I am frequently asked if I am still affiliated with Bridgeway Career Development (now called Bridgeway Career & Professional Development), the Seattle career counseling and executive coaching company I launched and ran from 1999 to 2009. The short answer is, “No.” The long answer is, “No, and giving up BridgewayCareer.com taught me some lessons I can share with you here.”
Before you give up a company you founded, consider a waiting period before you do something impulsive. At first, relinquishing BridgewayCareer.com felt liberating because I wanted to focus on new pursuits and a clean break felt like the right thing to do. But over time, I felt like I had given my child up for adoption and I wished I could change my mind. By then, it was too late to get BridgewayCareer.com back.
In addition the the psychological loss, there have been practical consequences as well. At the time I re-branded to VocationVillage.com, I didn’t realize that Google loves older domains better than newer domains. This is why if you Google my maiden name, Janet Scarborough, BridgewayCareer.com will often come up higher in the search results than VocationVillage.com even though some of the pages that come up are very old and haven’t been updated in many years.
The Web never forgets. Years after transitioning ownership of Bridgeway to the new owners, there are still dozens of sites that identify me with Bridgeway. Every time I find one of these and persuade the site owner to update the info, it seems like another outdated site pops up to replace it. It feels like whac-a-mole. This makes it more difficult to consolidate my Internet presence, something that matters when you run a service-oriented business like consulting.
Should I have kept BridgewayCareer.com and forwarded the domain to VocationVillage.com? OF COURSE! Transferring away the domain was like losing years of work in a hard drive crash. Giving up Bridgeway Career Development was probably the single biggest business mistake of my career. The only silver lining is that my clients benefit from my expensive learning experience because now I always walk them through a process of decision-making that considers pros and cons of business transitions such as this one.
In most life endeavors, resilience is required. When I am tempted to be hard on myself, I remember one of my favorite quotes:
“Only those who are asleep make no mistakes.”
Ingvar Kamprad, Founder of IKEA
So now you know…thank you for reading…