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There’s this thing I call the layoff monster. I’ll share my experience with you. There was a period of time within 18 months that I got laid off three times. It was just like clockwork, every six months. Being told they don’t need your ass is not a good feeling. It was really crazy.
The third time was at Powertel. Two weeks before I was laid off, I was Salesman of the Month and I was about to do it again. I want you to understand that. Before the metamorphosis of my personality and I became about hustling, I was the company man. I’d go to work and work hard. I would do what was required. For a long time, I was very happy to do that.
In every job I had except for the last three, I was that guy that got extra favor. People looked out for me. One time I actually quit a job and then when I wanted to go back, they created a job for me. I was that type of employee.
When I got called in to be laid off after getting Salesman of the Month, I believe something in me snapped. We’re taught if you do the right thing and you do good things. Then good things will befall you. In other words, you reap what you sow. I learned in that 18 month period after being laid off three times, that my idea about reaping what you sow was not necessarily the case.
I’m not a very religious person. I do believe in God. I never subscribed to that “God’s got something better in store for you” philosophy. That never resonated with me at all.
That third time I got laid off, I knew I had to do something different. There was shift in my consciousness. I became the guy who focused on exploiting opportunities for me. I’ve never gone back.
I made a conscious decision that I would never be in the position to be laid off again. It was an active decision when I was sitting there in that chair. It has taken me a long time to piece it together. I was sitting there thinking, never again am I going to do my all and be put in a position where someone can say, “Thanks, but no thanks. You go away.”
Let’s talk about the indoctrination of the American worker. This is one of the reasons you feel so bad when the layoff monster hits you. From birth, you’re indoctrinated to be a worker. I’ll give you a great example. The third year of my business I was telling my mom, “I’m an entrepreneur.” She said, “What you mean to tell me is you still don’t have a job.” My mom grew up in that world where you were no one if you didn’t have a job.
This idea starts in our school system. The school systems were designed to create workers for the assembly line. If you go to a higher-level school, like Montessori schools, they don’t have that because their schools are about learning. Whereas the regular school system is about creating the “worker bee.”
That’s why you feel so bad when you get laid off. You don’t have a job. You don’t feel productive. You feel like a worthless member of society. Who wouldn’t feel bad with that kind of weight hanging on their shoulders?
So you have all of these negative emotional feelings for being laid of, and you don’t have any money coming in. Then you have a financial calamity. It’s a serious calamity. People have lost their marriages, homes, and cars due to layoffs.
When you get laid off, it’s a monster that touches every part of your life. We’re not taught to create an existence outside of a job. People say you’re crazy when you go out and start a business. They say it’s risky.
People don’t think, they just react. That job you go is the result of a business started by someone at some point in time. Someone created that. Wrap your head around that. Someone started this risky thing.
So, when I was sitting there in that chair off Peachtree Street, I made a real strong, active, positive decision with a ton of emotion behind it. That’s another key part of making a decision. When you make a decision with a lot of emotional energy behind it and it’s a good decision, usually good things happen.
When you make these decisions, you have to become introspective. When you asked people how they became successful, they usually tell you the regular stuff like work hard and show up. They tell you to have a goal, which is true and part of the deal.
What they aren’t going to tell you is when they made that decision to be successful. See this is a dirty little secret that many people don’t know. A lot of folks are waiting on permission to be successful.
When you get to the point where you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired and you start making decisions to the contrary, you can create more change and benefit in your life in mere months than you did in the previous years.
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