I'm finally trying to take the time to list the thoughts behind my decision-making process, so here goes.
First, again, this isn't my "hometown", and I don't want to retire here.
Second, as a consultant, I'm tired of working on projects for other people. One of my real strengths as a technical consultant has been my empathy for my customers, and over the last two years, I've felt that slipping away. Projects were no longer "life or death" matters for me.
Third, with only one exception, I've always been responsible for the largest projects at the company, and going back to Item 2 above, I don't want to tackle any more large projects right now. Call it burnout or whatever, but that's the way I feel.
Fourth, as I wrote earlier, every time I come back to the office, I feel like I'm walking into a disaster area. How things get done here on a daily basis, well, I can only guess.
Fifth, my relationship with Jack has deteriorated to the point that a "divorce" from him is an extremely welcome thing. It would be a negative for me to have to stay here and work with him as a partner any more, but still, this item is only fifth on my list of reasons. (In a related note, my grandfather, who also owned a small business, told me "There's no worse ship than a partnership." I wish I had known what he meant when I brought Jack on originally, or at least when the Operating Agreement was created.)
Sixth, not having any success at growing the company over the last few years has made the company boring and stagnant, at least in my mind. As mentioned several times here, it's my opinion that the other partners seem to have a very limited interest in growing the company, and staying the same size holds zero interest for me any more.
Finally, there are some computer/technical things I still want to pursue, so I know I'm not completely burned out, hopefully just burned out on other people's problems.
Also, I'm trying to be truthful here with myself, and there are also several things about my current personal situation I'm not happy with that have very little to do with this company or this town:
First, I'm not eating well, and I'm not taking care of my body. While this town seems to put little to no emphasis on a healthy lifestyle (compared to cities in California, Arizona, Colorado, etc.), I still have to accept that I can eat better and join a gym. I do work a lot, but I need to take a hard look at that versus my health.
Second, I don't feel any room for creative expression at the company. Because I'm the owner, and I also run all the large projects, it's always about the current project, and everything else that comes with owning the company. I'm sure this sounds like I'm a control freak, but if you could ask the people that work with me, they'll say I'm not. But to me, all of this is a huge investment of time, and I don't feel like I'm "growing" at all.
I'm in my forties, and I feel like I should be more mature emotionally, but frankly, at this time, I really just don't care. I've given so much time into building this business, and, okay, if I'm burned out, I'm burned out. But how will "Not being burned out" help me care about someone else's project ever again?