10 things you need to do if you were FIRED yesterday


I was brought into the office of the head of the company and he said, “your contract is up and we won’t be needing you anymore.” I asked. “Can I stay a few days more to just finish what I was working on?” And he said, “No. You need to leave today”.  He had thick blonde hair, blue eyes, a square jaw, was about fifty and looked a little bit like Robert Redford. He smiled at me then. Thats the last thing I remembered. His smile almost blinded me. I hate him. I was barely put together. I felt like the worst loser. I couldn’t understand. I thought I had been doing good work. But suddenly I was damaged goods.

Another time I was…And another time I did…And another and another and another. I’ve been fired so many times I can’t list them all. I can’t possibly make you cry over my sorrows because we all have them.

I would pace at three in the morning. “I’m going to lose this house. My kids are going to switch schools. I have three months to live. I’m going to lose this house. I’m going to this and that and this/that.” The chatter doesn’t stop and its nightmarish at three in the morning. And at four, and at five, and it doesn’t stop when the kids wake up and they don’t know anything is different but I cry then because everything is different. Because the house is a prison. Because my head is a mental asylum.

No advice helps. You can’t meditate. You can’t exercise. You can’t eat healthy. You can’t shave. Or bathe. You can’t even take deep breaths. They feel like bullshit breaths. Shit breathes in and shit breathes out. You can’t pray or read spiritual texts. None of that stuff helps, you think. None of that immediately deposits money in the bank. None of that brings back your self-esteem which was so randomly stolen from you by faceless bureaucats living on the outskirts of cubicles.

So here’s advice that helps. I hope you follow it because I know it worked for me:

Do just one thing today.

And then do one thing tomorrow. And the next. That’s all. Just one thing a day. If you do your thing, then feel good. You did it. Tomorrow you do the next thing. THAT’S ALL YOU NEED TO DO.

Some preliminaries: First, you need to sleep. Make sure you sleep 8 hours a day, every day. And you can’t drink. Delete your news-intake. You don’t need news now. Things are bad. But they aren’t as bad as they seem. The media lies every day about how bad things are. Trust me.

And then do one solid thing each day.

Here are some possible “one things”:

–          Schedule a lunch with someone you haven’t seen in three years. Could be anyone. But it has to be someone you haven’t seen in at least three years. This injects new blood into the system. You need a total transfusion to get rid of the infected old blood.

–          Ideas. Find your “customers.” Treat yourself like a one-man business. Make a list of customers (i.e. places or people you might want to work with) Then come up with a list of 10 ideas for each customer/place you might want to work. Ideas that can make them money. This way you keep your idea muscle intact.  Don’t let your idea muscle atrophy! Pitch your ideas to that customer if you can. If you can’t , move onto the next customer. But wait until tomorrow. You did your thing for today. Be proud. THIS TECHNIQUE WORKS. Its worked for me.

–          Gratitude. Make a list of the people you’ve worked with over the past ten years that you are grateful you worked with. Email them and tell them why you were grateful you worked with them. Ask them sincerely how they are doing. This is one of the most important things on this list.

–          Wake up early, exercise, take a shower, wear a suit, go into the city, and walk around. Smell that freshness on you. It makes you feel as if you are ready for anything. And you are. That’s all you need to do that day. Heck, go to a museum. You won’t have this opportunity for freedom forever.

–          Slash. Make a list of all expenses you can slash. Make your runway as long as possible. There are plenty of sites to advise how to do this. Picture your worst-worst case scenario. Its never as bad as you think. Write it down. Write down the plan for the worst-case scenario. Then take a nap. You just had a hard day. You need to rest.

–         Lunch, part II.  Have lunch with one person in your industry. Have your ideas ready for that person. Have him critique your ideas. Learn.

(lunch can be fun)

–          Reconnect. Contact other people who used to work at your old company. Maybe they even worked there ten years ago. Reconnect. Come up with ideas for them.

