I Got Fired This Week (And It Was One Of The Best Feelings In The World)

At the beginning of this year, I quit my consulting job to work at a start up.

The hours were way better, I loved how laid back the culture was, and I was having a lot more time to work on my side projects. I thought I had finally found what I was looking for.

But then last week, something happened…

I won’t get into the details, but I got thrown a curve ball which made me reconsider if I wanted to continue working there anymore.

I was extremely conflicted because this was what I had supposedly wanted so badly, and, while I was enjoying the job, deep down, I knew the answer was no—I didn’t want to continue working there anymore.

Not because it was bad in any way particularly, but simply because it still wasn’t what I wanted. I was closer to where I wanted to be than where I was before, but it still wasn’t right. I tried to trick myself into thinking that it was, but it wasn’t. I was just too scared to say it.

On Tuesday, when I walked into work, the CEO pulled me aside into the conference room, and as soon as she started telling me why she started this company in the first place—to help job seekers find the right fit—I knew what was coming.

She told me that she could sense my uncertainty about being here, and therefore, she didn’t think I was the right fit. They needed someone who was going to be 100% committed to the company, and I wasn’t that person. She told me it was a very hard decision to make, but unfortunately, it wasn’t going to work out.

I was fired.

More than anything, I was shocked. I’ve never been fired before, so part of me couldn’t believe it, but at the same time, I felt super relieved. I felt like a giant weight had just been lifted off my shoulders.

It kind’ve sucks that I didn’t get to make the decision for myself, but it doesn’t matter. This is what I wanted all along, anyway.

I left the office with a big fat smile on my face. I couldn’t help but feel like this was the best thing that had ever happened to me. The truth is, I’ve been dreaming about this day for a long, long time.

So, what’s my plan?

Well, I want to see how long I can go without having to look for another job again.

I’ll be focusing on my blog (trying to turn it into a legitimate online business — hopefully launching my first product sometime in June!), and picking up as many freelance gigs as possible. I also just signed up for Uber. For some reason, the idea of driving random strangers around town has always sounded appealing to me. :)

People think that having a job provides financial security, but when you think about it, it’s actually the riskiest thing you can do. Your entire income is coming from a single source, and the rug can be pulled out from under your feet at any given moment. On the other hand, when you’re working for yourself, you learn to diversify your income and YOU are in complete control. The harder (and smarter) you work, the more you’re rewarded.

At least, that’s the idea.

I might be approaching this whole situation overly optimistic. I know this might not end up the way I’m hoping it does. I might crash and burn. Actually, the chances of that happening are probably pretty high.

But, I don’t know. The more I think about it, the less risky it seems. I mean, what’s the worst-case scenario? I fail for a year and then have to go back to looking for a normal job like everyone else in the world?

At least I’ll get a cool story out of it. At least I’ll know I gave it a shot. I figure now’s the time to try something crazy. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

resist nothing
The secret to life in 2 words: Resist Nothing

I don’t normally watch UFC, but I heard a great quote the other day from Conor McGregor after he lost some big fight. He said, “You win or learn.”

I like that mentality.

If things work out, awesome! If they don’t, I’ll learn from it and move on. It won’t be the end of the world.

At least, that’s what I’m telling myself for now. We’ll see where I’m at in 6 months.

In the meantime…

If you resonated with any part of this post, if you’re unhappy with your current job, if you’re struggling with finding your “passion,” or anything like that, leave a comment! Or email me, or tweet me. Whatever, let’s connect. I’d love to chat. :)

Also, if you care to follow along my journey, make sure to subscribe to my newsletter to get my posts sent straight to your inbox (typically 2-3 per month). Just enter your email in the “Join My Newsletter” box below!

UPDATE (8/3/16): I just opened up registration for my 30-day video course Create Your Passion. Includes over an hour of video content and 80+ pages of supplemental worksheets, exercises, and bite-sized daily tasks to help you find your passion and start creating the life you truly want to live… even if you have no idea what your passion is. Check it out.

About Stefano

Stefano Ganddini

Hey there! I'm the creator of Collegetopia and the guy who writes all these articles. I'm here to help you live BIG, do EPIC shit, & be HAPPY. Click here to read more.

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  • Jesse

    You live or you learn … resist nothing … love these gems bro! Congrats on getting fired 😉

  • Till

    Hi Stefano,

    is it really useful to follow your inner passion? 😉

    I just want to think about an other possibility:

    What is when your passion is the hell on earth? 😉 I followed my passion for 12 years and after that i had a burn out. Then i switched to an other “mode” and i am more content and happier then ever before.

