TMI: I’ve been Fired AND Laid off

When life deals you lemons, you make lemonade. Right?

We’ve all heard the stories of famous people who made it big. But then we find out that most of them have either lost it all, gone bankrupt or fired in the past. The stories are everywhere.

So why does it hurt so much for us? Why can’t we see the silver lining?

I always thought I’d never be the one to get fired or laid off. Until it happened. Ouch. I had worked my way up the corporate ladder to be a senior creative director for a big agency. Then I decided that it was time to move on to another challenge.

I took a Director of Marketing position with a young up-and-coming technology firm. At that point in my life it was a great choice, considering that I knew very little about technology. I learned the importance of keeping up with computer knowledge, started teaching adult tech classes and began to understand that everyone should know how to troubleshoot their own computers.

Then the technology bubble burst. You know, mid-90s when the bottom dropped out? And so did my job. My life started to spin as I realized for the first time in my career that I wasn’t going to be able to support our young family.

But I was young and resilient. I shot some resumes out and almost instantly got a career opportunity. In British Columbia. About 3500 miles away from my comfort zone. And it was through that experience of commuting with them for 3 months, that God started to make me realize that He’s preparing a path away from the “safe” life he had for me.

Then I had an offer to run a marketing department in North Carolina. An up-and-coming nutraceutical company that was on the leading edge of technology and customer fulfillment. What hadn’t been on my radar now seemed a lot closer to “the Grandparents”. So we accepted the position, got our work visas and everything fell into place. It was hard to move 1500 miles, but we liked it better than moving coast to coast.

Until I realized I was in worst job of my life. After instant tensions escalated into heartache, I was fired after 4 months. My life came crashing down again, until I realized I was in the perfect place to open a branding marketing agency. North Carolina. One that could utilize all my marketing, technology and teaching skills. It was perfect.

Looking back, our transition times difficult and were uncertain. But every time, God has opened bigger and better doors and opportunities.

Best Life magazine recently polled their readers: “If you find yourself in a Recession, what are you most apt to do”. 10% said they could start a company. I’m glad I did. And I’m also glad that 90% of the people won’t. I believe there’s a huge opportunity for those who want to suffer through the startup. It can’t be any harder than the pain of losing your job.

If you’re thinking a layoff is in your future, start thinking about the business you can open. Here are the 3 things you can do right now for very little money!

  1. Look for potential customers. All your business needs is one customer. Or two or three. It’s that easy.
  2. Cost-saving strategy. Right now, successful businesses are doing it for less. How can you serve your client(s) for less money?
  3. Business Plan. The majority of businesses don’t have a written plan. Perhaps that’s why the majority of businesses fail. Google “how to write a business plan” and start today!

What would you do if you got laid off?

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