EP 367: Moving Into A New Chapter with Darden Creative Founder Tamera Darden

Dec 14, 2021 | Operations, Podcast

Tara McMullin is a writer, podcaster, and producer who explores what it takes to navigate the 21st-century economy with your humanity intact. Click here to support this work.

In This Episode:

  • Why Darden Creative founder Tamera Darden decided to shut down her business at the end of 2022—and how that decision evolved
  • How she wrestled with the practical, emotional, and financial questions around this big decision
  • The experience that led her to reclaiming her original vision for the business
  • How she’s planning to move forward and what it means for the way she works in her own business

How do you know when it’s time to quit?

It’s a question I’ve been asked countless times over the years. Sometimes, the question is asked in frustration or sadness. A business owner will tell me they’ve tried everything; they’ve tried everything; they’re at a loss about what to do next.

Other times, the question is asked sheepishly, with almost a tone of guilt. The business owner will tell me that they’ve been successful, maybe even more successful than they dreamed. But that something isn’t right. They’re unhappy or just feeling the pull of a new challenge.

Either way, knowing when to quit is almost never clear cut.

When I sat down with Tamera Darden a couple of months ago, we were scheduled to talk about values and how her business has operationalized those values. But in our pre-show warm-up, she told me she’d decided to shut down her business at the end of 2022.

So we pivoted. I let her know we were doing this series on letting go & beginning again and offered, if she was ready, to talk about her decision.

We went there. I was struck by her willingness to occupy uncertainty and liminality. And I was impressed by her self-confidence, even when things weren’t quite crystal clear.

I told her to let me know if anything changed in the 8 weeks or so before our conversation would actually go live.

A few weeks ago, she sent me a message. She needed to make an update. Her decision had evolved.

I hesitate to say she’s changed her mind—you’ll hear why.

Instead, she asked more abundant questions about what was next for her, why she felt compelled to shut down the business, and what other options could look like.

What follows is both parts of that conversation. It’s a rare look into the reality of how entrepreneurial decisions evolve if we let them.

Tamera Darden is the founder of Darden Creative. She’s a photographer, creative director, and business mentor with a vision for helping Black women-owned businesses thrive.

Changing your mind is hard. Doing so in a public forum is even harder.

I believe very strongly we owe it to ourselves to normalize coming to new conclusions based on new information, questions, or perspective. I hope this conversation creates some space for you to let your own positions evolve.

What Works offers in-depth, well-researched content that strips away the hype of the 21st-century economy. Whether you love the podcast, the articles, or the Instagram content, we’d love your support