I knew it was coming as half the company had already been laid off. The goodbye parties for other colleagues were becoming a standard Friday night weekly affair.
Still, there is an element of surprise when you know it’s your turn.
On February 7, 2013, after six very successful years as a creative director for a leading software company, I got laid off.
Now, no one likes to be told that they have a few hours to pack their belongings and leave. But somehow I felt a sense of relief. I had been thinking of building my own home-based online business for some time but with a full-time job, personal obligations and other self-made excuses, I could never make it happen.
The idea of having my own online business started brewing years earlier when I got laid off the last time. Yes, this was not the first time I got to experience “corporate restructuring” as companies like to call them.
Last time it was more dramatic. The exact sequence of events is a bit fuzzy now, but I will never forget the way I felt.
A few weeks before the actual event, all employees at the company received a Memo notifying us that the President, who also happened to be the founding partner of the company, has been replaced.
The news was pretty shocking and I couldn’t wait for our next marketing meeting to find out from my boss, the Vice President of Marketing what actually happened but he was away that day.
A week goes by and no one on the team has seen or heard from him and we start to wonder why he is not even responding to any emails or voice mail. It was not like him to do that. He usually responded even if he was on a business trip or vacation.
A few days later while returning from my lunch break, I ran into one of my coworkers in the office-building lobby.
“Do you need help?” I asked as she stepped out of the elevator carrying a heavy box.
“I am fine. Thank you for asking” she said as we swapped places. She was heading outside to an unusually crisp sunny day in downtown Vancouver; while I started my assent to our newly renovated office located on the 26th floor.
We both worked together for over six years at the marketing department. I was the senior graphic designer and she was the event planner, so we got to work together very closely on a daily basis.
As the event planner, she was always carrying boxes and dragging trade show booth carts around. Seeing her leave the office building with a heavy box did not seem odd.
I arrive at my desk and see a yellow sticky note on my monitor saying: “Please drop by the Human Resources department when you get back”
The last time I was summoned to the Human Resources department I was told how wonderful my work was and I was given a 10% increase in pay, so I was curious to see what they had to say this time.
The Human Resources manager informed that the Marketing Department has been dissolved and that everyone on the team has already been notified and left the building.
I was given an option to leave the office right away or stick around for a few weeks until I finished the Annual Report project I was working on already. Either way, I had to take an envelope with legal papers and sign them as soon as possible.
I felt my heart sink with mixed emotions of fear, confusion and sadness.
All I could think of was “why?” We have been doing such a great job and had great feedback and reviews from the executive team.
How could this happen?
The next few weeks proved to be the most stressful period of my life. Going into the office each day and seeing the empty desks of my former coworkers was hard, specially knowing that my days there were numbered.
I made a decision right then that I would not let anyone make me feel that way again. I would start my own business and report to no one but myself.
My last day at the office was December 23, 2004. I went home and worked for three weeks straight building my own business portfolio website from scratch. That was before WordPress and all the current click and drag website tools were on the radar. If you wanted to build a website then, you had to know how to code one manually.
By mid January 2005 my website was complete and I was ready to face the world and take on contract work.
Ironically my first client was my former employer, the same company where I got laid off. They continued to provide me with work on a part-time hourly basis while I worked from home.
Soon other clients followed.
At the same time, just before I got laid off, I had attended an Internet Marketing Seminar hosted by Corey Rudl, a pioneer in the Internet marketing space and I had even bought one of his training programs to take home with me.
I found Corey and his training programs while I was searching for courses on Internet marketing, mainly to improve my job skills in the marketing department. It never occurred to me that I could have my own online business selling products online and using affiliate marketing to supplement my income. Corey was the one that opened my eyes to that option.
But then a tragedy took place on June 2, 2005. Corey Rudl died in a car accident. I remember receiving an email from the company with the sad news and felt as if the idea of having my own product based online business died with him.
Looking back, I now realize that I was just overwhelmed learning how to create project proposals, tracking my time and invoicing clients for my services business.
As an employee I never had to worry about that.
Taking on another challenge and learning how to build a product based online business at the same time was too much to handle. So I stuck to what I know best… selling my services.
Just as I started getting accustomed to the ups and downs of contract work and building momentum, I landed a full-time job again at a Software company. It was supposed to be a contract job but after three interviews the company decided they wanted to sign me up full-time instead.
Before I knew it, the idea of having my own online business was put completely on the back burner as I got dragged into the day-to-day activities of a corporate job again.
In short, if you are looking for a fulfilling and stable career that provides a steady income that meets the consistent rise in cost of living, then I understand your struggle. Landing and keeping a dream job is becoming harder and harder. Even if you are a top-performing employee, there are no guarantees that you will have your job long-term.
If you are attempting to figure out the online business world so you too can tap into the thriving internet marketing and business industry but struggling to get started or see traction, I know the feeling. I was in your shoes. It took me years before I finally took action and made it work.
That is why I started this blog in the first place.
It is written with love to help job hunters and those who wish to start a home-based online business shatter previous misconceptions and realize their options when it comes to generating an income online.
Check out my eBook “Design Your Income Online” where I dive more deeply into all aspects of a successful online business.
While the choice of the word design will have more meaning to those who like me, come from the creative side of the workforce, the principles discussed in the ebook, will apply to anyone who wishes to establish or transition their source of income online and set their own rates regardless of the setup: employee, self-employed contractor or business owner.
Over the past 20+ years I have experienced firsthand the shift in the job market and made the transition from employee to contractor and now a successful business owner. In the eBook I share my story and findings to help you achieve similar results.
But don’t let the concept of being a business owner scare you, because the reality is you are already a business owner, even if you are looking for a job or currently an employee. You are in the business of “You Inc.” You are your own brand and company. The sooner you realize that and act accordingly, the faster you will see your income skyrocket.
In January of 2015, I was attending a $15,000 Internet Marketing Mastermind where top online business owners with one of the companies that I represent gathered to mastermind and learn from each other.
While chatting with one of the attendees from Canada, who also happens to be one of the top online earners at the event, I found out that he was at the same Corey Rudl event I attended in 2004. He was a construction worker at the time but took the online business concept seriously and decided to pursue it full-time.
Now one of his online businesses is generating over $4 Million/year (i.e. over $300,000/month) while my best month with the same company has only been $11,000/month so far.
Of course I have other sources of income now as well, but I can’t stop thinking of how much more this particular business would be generating if I only I took action earlier and started applying the knowledge.
The reality is you can buy hundreds of books and courses on a particular subject, but if you don’t implement or take action, you are not likely to see any results.
If you want results, you need to TAKE ACTION!
It is my desire to hear hundreds and thousands of similar success stories from everyone that applies the same principles I did.
Imagine looking at a map at the Mall, Park or Museum as you search for a particular location you need to get to, but that map does not have a “You Are Here” point of reference. If you don’t know where you are, it will be harder to figure out how to read the map and find your new destination. You wouldn’t know if you should turn left or right, keep going straight or take a few steps back.
This is perhaps one of the most overlooked reasons why those who set out to make an income online fail. It is also the same reason why many who try to lose weight fail… they underestimate the journey and expect overnight results otherwise they say “it does not work.” They fail to assess their current circumstances, and easily get lured with get rich quick schemes or diet pills that promise they will drop 20 pounds in 10 days.
If you are thinking about venturing into the online business world, and I highly recommend you do, you need to educate yourself on your options first, set a new career destination and start taking steps towards it.
Few years from now you will look back and say, I am so glad I took immediate action.
To your success!