–          Write. Write a book in the next three days. You can write a 30 page book about dieting (“100 ways to Lose 100 pounds”) and put it on sale on Amazon in one day. Why not? The traditional book industry is over. Write the book “100 things to do the day after you are fired”. Make it funny. Time to dominate the publishing industry while you are unemployed. Today make a list of all the possible 30 page books you can do. Then tomorrow start one of the books. I have one friend who just self-published a book. He was dead broke before that after being fired from his job. He made $100k in 90 days. No joke. This was about a month ago.

Read More: Don't Try To Self-Publish Until You Read This...

–          Resentment. You are going to feel resentful about people at your old job. They wronged you. But listen closely: they are just trying to survive also. They aren’t different from you and me, no matter how much you feel they wronged you. You need to make a list of all the good qualities that person has and send them an email why you think they are good at what they do. Thank them.

–         Brainstorm.  Go completely in a different direction. What other industry can you work in? What other location can you live in? Make up the wildest fantasies about what you can do. Keep going until there is one possible direction you can execute on today. Brainstorm what blog you can do (and what products you can sell on the blog). Brainstorm about photography (anyone need a photographer this weekend?) Brainstorm about ecommerce (check out penny auction sites where you can buy stuff for pennies and resell on Ebay). I don’t know. I’m making stuff up. But brainstorm for an hour and some little slice of reality might peak through.

Remember: just one thing a day at first. Some of these things above seem crazy. But I’m not recommending anything that I haven’t done and made money doing. All of them.

If you are feeling better, go for the full Daily Practice. But don’t stress it. The Daily Practice has always worked for me when I’ve hit my low points on repeated occasions. But first do “one thing a day”. No pressures.

And anyone who was fired yesterday, March 10, feel free to call me anytime to chat. Contact me first thru the email on this site, leave me your number, and I will call you.  Corporate stability has always been a myth. But entrepreneurship and risk is also a myth. We were never without risk. Risk is life. But now you are forced to embrace it. The good thing is, sometimes embracing leads to love.

Read More: How To Be The Luckiest Guy On the Planet in 4 Easy Steps. 

What it feels like to be rich (and when I lost everything)

The Daily Practice, to become lucky.

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  • Jmacdono

    Every word rings true. And I’ve been “out” for over 569 days. Good news is I’ve used the technique and have done at least 569 things to make the world a better place including starting my own business in golf services! It’s true that the direction you think in is the destination you get to.

  • Jonas

    I do “just one thing today” and then I do “one thing tomorrow”. That thing is sitting in the office at work!!! It’s the same every day and that’s all I do every day. Would love to try some of your ideas, but I have to work…

  • Jonas

    I do “just one thing today” and then I do “one thing tomorrow”. That thing is sitting in the office at work!!! It’s the same every day and that’s all I do every day. Would love to try some of your ideas, but I have to work…

  • Rhondamajor

    This is awesome! I was fired on Nov. 19, 2009 after a new, company bought my former company where I worked for 11 years. I divorced 2 years prior. Actually, I have been off since then(May 2011) and it’s been the most fulfilling, lively experience in my life. I have a 9 year old and I spent time with him and for once, stopped eating like I had a race in 2 seconds and looking gauntly for always being on the go. I enjoy life. I have never done that and didn’t realize it. I dated and now, because I have time, I am in a blessed relationship with an awesome, guy. Now, that the savings are low, I am thinking…mmmmmm..what now? I do not want to work for anyone anymore….I love my freedom…but I need a paycheck. mmmmmm. Well, my son is number one and I would love to homeschool him….mmmmmmm. What’s happening? I started a homeschooling network for parents who want an alternative for their kids, but they are stuck in the rat-race of work, I wrote letters to businesses to donate used laptaps, and now, along with my son, I am homeschooling 5 kids in my home for a monthly fee starting in the Fall. All I have to say to my former, new, past employer is…thank you for challenging me to live the life I’ve always wanted but never knew existed because I was existing in the rat-race of achievement but letting my true life pass me by. Now….LIFE IS OH SO GOOOOOOOD!

