I was part of a very exciting and fast growing startup. The co-founders had been doing this for about 6 months before they met me. When I came on board, even though I had equal or more gravitas, I somehow didn’t negotiate co-founder position for myself. I was happy with the equity on offer.
Then another 6-7 months down the line, one of the co-founders backed out. I was fully functional and vested in the business by then and supported the other co-founder in full might. The business wasn’t growing fast enough and the co-founder was getting nervous. But I stuck through and kept plugging. We turned a corner and were able to raise more money. The team kept growing and everyone could see that my contribution was equal to the co-founder and so even though I didn’t have the title, I was looked upon and respected as one – especially since I was the one who was driving the vision by then. The co-founder understood and appreciated this and even increased my equity. It was a point at which, I could have negotiated to change myself to co-founder and I didn’t. I am a trusting person and
Then about a year later we made a hiring mistake and hired someone who brought about a lot of political tension within the team. He was out within 4 months but had corrupted the system by then, including the strong bond of trust that I had shared with the co-founder. Even though the company did not suffer from this dark period, my relationship with the co-founder did and things never went back to the same. It started showing in the way my contribution was getting marginalized – while the whole team leaned on me, I was just not getting the credit from the one person that mattered.
This eventually got to a point of frustration in a few months and we had a hard conversation a few weeks ago and it was decided that it’s best that I moved on. In his words “Things got f***d up”. I exited with grace.
It’s been two months now and on the one hand I’m happy and cheerful, but I think I’m seeing signs of depression. I had a couple of startup ideas but I haven’t done anything about them yet. I’m meeting a few people but just not enough. Given I was in a high burn startup, a lot of my personal matters had fallen by the wayside due to lack of time. Now even though I have the time, I’m unable to focus on those. I had promised myself to start working out and losing weight – I’ve started it but I can see it’s half-hearted. One example is I bought a fitbit and for two months it has been sitting, I haven’t even installed it yet.
I do need to break out this but I’m feeling quite lonely and while I know what I need to do, I’m unable to do it. Any help would be appreciated.