi and Boston and St. Pete and Phoenix. I got to tell stories because of it.
It was a big break for me, and it really sucked letting it go.
It’s been months now since I’ve done work for Stry.us. But something funny happened last week. I was at a party here in New York. A buddy introduced me to his friend. “This is Dan from Stry.us,” he said.
His friend looked at me. “Stry.us? Big fan.”
I still haven’t stopped blushing over that. It was a hell of a lot of work to make all of Stry.us happen. It’s nice to know that someone noticed.
I wish it wasn’t over. Maybe Stry.us will continue in some other form — the lessons from it sure will.
But for now, it’s been left behind, somewhere in the Ozarks. For me, for my team, for everyone who supported us, it’s onto the next thing.
Sometimes, you have to know when it’s time to move onto the next. I think I made the right choice this time. I hope I did.