  • Rhondamajor

    This is awesome! I was fired on Nov. 19, 2009 after a new, company bought my former company where I worked for 11 years. I divorced 2 years prior. Actually, I have been off since then(May 2011) and it’s been the most fulfilling, lively experience in my life. I have a 9 year old and I spent time with him and for once, stopped eating like I had a race in 2 seconds and looking gauntly for always being on the go. I enjoy life. I have never done that and didn’t realize it. I dated and now, because I have time, I am in a blessed relationship with an awesome, guy. Now, that the savings are low, I am thinking…mmmmmm..what now? I do not want to work for anyone anymore….I love my freedom…but I need a paycheck. mmmmmm. Well, my son is number one and I would love to homeschool him….mmmmmmm. What’s happening? I started a homeschooling network for parents who want an alternative for their kids, but they are stuck in the rat-race of work, I wrote letters to businesses to donate used laptaps, and now, along with my son, I am homeschooling 5 kids in my home for a monthly fee starting in the Fall. All I have to say to my former, new, past employer is…thank you for challenging me to live the life I’ve always wanted but never knew existed because I was existing in the rat-race of achievement but letting my true life pass me by. Now….LIFE IS OH SO GOOOOOOOD!

    • http://twitter.com/mstmorris Teri Morris

      Good on you!

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.s.strauss Paul Strauss

      I love reading stories of people who found their passion and let it lead them to true prosperity.  I’d like to know more about your home schooling situation!  Been thinking about that for awhile, but was turned off by the seeming “lone wolf” aspect of it.  I like your cooperative approach.

    • Rochelle

      Good Morning Rhondamajor. I was just fired yesterday after working for a company for 8 years. I am dazed, stunned and off balance this morning. I look forward to experiencing the freedom you speak of.

  • Patlevert

    I really needed this today. I was forced to resign my job on this past Monday. I have a home and a son in college with a car note and not much reserve in the bank. I thought pacing back and forth, I am going to loose my house, my car, my life. And then came this article. Thank you so much. I now know exactly what to do. One thing a day. Thank you again, and may God Bless is my prayer.

  • MsDreamy

    James thanks a lot. I was re-reading your “10 More Reasons you need to quit your job right now” because I wanted to ask you what to do next after quitting then I found this.
    I quit my job last week cause I hated the place, the people & their unfair policies. Although I did it suddenly, I didnt feel so bad about it. On the contrary I was so relaxed that I started doubting my sanity.
    Right now I have many ideas in my head on what I need to do. I’m planning to start a small home business but because I live in a weird country, I can’t seem to get any proper encouragement or inspiration but I’m grateful when I read something like your article here (and your answer below to bparish2). So please keep it up.
    It made me feel better about my decision & think that I’m on the right track because I was already doing some of the things listed here & will do more, like writing the 30 pages book!

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      MsDreamy, thanks. Tell us what your home business will be. Please keep us updated on your progress.

      • MsDreamy

        Will do ! thank you

  • Anonymous

    You need a plan.  Is there a thing you really want to do for a living?  What about your job is the worst?  Sometimes having a plan and initiating execution of the plan is enough to make work tolerable enough to use it to your advantage, knowing that you are incrementally working your way out the door.  Good luck.

  • Katspalla

    Thank you. :)

  • Katspalla

    Thank you. :)

  • http://twitter.com/tianamayumi Tiana

    Great post, but you’ve got me wondering – where can I find your friend’s ebook?

  • http://www.bronsonlaureiro.com Bronson Laureiro

    This one of my favorite posts from you.  

  • Eddy

    James i got fired today. Although i told my manager i was planning to resign for the past few week (which i was) and as soon as i got back to my desk i remembered this post of yours and searched it on your site. It really feels uplifting to be reading this right now and i am beginning to believe that this might actually be a blessing in disguise for me since i had started hating my job for quite some time now and this probably was the push that i needed. Your post has given me some ideas about what i should start doing. I will not let this bring me down and will look up and stand strong. Even though i’ve been fired 2 times before (and those were the “you wont be coming in from tomorrow” kind), this was much humane and rather civilized. I was told to check with HR about how many leaves i had left and then probably take time off and not come back.

