Today, our founder, Taylor Sterling, gets candid about the game-changing incident that most directly impacted the outlook she has on her role as business owner and boss. Get the inside scoop below, and be sure to share your own stories in the comments below!
You often hear business people say, “You have to fail to really succeed,” and while it’s reassuring to know that failure can lead to growth, it certainly doesn’t make it any easier when you do fail. Getting fired is never something you want in your career, it can be a major blow to your ego and also leave you with a lot of financial stress. However, it can lead to bigger and brighter things if you have the right attitude. Luckily, that was the case for me seven years ago when I was kindly let go from my recruiting job. At the time, I was already looking for ways to exit my position smoothly, but getting laid-off before I had time to do that was definitely tough on me.
I was working as the Director of Recruiting for a boutique financial services company. I loved many aspects of my job. I was allowed a flexible schedule, I got to be independent for most of my day and tasks, and I was encouraged to treat my job like I was running my own business (which proved to be very helpful in starting Glitter Guide). However, working in a more conservative industry was not the right fit for me—I was missing the excitement I felt from the creative industry.
So in 2009 I started my fashion blog Sterling Style as my creative outlet. For a couple years I juggled my personal blog on the side while I worked full-time in recruiting. After two years of blogging, I got the idea for Glitter Guide. The biggest issue was I didn’t know how to juggle all three. I knew I didn’t have enough time or resources to pull them all off at once. Having all of that on my brain was undoubtedly effecting my performance at work, and in late 2010 they laid me off.
Despite the fact that I had been racking my brain on how I could quit my day job and still make enough money to launch Glitter Guide, it still was a shock to be let go. I was holding back tears in the office when my boss gave me the news. I remember quickly jetting out to the parking lot to call my mom. The second she answered I turned into a total sobbing mess.
Initially I was super hurt. I had never been let go from any job before, and even though the entire management team was super kind and helpful in how they let me go, I still felt scared and nervous for my future.
How was I going to have enough money to get by? Would I have to get a new job before I launched Glitter Guide? Would I even be able to create Glitter Guide now?
After a few days, and many conversations with my family, I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This was actually a blessing in disguise. Why was I so wrecked about being let go from a job I was desperate to leave? They had been kind enough to lay me off rather than firing me, which meant I was offered severance pay and unemployment. This was key for me at the time. I had been agonizing over needing time and income to launch Glitter Guide and now (if I worked smartly) I would have a window of free time and still be able to pay my bills while I got my feet off the ground.
In those months leading up to the launch of Glitter Guide I did look into a few jobs and talked to some people about new careers. I used LinkedIn often to search out career opportunities and to connect with people. I would message people in my industry that may be looking to help me with things for my new site idea, too. However, my long term goal was always to make Glitter Guide my full-time career. Luckily, Sterling Style was making enough to allow me to launch Glitter Guide. Plus, working in the industry for a couple years meant I had made a lot of amazing connections (networking can really pay off!).
I would never been able to start it so successfully without all these pieces coming together!
Glitter Guide just celebrated its 6-year anniversary. Looking back, its amazing to me how much being laid off was a game-changer for me and my career. It not only acted as a catalyst to starting my own business, but showed me how strong and resilient I can be. I truly believe that hard work and a positive attitude are key factors in achieving success. Being laid off could have been a very negative thing in my career, but I now look at it as one of the best things that happened to me. Without it, I am not sure how I would have had the guts to quit and really go for my dreams.