I got laid off
The other day, while I was sitting at my desk littered with issues of Email Players, Make It Rain Monthly, The Doberman Dan Letters, yellow legal pads full of scribbled notes I can hardly read, let alone anyone else, Gorilla Mind Smooth bottles, one issue of Weekly World News, the latest Robert Galbraith book I’m reading, a couple cans of 6 mg Zyn (Wintergreen, Peppermint, and Spearmint for those wondering), and a cup of either coffee or espresso (it’s been a few days, so I cannot recall the exact contents of my coffee cup), banging on my keyboard writing emails, I got a notification that made me stop dead in my tracks:
I got laid off.
Now, it wasn’t the yours truly you’ve come to grow to love or loathe. Instead, it was a bastardized parallel universe version of me that got laid off.
Here’s what I mean:
Before starting my business and freelance copywriting career, I worked at a design agency on the marketing team. Though I’ve learned from Ben Settle before accepting the job (this was way back in 2017 for context), this job gave me my first bit of irl experience with email and marketing.
Naturally, I fell in love with email. And I also began hating every other “job” of so-called marketers.
There were a couple of red flags that popped up over the years, but none as powerful as this:
One Sunday, I received an angry Loom video because I accidentally did a “time zone equation” wrong — this was back before you could easily add a link to an email to add an upcoming webinar, for example, to any calendar of your choosing (whether Apple, Google, etc.).
Instead of the calendar invite showing the proper time of the webinar, which was 12 pm, it showed 12 am. Silly little mistake, yes, but an important one because it’s when I decided that nothing would stop me from starting my own business and working for myself for the rest of my life.
That angry Loom video I received—for something that was only clicked on by a whole 3 people, none of which were even the slightest bit upset that it said midnight instead of noon—was my final straw.
I started planning my exit shortly after. While it took longer than I’d like to admit, by October of that year (2019 now) I had officially quit. I still didn’t have any clients lined up (that came sometime within the next couple of weeks), but I still remember my first day of working for myself:
I quit on a Friday, took the weekend off from thinking about business in any capacity, and had my official “first day” on a Monday. I remember sitting at my then much-less cluttered desk on a Monday morning with nothing I “had” to do. Of course, I had to land a client, and I worked a full day trying to land my first client, but the freedom I felt on that Monday, when I didn’t have even a single client, was liberating and let me know I made the right decision.
Before I turned in my two-week notice, I remember walking over to my mom’s house with Romeo, my chihuahua to tell her. While she was excited for me (kinda), she also thought I was making a mistake.
To her, I dropped out of college, and by leaving my first “real” job, I was destined to land another labor-intensive job like the ones I had throughout high school and the few years I went to college.
While she encouraged me, she also did her best to give me a dose of reality:
The job was a much safer and secure way to get paid. And I’d be risking my financial health if I left.
All of which was true, but she didn’t have that “come to Jesus” moment I had after receiving that angry Loom one Sunday evening.
I obviously ignored her device.
Anyway, short story long:
Back to the notification I received the other day…
One of my old co-workers from that job posted a startling LinkedIn update:
Major layoffs happened at said company I used to work for. From my outsider’s perspective, I think roughly half—mayhap even more—of the employees working there got fired. According to my research, which was admittedly light, they didn’t handle said layoffs in a very professional way either.
While I feel for all the folks I knew and used to work with, I’ve never—and I mean NEVER—felt more vindicated in my life.
In the 3+ years since I quit, they all got laid off, while I doubled, then tripled, then quadrupled my salary. While it’s technically possible my business goes belly-up at any time, I’ve learned more skills from starting, running, and growing my business that I’d never be hurting for shekels.
And it brings me to the point of this probably too long email:
A job ain’t any more or less secure than having your own business. In fact, in many ways, having your own business is more secure than having a job, where the powers that be can lay you off without any rhyme, reason, or so much as a warning before they do.
And that, my cully, is the point I want to stick in your cranium for as long as you walk this blue and green world.
I texted my mom shortly after I got that notification telling her I told her I was right with my decision. She texted back “Yes it was” with a kissy emoji.
Which brings me to the CTA:
If you have a business, and want to make your income, freedom, and liberty more secure, book a call here. If your business isn’t generating at least 30% of your revenue from email, let’s right that ship. And who knows, we could end up creating as high as 60% revenue from email alone.