I was never really into theater but as I was contemplating this post, I began researching the concept and phrase “exit stage left“; simply put, it means “an orderly departure, timed as not to distract or detract; to exit in a non-dramatic fashion, making way for more interesting events”.
I am exiting stage left as it pertains to my career at Pier 1 Imports. This was by far the most difficult decision I’ve ever made. I have spent the last 13-years working alongside people and a brand that I love. I consider the people at Pier 1 my second family; we really do care for one another, both professionally and personally. The people are what made this decision so difficult.
As I reminisce and reflect on my time at Pier 1, I am overwhelmed with incredible memories. I think about all the amazing people I had the opportunity to meet, the work I was entrusted to do, and the impact I was privileged to make at such an amazing organization. I think about the projects I was privileged to work on (alongside incredible partners and team members): launching our first SMS program, building a propensity to purchase model, creating a media attribution model that was tied to behavior as opposed to revenue, building our first mobile optimized site, launching a buy online pickup in store model, relaunching ecommerce for a 50-year old brand, winning the Internet Retailer Comeback of the Year award, and building a multi-million dollar business that is now a significant amount of total company sales. What an incredible journey that I was able to have at Pier 1. I want to be really clear here … none of this could have happened without the people around me. None of the accomplishments on my resume are due to my individual contribution; they are all because of the incredible team and partners that surrounded every single initiative that I was a part of. I am eternally grateful for the support that was afforded me by the leadership and partners around me.
What I didn’t anticipate in all of this was just how difficult and emotional it would be. I’m really not an overly emotional guy, but through all of the goodbyes, I’ve had a hard time keeping my composure. The initial act of resigning was fairly simple but the aftermath of telling that to my team was, by far, so much more difficult than I imagined. And then following the conversation with the team, telling all my partners across the organization was equally as hard. As I contemplated this, I wondered why this was so hard for me? I’ve said goodbye to many things in my life; why is it that this one is so different? Then I was reminded of this quote:
“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”A. A. Milne
To all those that I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside, I bid you an extremely heartfelt “thank you”.
Oh, you want to know what I’m doing next … you’ll have to look for that update later 😉