Every day was different, but the general feeling was the same.
Sheer panic and gigantic burritos.
The burritos were courtesy of a place called Willy’s. The trick to ordering a burrito is to ask for the meat and let the person finish placing it before you ask for double meat. If you ask for double meat up front, they give you two scoops that aren’t that big instead of two honest full sized scoops. If you wait though, you’ve set a simple but effective meat trap that will ensure you get a real deal portion.
The burrito was the least of my worries that year though.
It was 2008 and the economy had cratered. Every day at work brought rumors about layoffs.
I worked for a huge company but my team was only 6 people deep.
One day, we had a big meeting and someone was missing. I’ll call her Jill. She was the most tenured member of our team. We all thought she was sick until we got back to her desk and realized it had been cleaned out.
Jill was gone.
A few weeks later, the youngest member of my team was laid off. I remember her tears as she packed her desk next to me. She was a really smart writer and losing her job caught her off guard. I talked with my manager about it and she was concerned for the future of our team.
A few weeks later, my manager was laid off. They removed the entire level of managers, like deleting a line in an excel spreadsheet.
That’s the hardest thing about layoffs. They often don’t take your skill into account. If you’re a middle manager and they decide to eliminate that level, the layoff doesn’t care if you were good or bad. You’re gone.
Have you ever lost a job?
I have, three times.
The first time, I got fired and deserved it. I applaud that company for that decision.
The second time, the company closed and there was nothing I could do.
The third time was terrible and absolutely brutal, but …
You only need to lose your job a time or two before you start thinking about a side hustle.
We live in the side hustle economy. With the Internet, almost anyone can freelance. After losing my job a second time, I started to write on the side. It wasn’t much. I made $500 here and $300 there, but something weird happened. I wasn’t just making money, I was hiding fire extinguishers in my house just in case it caught on fire someday.
Let me be real honest with you right now.
You will lose your job.
Maybe it won’t be your fault.
Maybe you’ll crush it as an employee.
That’s great, I’m happy for you, but when another company buys yours and closes your office, your history as an employee won’t matter much. When an account executive loses your client, you’ll get a box of stuff and a pat on the back as they walk you out. When the economy dips and dollars dry up, the cost of your division will be found to be exorbitant.
I believe in the side hustle and you should, too.
It saved me the last time I lost my job.
It was hard. It was, but by that point I had a few more tools in my toolkit. When I lost my main hustle, there were side hustles waiting for me.
This January, I’m teaching a brand new course called The 90 Days of Business Hustle. The course is designed to help you turn a side hustle into a full time hustle and if you’re already killing it full time help you build a business juggernaut.
The businesses who have already signed up range from side hustlers making $0 right now all the way up to major companies making $14 million a year.
Not everyone reading this will join the 90 Days of Business Hustle. I am well aware of that, but I promise you, that everyone reading this will experience a job loss.
When yours comes, even if you haven’t taken my course, I hope you have a ferocious side hustle to keep the wolves at bay.
You’re going to need one and it’s going to save you. I promise.
Never doubt the power of a good side hustle.