I’m Fired Up! (or Why getting fired helped me get out of my own way!)

31 Mar

I’m fired up! That’s what I’ve been saying to myself — and more importantly — out loud and to others! I’m fired up and pissed off about some things and that’s just the way it is for a while. Maybe you’ve noticed some of my recent blog articles and Digital 411 programs. If you havn’t buckle up and settle in for a few hundred words, it’s about to get interesting. As a disclaimer: This post is a rare personal one.

A few weeks ago I started my dream job. Working as an account executive at RMD Advertising. A great company with an excellent reputation for growing food brands. I worked hard there — about 6 days. I did like every new employee hoping to learn the ropes as quickly as possible. I stayed late, took work home, tested my knowledge as I accomplished tasks, and asked questions when I couldn’t figure things out on my own.

Then I heard the words no one ever wants to hear. “I gotta let you go” followed up with, “I just don’t think you’ll be happy here.” Now, I’m not sure what the second part means, but I’m fairly certain I know what the first part means. That’s right! RMD Advertising fired me after just 6 working days. Now, since I wasn’t snorting bumps in the bathroom or secretly defecating on my boss’s desk, I can’t figure out how a person gets fired in just over a week. But being the overachiever that I am, I had accomplished the task.

It’s likely I’ll never learn why I was prematurely let go and it’s not important to this story. So, what is important is how getting fired helped me get out of my own way. Here’s what I mean by that.

Considering I’ve never been a very good “employee,” and I’ve heard the stories about entrepreneurs getting fired from every job they ever had, I got to thinking. May be this major blow to my self esteem is the universe telling me that I’m supposed to be an entrepreneur. A role I have resisted for a while because entrepreneurs are rouge, outerliers and risk takers. I didn’t want to be those qualities because the aren’t typically used glowingly. However, we’re experiencing a huge paradigm shift. Now 15 year olds are successfully starting businesses, securing start up capital, and learn business basics in summer camp. But as an entrepreneur, you’re constantly working the hustle. Another thing I wanted to avoid.

Working the hustle is a big part of the life of an entrepreneur. You are consistently selling yourself, your business, networking and seemingly up against what seems to be great odds, only to find yourself strategizing as to how you’re going to overcome those challenges. That seems hard. What I failed to recognize (and the universe did see clearly) is that’s what I’ve been doing my whole life. And in my case — having a full time job with little flexibility was getting in the way of doing what I’ve always done: work the hustle.

So what did getting fired do to help you get your own way to do?

That’s a convuluted way of saying: What are you doing now? Well I’ve resisted working full time as a consultant, but when I was approached to do a consulting project 3 days after I was fired and negotiated a contract  just 6 working days after being fired for not doing bumps in the bathroom I got the hint. It’s time for me to stop attempting to be traditional — which I’m not — and make my own way.

So, what am I so fired up about? Well, initially I was fired up about getting fired — of course. But now I’m fired up about being an entrepreneur, about finding obstacles as opportunities, and helping people with social media and digital PR. Also, I’m fired up about doing what you were born to do — and not what people have determined you should be doing. Since everyone has skills and talents, that means we should be using what comes naturally and easily to us to fully be your authentic self.

I say if you have to get fired in order to realize that, then so be it. Everything does in fact happen for a reason.


Posted by on March 31, 2011 in Productivity, self empowerment


Tags: , , ,

34 responses to “I’m Fired Up! (or Why getting fired helped me get out of my own way!)

  1. Lori Crock

    April 2, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Erika, thanks for sharing your fired up! story. It will be exciting to see how your move back into entrepreneurship unfolds for you. Perhaps we can work together soon …

  2. Jacob Stoops

    April 1, 2011 at 4:09 am

    You go girl! First time I’ve ever said that!?!

    You’re too good for them anyways and their website really sucks! I must admit, until I landed my new job recently, I was feeling the same way you were and considering a move from being an “employee” to an entrepreneur. I too had the very same fears about the hustle that you did. In the end, I was afraid to take the leap so congrats to you for having the guts to do it. I know you’ll be great! You make an excellent first impression and I doubt that will stop anytime soon 🙂

    • Erika Pryor

      April 2, 2011 at 5:54 am

      I’m so stoked that I got to be your first! ha ha! It’s amazing how great and supportive everyone has been. It’s inspiring to know so many people are not only sympathetic but also encouraging. And how says the interwebz could be so powerful!

