Drawing on multi-disciplinary insights from the literature on terrorism, psychological distress and trauma, and socio-emotional adaptation, we develop an inductive account of how entrepreneurs proactively respond to emergencies that threaten the continuation of the individual-venture relationship. We contribute to the literature on entrepreneurial exit (DeTienne, 2010) by exploring why, when and, especially, how one leaves a firm that one helped to create by focusing on turbulent contexts where competent entrepreneurs are forced to exit prematurely.