Four years ago today, a lot of things changed. I’ve never really spoken about this publicly. Mainly because I’ve harbored a lot of resentment for how things went down and who made it happen. But in the everyday action of living positive, thinking positive, and letting the best things enter my world, I feel like today is the perfect time to let it go.
I had a job I loved. I had colleagues I respected. I had a team of individuals that were committed to making our business grow and succeed. I had goals I was looking to meet and felt, after nearly four great years with the company, I was on a path that would see me achieve them. I was being given more responsibility. I was helping train new managers who entered our region. I helped implement initiatives region-wide that I developed within my own four walls that were applicable to the company’s overall success. I had interviewed for a regional management position just one month prior to this fateful day and, while I did not receive that promotion, I felt the experience was all part of something that would help me take the next step in my career in the very near future.
Little did I know, behind my back, I had a couple of employees who weren’t happy with how things were going. Not happy with me as their leader. I will not sit here and claim I was perfect nor try to tell you I’m not without flaws as a leader. But I believe in evolution. I believe that anyone can pivot when given the feedback necessary to help them do so. My entire life, I’ve thrived on receiving that kind of feedback…gaining the awareness of knowing something I thought I was doing well could use some improvement.
But that opportunity for improvement was taken away from me with one surprise visit and a quick conversation. I was fired with no opportunity to plead my case. In the moment, I was so shocked, I didn’t even know how to react. But after reflecting on everything later that evening, it’s amazing how a lot of Troeg’s Mad Elf can make you say, “YES, THAT’S WHAT I SHOULD’VE SAID!” a lot of times. I later learned from one of my former employees that the majority of the team was pretty upset with my dismissal and made it a point to voice as much. That meant a lot, but it didn’t really fill the void or give me clarity. Even worse, I got a text from one of the top guys in the company later that night telling me to reach out to him if I needed anything. Everything that happened that day was absolutely surreal and left my head spinning.
As the days drew on, I asked that man for one thing: closure. Why did this happen? What could I have done differently? In my mind, there had to be a deeper reason how I could go from being considered for regional management to filing for unemployment benefits in the span of a month.
That closure never came. We never talked. After several failed attempts to connect on the subject, I gave up. That shit ate at me for weeks, months, even years. It made me look at things a lot differently. But, ultimately, it did something good: it lit a fucking fire.
Once the dust settled, I narrowed everything down to two choices: stay down on the mat or get up and persevere.
I chose the latter.
I developed a plan to attack what was my side business for real. I worked my ass off every day. I learned from all the mistakes. I took what happened in my past and put it to work as motivation. I succeeded some days, struggled others. But every single friggin’ day I kept my eye on the ball and worked to build something that was mine…something that no one could take from me.
For four years, I’ve forged a new path and, every morning when my feet hit the floor, I absolutely love my grind. But there has always been a shred of resentment that just wouldn’t leave my psyche for those who did me wrong on January 28th, 2015.
Today, in the spirit of strength, perseverance, and positivity, I put all that shit to bed and move forward knowing I’ve come out a better person because it happened. I wouldn’t have what I have today – a business I can call my own, clients I work with daily that make me realize why I’m doing what I do, the ability to live within a system I built myself, the fulfillment of knowing I can take on these challenges and come out successful on the other side – if those changes weren’t handed to me.
Life’s too short to harbor resentment. It’s much more rewarding to be a force that wields positivity and welcomes all the pains, struggles, and obstacles as stepping stones that help cultivate a greater journey. A journey that’s meant to build a legacy.
That picture above is the Japanese symbol for perseverance. That one word has defined me even since the events of 1/28/15. It continues to define me today. I’ve yet to put any ink on my body. But if and when I make the decision to do so, that symbol will be the first to grace my skin.
No matter what obstacles, challenges, and downright shitty situations life hands you, never stop persevering. Never stop battling. Believe me…the Troeg’s Mad Elf on the other side is oh so sweet.