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It’s July 12, 2022.

I wake up in a quiet hotel room in the suburbs of Pennsylvania. Alone.

It’s eerily silent, with sun rays peeking through the crooked shades onto an empty suitcase I unpacked the day before.

Today’s the day. The day that I sell my company. And, as luck would have it, the day that I’m super sick.

I stumble into the bathroom and look in the mirror. My complexion is a shade of Elmer’s Glue. Pasty and white. I’m sweating yet have the chills. I look like death.

I can only guess that the months of negotiation, due diligence, legal reviews, and countless decisions finally caught up to me.

But there’s no time to rest. Not yet. Our entire team is waiting for me. The senior stakeholders from the acquiring company flew across the country to be here. It’s game time.

I greet the acquiring team in the hotel lobby and head to our office. All of this is starting to feel so surreal.

Our hotel is a few short miles from my former childhood home, high school, first home of my own, the hospital where my kids were born, my first business clients, colleagues, friends, and a lifetime of memories.

I’m so close to the past, yet it feels so far away for some reason.

Telling the team

Our team is waiting in the conference room. Catering is here. The seats are all set. There’s a nervous energy and forced smalltalk floating across the room.

I imagine most on the team are looking for answers and clarity on what’s happening and what’s next. That’s the plan for the day. I hope I can make it through. I still haven’t eaten anything. I’m not hungry.

We load the slides and the acquiring team takes the stage. They talk about why they’re here, why we’re such a great fit, and why everyone should be excited at what’s to come.

I sit in the back of the room and look for reactions. I also don’t want to get anyone else sick.

How’s the team? Are they excited? Scared? Disappointed? Ready for what’s next? Or ready to leave?

My emotions bounce around like a pinball. I’m proud, nervous, excited, confident, and unsure all at the same time.

But, there’s no going back now. It’s my turn to take the stage.

My reasons for selling

I walk up to the front of the room, stand in front of my single slide, and look out at the team staring back at me. I don’t have a bunch of slides or bullets points. I’m speaking from the heart on this one.

Fighting back tears, and an increasing headache, I try to outline two reasons why now is the time.

Growth opportunities for the company and team:

Being part of a bigger company means that we can move faster while also opening up more career paths for our team. Everyone is surviving the acquisition. No downsizing. No cuts.

It also means that we can provide more solutions to our clients without the need (and risk) to build them on our own. That’s something we were seriously considering, but never quite found the path forward amidst the rapid growth of our core product.


Personally, I need a break. I’ve been grinding away at this company for 6,635 days.

My family and two kids (10 and 8 years old at the time of the acquisition) need more of me. And I need more of them, especially as we have our increasing share of unforeseen challenges and struggles within the four walls of our house. More on this another time, but I knew it was time for a change.

And I think (and hope) that my team knew it, as well.

I made it to noon

And just like that, the morning is behind us. It’s time for lunch at a local restaurant.

But I can’t make it. I can barely see straight and the only thing I want to do is jump into bed and pass out.

Yes, I’m sick. But I feel even worse that I’m not able to be there with my team, especially today. I feel like I’m letting them down by not being there. But I just can’t do it.

I quietly escape to the elevator, walk to my car, and drive back to the hotel. Alone.

The hotel room is just as I had left it, the bed still unmade.

I crawl in with my shoes on, laptop in hand, and fall asleep.

Team Lunch on Company Acquisition Day

A done deal, almost

I can’t rest long though. The deal isn’t official. The final documents are still being reviewed and finalized.

I open my laptop, load my email, and squint at the screen with my head sideways on the pillow. I’m waiting for the final “green light” from the attorneys.

I refresh the screen. Nothing.

Refresh again. Nothing.

Time passes. I force myself to stay awake.

The room is dark except for the glow of the laptop screen.

Refresh. Boom!

At 3:34PM, I receive this email from our attorney:

Confirmed – sellers signatures can be released. Please confirm when the wire is sent. Congratulations everyone!!

And that’s it. After 18 years and 2 months of sheer grit and persistence, I no longer own my company.

I close my laptop and sleep for 12 hours. I wake at 3:03AM the next day.

Did any of this even happen? Or was it all a dream?

For the first time, I log in and see the money in my bank account.

I guess it’s for real. Or, more accurately, surreal.

I also wonder, now what?

Jeff Teschke Signature