Almost 6 months ago I made the incredibly painful decision to close down one of my businesses. Harder still, it was the business that I thought most defined who I was as a person. It was the first business I started. It contained family members and people I love like family. In my mind it WAS me, or so I felt.
This wasn’t a snap decision.
We spent more than two years bleeding. Pouring money into a dying operation because I couldn’t stand to accept defeat. Two years watching the culture of our company deteriorate under the stress of seeing a business slowly coming apart.
And I watched it, rather than fix it. Because my heart was just no longer in the fight.
This is about what comes next.
In what I often call my “new life” I’m asked at least a couple times each week to explain why our holding company is named Aedos. I typically give them the short, easily digestible version.
As a quality, Aedos is the feeling of reverence which restrains men from wrong. It carries the sense of duty a person may feel in the presence of the less fortunate, that prosperity carries with it a responsibility to others.
For me, the name is a very personal reminder — of who I was, and who I seek to be. It also guides my decisions, whether it’s a new investment, partnership, or any sort of new venture.
I am fortunate — I just took a long time to change my perspective and see that clearly. To get past the anger and shame and all sorts of other mental junk and reassess, honestly, just how fortunate I really am.
That’s why the first company I started in this new chapter is an L3C; the LLC equivalent of a Social Benefit Corp. And one which I will likely spend the next year or more working for free on. Maybe longer, who cares.
This first company is Co|Operative. The name carries a lot of meaning, and for us it’s going to be a guiding principle in every decision.
Our stated goal is very simple — create a haven. Create a haven for entrepreneurs and creatives in our own back yard. Build a fort in an area not traditionally known for being an entrepreneurial “ecosystem”.
What’s nice about such a broad mission is that it’s not boxed in. Will we be a co-working space? A business incubator? An educational resource? Yes. And yes. And yes. And some other things too.
The point is we don’t know exactly what it will become. We just know where we are starting.
Future posts will tell more. They will likely be better polished, better structured and more focused. They may sometimes carry a different “voice” than my own as we grow and evolve together. And what you read tomorrow may not match what you read next year from us.
And that’s fine…because that’s the entire point.