  • Raytnla

    I was looking for this, I was fired yesterday or at least two days ago? It really doesn’t matter because they (the former employer) will not be honest but I’m sure I’ll be better off.. I objected to being bothered at all hours and was labeled other than a team player. I win!

  • Doc Hawkins

    50T World Economy. All you need is imagination and a willingness to try it again, and again, and again. As the Marines would say ‘Git Some’

  • Rob

    I was laid off twice in my life.  It’s really awesome to be quite honest.  You collect unemployment and chill.  I wouldn’t mind being laid off right now quite frankly. 

  • http://riverofliberty.com ChrisRossini

    I was fired once, about 15 years ago. Was devastated and even cried on the drive home. In hindsight, that “huge plunge” turned out to be a springboard to much better days in a more lucrative career.

    You don’t see it then…but much like a stock chart, our lives need corrections so that we may consolidate and move higher.

  • http://jacxu.com/ Jac Xu

    again, awesome! I like the wake up point particularly!

  • Jonas

    Brilliant Post. Thank you JAMES!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stacey-Kengal/100002218145629 Stacey Kengal

    I wish I would get fired. I pretty hate my work environment, but it’s hard to walk away from a well-paying job these days. Even if it is in hell. At least if I got fired I could collect unemployment till I found something else. If you quit, you get nothing. I guess they assume it’s the quitters fault they’re leaving the job and not the employers. The problem is, they have the ol’ pension dangling out there for me to chase after. And I want that too. So what if I’m miserable now. Someday I will be happy. If the job doesn’t kill me first. Sound too dramatic? Well, I fucking really hate my job. But I have responsibilities, bills to pay and children to “educate”. I can’t just say fuck it all, can I? That would be irresponsible and selfish. At least that’s what my wife keeps telling me. ‘course she has a nice insurance policy for a safety net if anything did happen to me, ironically provided by that very same employment situation that I so despise… Did I mention how much I hate my job? [sigh] Anyway, this article doesn’t help me. Or maybe it does? I guess I should actually read it first before passing any judgment (and I mean that in strictly a subjective, non-threatening, highly personal sense only)… Oy!

    • http://twitter.com/mchristo Chris Lindsay

      I hope you are posting this from work… you might get your wish. You should google “white whine”

    • Kharactor

      I like this article. Much of what was written here I actually did.  I also actually did get fired. I was miserable and said fuck it. I also said fuck you to the man in more ways than one leading up to that fated day a year ago. I thought getting fired was what I wanted. I was wrong. I spent the next few months going to interviews at great companies that offered much better paying positions. I couldn’t believe how many interviews I was invited to. I thought for sure I got away with never taking shit from anyone. I was wrong. I couldn’t believe how many final round interviews I was invited to, only to lose out to other candidates. I finally had to take a shitty job because I felt useless doing nothing but collecting unemployment and also needed something to redeem my gap in employment. I made up some crock of shit reason why I everything happened as I planned and finally got that better paying job a year later. The thing is, it was not worth it. You don’t know how bad you will feel until it happens. What I wished I would have done is found that other job and arranged for a starting date that gave me a significant amount of time off. I know you may want to get fired but you don’t for any reason other than something unexpected. If it’s in your control, go get another job that pays enough to compensate for the pension and keep doing that every few years if you have to. 

    • Fabri

      Hi, I can relate to you on how much you hate your current labor situation. One of the precepts of good performance and a happy life is to have a nice , decent atmosphere at work. We can say it’s our second home because we spend so much time there, wasting our precious youthful years from 9 to 5 each and everyday. Modern Slavery just sucks !!! My advice to you, find the time to think of an exit strategy and do it with all your might. Think at night about the very day when you will be able to go to your boss’ office and slap him/her with a resignation note. Wouldn’t that feel like a million dollars? Wouldn’t it be sweet?. Start tonight !!!!. Why live a life of suffering, anger and resignation when you can free yourself and take the plunge? Life is too short. You know what a group of senior citizens past the age of 90 once said if they could live their lives all over again?. They said they would take more risks because playing it safe was a mistake time and time again, in all aspects of life. The best of luck to you all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kellyreid Kelly B. Reid

    i got laid off or fired a few times.  finally i said , to hell with employment.  it took about 2 years of having my ass handed to me on a plate but i can support myself solo now!

