Most of us in the workforce have had jobs where we knew something had to change. We were no longer happy. Perhaps this is due to the culture, the pay, or our boss. You name it. We just knew things were not working, and something had to change.
George Kao found himself drawn to leave his cushy job. One where he was the best-paid person in a small company (earning even more than the CEO). He believed that the small, struggling business could use the money better elsewhere. “I quit because I didn’t feel like I was able to contribute as much as I would have liked. It was hard to do the things that I wanted to do there.” I asked him why he felt that way he said: “The culture of the company, and what we were selling.”
“Given that it was a small, forward thinking startup, the culture was probably too laid back. The co-founders tried their best. They even implemented a Holacracy governance. (In a Holacracy, power is distributed from management and assigned to appropriate teams. Zappos does this.) The co-founders were so compassionate that they had a difficult time with firing people. They kept people on for far too long who did not comply.”
“As for what we were selling: we gave clients huge hopes, which sold contracts. But it was not realistic for such a small, young team like ours, to fulfill such uber high expectations. There was way too much pressure.”
So in 2008 George walked away. What he didn’t know, was at that time, the U.S. was going to experience a major financial crisis. This horrible event led to the most severe recession since the Second World War. The banking system started to fail. The stock market took a nosedive depleting people’s retirement and 401K accounts. Some had to delay their retirements. Homes were being foreclosed on right and left, leaving people homeless. Businesses were laying off employees or just disappearing. Thousands of people were scurrying to find new jobs. It was awful to be job hunting, during a recession. People were struggling to pay bills while applying for job after job. They afraid of becoming ill since they lacked insurance. There were fewer and fewer jobs available with a lot of qualified people applying for them. It was a sad and hard time for many folks.
George shared that the “timing was totally messed up, for him. I couldn’t get a job! For six months I was looking hard and couldn’t get one. I was applying for jobs, with companies that seemed socially responsible and future thinking. Ones that had roles that could use my skills. Since I kept not hearing back after submitting job applications, I felt like no one wanted my skills. I wasn’t valuable or wanted. Was I going to have to wait tables?”
George realized that to stay in that energy was not healthy or wise, let alone productive. He said “I couldn’t stand to feel that
But George did act on his idea, aka God’s gift. And then a person he was teaching told him it was so good he could charge for it. Now sometimes the Universe speaks to us through other people. George heard this message and took it to heart. He put together a paid class and started successfully teaching it. He then approached someone who had an audience, and she wanted him to teach his class to them. These courses became the beginning of his entrepreneur business!
George shared with me that “I wouldn’t have started my business if I had found a job. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today. I would be in a job.” As one of his clients, I’m selfishly grateful to the Universe, that George was not able to find a job. If he had, we would not have met.
By creating his classes and putting himself out there, George created a six-figure business. He is now teaching and coaching marketing to spiritual solopreneurs. He is on a “mission to bring generosity, honesty, and true caring into business.” He has been able to impact many people around the world. And he is helping them grow their businesses in heart-centric and loving ways. The world would have been poorer spiritually and financially without George.
The Event: George quit his job
The Blessing in Disguise: He couldn’t find a new job, and so he had the time (and motivation) to start a new business.
The Lesson or Outcome: We never know what positive or inspired action can lead us to new levels of greatness. For George, it was teaching his friend’s social media instead of feeling unwanted.
To learn more about George or to contact him: George Kao