  3. Marsadie

    March 31, 2011 at 11:45 am

    I loved this post! You pretty much echoed everything I’ve been about for the past few years… I learned a hard way myself that I just wasn’t “employee” material. I’ll never look back as long as I can help it (and I know you won’t, either). You truly have to take life by the horns in order to be the best person you can be.

    • Erika Pryor

      March 31, 2011 at 12:36 pm

      It’s amazing to hear about the difficult and challenging obstacles people are experiencing in this new economy. I keep stumbling upon individuals struggling to make sense of being laid off or getting fired. Not being “employee materials” is a difficult realization to come too, but clearly for some of us it’s an important clarity to obtain. Congrats on your realization as well!

  4. The Decadent Diva

    March 31, 2011 at 5:12 am

    I needed to read this today. Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Erika Pryor

      March 31, 2011 at 12:32 pm

      I am so pleased to hear you got something inspirational or motivational from this blog post. I wrote it for myself but am quickly finding out that I struck a cord with a lot of different people. That’s a fabulous discovery to stumble upon!

  5. Phyllis Nichols

    March 31, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Someone once told me that entrepreneurs don’t choose to be, they just are! Sounds like that applies to you and you’re just finding out.
    You’ll be great – and I’m so glad you decided to embrace what you know is right for you right now.

    All the best,

    • Erika Pryor

      March 31, 2011 at 4:57 am

      I couldn’t agree with you more in that entrepreneurs don’t chose to be, but rather are. Now that’s “sound advice.” Sorry couldn’t help myself. Thanks so much for the vote of confidence and I can’t wait for your next visit to Cbus!

  6. NancyS

    March 31, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Their loss, the world’s gain. You are an inspiration to so many who have lost sight of their passion and have opted for life as an “employee.”

    • Erika Pryor

      March 31, 2011 at 4:56 am

      I’ve never really thought of myself as an inspiration, but I’m flattered to know that people are gaining strength and insight from my experiences. That’s influential and not a position I take lightly! Also, I admit it makes me sad when I know of people opting for life as an employee or working with an organization that they don’t feel truly committed to. That’s no way to live and ages you so much more quickly! You live your passion and I’ll live mine.

  7. lindsey

    March 31, 2011 at 4:41 am

    Hey Girl! I hear ya! I gave 12 weeks of my heart and soul to RMD as an intern. I was treated like a child that didn’t know anything. Every idea I had was stupid. I watched their #1 copywriter quit. And a FULL TIME intern leave because he wanted a job so bad and he was very very good…but he didn’t “ask for a paid position!” I guess a boss can’t offer him a job?
    I asked for a job, put in a resume and never got a response! It’s just how they work.
    I love my job now, I work as a mortgage consultant and do all my own marketing as well as my company’s social media work.
    Their loss is truly your gain. Get out there and do your thing!

    • Erika Pryor

      March 31, 2011 at 4:54 am

      It’s a shame when talent and hard work are not recognized and embraced, but what’s even better is finding the place and space when it is. I’m so glad you’ve found the passion work that makes you happy That’s so important. Who wants to work so hard for someone else doing something that you don’t love. It’s no way to live since we are only hear for a very short time! Keep up the great work yourself!

  8. Meloney Buehl

    March 31, 2011 at 4:40 am

    I was laid off two years ago from a company where I’d won the most prestigious award that can be given to an employee only the year before. It sucks ‘not being picked’ to stick around, regardless of the reason. Like you, I used the layoff to launch myself onto my new path, with great success. But there’s still some natural grieving that will and should take place over losing the job, especially so quickly and without cause. Don’t sell yourself short on those emotions. They can help you hone your new vision more than you know.

    Best of luck to you, Erika. Call me any time you need someone to commiserate or celebrate with. I certainly understand both sides of the coin.

    • Erika Pryor

      March 31, 2011 at 4:52 am

      I may be taking you up on your offer to celebrate or commiserate. It does suck not to be picked, but I don’t want to “be” picked, I want to “do” the picking. I continue to be inspired by the number of people that have gone into business for themselves and are making it work. On the feelings front — some days have been better than others. The day I was fired, I did come home, cry and crawl back under the covers. But after the opportunity to write about my experience in a constructive way, and get it out there and be honest with myself and others — I’m feeling better than ever. Thanks for the support!

  9. djragamuffin

    March 31, 2011 at 4:36 am

    i went through a series of “your not the right fit/we have to let you go/you’ll be happier elsewhere” before I started the hustle. i never, ever want to work for anyone else but myself again. work hard, put your passions to work, and you will enjoy it!

