Ever wondered what you’d do if you got laid off ? What advice would you give me if I told you I got fired? I just finished watching a film about a handful of people who were let go. The film interviewed a number of creative writers who had all been laid off. Each one had a different response to being fired.
Some were shocked.
Others were angry.
One or two were relieved.
But in short order, each one responded by taking definitive action on getting their lives back on track. Some went back to vocational school and others went back to their parents. Some made a business out of second jobs. While their paths were all different, most became entrepreneurs. They searched deep inside themselves for their passions and pursued their dreams. Most of those interviewed found business ideas they could be excited about. One became a filmmaker. Another, a coffee roaster. A third became a yoga instructor. They chose paths that combined their passions with their limited resources.
The actual path they took is less important than the message they gave the viewers. They each encouraged people to follow their dreams. To create products and services they’d not only be proud of, but something they’d want to own themselves. They asked themselves how they could make a difference in the world rather than how to make the fastest buck.
I loved the fact that this movie encouraged the audience to chase their dreams. To re-create themselves and to discover who they really are through their careers and professions. I liked the way the people in the film thought outside the box and just went for it. I also appreciated that the people admitted how hard they worked as entrepreneurs. Many reported working more than they had as employees.
And what I loved most was the idea that anyone can be a business owner. The clear message was how much they all loved working for themselves and how they’d never go back to working for anyone else again.
My experience as a self-employed person is similar. I absolutely love doing what I think is right rather than having to play political games or being forced into uncomfortable situations with clients.
But there are a few realities the movie didn’t address:
Starting a business is tough.
You have to become a great business manager, which includes becoming an expert in areas that aren’t so glamorous – like health and disability insurance for self-employed people.
Often, people fail.
But if you’ve done your homework and made sure your business idea is solid, you have to forgive yourself if things don’t work out.
And I have another critique of the film. I really don’t think you have to follow your passion. I think it’s much easier – and rewarding – to find passion in what you do.
Look at your skills and experience. Consider your resources and how much risk you’re willing to take both for yourself and your family. Find a small business and find a way to express yourself through it.
If you want to be an artist, you may not want to starve. Maybe you can create a beautiful product that expresses your love for art that way. Perhaps you wanted to be a doctor but can’t afford medical school. Can you sell medical supplies and explain their best use to doctors? That helps patients too…doesn’t it?
I do believe that life is great when you pursue your dreams. And you can pursue your dreams in many different ways if you are willing to put all of yourself into your work. Do you have any money-saving tips for the unemployed Pilgrims out there?
Debt Free Daniel says
Having a dream that someday our life will change is a great motivation not to entertain failures in our journey, but instead consider them a path to learn something and take the lessons we have learned from it. For we will encounter it along the way again, when the time comes we meet the same scenario, we are stronger enough to fight not to fail once more.
My dream is to be financial independent. That’s what motivates me.
If you can write you can always find work online. I guess not everyone is savvy enough to figure out how.
@karyn – I think becoming a business owner in this economic climate is a feasible idea. Right now, if you’re willing to bootstrap your business from the ground up, you have a great potential in the upcoming years. I started my business right when we hit rock-bottom of the recession. Needless to say, I worked a couple odd jobs here and there to keep myself fed, but now that the recession has backed off some, my name is already out there. Now, I’m just riding the current back up to a healthy market. If you wait until the market is tip-top, you’ll be dealing with a lot more competition to get your name out there.
Anyway, that’s the way I look at it. 🙂
@WealthPilgrim – The main reason I decided to start my own business was to get away from office politics. I could handle them just fine, until I was asked to do jobs that I thought were morally wrong. Now, instead of stressing about “that” conversation with the boss, if someone wants me to work on a project I find wrong, I can simply say no.
@Jessica — I agree w/you 100%. I like the way you frame HOW to get into your new business. Now isn’t the time to take on debt but it could be a great time to launch a business if you are able to bootstrap as @Jessica said. I also left the bank I was working at a very long time ago because I felt they were hurting clients and only interested in selling high commission annuities. I couldn’t stand it so I left.
@Karyn I think @Jessica07 nailed it. Now’s the time….don’t wait…but don’t take on debt either. Find a way to incrementally launch your business. It reduces your risk.
What do you think about becoming a business owner in this economic climate? I understand that it’s the economy that is “forcing” people to entertain the idea of starting a business since they’re being laid off…
I agree with about finding passion in what you do. I think it’s easy to think, “If only I was doing X instead, I would be happy.” But even a dream job is going to have some “grunt work”.
Joe Plemon says
Are you going to share the name of the film? I love the premise and the theme that tough times often force people to open doors they might never have otherwise explored.
One pragmatic question: did any, some, or all of these people have emergency funds in place? Exploring your dreams is more doable if you are able to buy groceries.
Neal@Wealth Pilgrim says
I wrote this a long time ago and don’t remember the exact title. Something about Lemonade. And no…most of the people had almost no money and you are right in that it would have been very smart had they saved before going out. I think they borrowed from family and friends in most cases.