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.s.strauss Paul Strauss

    I like your advice on ‘resentment’.  The way I see it, there are three possible scenarios when you lose a job:  1.  You really did work for some awful person or company.  2.  You worked for a company full of people just like you, but unfortunately the economics of the situation, and the circumstances were such that you were the one on the chopping block instead of them / someone else.  3.  You deserved it.  Those of us with the emotional maturity level of at least an eight year old will recognize, it’s almost never really number one, it’s most often number two, and occasionally it is actually number three.  Regardless of which it was, and even if it really was number one- no one ever hurt their reputation or squandered an opportunity being gracious.Yours is a great suggestion for parting with class whatever the circumstances.

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.s.strauss Paul Strauss

    To thine own self be true…I think you ought to start with the “one thing” list above even while you’re employed.  Sure, you won’t be able to spend the day walking around and visiting a museum, but there are other things on this list ANY of us could do.

  • http://twitter.com/JFinDallas JFinDallas

    My wife got fired yesterday I sent her this post and it was very helpful for her. Thank you

  • gocougars

    Fantastic post James.

    I came across this at just the right time. 

    I have been miserable in my job as an executive at a tech startup.  The founder of the company crushes my spirit at least 4 times a day.  He makes everybody in the company feel like everything they do is utter dogsh@#$ including me.  The sad thing is that the company is failing now because nobody will take any risk for fear of being thumped.

    I have been feeling trapped as I need a salary to support my family, yet have no way to find another job as it would be a very public snubbing of the founder and I’ve seen how spiteful and vindictive he can be.

    I finally figured out a way out of the place and now feel like a hundred pound weight has been lifted off of my back.  I’m not sure how I will make money to support my family, but at least I am going to take control of my situation.  I’m going to try to consult for a few former colleagues and will start a business.  The future is uncertain, but I feel like I am taking a huge step in the direction that I was meant to go. 

    Keep up the good work.  Your writing is an inspiration!!

  • aMIT rAUT

    Awesome James.
    I really appreciate your thoughts. Really these going to help everyone going through this sort of situation in their lives.
    Keep posting such inspirational stuff.


  • Willg888

    Just got fired today…. so many things and debt I gotta pay, honestly Idk how I’m going to make it. But I like this article imma try to be positive but some advice more in detail would be greatly appreciated

  • Cherryred64gto

    I was fired May 26, 2012 and my college prof sent me your article. Good article. I have been thinking about the publishing an e-book thing and you just made me believe it will work, so I will do it. Thanks.

  • Djphillips

    The traditional book publishing industry may be dead – but that’s no excuse for poor grammar – and your syntax is atrocious. END-quotation mark AWAYS goes OUTSIDE the period. PERIOD!!!

  • joanna

    Tis is a joke.!!!!

  • Surinder

    Hey james, I just read this as I got fired yesterday.am hoping to be as positive as possible and I guess your words should help me for this

  • http://www.facebook.com/amir.vazquez Amir Vazquez

    Thank you, I just lost my job today. This gives me a great start one day at a time.

  • Whatshallido

    Won’t you tell us the name of the book already? Please?

  • http://twitter.com/TheEmulator23 DrewSki

    This is the 2nd time I’ve read this & it has helped my mindset tremdously. Never thought I could just pick up and go somewhere. Am I taking baby steps? Absolutely, but I’m getting there. Now if only I could write a book but who really wants to read another diet book? Granted I did lose over 65 Lbs in 10 months. I guess I could write how I did it, but Most probably couldn’t Was riding a mountain bike about 100 miles a week, & eating progresso light soup. It worked. I also did NOT cut out things l loved, I just eat less.

  • Hugh Lancaster

    To me quiting seems a bit drastic. Now if you do not owe anything, then quiting may be ok. i just don’t believe in quiting. When I was in my early twenties, I worked for my dad and I knew I wasn’t going anywhere. Similiar to James, everyday most of my thoughts consisted on some business idea.. I still do that always looking something better…Eventually I found it and I quit. But I would suggest sucking it up, make sure you don;t owe anything and then go for it. There is power in being debt free. The borrow becomes a slave to the lender. That is why so many people work for other people. They have no choice becuse they are several thousands of dollars in debt.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rosalind.korn Rosalind Korn

    carpe diem!

