Getting Laid off might be the best thing that can happen to you…

The Worst Happened…I Got Laid Off

Since being laid off from my corporate executive role in August 2019, I come across people everywhere I turn who have been laid off. Many appear to be my age and wondering what ‘next’ looks like for them. Fortunately, I saw the layoff coming and had already been thinking about the next stage of my career. While I was thinking about it constantly, I couldn’t seem to come across a valid idea. I signed my termination papers on a Tuesday and literally woke up Wednesday morning with an idea. I went straight to my computer and searched to see if the .com domain was available. It was and I bought it.

Building the Bridge While you Walk Across It

With each step I took, another window opened, sometimes it was a door, but remarkably, within 48 hours of getting laid off, I had a business idea, a name, a website and professional photos taken. I spent the next two weeks working through the idea and one day, I decided I needed to tell the world what I was thinking about doing. It was the accountability I needed to move off center. Where else but on LinkedIn.

Within a day or so, I had over 15,000 views and lots of likes and comments. I was encouraged by the response. I kept putting one foot in front of the other until I got to the Go-Live date that I had shared with the LinkedIn world. Running Great Stores went from an idea to a company on that day. My very own company. The layoff felt further and further in the rear view mirror.

Faith Over Fear

I have learned so much over these past four months. I also made a bunch of mistakes and took ridiculous chances. In four months, I launched a company, published articles and posts almost daily, started podcasting, began coaching store managers and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone every minute of every day. I kept saying, I am unemployed. What is the worst thing that can happen to me now? I felt happier than I had been in a long time. I realized how many wonderful people are in my life who helped me every time I got stuck. (Thank you Jessica and Kendra!)

I remember the fear I felt of losing my job for the past several years. I continually saw people get laid off. I worked harder than ever trying to ensure it did not happen to me. And then it did. Why am I telling you this story? Well I learned three important lessons over these past few months and I am hoping they might benefit someone reading this story.

Control is an Illusion

I guess I have always known this, down deep, we all do, right? No matter how much we try to control everything that happens in our life, I learned first hand that control is an absolute illusion. We can only control how we respond to what happens to us. I wouldn’t have thought going into 2019 that I would leave a corporate executive role and start my own company, In fact, I did everything I could to ensure that wouldn’t happen, but it did anyway. The thing i was most afraid of turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me. I should have trusted God all along! So glad I learned the lesson. 

If you can Dream it, you can Do It

Walt Disney made this saying famous. Starting a business where I could leverage my years of retail knowledge to help others was something I dreamed of but not something I knew could really happen. What I learned however is that anything is possible! It requires us to be brave enough to take the first step. That is the hard part. But when you do it, you realize the world is at your fingertips. I took on the attitude, what do I have to lose? And learned how much I have to gain! It is amazing to do something you absolutely love! There are people in your life who can help you with your goals. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! I was the worst at this and now I realize that people love to help. 

Our Past has a Purpose

Much of what happens in our past plays a part in our future. While we don’t know the purpose when it is actually happening to us, eventually we realize what it was for and it helps us with what we are facing today. The past couple of years I was in a role that I had never done before but that role, with all it’s learnings, helped me take the steps to start my own business! Lean into who you are and everything you have been through or are going through. Chances are good they will be the foundation you need for what is coming next.

What about you? What have your learnings been this year? I would love to hear about it, Email me at I am listening…

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  1. DeAnna McIntosh says:

    Thanks for sharing this Rachel! This is awesome and I can relate. I left my job in corporate retail in August to pursue Retail Consulting full-time for brands and retailers and it’s been a roller coaster to say the least, but a rewarding one. Your post resonates with me a lot! I’d love to connect! I’m going to email you from my email,

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