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A year ago today I was fired from my last W2 job that I’ll mostly likely ever have in my life. Looking back, December 28th, 2016 was one of the best days of my life.
I remember sitting outside, waiting for my so called “bosses” to meet me at Starbucks. I’m an instinctual person, I knew what was coming. I knew I was about to get fired. Was I nervous? A little bit, but I think I was actually more nervous if I didn’t get fired. Why? Because I was fucking miserable working for two people who 100% undervalued my work. Especially when I made this mom and pop company over $200,000 in the last year alone in sales and partnerships. I knew my worth. Likewise, I also knew my undervaluation.
So here I sat with my coffee, waiting for this husband and wife duo (my so bosses), to show up while I sat outside on a beautiful December day in Denver. They were late, which was typical. I knew the wife would be the one to break the news to me that I was fired. She didn’t like me. She hated the fact I had a business of my own. Her insecurity about my “side business” was the dagger to get me fired. She was always asking questions about my business; wanting to know how much revenue my company was making “on the side”. Stupid and insecure stuff in which I would have gladly shared with her if she would have given a genuine approach versus trying to challenge me. The husband and I were much closer and throughout the last year worked side by side a lot. I knew he didn’t have the heart to break the news to me that I was fired. He had a very false sense of confidence which I knew when pressed with a hard situation he would fold. I was correct.
So there I was, hearing the news that I just didn’t fit in the company’s plans going into the new year. In all reality, I’m a tough person to employee. Not because I’m not a good employee, but because you have to be a strong leader for someone like me. I’m a natural leader at heart, so naturally most bosses are intimidated by me. Leadership is a double edged sword while working for someone.
This company had life-long roots with my wife's family. One of the owners was a groomsmen in my brother-in-law's wedding. I was recruited to this job. This husband and wife duo wanted me to help their company grow, and that’s exactly what I did. But yet, how was it 10 months after I put my business on pause to help this company, I was getting fired? It was in this moment I learned that no matter how good of an “employee” you are, you mostly likely will always be undervalued. Most ace employees will NEVER get paid their worth. It was in this moment I realized that I never wanted my fate to live in someone else's hands.
So there I sat, fired and unemployed for my first time. I remember calling my wife and telling her. She thought it was for the best and reassured me everything would be fine. We had just found out we were pregnant with our first child, which I felt was beautifully ironic. Of course, I’m supposed to have a pregnant wife and lose my job - Sounds like a good novel. So there we were, on chapter one. I had two choices in that moment. Go all in with GoEdison, my company, or go and get another job, which I know wouldn’t be a problem.
The last 12 months have been a whirlwind. I’ve taken my business (with the help of my wonderful team), from a very successful side-project to a six figure top-line revenue company in under 12 months.
I had my first child in July, two months earlier than expected and had to spend a month in the NICU, and I didn’t have to “take time off work”. I got to spend every waking day in the hospital next to my wife and son. I had a trusted and stellar team around me that kept our company booming during such a hard personal time. That never would have happened if I was “employed” somewhere. I had flexibility and freedom. You can read the full story here.
I always knew I would own a business. I just didn’t know what or “when” that would be. If not for being fired, I’m not sure where I would be today.
Getting Fired Was The Best Thing To Happen To Me
When I got fired, I had a feeling of hope, and by all means, that hope turned into reality. I knew it was going to be okay. Most people don’t know what they would do if they were fired today. And that sucks. And frankly, that’s a damn problem.
If you grew up in the United States, odds are you grew up not knowing “how to make money”. You were probably, at best, minimally taught how to “manage money”, if you were lucky. This is a major issues we have to address. I always heard growing up that “owning a business” was way “too risky”. I was encouraged to go the “safe route”, which is school. By all means, school isn’t safe. It’s a debut machine that sets most back right from the start. It’s a stupid mentality we have to break out of as a society.
Getting fired forced me to survive. It forced my wife and I to budget for the first time in our life. Yay for personal finance! It gave me a fuel for my own personal fire that I didn’t have. When you’re thrown in the jungle and have to outrun a lion, you learn how to run fast. Employment was the lion, and I wasn’t willing to get caught. I had to learn how to run fast. I’ve had to learn to survive.
Let me introduce myself...
For those of who don’t know, (which is many), I’m James Harper. I’m a serial entrepreneur. I have a rigorous passion for business, problem solving and a deep passion for community and people.
My main business is a small business marketing firm, GoEdison. We encourage small business to Be Bold with their marketing. I’m also a Co-Founder in a rapidly growing cannabis oil company called, WeThinkHealth. Furthermore, I’m also fortunate enough to be a selected member of a GREAT entrepreneur group in Brontide and do my own side consulting when I’m feeling like I can have a direct impact on a company. So when I say I’m a serial entrepreneur, I’m be all means the definition and too damn busy.
With all that said, I personally want to thank you for taking the time to read this. Reading takes time, and I fully understand that time is money. So thank you for investing YOUR TIME.
Introducing 100% Earned - 100Earned.com
I’ve thought about this question at length. Should I start a blog that specifically covers my thoughts, experience and ideas when it comes to business? I hate doing anything half-assed. It’s just not in my blood. So I made a commitment to myself. I’m too passionate about business to stay quite. And although I have outlets in GoEdison, WeThinkHealth and Brontide, I wanted a new outlet that I could be raw and uncut and go off topic.
I also believe there is a major NEED in the entrepreneurial world. We’re in the biggest “fake entrepreneur” phase in the history of business. There are false stigmas about business and entrepreneurship that I personally want to address and clear up. The “hustle till die mentality” is dumb, just because you have a “tech” company doesn’t make you’re the next Elon Musk and you don’t have to be an Instagram star to be successful.
100% Earned is a content driven site for a select group of people. It’s for the people who are, or desire, to be 100% self-sustaining.
If you’re a top performer or an ace professional, I highly recommend signing up for my 100% Earned email list.
The picture in this blog is symbolic. It’s the table I got fired at a year ago. A year later, literally 365 days on the dot, I’m interviewing someone to hopefully join our team at GoEdison. Of course, I purposely setup this interview here. I like symbolic shit I guess. I love the irony.
Getting fired was the best thing to happen to me and gave me the last 12 months to really grow, challenge and find myself.
Now I’m here to give you 52 blogs in 52 weeks. That’s the goal. My 2018 New Years Resolution is to deliver a kick ass valuable blog once a week on 100Earned.com - All of this content will be raw and uncut and as honest and as real as I can be. I hope you join my new community of investors, entrepreneurs, business owners and everyday people wanting to be more self-sustaining. Let’s grow together.