    • Erika Pryor

      March 31, 2011 at 4:49 am

      Thanks man! I truly believe that no one will ever work harder for me than me — And that’s my perspective. Although it’s scary to know so much is riding on your shoulders (like rent and what not) it’s also very inspiring.

  10. CB

    March 31, 2011 at 4:28 am

    Way to call ’em out!
    Psst! – you are much better off.
    That place has a worse reputation of being a sweat shop than do actual sweat shops.
    Good luck and good hunting!

    • Erika Pryor

      March 31, 2011 at 4:33 am

      Thanks for the endorsement. I admit I didn’t hear much about the “sweat shop rep” of said company, but it doesn’t even matter because being successful for me is about living life on my own terms and being true to what my passion is. When you can do something that you love — that’s when you know you’re doing what you were meant to do right?

  11. leighroessler

    March 31, 2011 at 4:20 am

    A layoff prompted us to start our business oh so many years ago.
    Congrats on your fresh start!

    • Erika Pryor

      March 31, 2011 at 4:30 am

      Thanks Leigh. It’s not the ideal way to start your own biz. Fortunate for me I had already put somethings in to play so I could easily make the transition. And since you guys are great, I hope that means I’ll get free advice from you!

  12. Tyler Durbin

    March 31, 2011 at 4:15 am

    “Working the hustle is a big part of the life of an entrepreneur.” Hell yes!

    Great stuff. Keep Hustlin’

    • Erika Pryor

      March 31, 2011 at 4:22 am

      Thanks Tyler! I think since starting Digital 411, my hustling skills have gotten much better. There are so many great business people and entrepreneurs in and around Columbus, I feel fortunate to be in a position to learn from the best. You keep up the hustle yourself man!

  13. Christian Adams

    March 31, 2011 at 4:14 am

    What a waste of everybody’s time and money….. It is definitely their loss.

    • Erika Pryor

      March 31, 2011 at 4:20 am

      I completely agree! What’s really sad is they there’s so much shame about getting fired (and I too experienced both) that nobody talks about it or what leads up to it. What I think is great is the opportunity to say to others, you’re not alone and in reference to Molly: is this part of the new economy?

  14. The Naked Redhead

    March 31, 2011 at 4:07 am

    SO happy for you, lady! I mean, I’m not happy you got fired and stuff, but I think you know what I mean. Go get ’em!

  15. Jenn Hallowes

    March 31, 2011 at 3:53 am

    Whoa. I’ve totally got goose bumps.
    Relate to so much you’ve shared as I’m sure many will. Key takeaway from this from my perspective? Sometimes we just need to get out of our heads, get into our hearts and get the heck out of the way. YOU.GO.GIRL.

    • Erika Pryor

      March 31, 2011 at 4:11 am

      I’m so glad that was your key takeaway because that was the point! It’s so easy to get caught up in our own ideas about what we are “supposed” to be doing, being, acting, thinking etc. that we lose sight of the passions that keep us going. Getting out of my own way has been liberating and exciting. So, my question to you Jenn is: What are you doing to get out of your own way?

      • Jenn Hallowes

        March 31, 2011 at 12:29 pm

        Can I get a woot woot for you putting it back on me?! I’m workin on that. Something tells me you’re good for me. 😉

      • Erika Pryor

        March 31, 2011 at 12:37 pm

        Hey this post was about me, but I’m not the only person drawing insight from the situation. Just wondering what you goin do when it comes down to you. Holding people accountable is what makes me a good life coach.

  16. Molly B

    March 31, 2011 at 3:51 am

    Wow. They made a huge mistake… One that I’m sure they’ll regret later.

    And, BTW…who does that? after 6 days? That’s not nearly enough time to make a decision on an employee. #whack.

    • Erika Pryor

      March 31, 2011 at 4:10 am

      Great question! I have no idea how or why an employer would fire someone after such a short amount of time. Perhaps that’s something that hasn’t been addressed in terms of this “new economy.” That not only are employers expecting new hires to hit the ground running with very little training, but if they don’t see your growth potential right away — that’s it. So that’s a sad state of affairs on the “new economy” for both employers and employees!

      • Molly B

        March 31, 2011 at 8:47 am

        You rock, Erika! I am excited to see what’s next for you. 🙂

      • Erika Pryor

        March 31, 2011 at 12:33 pm

        Thank you so much! I have to admit, I’m excited to. There’s so much to be jazzed about when it comes to living into your passion work. Keep me posted on how I can help you do that if you’re not already!


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