You know it's coming. You can tell. Your boss is acting weird, the news from the top is not good in general, and there is a lot of restructuring going on. So when you boss asks if he can meet with you first thing when you get in - you know it's over.
As a former Human Resources Generalist, then ultimately SVP in charge of Human Resources, I coordinated a lot of these meetings. Doing the behind the scenes paperwork, preparation, and planning. It sucked. I always worried about the impact of the financial hit the employee was going to take.
I heard on the radio the other day that,
71% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck.
So getting fired can mean serious financial stress. That's just part of our new economy. It used to be that just poor performers got terminated and it was fairly rare for good workers to get shown the door.
But today's marketplace is so incredibly volatile, and short-term in nature, it's really common for very good people to end up on the wrong side of these types of situations.
It even happened to me in early 2010 - and it sucked. I had just taken a new job a few weeks earlier and literally two weeks later the SVP of Finance announced a multimillion-dollar budget shortfall. They were going to do layoff "last-in-first-out" and I was literally the most recent person hired - so I was toast.
I realized it was coming on a Friday, but my meeting with my boss wasn't until the following Tuesday (clearly he needed my help coordinating the details). That was the longest weekend of my life. Because I had done so many layoffs and terminations, I knew what to expect. But it didn't make it any easier.
The fears were almost overwhelming to the point of public panic attack. I'll never forget sitting in church that Sunday morning and crying my eyes out. It was embarrassing, but I turned a corner and found the peace that I needed.
The Tuesday meeting came and I had a reasonable amount of peace. I was still incredibly upset overall.
Part of what helped me was finding something to focus on as I looked for a new job. After all, You can only spend so many hours a day looking for and applying for jobs. The rest of the time you either let worry kick your butt, or you find some way to stay productive.
In my case, it was easy. Two years earlier my wife and I had started selling on eBay. So, I made a simple decision. Every second I wasn't looking for a new job, I would work my butt off building our online selling business.
In the three months I was unemployed we completely crushed it in our little online business. Then I got a job and my involvement became evenings and weekends as my wife continued to build the business. Our "side hustle" as people like to call it these days, kept scaling. Here are our top level sales numbers for the period from 2008 when we began through 2014:
2010: $36,000 (this is the year I got fired and spent 3 months working on our tiny home-based business) The result...
What happened on January 1st, 2014? Well, I had worked for my new employer for almost 4 years. But it was time to retire and go full time with the family business. The side hustle had turned out to be the best safety net I could possibly create. My 9-5 career was over. Goodbye.
My best suggestion for anyone working a 9-5 career that has any risk of uncertainty - is to begin selling online as a side project. Learn the trade skill of the new century - and master a few of the basics to create a safety valve.
Use the money to fund your vacations, retirement account, or pay down your mortgage. And if you end up going through a job transition - use that time and emotional energy to invest in YOUR business as you look for another job.
One day you'll look up and realize that your side hustle is generating enough net income to create new and interesting options. Maybe you'll want to keep your 9-5 career for all the benefits it provides - maybe you won't. But you'll have the financial control to make that choice yourself.
There are lots of ways to start selling online. Let me mention two or three and provide some excellent courses. Of course, you don't need to take my recommendations on the courses - you can always just start researching these topics, looking for free resources, and you'll find some. But if you're going to pay to be educated on these topics, then remember these recommendations. (As a side note - when possible - I've used an affiliate link below so that when you take the course - I get a little paycheck for making the referral. But that's not my goal. My goal is to get you bulletproof ... With that said...
Teacher At Heart - Learn To Teach On Udemy: If you love to teach (like I do) consider learning how to create courses on Udemy (or other online learning platforms). Udemy is the world's largest online learning platform, so it's a good place to start. They are growing incredibly quickly and have courses of all sorts.
I was nicely surprised last year when I launched my Shopify Power Course and it started generating $500-$1,500 a month in new passive income. And it's trending up - not down! Granted, I know how to do some additional marketing, and I did, but nonetheless, most of my sales come from the Udemy platform. I've learned a ton from a guy named Phil Ebner, he's one of the top Udemy instructors and he has a course on how to teach on Udemy. Here is a link to it:
Seller At Heart - Sell On Amazon: If you love to sell and are willing to learn a proven system for finding products and reselling them, then there is no hotter platform than Amazon. My mentor, Jim Cockrum, has the bestselling Amazon course and you can get it here:
Artisan At Heart - Sell On Etsy: Etsy is a massive online marketplace that allows artisans to sell their items. I'll warn you, this is the least profitable of all the options. But if that is where your heart is - it's a good place to start. And maybe you can learn how to layer online teaching on top - to increase your income.
I'll warn you, this is probably the least profitable of all the options and hardest to scale. But if that is where your heart is - it's a good place to start. And maybe you can learn how to layer online teaching on top - to increase your income. Or maybe set up your own Shopify site - to sell directly to your fans.
My friend Nancy Alexander has a great course on Etsy. Check it out here:
Product Creator At Heart - Set Up Your Own Site Using Shopify: Obviously my passion is Shopify - and I'm really honored that my Udemy course is the #1 bestseller in their E-commerce category! If you have a product concept and you are ready to sell it directly on your own website - then I highly recommend Shopify.
I've sold millions of dollars worth of product online using (primarily) Shopify. Through my Udemy course, I've trained over 5,000 Shopify students to launch successfully - I can teach you too! Here is a link to my course:
Each of these options can be a 5-10 hour per week venture when you get started. If you invest the time - then you'll be surprised how quickly your first product comes together - as your first dollar roles in save it (or take a screenshot of the online sale) and remember that day. It's the day your liberation from the 9-5 began.
Sure, there are a ton of excuses you can make as to why you cannot do these things.
Sure it takes time and energy.
Sure it will feel very small at the beginning.
Sure you'll be confused and uncertain about how to do it all.
Sure your family will mock you and try to discourage you.
And on and on.
But remember - you're about to get fired. It's not your fault. And you can get bulletproof by selling online. When that reality truly settles into your heart and soul - the excuses will fade away and the clarity you need will appear.
You can do it.
If you'd like additional training and coaching to achieve your Shopify goals, consider applying for our coaching program today!