My career has had its fair share of ups and downs. In fact, it's because of these failures and the lessons I've learned that enabled me to pivot into becoming an entrepreneur. Failure is bound to happen, it's how you move forward from those setbacks that ultimately determine how successful you will be in your career.
I love this video from Sylvester Stalone in the movie Rocky. In the clip, he gives his son a pep talk about how to move forward after you've been knocked down by Sylvester Stallone in the movie Rocky.
I've been hit pretty hard in my career with some setbacks that nearly put me in the career death spiral. However, each time I've managed to bounce back stronger than before.Today, I'm going to share the three lowest points in my career and how I was able to move forward from each of them.
I Got Verbally Abused
I had a boss so bad that my spirit was nearly broken. I was on the receiving end of verbal abuse, threats, and constant micro-managing.
We were in a meeting one day with a potential client, and his tone was so offensive that the CFO of the company we were meeting with flung the folder of marketing materials I had put together for them across the table at us and then proceeded to kick us out of their office.
I was humiliated and embarrassed. It was literally like an out of body experience.
Then, to make it worse, my boss was really pissed off and began to drive like a maniac on the way back to the office weaving in and out of traffic narrowly missing getting in an accident.
I had already gone to HR and so had several others in our office, and they had done nothing. I knew right then that I needed to get the heck out of there.
I started looking for a new job that day. A few weeks later, I landed a job elsewhere. However, the six months I spent working for a pyshco boss had damaged me emotionally, and my confidence took a hit from the constant verbal abuse and insults.
Although I got a new job rather quickly, I wasn't able to fully move forward from it until a couple of years later when I decided to write about it. I was hesitant to ever write the article out of fear of retribution and potential backlash. I wrote about it anyway, and it felt great!
The article went viral on LinkedIn, and it was the start of my professional writing career. Oh the irony, I was able to turn the worst nightmare in my career into something that was propelling me forward.
I Got Fired
Getting fired from my job I blindsided me. Once again, my ego had been crushed, and I found myself picking up the pieces. The hardest part was telling my daughter. Once I got passed that, I was able to begin to pick up the pieces and decide what to do next.
Luckily, I had developed a side gig. Getting fired was the unexpected career setback that gave me the motivation I needed to propel my career forward. I decided to take the plunge and develop my side gig into my full-time job. My company was born.
I used the experience of getting fired and the feelings of humiliation that come along with it to fuel my fire. I must admit that I get a slight feeling of redemption when the upper managers that ignored all my ideas stalk my LinkedIn profile and see all the cool things I'm up to these days in my career.
When it comes to earning money, I would advise people never to place all their eggs in one basket. I believe that having multiple streams of income is the way to go in today's economy.
I Got Conned
After leaving the corporate world and becoming an entrepreneur, my very first client conned me. Having recently opened and left my job, I think they could sense my desperation. They lured me, and I began doing a lot of work for them.
I caught them in a few lies to our mutual clients. Then, it wasn't long until I figured out that I was being conned too. I couldn't believe it. I risked everything to leave the corporate, and I had fallen flat on my face with my first client. I was ripped off, my time had been wasted, and my ego was bruised from having allowed myself to be conned.
I was ready to call it a day on entrepreneurialism and just go and get a job. In fact, I was ready just to take the first one I could find so I could begin paying some bills.
That is until I decided to call up one of my mentors, Viveka von Rosen. Viveka, a top social media influencer is known around the world as, "The LinkedIn Expert."
I was pretty depressed, and Viveka gave me a pep talk and some expert advice that I will be forever grateful. She reassured me that despite my initial setback that if I just kept grinding away good things would happen. It turns out she was right!
Never make a career decision without consulting mentors.
My various setbacks have taught me that what Rocky says in the movie is true, "it ain't about how ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward." -Sylvester Stallone, as Rocky Balboa.