The Unfair Comparison? The Corporate Breakup vs The Personal Breakup. We need to stop allowing corporate to treat us any kind of way. Let me guess, you got laid off, canned, booted, terminated, RIF’d (Reduction in workforce), or whatever they’re calling it these days. The bottom line is that you no longer work at that corporation.
Unannounced to you, this is The Corporate Breakup! Companies now and will forever, go through layoffs. At any rate, breaking up from a corporate relationship is no different than breaking up from a personal relationship.
In a personal relationship you may have the support of family and friends to get through the trauma and begin the healing. However, when losing a job, the same support may not be there. As I think back to a personal breakup, I remember friends coming over for movie night, maybe wine, dancing and lots of ice cream and crying. (I mean lots of crying!).
When I lost my job, I remember the crying alone and that’s it! After you get through the grief stages, I like to say that people should make M.O.V.E.S. which an acronym for Mindset Reset, Own your own title, Value your relationships, Evaluate your money, Share your story. Let’s dive a bit deeper into each …
Mindset reset: (M)
When you use the word reset, you can also think about reconstituted, reconstructed, transformed, altered, corrected, improved, renewed, and/or revised. One thing that I had to learn once I left my corporate environment, was to change my way of thinking and think like an entrepreneur. An employee mindset is one that is waiting for direction. You may have been told that you have the freedom to grow, but only under the direction of the company.
So, what does it mean to have an entrepreneur mindset, you might ask? Well, it is one that thinks independently. You must be a go-getter and ready to take the risk. You also must have a level of focus that will get you through the ebbs and flows of working for yourself. Bottom line is that you cannot wait on anyone to give you direction, you must always make yourself available for opportunity to present itself.
Own your own title: (O)
I can imagine you going to a networking event with your elevator speech tight! Everyone knew your name and what you did for the company. You identified with a great title! Now that you no longer have that job, one question comes to mind. How do you introduce yourself? Many struggle with this, especially the first year after leaving corporate.
What do you call yourself? What title will you use? How do you carry the authority that you once carried as a SVP? Well, the good news is that you work for yourself and you can call yourself whatever title you want. No one is there to challenge you.
As a matter of fact, give yourself a promotion and call yourself the CEO! Not of your company but of your LIFE! This is important for you to understand. Taking control of your life and getting over the title is a huge accomplishment.
Value your relationships: (V)
You have connected with so many people over the years. These individuals could possibly be ex co-workers, clients, employees, employers, business friends, lunch buddies, mentors, etc. My point is there were a lot of good connections that you may still be connected with in many ways. Let’s use those relationships to gain the support you need as a new entrepreneur.
Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely job. You need to surround yourself with positive energy to get you through. As an entrepreneur, you have strong willpower that is sometimes depleted. The best thing to do in this case is have an accountability partner(s) to help.
Build a personal Board of Directors using all 5 positions.
- Chair – This is a public figure that you follow because you believe to share the same values and outcome on life.
- Co-Chair – This person is the one who does what you do and understand how to be an entrepreneur because they share your space. You can share your goals, joy and disappointments, because they get it.
- President – This person will champion you and promote you to others the entire time.
- Treasurer – This person is no nonsense. They are going to give it to you straight minus all the fluff. This person is NEVER negative. They’ve known you for a while and understands what makes you tick and can identify your moments of being stuck. You need this person to get you back on track.
- Secretary – This person is the reverse mentor. You are the mentor; however, you are learning from them along the way. I’d like to believe this person to be younger in age or very new to the business. They have a different outlook on things and can adapt to new environments quickly. I think of Gen Z being an influencer here.
Evaluate your money situation: (E)
Money behaviour is learned at a very young age and must be acknowledged in efforts to change for the better. Your parents were either Savers or Spenders or both. Whatever the case, you will have to evaluate your behaviour and figure the best solution for you as a new entrepreneur. Money issues will arise more than once or twice as an entrepreneur and you must have extreme focus to stay on task and get through it.
Seek professional help if needed.
Share your story: (S)
BE VULNERABLE. This is the hardest task to ask an entrepreneur especially coming out of corporate. In corporate, most people have the tendency to hide their emotions and personal story in fear of being judged. Not only were you encouraged to not share, but there are also Employment practice laws around sharing too much personal information and allowing someone to judge your performance based on your personal business. All entrepreneurs must be vulnerable to succeed. It wasn’t until I became vulnerable that I began to see a shift in my business.
I learned that people want to know they are not alone in their feelings.
Making M.O.V.E.S. after you go through the grief is a sure sign of growth and will help you gain a sense of clarity along with confidence. Being in touch with your feelings and managing them through the process can help make the difference between you being stuck and getting unstuck to prosper.