I make mistakes every day of my life. I am okay with admitting I make mistakes because in my experience, it’s only the really scary or sadistic folks that truly think they are perfect. I am not perfect. I mean, I want to be and I work hard at performing in most of the key areas of life but… I am not perfect. I am far too impulsive, creative, driven and curious to ever be perfect.
And it is through the mess up that I learn.
I am a soft sell. There I was working in a great company, having made a couple friends but for the most part feeling very alienated by the environment. I loved the products and while the CEO was demanding, I had huge respect for him. I liked the social idea behind marketing something that would have a tremendous impact on the health and happiness of others. And I had a warm place in my heart for the Director of Project Management, one of the few women I have met who is as driven as I am (but far more chill about it).
I felt that the drive was too long. I felt like getting home at 7:30 p.m. wasn’t working for me. Getting group texts at 10:00 p.m. wasn’t working for me and I had a crisis of balance. I was getting pretty stressed about a few things (not the least of which adapting to an office primarly built of millennial aged inexperienced staff). I didn’t fit with the culture of network marketing which was over enthusiastic for my conservative tastes. And I was under enthusiastic and easily frustrated for their tastes I know. Also I held the line on my life balance, which doesn’t go hand-in-hand with a start up company. It just doesn’t… and that is my fault for not thinking it through, but I guess I felt so insecure being a subcontractor that I wanted the security of a big corporate job again. The comfort of a 9 to 5 and reliable cash flow, but the grind started to create problems for Kevin and I.
I was unhappy at work and creating unhappiness at home by being “unavailable” to the life I worked so hard to establish.
I met with a local businessman in Sherman to discuss contract opportunities. He was looking to hire someone in the range of $35-45k after an administrator that he had cross trained into marketing duties had left. I was making almost double that at my job, and was not looking for a replacement. I said “no” politely four times after that meeting and in Las Vegas, I conceded to review an employment offer in writing. The job wasn’t in a fancy office (okay I have been spoiled… I have always worked in fancy pants offices and corporate buildings) but the owner seemed likeable and made a lot of promises about the job being “fun” and the environment being “fun”… and fun sounded, well fun.
I felt sick to my stomach knowing that my current employer had a major event in Fort Worth right around the corner. They needed all the help they could get and given the fact that I am related to the Director by marriage, and care very much for her, I wanted to throw up. I tried to extend my time with them past the event, but my new local employer said it was important to start “right away”. After driving three hours a day again (after swearing I would never commute ever again) I joined the local company with some high hopes.
It didn’t pan out. There are a number of reasons and some of them I am quite sure are financial. Marketing professionals are the first on the chopping block and I strongly feel that a small company had no business (or immediate need for) a Marketing Manager. Business owners make mistakes too and the environment was probably the roughest one I have ever worked in. I regretted the move about two weeks after I left but stuck to it hoping that the “click” would happen. It didn’t and I felt isolated and like I was being overpaid (I was reminded that the last person who held the role was paid $12.50 per hour … come on now… I haven’t made that since I was 16… please.) I didn’t feel like I fit in because I didn’t, and hiring me (headhunting me) was bad judgement on behalf of the owner).
I was also an “easy fire” too as he was aware I maintained a healthy number of consulting contracts on the side. And my husband has a great job. There may be no fancy pedicures for awhile but we’ll be just fine. Such is the benefit of having more than one source of income right? And I will be entitled to collect unemployment benefits if I wish.
The biggest thing I was worried about was upsetting my husband. “Hi honey… I got fired for like… the first time in my life.” I expected him to yell maybe because my Dad would have for sure. He gave me a big hug and said “Good. You are supposed to be at home building your business and writing your screenplay’s anyhow.”
He smiled and gave me a big hug after I went through all my emotions about getting fired. We filed the unemployment claim online together and I said “Well I guess that will give me time to find a good job. Not leap into the unknown or try to fit myself into an environment that isn’t a fit for me. I’ll look at larger corporations, marketing agencies and non-profit company’s to find something I will really enjoy and something suitable for me.”
Kevin replied with a frown. “I really want you to stay home. Diego needs you. I worry about him every day now that he’s blind. And I hate seeing you stressed out. The whole plan when you came to Texas was for you to grow your business. Have the flexibility in schedule that you love so much as a consultant. Enjoy working with companies around the world. That is the girl I married. That was the plan.”
Working from home does suit me best. I do love being an independent consultant and my income since I went full time into it has never been less than $55k per year. That is AMAZING unless you are Lori in which case… it wasn’t $100k. I was making over $100k for the first five months of this year and it didn’t make me happy. In fact, I was moody, irritable, argumentative and unhappy.
I know me. I could make the figure happen again easily because I put in the hours. But what kind of life would I have? Not the one I so carefully planned and dreamed about with Kevin. And more money (believe it or not) did not make me happier. I paid off things and bought clothes and fancy things for everyone but… I was not happy. I felt kind of numb to be honest with you, and that scared the shit out of me.
Sometimes God bonks you in the head when you go off track. I am not angry that I got fired, I am more angry that the role was misrepresented (and the perks) or I might have saved us all some time and frustration. I wish him and all of them well. They aren’t bad people… but I want to work with people I have more in common with. That matters to me a lot. It was more than a little “rough” around the edges despite some people being exceptionally sweet to me.
What matters most though is sitting down this morning and launching a preliminary content website (until I can afford a better one). Sending out tenders for content writing and digital marketing management and getting ready for the hustle and bustle of my full time small business, round two. I have many solid contacts in marketing agencies around the world who will send me work (I under price … hence I be popular). I am grateful for those business relationships that have spanned two, three and even five years in some cases. Blessed. And simply love working with them from the comfort of my home office, with my one-eyed blind dog nuzzling my toe, the other white dog dropping tennis balls at my feet and the cat periodically pouncing on my head.
And with my home schedule the laundry will be done daily again and the house even more spotless because I do chores in between writing 1,000 word articles for SEO agencies and that… works for me. And dinner works for Kevin when he gets home and its already on the make.
I trust in you God. I lost myself in the money but I know this is what I am meant to be doing. Unless Pepsi calls … naturally. I sent a resume for that job on a whim last week because, well, Diet Pepsi right?
I am alive and excited and … strangely balanced and relaxed this morning. And appreciative once more of the kind of man I married who values my happiness above all material things. Good men are hard to find (and so are happy lives).
A special thank you to my dear friend and agency owner in India, Pratik. A 28,000 word contract for next week was a great way to wake up this morning. Love and appreciate you xoxox. I am blessed.
Hmmm… I waited until 42 to get fired for the first time. I feel positively bad-ass this morning.