Almost 20 years ago. It crushed my soul and crucified my ego. But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, though I didn't realize it at the time.
Now, I stand in front of my company's Jeep, proudly showcasing the logo of Riderflex, the recruiting and consulting firm I founded nearly a decade ago. We've successfully placed over 4,000 candidates nationwide.
I'm also wearing a jacket from Kura Home Maintenance, another venture I co-own, which we recently launched in Colorado. Kura Home Maintenance specializes in air duct cleaning, dryer vent cleaning, and 30 other routine home maintenance services.
After snapping this photo, I'll be driving to the next small town in Oklahoma. There, we own several rental properties, and I plan to check on them while exploring additional opportunities.
My intention isn't to boast. Rather, I want to convey that being terminated or laid off isn't the end. In fact, it often leads to bigger and better things. It usually does.
Had Bath & Body Works not let me go almost 20 years ago, I might still be living in Chickasha, Oklahoma, never venturing beyond a small-town life. Now, I've traveled extensively and have had the joy of living in Colorado, experiencing the majestic Rocky Mountains for the past 15 years—a life experience I wouldn't trade for anything.
My message is this: If you're laid off, seize the opportunity to start something of your own, especially if you've ever dreamed of it. Being laid off from one job doesn't mean you can't achieve success. And if you feel stuck in a small town, remember, it's a vast world out there. Go for it. Seek adventure. Don't wake up one day realizing you never ventured beyond your comfort zone.