8 Lessons From Successful People On Being Fired

8 Lessons From Successful People On Being Fired

Resilience. In business, this can be one of the most important character traits to have. When you try something new, you always run the chance of failure. However, we know that failure is just a chance to start over. There are countless of examples of people who have made a comeback after serious failures.

So the question becomes – how will you handle a serious setback?

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One of the most difficult setbacks anyone has to face in business is being fired. Whether you saw it coming or it hit you out of the blue, losing your job can be difficult in many different ways.


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Today, we are going to look over some advice from some icons of business. These are people who we may be tempted to think have never had to struggle or deal with failure, certainly they never got fired, right?

#1 – Don’t Dwell On It – Ask “What’s Next?”

This golden nugget of wisdom from the venerable Steve Jobs is something that applies to a ton of areas of life. Especially if you have just lost a job.

When bad things happen in life, dwelling on them accomplishes two things. First, it makes us relive negative emotions over and over. Second, it prevents us from looking toward the future. There is a proper place for mourning a loss. However, once that time is done, you need to move on.

As you move on, ask yourself, “What’s next?” Life is full of limitless options. Set yourself free to explore those options and participate in something bigger and better.

#2 – Realize Your Life is More Than A Moment

Whether that moment was a decision you made that led to you being fired or a moment where someone else made a decision that ended in you being fired, this principle still applies. You cannot let that one moment, that one decision define you.

Life is continuous movement. Moments from our past will try to haunt and infringe on our present and our future. We have a choice whether we will let them ruin things or not.

#3 – Remember – It’s All Part of the Success Equation

No one would ever call Mark Cuban a failure. Yet as successful as he seems, he was fired too. But he realized something vital to anyone who wants to succeed at life – the success equation is made up of all different kinds of experiences!

As someone once said, success does not come in a straight line. The road is long and it winds around all kinds of events, emotions, and experiences. Among all those things, sometimes you are going to find failure. The key here is realizing that it is a learning experience, something that can make you better next time.

#4 – Failing Means You Are Trying Hard

You know those people who just kind of drift through life? They show up to their nine to five job and plan on being there for the rest of their lives. You are not one of those people.

Whether getting fired was your idea or not, chances are it is a sign that you are trying. Maybe you are rocking the boat, trying new things, and that rubbed someone wrong. Whatever, the reason, failing and failing hard is a sign that you are reaching higher and going further than anyone else.

Never failing means never trying.

#5 – Keep Your Head Up

When things are going great, it can be easy to let it go to your head. However, as the great Jerry Seinfeld says, that is the time where you need to put your head down and focus. On the other hand, when things are not going so well, it can be easy to let that get you down.

We need to fight this natural response and remember that things will change for the better. There are tons of reasons to be excited about the future!

#6 – It’s How You Recover That Matters

Falling down hurts. However, when failure comes around, what matters is not that you failed or got fired, but how you respond to that circumstance.

When you choose to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move on, you are making a conscious decision to rise above your circumstances. If you choose the opposite, wallowing in your despair and the pain of being fired, you are also making a conscious choice, a choice to waste an amazing opportunity.

#7 – Channel Your Energy

There is no denying that getting fired can create a firestorm of emotions inside you. Everything from anger to disappointment to just plain sadness. Again, you cannot deny that you have these emotions. The real question is what are you going to do with your emotions?

The best option, as Lee Iacocca says, is to take those emotions and use them as fuel to move you forward. You will be amazed at how much power can put behind your actions by channeling your emotions.

#8 – Acknowledge the Truth

When you are fired from a job, it just plain sucks. That’s just the cold hard truth! So recognize this truth. Don’t try to tamp it down.

Keep your head up through the pain, but don’t be afraid to own the suck. Realizing and living in the truth is always the best way to go.

So, you lost your job. Whether that is a relief for you or something that is creating a lot of anxiety in your life right now, just remember that this “failure” is not a failure.

Instead, it is the beginning of a brand new chapter in your life. The options are limitless and every experience that you have is just another building block in your success.

Check out this infographic of successful entrepreneurs, investors, and creative minds for more inspiration and tips to reframe being fired as a positive experience.

8 Lessons From Successful People On Being Fired infographic

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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver

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