Slow Down. Listen. Be more patient and reflective.

I can remember reading this mantra like it was yesterday.

You see, in 2013, I met with an industrial psychologist to determine the next steps in my career at a company I was working for and they gave it to me as part of an assessment.

A few days later, I was sitting with my boss and he said there’s no future growth for you here, you’ve got two choices:

  1. Keep doing your current job
  2. Leave this job and pursue your growth

Something you’ll learn about me over time is I always bet on myself, always.

We concluded I’d move on and he’d support me in the role for 6 months as we transitioned my work and I found a new position.

That night, I talked with my wife, who’d recently given birth to our youngest boy and we talked about the financial stress we were under.

Maybe, I thought, I rushed this decision.

The next day, I sat in my boss’s office and said I think I made a mistake. Why don’t I stay here, keep doing my job and I’ll do an MBA on my dime and we can reassess my career.

He replied, it’s not an option.

Reality hit.

I’d been fired…

He knew the mantra.

He knew how quickly I acted.

By giving me the two choices he gave me, he got me to choose working severance.

He was able to get me to be the one to accept being shown the door without compensation and for me to train the people who’d be behind me.

I won’t lie, team, it was the first time in my life I lost confidence in myself.

I didn’t know what to do.

I was broken.

In that moment, I realized I had two choices – I could:

  1. Fold it in and give up on myself
  2. Suck it the fuck up and reinvent myself

They may have got one over on me, but they didn’t get me.

They’ve only got you if you let them.

The psychologist report left me without a job and it also left me with a development plan and a list of books on the topics of time management, emotional intelligence and cognitive behavioral therapy.

It changed my life.

Within 1 year, I found a job with a company I’ve worked with for the last decade and it’s where I became the CFO more than six years ago.

I never stopped developing.

In your life. In your career.

You’re going to have people tell you what your limit is.

They’re going to put you in a box and tell you the rules of the box they’ve created.

That doesn’t have to be how you live your life, though.

You’re the architect of your life. Not them.

You determine the boxes you’re in. Not them.

Fuck, you even get to determine if there are any boxes at all.

When you realize you can choose the game and the rules, you’ll change your life.

It’s not the last time in my life or career someone has told me their preconceived limits of where I can go in my career and how much money I can make.

I smile at them and nod my head.

Inside, I say Fuck You and I get to work.

That’s a story for another day, though, my friends.


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