    Okay, you wrote you give yourself a year. What is your “exit” mark? What is your rule that you are not successful? 😉

    Ahoi

    Till

    • Hi Till,

      Sounds like you have an interesting story? What was your passion that you followed for 12 years, and what are you doing now?

      I’m actually reading a book right now called “So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion In The Quest For Work You Love” and it’s completely changing my view on the “follow your passion” advice. The book’s main argument, which I have been convinced by, is that “follow your passion” is poor advice. This advice assumes that everyone has a pre-existing passion in the first place, which is where most people tend to get stuck (“How do I find my TRUE passion?”). So, instead, we should just focus on developing our skills. Once you’ve developed “rare and valuable skills” and built up what’s referred to in the book as “career capital,” then you will get all the creativity, impact, and control that makes for a compelling career.

      In regards to how I will define my “exit” mark, great question. I haven’t thought too much about it, to be honest, but I’m assuming that it will be pretty clear whether or not I will be able to continue to sustain myself. I have some money saved up right now, but if I’m unable to start making some money within the next 6 months, I won’t have much of a choice but to start looking for another job.

      Stefano

  • Ken

    Good on you, Stefano.

    Like you I went the consulting route as one of my first big career moves and relate to how you feel.

    A. Not very close to what I really want to do
    B. Hard to give it my all because I’m not personally invested.
    C. Experiencing A LOT if instability as my company rollercoasters with the market.

    Glad to hear you are taking the change as an opportunity opposed to a drawback.

    Keep moving forward, man.

    • Thanks, Ken! So, are you still doing consulting or are you doing something else now?

  • Omar

    Hey Stefano

    I want to congratulate you for taking this in an optimistic way. Everything is gonna be alright. You can do this. It’s your time now to explore and do the great things you always wanted to do when you didn’t have the time to. I suggest you put a list of the things you always wanted to do if you had the time and start achieving them one by one. And maybe this will be the beginning of writing a book of your personal experience and become even more successful.
    Good luck and keep it up with the good mood 😉

    Omar Ashi

    • Thanks, Omar! That’s exactly what I’m doing. There are SO many things I want to do, but there’s still only so many hours in the day, so I have to pick my projects wisely. And I am actually thinking of writing a book! :)

      I’m thinking of writing about my personal development journey and my experience with creating Collegetopia. I was wondering if there are there any specific topics you would like to see me cover?

  • Jaded As Hell

    I’m a pretty big fan of your blog and I think this article resonated me a lot.

    Under the guise of anonymity, I will say I really dislike my job. Having graduated in May ’15, I thought I would be working 40-50 hours growing as a software engineer. However, I get 5 real hours of work and 35 hours of bureaucracy, meetings, etc in this corporate hell hole. It’s a horrible excuse but it’s so difficult to quit because they so pay me a lot.

    I’ve saved up a good amount and just paid off my student loans and I think this post has given me more encouragement to just.. quit. Take a month or two of absence. Go volunteer and teach, which is what I love doing. And work on a personal project and then maybe find work elsewhere that’s more fulfilling.

    • I know what you’re going through. But before you do something you might end up regretting, I’d love to chat more about your situation. I just sent you an email!

  • Tiffany

    Hi Stefano,
    I just wanted to let you know that I’m kind of going through a similar situation, giving up something good in order to reach something great. It’s been very hard on me, so this article definitely came in perfect timing, and made me feel like I’m not alone. Funny thing is that I’m also reading the same book right now by Cal Newport and I’ve been following the advices from his other books since high school.

    Lastly, thanks for the awesome post, and good luck in everything!

  • Till

    Hello Stefano,

    yes, Cal Newport is right 😉

    I was in the counseling and personal growth business. But my view changed when i was exhausted. So i just do my work, it has now clear boundaries and i am more focused. As Cal wrote, i did it before i read his book.

    As Jaded the Hell mentioned: Take a break 😉 Don’t do other projects directly after been fired. If you have the financial buffer. Better to complete different without “purpose”: explore the world and enjoy for a certain time. It is your break. Do nothing or complete different, no planned personal development, no writing for your book.

    And always carry a notebook to jot down some thoughts: just unreflected. After the two month, take a reatreat for a week and sort your thoughts in the notebook.

  • Jeff

    Really love your attitude towards the situation. Where most people may be devastated, you seem to be taking it in stride.

    And you’re right, what’s the worst that could happen? You’ll be what, 23, 24 years old needing to find a job? Very miniscule in the big picture.

    Best of luck to you Stefano!

    • Thanks, Jeff! Good to hear from you. Hope you’re doing well!