I had an interesting conversation today with a sales rep from ADP (a payroll company we used to use for the staffing company).
While we owned the staffing company, we decided to switch payroll companies, and this woman was calling to ask if we would be willing to give ADP another opportunity as our payroll company. I told her that we had shut the company and were no longer running the company.
She immediately responded with, "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that!" She had the impression that our business had not done well and that we were forced to close the company. I explained to her that we got got burnt out running the staffing company (for so many reasons - the lack of reliability from the employees, the ridiculous demands from clients, never having a weekend free, the stress, etc.) so we decided to open up a uniform company instead.
It's been almost a year since we closed the staffing company, and in that year, almost every person reacted similarly when I mentioned that we closed the company.
What I really want to tell the person is that they don't need to be sorry - they should be happy! The staffing company took us to a lot of really fancy events (some with celebrities - Danica Patrick asked Aaron for extra salad dressing, lol). And it was fun to be in newspaper and magazine articles. We learned so much about business: we had to make enough money to pay for the office, we got sued - twice, we learned interviewing skills, how to fill out employment forms, how to write fluffy sales brochures, and how to sell our company when we both looked like high school kids.
Closing the staffing company was one of the best and most difficult decisions we ever made. We now enjoy volunteering on the weekends and spending time together as a couple. Our stress levels are dramatically lower. We now are doing things that are fulfilling for us.
So don't feel sorry for me because we closed our company - congratulate me ; )