It has been exactly 8 years to the day when I was escorted out of the ivory tower. This is my story and the story of so many others.
I have worked hard all my life, nothing was given to me. We grew up poor, living below the poverty line, sometimes on government assistance and at one point, we were homeless. My parents did everything they could to give us a better life. They worked any job that they could find. From delivering pizza, to fruit picking, to cleaning apartment buildings. They taught the 2 of us, honesty, hard work and focus. Eventually, we were able to move from the roach infested, government housing into our own home in a poor neighbourhood. It took years of pinching pennies and eating SPAM before my parents could afford our first home – which cost $35,000. Despite all the hardship, we never went hungry, always washed and groomed. Even though all our clothes were donations from the Salvation Army, and often we were made fun of at school wearing girl’s clothes without knowing – we still had a great childhood.
We did well in school and athletics and received scholarships for University. After University we made it up the corporate ladder quickly. By the time we were both in our late 20’s and early 30’s my brother became the Managing Director for an Investment Bank, and I became a VP for a large Ad Agency.
I had made it (naively thought). I had the corner office, employees, high salary, perks, expense account, sports car, vacations, designer clothes, condo in the city, and high respect and praise from my superiors and colleagues.
Then it happened. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t see it coming. At that time, I had already spent over a decade working in the Ad industry and well-versed in the business model. If the Agency won business they would binge on new hires when the business went to a competing Agency, there would be a purge. Sometimes the people would follow the business, but oftentimes, the people are given 2 weeks and 2-minutes to collect their belongings (which was generous). I had done my fair share of hiring and firing, mostly without much emotion or remorse. Call it Karma or whatever you will, what goes around, does come around.
The feeling of shame, embarrassment, failure, crushed self-esteem, anger, fear and anxiety all mixed up and set on fire inside your head and body – that’s what it feels like when you lose a job you so desperately need and depend on for your well-being and self-worth.”
I couldn’t face my family or friends. I went into darkness and didn’t emerge until a few weeks later. Swearing that I would take destiny into my own hands. I made a promise to myself to do what it takes to never enter into a situation where someone else had full control over my life.
That day changed me. It was like a drug addict quitting cold turkey. I had to quit being dependent on someone else for my self-worth. It forced me to swim and I did. For the next few months, I re-trained my mind, re-trained my lifestyle, and re-trained my actions. I had to undo 30 something years of conventional thinking, and all the neuropathways had to be reprogrammed to think differently. It took several months but I had emerged stronger than before.
Now 8 years later, I am happier than ever. More wealth, better health, more lifestyle flexibility, and most importantly I am in full control of my destiny.
Neo B. Concio, Author: “The Millionaire Employee: Simple Steps to Freedom”