  • http://amazon.com/dp/B0096PPJH4 T. Bill Owings

    James, this was a great post! I bought your book “I Was Blind But Now I See”. It was a good read. I followed your advice, and in a week, I wrote “The National Debt: 100 Ways To Pay It Off Without Raising Taxes”. I designed the cover myself, and set the price at 99 cents on Amazon. If you get a chance, I’d be honored if you bought a copy!

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I will buy a copy. Sounds interesting.

      • http://amazon.com/dp/B0096PPJH4 T. Bill Owings

        Thanks James! I hope you get a few laughs out of it!

  • John R

    Great post!

  • Sumisu

    I was fired November 9, 2012 – I remember when it happened, the company decided to cut off my computer access before they were even able to get me back there. They called my office phone even though they knew I was sitting up front while the receptionist was on her break. I was on the phone with IT trying to figure out why my log in wasn’t working and they called that line. Long story short I pretty much knew what was going on when it happened.

    I felt like an enormous weight had been lifted off my shoulders, and I literally cried a little. The first thing my boss said was its not the end of the world and I wanted to shout ‘Yes you dumb Barbie doll looking person I am aware of that!’, I was so happy and sad I just wanted to dance…and cry in a corner. I had lost a paycheck. Immediately I asked ‘Will this effect unemployment’. She replied ‘No, you didn’t get mad, scream, etc’. She said why don’t you do something with your art? That honestly didn’t click with me until today.

    I have a Bachelors in English, a Master of Fine Arts in Media Design, and recently a grad certificate in Internet Marketing. I was working in a finance office in a counseling job. Today I began writing FICTION for the first time in probably a year and a half. At the moment all my art supplies are packed until I get wherever I am going next so no painting, but I have written everything that has come into my mind. I’m writing a story now about a man in his late 40s who realizes after a heart attack that he wants the love of his life back. He realizes there are things about himself he has to change – I feel alive again.

    I feel reborn, just like he does I suppose. :)

  • Anne Watson

    I just got fired last Thursday after over five years. I’ve had five managers in that time – 3 in the last year alone. The one before the last assigned another guy with no experience in my field as my manager and then, over a six month period, carefully crafted a plan to get rid of me. It was ugly and cruel, so I’m having a hard time letting go of the resentment. I know I am, ultimately, better off but it hurts so much to be treated so callously and unfairly. Any more advice? Would love to talk. I have plenty of spare time now.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Yes, it sucks to lose a job. But the pain you are feeling now is coming from how you were treated. Yes, you were treated bad by people who were bad. There’s no way to justify it. There’s no way you will wrap your head around it. They are bad people. Now it’s just time to move on and follow the ideas in this post. Then you will enact the well-known best revenge.

      • Anne Watson

        Thanks for your words, James. It is getting better, day by day and I have been using your techniques which are quite helpful. The outpouring of recommendations from former colleagues and reassurance from friends has been overwhelming. It made me remember what I had lost sight of – my life. I am seeking my direction and, with this new found awareness, I don’t think I will land myself in a similar situation again. It’s just not worth the moral compromise.

  • http://communiteez.wordpress.com/ communiTEEZ

    great ‘tips’ but the gem is just DOING ONE THING per day

    sooo true since it seems that though you have ALL THE TIME in the world after getting fired….all enthusiasm to do anything is zapped!

