A year ago today I was sitting at my desk eating my breakfast and working on my first coffee when I got a phone call that changed my life. It was 9:00 AM on the dot and basically the call was simple: “we are in boardroom number x can you come up?” This is a simple call you think but I knew that very second what it meant.
I remember it all like it was just yesterday. I was driving home on the highway and smiling. I will never have to do this commute again! No more 401 traffic jams, accidents and stressful 1 hour drives to work or home. For the first time in a long time I felt free! Mixed in with this crazy feeling of freedom and joy was incredible fear! Earth shattering fear of Now what? What do I do next? Jobs are hard to come by these days. Do I want another job? Can I start my own business and just do what I have beend dreaming about for years and years?
You’re Fired! Now What?
It took months of talks with lawyers, financial advisors, career counsellors, real estate agents and my friends and family – oh and my doctor cause I needed pills to sleep after all the noise filtered in my head like a swirl of things I had to do that I was too terrified to do – it was like a tornado of thoughts and emotion. One minute I was dancing around my house doing the “Elaine Dance” and the next I was on the floor in a puddle of tears trying to breathe having an “Elizabeth Gilbert Eat Pray Love bathroom moment.” I was actually praying to god for guidance.
But eventually legal papers were signed, financial news was absorbed and I had to make a decision. There were no phone calls for job offers, just lots and lots of contracts. So if I was going to be a temporary employee I decided I was going to start my own business and live the dream I had been imagining all these years. The right people started to fall into my life. I am a Canadian and very fortunate to have had access to Employment Ontario that gave me a kick ass Career Counsellor that helped me take the steps I needed to get going. Within a month of being let go I was taking seminars and learning about starting a business in Ontario. My dream of being a self-employed graphic designer and freelance travel writer started to take shape.
By January I knew my next hard decision would be making my life less expensive. The big elephant in my path was my beautiful townhouse north of the city. If I was going to travel and be a self-employed graphic designer I had to face the financial facts. I was single and with no income this house was going to become a problem very quickly. I put my house on the market and started looking for more affordable places to live.
I enrolled in seminars for an Ontario Government program aimed at helping laid off Ontarians start their own business. I wrote a 20 page business proposal about my dream business and submitted my application. In March, after my application was submitted I learned the program was cancelled by the government, for a moment my heart sank, but counsellors at the employment office told me that if my application was already being processed I could still get in. In April, I learned I was approved and one of a small group of individuals chosen to be in the final cohort of this program.
As all this was going on, I packed up my home which sold and started looking for new places to live. I was on a media trip in Texas when I got the listing for a beautiful condo in a building I had my eye on for months, and I frantically emailed my real estate agent to make appointments for the moment I got home. Even from the listing I knew, I found the perfect new home and submitted my bid! I knew in my soul that this would be my new headquarters and guess what – even with multiple offers I got my new dream home!
Building a Business Plan
Since April I have spent a lot of time in training courses learning about all the pieces of a business plan, financial plans, sales strategies and more. I have been networking religiously and building my dream. I unpacked all the boxes and settled into my new dream headquarters.
Today November 10 2015, exactly one year later – I’m happy to say I’m running my business Desktop and Design and still writing and building Dream Travel Magazine. My two passions creative design and travel writing mixed with my love for photography have now become my dream career.
You’re Fired! Now What? To Infinity and Beyond!
Do you believe that all things happen for a reason? Do you believe that the scariest things and most difficult decisions can lead to a life of light and purpose? I do! I’m not going to lie – it was fricken scary! I was a mess at times – but I pushed through all these hard decisions and now I’m writing this post from my new home. A wonderful spacious and fully renovated, condo in mid-town Toronto. The sun is pouring into my home office, classical music is playing in the background and I have a list of client work, photos to review, posts to write to keep me busy. Am I still scared – sure I am. I will never stop dreaming! Everything wonderful starts from a dream! Don’t stop dreaming and most of all don’t stop believing in your dreams!