Back in 2009, I started with Practice Fusion as the No. 8 hire and the directive to be a one-person communications team. I arrived on my first day to an empty desk and had to take a taxi home to pick up my laptop to bring back to the office. I was seriously questioning why I left my cushy job, with four weeks vacation and a good salary, for this tiny startup with no computers. By lunch, those worries had already passed and I was hard at work on our new brand.
It feels like just a blink of a eye later that the company is now 340 people, with $150 million in funding, 75 million patients on the platform and an IPO on the horizon. Over the course of those four years, I built up a team, worked with outstanding people and got promoted to VP. There's a saying about parenting being full of long days and short years that seems to also ring true for working in a startup - it went so quickly somehow. I've put together a pinboard of all my favorite memories and milestones along the way.
I'm planning to take up to a year sabbatical to travel and recharge. Since Rob can work remotely, we're only bound by needing to be somewhere with internet access. I'll do some advising and consulting along the way with other startups, will consider a couple invitations to be an entrepreneur-in-residence. Eventually, I know I'll jump back in to a new executive role.
I'll go back to being an executive because I love it. Sure, there are times when it can be so hard. And being a woman in the male-dominated Silicon Valley tech and healthcare sectors added a little extra spice to the experience. At the end of the day, nothing compares to the feeling of being trusted to make important decisions, seeing ideas turn into facts and being a part of a close-knit leadership team.
If you're considering taking the leap to either join a startup, create one of your own, or take on a leadership role - I hope you'll do it! The world needs more women leaders of all kinds. If you need a voice of encouragement, just send me an email and I'm happy to give you a boost. For me, it was one of the best decisions I ever made.