  • zzpitch

    I asked my godfather who was in his LATE 70’S Ath the time if you had to do it over what would you change he said that every 5-10 years he would take a year off and enjoy the world before he became to old to participate

  • Jason

    Fantastic. This post calmed the storm in my head and gave me some good ideas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alyson.stover Alyson Stover

    Crazy-good. Actually I was “laid off” 4 years ago on March 10th! And I totally took off in another direction for a couple of years, but am still sorting out the financial pay-my-bills thing. Will keep reading, thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/hera.mae.7 Hera Mae

    You are right James. I wasn’t exactly layed off by the company i was working in. I resigned because i couldn’t handle all the pressures, and i strongly felt that i don’t belong in the kind of industry they’re in. That particular event lead me into focusing more into health and fitness. I lost weight significantly, learned new ideas about life in the span of my intense dieting and exercising phase, found new friends, opened my eyes about things. I am loving my life more because of those. One particular positive effect on me was to always seek out new ideas. And i wouldn’t be reading good books or stumble upon your blog if it weren’t for all those circumstances. I love your writings James, I learn a lot from you. :)

  • Student @ Always Learning

    I feel overwhelmed at the information on the internet. Brain overload. Always learning what to weed in/out. Thanks for useful information, thanks for your insight and great advice, thanks, thanks, thanks! And special thanks to Michael L. for the “introduction.”

  • Amy

    I was let go from my job last week. I have several chronic conditions that are expensive to treat, and all of my security just went out the window. This is probably the most encouraging and inspiring thing I’ve read since then. Thank you!

  • Michael Eggebrecht

    Wow ,it’s like a mirror is talking to me. Only add, my wife can only lift 4 pounds hasn’t worked part time in three years, will never be able to work again. Realized ten years ago my long time dream of retiring on a sail boat was never to happen, her back couldn’t take small waves anymore. So just change direction, do sometime different ….. right. Well we both like to ” Play in the Dirt”. So I checked into starting a Vineyard,yep that’s right a Vineyard. Remember that Charles Swab commercial ” A Vineyard “.and then the guy laughs.I always grinned at that one. So now I have two full time jobs, My real job as a Tech. that keeps the lights on for hundreds of thousands of people should be rewarding, but I’d rather be in the vineyard. This having to do everything now ,because my lady isn’t able to do much is tough. My friends call me a workaholic, there right. But I always have a great tan and no beer belly. It really doesn’t pay to complain, I have noticed people avoid others who complain,so I’ll just grin and bear it a couple more years. Maybe start a Winery some day.

  • michael

    ok. good plan but it is all about me. so what magic words/actions do i tell my spouse/family.

  • Tee

    I have been fired by Hmrc for accesing customer record without business need also for sending obscene emails and also accidentely leaving my desk unlocked resulting in emails being sent from my computer. The forst incident was commited when a colleague asked me to check a national insurance number and the individuals name. I checked it and it was humeerous in which i responded back to him acknowledging why he sent me it, however intially i accsesed the record thinking its a business need as email content only stated check the name. This was the main incident amongest 3 which resulted in gross misconduct and leading to my dismissal. Where do i atand i have worked for this company for 7 years. Ive never had any sort of allegations against before and this occasion i was given 3 allegations 2 which were misconduct and the 1 which was gross misconduct. I have only shown improvement and progression since the latest incident and apologised. I was stil entrusted to carry on with work as normal whilst investigation. All 3 incidents have been commited on seperate occasions by existing staff who worked on the same floor as me and are still enployed. Can i get my job back i am currently appealing the decision.

  • $22726702

    I like your heartfelt essay. However, I have to disagree on the resentment thing. You may want to forgive and forget and move on as it is in you own self interest and not because they deserve it. Often times they don’t.

  • Vanillaisback

    Great thoughts and I really appreciate the insight. The Resentment thing is just not gonna work. I am absolutely astonished at the way the last Phony let me go, because he had nothing and could no longer vent the heat for dropping the ball. I was the 40ish white male. Go figure how he attacked me in a multicultural environment… He can discuss his actions with the Devil.

