Not all fires are destructive
Ingrid: The following, however bittersweet, is Collin Schaafsma's farewell to Quick Left. He will no longer be involved with the day-to-day operations of the company. While we’ll miss having him around the office, we wish him well and can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.
This year in CO we've had a ton of fires. Lots of people have lost their homes. It's truly sad, but not all fires are destructive. Quick Left has been an amazing journey for me, however it's time for me to move on and start a new chapter in my career. It's time to start a new fire.
I've been on fire for Quick Left from day zero. When things were just getting started I was working like a machine and I literally calculated the minimal amount of time I needed to sleep so that I could work like crazy. Looking back I probably went a little too crazy. I did a lot of things wrong, but my work ethic somehow kept it together back then. I can't believe my wife stood by me; she's amazing.
I was on fire though.
When I met Sam through my good friend Dan Storch, who at the time was helping me with business development (Thanks Dan), things really started to get going. We had more fuel. Sam was green at the time but smart as hell and on fire. Before we knew it we were underwater in work. Now both of us knew how little sleep we actually needed.
We were on fire together now!
Slightly drunk on 5 hour energy and Mountain Dew we heard through twitter that Ingrid was a free agent. Sam and I had lunch with her that day. Ingrid was on my short list of people I actually knew in Boulder thanks to some 6:30am cycling group rides. I knew she was awesome, but didn't realize how truly awesome she was until we started working together.
Now all three of us were on fire together! Even more fuel!
Then we met amazing people and convinced them to get on fire with us. When you surround yourself with fire, things really start to happen. I started to realize we could do anything; we had so much fire.
How did all this happen to me?
Thirteen years ago I started my professional career as a web developer / consultant. My career really started when I met Gregg & Tonya Tomlinson thanks to my good friend Christopher Jobson. I learned a ton from them. Mainly, I learned that you could mix fun with a studio / consultancy. If it wasn't for them I probably would have never stayed in the game. They were also my first client when I went out on my own six years ago. Without them I would have gone broke in two months. I owe them a ton. They taught me about fire.
Also instrumental in my career were Trent Hein and Ned McClain from Applied Trust. I worked for Applied Trust before I finally got the balls to start my own thing. These guys are pro. I learned so much from them. They influenced a lot of my early decisions and I wouldn't have made it without them. They taught me about fire.
I probably still wouldn't know anyone outside of the cycling community in Boulder if it wasn't for Todd Berger, Lucian Fohr and Alex Henry, formally cypher13 and now Berger & Fohr. They were my first Boulder client and we turned out to be great friends. I learned so so much from them. They gave me a chance and really got me off the ground. I'll never forget that. Ever. They taught me about fire.
My parents, who still work harder than me. I watched them go from small struggling farm to a very successful cut flower business. I witnessed a ton of fire growing up; I was just too dumb to realize it at the time.
Most of all though my wife who supported me through everything and gave me the confidence to do anything. Like I said, she's amazing. She teaches me about fire every day.
After all this though, I don't have the same fire for consultancy work I once did and I think it's important to always be on fire. Not just for yourself but also for the people who support your fire.
Thanks to Ingrid, Sam and the whole team's support, I can look for what is going to start me on fire next. Quick Left is going to continue to be on fire and spread like mad. I'll always be proud to be the Founder of Quick Left. I'll always be here to support this amazing team in any way I can. I'll always be cheering my friends on and loving every minute of their success! Bing Chou said to me, "I've never worked for a place with so many smart people that all give a shit." He pretty much nailed it! Knowing that Sam and Ingrid have so much fire for Quick Left and the whole team makes me feel pretty damn amazing. I know that because of them that fire will just get stronger.
I have an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for everyone who has helped me along the way. Family, friends, colleagues and amazing clients. Business has always been about relationships for me. I have some of the best a person could ever wish for and I can't wait to create even more.
I'm just getting started. I'm not sure what's next for me, but I know I have a ton of fire for building things and an endless supply of fuel in the form of support. I'm one lucky guy.
Thanks for reading.
BTW I realized after writing this post that it must have been influenced by this post I read last year.
BE ON FIRE!