The truth is, I almost didn’t leave The New Yorker when I did.
I knew that I wanted to start Inbox Collective. I knew there was a market for my services. I knew that I had an opportunity to help the journalism world.
But I wasn’t sure if the timing was right.
Sally was in nursing school. She was 18 months in, with a year of classes left. She’d graduate in Spring 2020. And my thought was simple: Sally still had a few semesters of tuition left to pay, we were a one-income household, and if Inbox Collective didn’t work, we’d be a no-income household. Leaving my job to start a consultancy was a gamble, and the safe move was to wait until Sally had graduated and gotten a job — sometime in the summer of 2020.
But Sally convinced me to take the leap anyway. She reminded me that I had momentum and a clear opportunity. There was something else, too, something we talked about a lot at the time: The window for me do this was open, and we weren’t sure how long it would stay open. There was risk in leaving my job to start something new, but also risk if I waited too long and the window closed.
Now looking back, if I’d waited, I don’t think I’d ever have left to start Inbox Collective. Taking the leap to start a business is tough enough during good times, but during a recession and a pandemic? There’s no way.
It’s a reminder that when you’ve got something you’re excited about, and something you feel ready to take on, the only time to try it is now. If you wait, the window might close, and you might miss out on that opportunity forever.
That’s a photo of me giving a talk in Sydney last year — one of many pretty amazing experiences that I couldn’t have had without taking the leap.