  • Loretta

    Hi James. I have literally just stumbled upon your blog. I hail from Johannesburg, in sunny South Africa. I am 30 and a chartered accountant (I can’t remember what the US equivalent name is right now…it’ll come to me). It’s rather ironic that all the posts I’ve read (although probably not that ironic considering the nature of the first post and the fact that there were links to related topics that got me rolling) relate to taking a risk. I work as a financial manager at a renewable energy company here. It’s an exciting new industry (largely because we have power issues all together in this part of the world) and I’ve been in it for the past four years and the CEO and CFO have expressed that they would like me to move to “the next level”. I’ve been running this small finance dept and the daily menial tasks, together with a relentless workload and constant pressure, have now left me tired and unenthused by the “opportunity” on the horizon. I am fortunate enough in that if I were to walk out now I could probably get by for about three months (yes… I’m risk averse and like to save so I have a “safety blanket” of sorts). This week…all I’ve been thinking about is “do I stay or do I go” (bet the tune has started playing in your head already). I have the strongest desire to just “go”… take some time off to regroup and f**k around… maybe watch bad sitcom reruns in my pjs while I eat Cheetos in a dark room. Or go to India and find myself…or some horrible stomach related infection….whatever…it just all sounds way more appealing than how I feel right now. However…. I am so afraid of regret… that in a few months I look back and think “you dipshit… you gave up such an amazing opportunity” and that I realize that I only felt this way because I avoided learning lessons that I know, as I sit here, I need to learn (like delegation and just setting boundaries – I take on too much and have great difficulty saying “no” and being “stern” with those who report to me). So finding myself somewhere else, feeling the same way just because I keep running from what it is I need to learn. I could go on… so I’m going to cut to the chase and ask you this: how do you differentiate between running away from your problems vs. just knowing that the place/position/etc. is just not working? I just feel so riddled with anxiety and fear on making the wrong choice that I’m not making any at all. But all I do these days is fantasize about just quitting (as I described above) or punching my work colleagues in the throat because I just feel so miserable most days and so anything anyone says or does just pisses me off already. I feel like saying “just…don’t breathe…sit in that corner…but don’t breathe”… Thanks for your time (if you read this) and a double thank you if you respond.

  • C. Alexander

    Well, it happened three hours ago. They left a message on my voicemail. No warning and no reason. I guess I’m in the revenge stage. Hopefully tomorrow I will have an idea of what I am going to do.

  • Sj

    Just a shout out to Mr Altucher. I enjoy every post, and love that you find time to spend right here, responding to comments. You are an inspiration!

  • http://www.heraklesconsulting.com Herakles

    I am a SW engineer with great academical records and a Master’s degree from McGill. I had 3 corporate jobs so far and I got fired from all of them. First one, I was moved to a department I hated so I did not work that much, I was really unhappy, I was thinking about resigning but they fired me. After that, another job after 2 weeks of unemployment. I got fired from that one as well, they told me it was a big corporate layoff and it was right, so they told me it was not because I did something wrong. After that, I lived off from parents’ money for 11 months but they said enough is enough so I had to go get another job. I got a high paying job. They fired me after 2 months by telling me: your communication skills suck. Than, I decided that corporate world is not for me, for now I only have a rental property which pays me almost minimum wage in Canada. I am looking forward to become a successful freelancer and get back to school to get my PhD degree but I hope I can become a freelancer and work for my own with only three years of corporate experience.

  • the_german_guy

    Hey dude… THANK you… i was really thinking of biting a bullet as i was fired a few days ago… THANK YOU!!

  • http://www.EdRodPOV.com/ EdRodPOV

    Great insight, and honest delivery, as always. James, you should consider hosting a one day speed dating type of marathon event where people sit with you for out of box ideas specific to their situation for 5 minutes. The line would be around the block and a good PR move to launch your upcoming book. Having said this, I believe you are in it more to spread awareness than to drum up sales, but it might serve that purpose.

    Another tip for folks is to listen to upbeat music first thing in the day. I defy anyone to listen to Counting Stars by One Republic and not feel like getting a move on.

  • Sophie

    I wish I had some good ideas about what kinds of digital books to write about that people would actually want to read…I don’t really have any special knowledge or skill to write about…

    • Sophie


      • Sophie

        And sorry, when you say 30 pages, do you mean the standard Word document page, double spaced, 12 point font? And if it’s less than 30 pages, should one even bother trying to sell it?

  • SaturdaySportsman

    Man, you said it. If it weren’t for student loans, I’d walk out tomorrow and go live in a tree somewhere.