What scared me into taking my financial future into my own hands? Let me tell you.
I had a decent job working at a tech company. I couldn’t switch jobs without possibly having to restart my green card application from scratch. I couldn’t afford to lose my job, because losing it would have meant I would have had sixty days to find a new job, or I would have had to leave the country.
But I knew that the tech sector was being hit by the burst of the recent dot-com bubble, and what I feared most happened on fateful day in the year 2000.
In just one day, my company let go of 1,000 people, reducing the work force from roughly 7,000 people to just 6,000 people. And they repeated it two more times over the next two years, reducing the number of people working for that company to just more than 4,500.
I remember talking to a colleague who was husband to a lovely wife and father to a few children, one a child with special needs. Because I was traveling so much, the two of us had never had a chance to get to know each other as I would have liked. That morning, however, for the first time ever, we talked, and he told me about his family. He left to take his lunch break. During that time, he also needed to take his daughter to the doctor as part of her regular therapy. We agreed to get together in the office after lunch for a cup of coffee and to chat some more. Then he left. I expected he would be gone for a few hours, and then just get some work done later (a freedom we had).
Ten minutes later, however, he was back.
When I asked him what was going on, he told me that he had just been let go, over the phone, by his manager, who lived in another city. His news hit me like a ton of bricks. I was shocked. At that moment, I realized no one was safe. No one. I realized there was no such thing as job security anymore—no matter how good that job looks on paper. I realized that I (whether I wanted to or not) must take my life in
my own hands and make something out of it. I needed something where I did not have to rely on a company that could fire me any moment.
I will always remember that day, because on that day something in me shifted. I wanted to get out of a job. I wanted to take charge of my own life. I wanted to have abundance in my life without having to work for “the man,” and I didn’t want to live in the ever-present dread and fear of being fired.
I got scared…and then I got busy.