Before I dove deep into this journey of being an entrepreneur, I worked for a small, family owned business. This opportunity came when I was off to a slow start finding a job after graduating college, and the way the job was presented to me made it seem like exactly what I was looking for. Great hours, decent pay, and plenty of downtime in the afternoon for the beach was just what I needed as a young 20-something.
After working as a Hooter’s girl for three consecutive years, I was desperately looking for any opportunity to get out of serving drunk businessmen and hormone-ridden frat guys. Waitressing to make ends meet literally took over my life to the point where my son couldn’t even live with me. Luckily, my Mom agreed to take him in while I tried to grind it out and stack some money. I was so eager to take this new opportunity because my employer presented the opportunity as filet mignon on a silver platter when really it was flank steak on a Dixie plate.
Wait, not Dixie… Great Value.
Looking back, I realized we were both desperate and easy to convince. I despised being a Hooter’s girl and they had a high employee turnover rate. Signed, sealed, and delivered!
To make a long story short, I worked for this company for a year and a half, learned as much as I possibly could, and wore as many hats as they needed me to while dealing with some pretty emotionally damning situations. Suddenly in September 2014, I was terminated… via text message. I had no idea what to do because I had just given birth to my second son in April, and quit my part-time job a month before. I wasn’t given a reason for the termination, but I can tell you that I had never been written up, reprimanded, or warned about my position being in jeopardy. Unfortunately, I live in an employee at-will state, so really, they’re allowed to terminate me for any reason, at any time, with no explanation. To add insult to injury, I was ineligible for unemployment benefits because I own a company and was “working” towards getting it up and running.
WHY GETTING FIRED DIDN’T KILL MY VIBE
Sure I was embarrassed after getting fired, but what helped me save face was that I technically didn’t do anything wrong. It wasn’t like I had screwed up a project that cost the company thousands of dollars. There was never any type of analytical process with my employers. If they had a thought or an assumption, they went with it and it was difficult to convince them otherwise. Luckily for me, being fired fueled me and helped me come to terms with several things.
The moment I was fired, I realized that my employers couldn’t have cared less about my livelihood at the time of my termination. They didn’t care about how I was going to provide for my family, and they didn’t care that I had real obligations. I get it, it’s a business, and terminations happen. In my case, I had no bad marks on my record. The company wasn’t cutting back, they weren’t closing down, they just wanted to terminate ME. It was personal for them.
**NOTE: If you ever find yourself working for someone who easily lets their emotions get the best of them, you might want to start looking for another job. I knew my employers had no emotional intelligence and made very irrational decisions. Don’t ever convince yourself that you won’t be a victim of their decisions. I used to think that, and I was extremely shocked when I was fired.**
Take a minute to think about all the things you have that you work for in order to keep. Your home, your son’s Taekwondo lessons, groceries… can you really afford to lose your job at the drop of a dime? How important are these things to you? Paying your mortgage on time may be on the top of your priorities list, but I can guarantee you that your employer may not be so concerned about it. These are factors that I had to take a closer look at when reevaluating my life after being terminated.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bad-mouthing my employers. You’ve got to look at the bigger picture here. Do you really know your employer’s personality? Do you feel safe knowing that you can be fired at any moment, for any reason at all, even if it’s one that doesn’t make sense?
Getting fired helped me to realize that I am the only person who has any real control over my livelihood. My ability to support my family was taken away with no notice, no warning. Now, I work for myself and I can’t fire myself unless I do absolutely nothing to make my business flourish. You are only in true control when you allow yourself to take the reigns.
There’s a powerful quote by Bill Gates that my boyfriend and I like to say every now and then for a little motivation: “It’s not your mistake if you were born poor, but it is your mistake if you die poor”.
GETTING FIRED MADE ME REALIZE THAT ALL CONTROL LIES WITHIN ME, AND MY LIFE CAN GO IN ANY DIRECTION I CHOOSE.
Let that sink in.
We all have a choice, and there are many ways to declare our wealth. Some people work for years with awesome companies that really do care about their employees, and they’re able to make bank! Others are successful entrepreneurs, and some get lucky and inherit their fortune. Whatever your take on attaining wealth is, remember this: we are only given one life. Anyone that is living as a free individual of society has the luxury of choosing their path in life.
If you are reading this post, you have the LUXURY of choosing how your life pans out. You’re not enslaved, you’re not bound to a subpar job, you have a choice! In my case, I continued to get comfortable in the job market and was eventually forced out. I was fired because my employers merely thought I was doing something wrong, and that’s when I decided to never let anyone have control of my life again. I will never allow someone to control my family’s meals or living situation. I will never give someone the ability to control whether or not my children can participate in extracurricular activities. I will never allow someone the ability to limit my freedom and my ability to retire at a young age.
To go back to that quote, you have no control of how you come into this world, but the road you travel down during life is completely up to you. Are you really paying attention to your situation and the cards you’re being dealt? Don’t short yourself because you’re unsure, just go for your dreams. I made tons of mistakes when I started my business, but I learned from them and kept moving.
I HOPE YOU’VE ENJOYED THIS POST! HAVE YOU BEEN FIRED FOR SOMETHING BEYOND YOUR CONTROL? WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU NEEDED TO CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOURSELF? LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW!