Why getting fired was the best thing that happened to me.
- “You’re a nice guy, and a good leader, but we’re letting you go”.
- “I don’t think you’re a good fit because you’re too much of a Hilton guy, so we’re going in another direction”.
- “The owner doesn’t think you’ve done a good job so we are firing you”.
Each of those sentences changed my life, in good ways and bad. The first sentence was after I received my first managerial position in hotels, I loved the job, loved everyone I worked with, but my style and my boss’s style didn’t mesh, and I knew sooner or later I was going to get the pink slip.
The second was a few months after that, in another hotel management position that honestly blindsided me, because nothing I did to that point showed poor job performance, but I accepted it and moved on. The third was just a few months ago, after getting the highest position I had ever received (general manager of a motel), my salary became too much for an owner losing money in his investments by the day.
Why do I bring these moments up? They are all key reasons on why I continue to strive to become better as an employee, father, and husband.
I’ve been married for 2 years to my lovely wife Jessica. We met 7 years ago and have 6 beautiful kids. When I got fired in July the first thing I thought was “wWhat are we going to do?!” Relocating to Texas in January was a HUGE risk, and now I was unemployed with a pregnant wife and 7 mouths to feed. The next day I went out and found another job. Why? Because I couldn’t fail my family. Because I have to prove those owners and managers wrong, and because I wanted to stay relevant in an industry that can pass you by quickly.
I don’t believe those other managers care at all what I’m up to, and I wouldn’t expect them to, but the chip on my shoulder will stay with me until I reach the goals I set out to achieve. By accepting an entry level job at a local hotel I had somewhat of an epiphany, that your life should not revolve around the work you do.
Working 50-55 hours a week, making owners hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, while I get yelled at over policies and procedures out of my control was not what I wanted out of life. I wanted to spend time with my family, watch my kids grow up, enjoy their youth, and become a better parent.
I also realized quickly I loved to talk about the hotel industry, sports, and my kids. So I took a huge risk and decided that outside of working my 6-2 shifts, I would be a freelance writer on the side. My wife, always supportive, was skeptical at first, because I get these “get rich quick” schemes in my head then give up fairly quickly.
I reassured her this wasn’t the case, and even landed a full time writing gig for a sports website. It’s not going to solve all of our problems, but it will put a dent in a few bills. This will hopefully lead to more work and a growing portfolio in the sports industry.
Allowing my wife to stay at home with the kids and focus on school is the key motivation I have right now.
I want her to not have to worry about a past due bill, or if we can afford to buy one of the kids a new pair of shoes (which they seem to go through every few months). I make sure that I’m reading or writing something every day about the hospitality industry, marketing, and business content. When my kids ask me to buy something and I say we can’t afford it, that’s another big motivator. Every parent wants their kids to have a better life than they did, and I’ve made a promise to myself not to give up on this dream.
You can find motivation in the biggest moments in your life, or even the smaller ones. Just find something that makes you want to get up at 6am, make your bed, walk into your office, and get to work. I’m traveling to New York in a few weeks in hopes of finding a job so we can relocate back to New York and plan and stopping at all 30 major hotels in the Syracuse area.
Why? I’m motivated to find a job. I don’t ever plan on living somewhere and not have stable income coming in, so getting on the Greyhound jobless will not be an option. If my wife, kids, and former bosses didn’t motivate me already, not being deemed a failure to myself would keep the competitive juices flowing.
How do you stay motivated? I’d love to hear your comments below!