Reboot Podcast Episode #125 – The Grief of Closing Down the Business – with Avni Patel Thompson

The Reboot podcast showcases the heart and soul, the wins and losses, the ups and downs of startup leadership. On the show, Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and Startup Leaders discuss with Jerry Colonna the emotional and psychological challenges they face daily as leaders.


Avni Patel Thompson

Avni Patel Thompson

Founder and CEO of Modern Village

View Bio

Episode Description

Feelings of isolation and loneliness have been well documented amongst today’s leaders. That’s why the simple question “Are you ok?”, asked with genuine concern, can elicit such a profound impact for those who are struggling through a tough time, such as shutting down a business like Avni Patel Thompson.

At the time of this recording, Avni was in the wake of shuttering her previous company, Poppy. In this exchange, Jerry and Avni discuss the trauma and pain that go hand in hand with closing a business, reflecting that failure as a foundational part of the vast majority of startup journeys. Avni describes how Jerry’s open and honest question of, “Are you ok?”, revealed a well of unprocessed emotions and kick-started the inquiry process about her next steps as an entrepreneur. Avni determines that while Poppy as an entity no longer exists, her overall mission and purpose that drove its existence lives on in her new company, Modern Village. As she sublimely reflects, the collapse of her previous business has driven her into greater alignment with her life’s Work, leading her to exactly where she needs to be.

Avni Patel Thompson on Twitter | The Summer Day – Mary Oliver | Man’s Search for Meaning | The Wild Edge of Sorrow Francis Weller

Leave us a review on Itunes! Follow our step by step guides:

How To: Leave a Review on Your Computer

How To: Leave a Review on Your iPhone

Never miss an episode! Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on all our episode releases. 

Show Highlights

Top Quotes:

“The decision to shut down a business is hard and painful. It’s a loss, it’s a death.” – Jerry Colonna

“I think we talk about it [failure] at a surface level. I don’t think we talk about the collateral damage. I don’t think we talk about the trauma. I don’t think we talk about what remains.” – Avni Patel Thompson

“If we talk about it, if we normalize it, if we understand it as pain, as grief, as mourning, then we can get past it, and then get onto that next thing.” – Avni Patel Thompson

“Failure is a foundational part of the startup journey.” – Jerry Colonna

“I took solace in the checking of the boxes, but I think what I never said was, “Am I okay?” – Avni Patel Thompson

“I think the most important thing for me is I don’t want to bring undue baggage into the new thing.” – Avni Patel Thompson

“We carry forward the unprocessed grief from the loss of our company into the next experience, whether it’s a new company, or whether it’s a new job.” – Jerry Colonna

“I was always meant to be doing this work. The other work was simply helping me build to this place.” – Avni Patel Thompson

“That Poppy was just this little small piece of it, just as every other chapter has been, but it’s a continuational journey on the path of this overall.” – Avni Patel Thompson

“I can breathe a little bit easier knowing that my part is just simply a small part. I don’t have to worry about the whole sum, I just have to do my bit. If this bit doesn’t work, I can come at it again, and that’s not going to stop me.” – Avni Patel Thompson

“As founders, that’s what our work is. When we try, we’re going to fail, and we need to understand what that failure looks like and feels like, but that’s all part of this continuum, and it’s all part of the journey.” – Avni Patel Thompson

“How will you spend your minutes?” I think that if we are spending our minutes doing our work, there is no success or failure.” – Jerry Colonna

“To lead and build a company from a sacred wounded place is a real honor and privilege.” – Jerry Colonna