Why I Left Tech Startups

Someone asked me today why I left the tech industry and moved into consulting & coaching. It’s funny that I never talked about this, but I think it’s worth sharing!

So here’s my WHY:

Previous as a UX and branding designer, I observed that many career professionals work in a linear progression and specialized in mostly one thing. Rarely would anyone jump between departments or cross-over because in a corporate or (well funded) startup environment, you don’t need to learn more than what your title demands.

  • A web developer would only develop, never design.
  • A web designer should only design, never develop.
  • A marketing analyst should never learn sales, because there’s a dedicated sales team.

For the most part, professionals tend to stay in their lane because that’s what their job description called for. Unfortunately, when you are in “one-role”, it can become a slippery slope because it is easy to forget and negate the other roles that make up a business. However, you mustn’t stop learning or collaborating!


When I became a Cofounder and COO, I found myself wearing more hats as a CXO, CMO and quasi-CTO. What this meant was that I had to break out of my UX/design specialty and subsequently picked up skills and hands-on strategies on marketing, sales, business development, management, human resources and more.

Looking back 10 years ago, I realized that as an inspired and aspiration UX designer, I thought I had all the skills I needed to build a business. I was very wrong. A business is never just one part. It’s not just about the product. Or the marketing. Or the sales. Or the business development. 


A successful business is like an orchestra and melody of musical instruments.

And that’s why I left tech startups. I felt a need to inspire and teach entrepreneurs, new and old to learn how to assemble and create their own orchestra. It is tantamount that we, as entrepreneurs, do our best to learn, explore and grow beyond our current roles. It never is just about that one thing. It’s the sum of it all.

Success is not created in a vacuum. It is created when the moving parts of a business come together to create the most harmonious of melodies.

I left the tech industry for this: to spread my wings and truly embrace entrepreneurship in it’s scrappy, holistic, collaborative, all encompassing ways and teach the different moving pieces and instruments required for success. Relationship building is one of these pieces, as is emotional intelligence and awareness.


Since working with several coaches, consultants, entrepreneurs and business owners, I’ve helped them break out of their linear roles and begin to put together a roadmap for success built upon the latest branding, marketing and sales strategies.


Business is not for those who are not ready to take action. If you are comfortable staying in one-role and don’t like learning, then it might not be for you. Success requires dedication, a positive mindset and the right set of tool in your toolbox. That is what my training program is all about.

If this sounds like you, I invite you to join me on creating success in my Business Accelerator and Training Program.

But yeah, that’s why I left tech startups! Are you thinking about making the leap?

Author: Sonya is a former tech-founder, entrepreneur, brand strategist and business coach, helping businesses and entrepreneurs craft extraordinary brands out of ordinary chaos. Her favorite topics are brand strategies, user-experience, digital marketing, emotional intelligence, authenticity and how to use storytelling to create momentum. Connect with her on LinkedinFacebook or Schedule a call here.