One year ago I was fired from my C-level position in corporate America and so many people told me, “Well, you know everyone is replaceable”. Surprisingly, what I have learned over the past year is that this actually is not the case. Instead, what I have found to be true is that while anyone can be expendable, no one is replaceable.
I want to share with you what I have learned about myself and my own unique skills and strengths and how I could take what made me successful in corporate America and apply those same skills to a completely different arena. Re-inventing myself as a best-selling author and an entrepreneur was done by utilizing my irreplaceable uniqueness and has allowed me to rebuild my confidence throughout the entire experience. Getting fired is similar to getting dumped. In that moment you feel as though you have lost everything and you are being discarded. In that moment so many people said to me that this is just part of life and everyone can be replaced. Sitting here today, one year later I have discovered that no one can be replaced and that realization is pure magic!
What is important to note here is I used to believe that everyone was replaceable. I used to believe in lanes and my lane was Sales and Leadership in Corporate America and the path ahead of me was always very clear. I imagine so many of us feel that same way. We wonder if we can only make it in this lane, this job, this company or this relationship. Understanding today that it wasn’t any of those things that made me successful — it was ME that made me successful, and I would be successful by applying my own uniqueness wherever I decided to go. It is so important to know that I had no idea this was the case a year ago.
The first month after being fired I couldn’t even bring myself to admit that I was going to work for myself. The idea seemed so crazy and foreign, I couldn’t speak it out loud. Then, over time, I began telling people, “I work for myself”. Then I started sharing that I had the best boss I had ever had, and that boss is ME! I made countless mistakes and pivots and switched gears many times but in the end I used the same skills that made me successful before and that is what brought me success again. Instead of being frustrated that I can’t do something because my boss won’t let me, I now lean in and take chances and bet on me. This whole process has allowed me to become a more confident version of myself that I previously didn’t know existed.
Starting off as a beginner can be petrifying but choosing to see it as a fresh start and realizing I brought a new perspective to writing and being an entrepreneur made me realize I had a strong value proposition.
The keys that really allowed me to take off started with me developing a 30 day plan. I like to choose short periods of time to take on when the going is tough. By focusing on a plan for 30 days I was able to focus on the day ahead and watch my progress without feeling too overwhelmed. Surrounding myself with people that supported me and encouraged me to grow helped in those moments where I questioned everything. Aligning my inner voice with my outer voice accelerated my progress and helped me to advance quickly. Leaning on my past experiences where I was afraid and overcame it helped me to see again that fear is a liar, and something I had only created in my mind. I have since changed how I see fear, and now it’s an indicator that I need to move faster to get on the other side of it. Fear, for me, is now my green light.
During this time I was told by so many not to go out on my own, not to share my lowest moments in my book, not to narrate my book on Audible but instead hire a professional to do it for me. I began to see that others were putting their own self-imposed limitations on me but I had decided not to accept them anymore. Just because they didn’t think I should write the book wouldn’t mean I wouldn’t write the book. I could listen to others and thank them for their opinions and get right back to work. And I am so glad that I did. I couldn’t be more proud of the authenticity of my book or the fact that I am the one that narrated it, imperfections and all. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Deciding to show up as me has been the most powerful experience in my life and I can see myself gaining strength each day. Owning your own unique flaws and quirks and putting them to work for you instead of trying to hide them will empower you to create your confidence. Once you have created your confidence you are essentially unstoppable.
So often in life we believe that the company holds all of the cards or the more successful person in the relationship will always be the one to come out on top after a breakup but what I have found is this simply is not the case. Leaning into your own unique superpowers and beginning to own your power and voice when you may not have done it fully before will be a catalyst to take you to heights you didn’t know you could reach. If someone told me 12 months ago that I would be a best-selling author today, I would have laughed at them. Today, when you Google me, I no longer show up as a business executive, which is a career I built over the last 20 years. Today, when you Google me, I show up as Heather Monahan, Author.
What will you be in 12 months, now that you know you are irreplaceable?