A Necessary Ending

Today, I penned a farewell message.  This Friday, I will leave my position as president of Kauffman FastTrac – a global organization that trains entrepreneurs to start and grow companies.  After leading the firm for the past four years, having interacted with a diverse range of entrepreneurs, I now have the urge to pursue some entrepreneurial concepts of my own.  Not surprisingly, as I put together my comments, I was overcome with a mix of emotions.  What an exhilarating ride it has been!

With the partnership of more than 100 organizations around the world and the collegiality of a committed, engaged Kauffman FastTrac team, we have redefined the organization and become a self-sustaining part of the Kauffman Foundation – thus proving that the FastTrac methodology for starting and growing successful firms is as relevant today as it was 20 years ago when Ewing Kauffman commercialized the organization.

One might wonder why would anyone in their right mind walk away from such a position?  My answer:  It is simply time.  Time for me to turn over the reins to other leaders; time for me to go after other pursuits.

I read a book not too long ago, Necessary Endings by Dr. Henry Cloud.  The opening chapter of the book states, “In your business and perhaps your life, the tomorrow that you desire and envision may never come to pass if you do not end some things you are doing today.”  He goes on to say, “…endings are a natural part of the universe….”  I couldn’t agree more.

Though it is difficult to leave behind a company I love, to say good-bye to working with wonderful colleagues on a daily basis, to walk away from the chance to bring ideas for future growth of the company to fruition, in order to pursue what’s next, it is necessary to end my current relationship with this organization.

The great news is that I get to hold on to the pride I feel at all we’ve achieved as an organization.  Furthermore, the friendships and partnerships built do not suddenly disappear the moment I carry off my boxes.  And, most importantly, I am bursting at the seams with excitement for what’s next.

With that I challenge you to think about the circumstances in your life that you might need to change in order to realize your goals and ambitions.  Do you have “necessary endings” to pursue?  It can be frightening, yes, but also exhilarating, liberating and delightful!

So, you might ask, what’s next?  More to come, but suffice it to say I will pursue my Coffee Lunch Coffee dreams full time!  Through Coffee Lunch Coffee, I will work with companies, academic institutions, industry/professional associations and others to offer networking workshops and talks, facilitate conferences and events and engage one-on-one with people and companies to help them build more meaningful, more effective professional networks.  I’m very grateful to my colleagues at Kauffman FastTrac and to the Coffee Lunch Coffee community for making this all possible. Looking forward to building a business with all of you by my side!

25 thoughts on “A Necessary Ending

  1. Best wishes, Alana, as you move on to the next chapter of your life and career. I’m confident you’ll continue to experience great success, and you can take pride in knowing that you are leaving an impressive legacy behind as you move on. Good luck, my friend.

  2. Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of your great FastTrac adventure. I am looking forward to your new endeavors and our continued personal and professional friendship!

  3. Alana, I know you’ll be bringing the “Coffee Lunch Coffee” approach to even more people in the months ahead. Best wishes!

    1. Andrew — Thanks so much! You were one of my first supporters and I am so grateful for your continued encouragement and championship. Hope you are doing great in CA. Cheers! -Alana

  4. Alana, You continue to inspire me. Best of luck as you launch full time into your own endeavors. I look forward to witnessing your next success!

  5. Can’t wait to see your new adventure unfold, and can’t wait to toast your success. You’re the best!

  6. Alana,

    You brought to the position integrity, poise and grace that was truly professional. You will be greatly missed but, you will also be highly successful I sure in your new endeavor. Enjoy it….

    ~ Michael W. Player

  7. Alana,

    It has been a pleasure meeting and interacting with you through the FastTrac partnership with PREIMA. It was saddening to hear your news, as I was looking forward to many years with you. However, like you said, this relationship doesn’t end here and I look forward to our paths crossing in the future! I am really excited and supportive for you, and truly wish you the best in your new adventures!

    -Twilla

    1. So grateful to you, Twilla, for your kind words — thank you! It has been a pleasure to get to know you and your colleagues — looking forward to working with you on future initiatives.
      Cheers!
      Alana

  8. Best wishes on your new adventure. New beginnings are fun, challenging and exciting. I am looking forward to hearing about what the next chapter holds for you.

    – Olga

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