What was it like to leave Google to start ThirdLove? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Heidi Zak, co-Founder of ThirdLove, on Quora:

Scariest: The scariest thing about leaving Google was the fact that I gave up a good gig and a salary. I was reporting to the VP of Americas marketing, working on some fascinating projects and I loved my co-workers (one of my closest friends still today is someone I met in my first week of Google out in SF). Leaving a well-paying job to bootstrap a company, with no income coming in, is scary. It took me months of discussion and contemplation before actually taking the plunge to start ThirdLove.

Most exciting: When you're about to start a company, the world is rosy. We had a clear idea of what we were going to do and how fun starting a business would be. Then, reality hit very quickly. Working out of a small apartment with my husband with no employees, no real product, and just an idea was going to MUCH harder than we thought. When you realize what you legitimately have committed to, the excitement dissipates a bit. No more Google, no more organic lunches, chair massages to break up the day, cheery co-workers to grab a drink with after work. Just you, your co-founder, and a big idea.

Most inspirational: One thing that Google taught me that I will always be thankful for is to embrace change. Before Google, I had worked for bigger, more traditional companies where day-day things just kind of move along (Bank of America, McKinsey, Aeropostale). Within just a few months at Google, there was a re-org and my role completely changed. That move gave me the opportunity to work with new people across the company and take on more responsibility. I learned at Google to look forward to changing, and to recognize that it creates opportunity. And that, at the core, allowed me to have the confidence to make the jump to starting a company.

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Published on: Jan 31, 2017