- Business and Employment
Famous People Who Were Fired and Bounced Back
What To Do After You're Fired
In these tough times, layoffs and unemployment have become fairly common. We all know of someone going through tough times - and in many instances, that person is ourselves.
However, I don't think that every firing is necessarily a bad thing. I prefer to look on it as an opportunity. In my book, it's a chance to pursue your dreams and become your own boss. (And if you're curious as to whether that's a good thing, visit The Benefits of Being Your Own Boss.)
Moreover, by way of example, you'll find the stories of some famous people below who went on to tremendous success after being fired. Hopefully their stories will encourage you so that, even if you find yourself selling apples by the side of the road, you'll realize that you're still capable of achieving monumental things.
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Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank
The names of Messrs. Marcus and Blank may not be familiar to you, but the company they founded in 1978 probably is: Home Depot. However, back in the late 1970s, both Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank were executives with another home improvement retailer, Handy Dan Improvement Centers.
In 1978, Marcus and Blank were fired from Handy Dan. Rather than bemoan their fate, the two started Home Depot, opening their first two stores in Atlanta, Georgia in 1979. Today, both men are billionaires. (Blank is also the owner of the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League.)
With approximately $68 billion in revenue, Home Depot now is the largest home improvement retailer in the U.S. As for Handy Dan, it went out of business in 1989.
(Photo Source: Wikipedia.org; Author/Original Uploader: Enriquecornejo at en.wikipedia.)
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She is a media powerhouse, one of the most powerful women in business. She is among a handful of celebrities with a one-word name that is known worldwide.
And yet, there was a time when Oprah Winfrey was a young newsanchor for a television station in Baltimore who found herself unceremoniously - quite publicly, in fact - fired from her job after only a few months. Needless to say, she would recover and go on to not just become the queen of daytiime TV, but also a billionaire. (Not to mention a media mogul with her own production company, television network and magazine.)
(Photo by Alan Light.)
Michael Bloomberg is currently recognized as the 11th-richest person in the country, with an estimated net worth of $22 billion - a fortune buit on the financial news and information empire he founded. He also happens to be the Mayor of New York.
However, back in the early 1980s, he was a partner at Salomon Brothers, a Wall Street investment bank. When Salomon was bought out in 1981, Bloomberg was fired. He took his severance package and used it to help form the company that would eventually become Bloomberg L.P., the financial data giant and global news service that now includes a television network and radio rstation, in addition to traditional printed publications.
(Photo Source: wikipedia.org; Author: Rubenstein)
If kids have been a part of your life at any point during the last 15 years or so, then you are well aware of J.K. Rowling. The author is known worldwide for her books about a young wizard named Harry Potter (not to mention the phenominally successful movies based thereon). In fact, the Harry Potter books are generally considered to be the best-selling book series of all time, with an estimated 400 million copies having been sold.
However, prior to gaining fame and fortune, she worked as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International. She was purportedly fired after it was discovered that she was spending most of her day writing stories on her computer. Apparently it was worth it, as these days Rowlings' net worth is estimated to be a cool $1 billion.
(Photo by Daniel Ogren.)
This Person Must Be Fired
"In Every Organization There Will Always Be One Person Who Knows What's Going On. This person Must Be Fired."
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Summary of What to Do If You're Fired
In short, a firing doesn't have to be the end of the world. In fact, it should be viewed as an opportunity that you would have bypassed under different circumstances - a door that would otherwise have remained closed. That's what happened to those above and plenty of other famous people: Steve Jobs (fired from Apple - the company he founded! - in the 1980s), Lee Iacocca (fired from Ford Motor Company), etc. As the stories of these people illustrate, resilience under adverse conditions can often lead to rewards you never dreamed of.
(In fact, why wait until you're fired? You can start achieving your dreams right now, and if you need a hint as to how to get started, please visit How to Be More Productive in Your Personal and Professional Life.)