Recently had a fascinating conversation with a small business owner, who I met via LinkedIn. I had put out some feelers to see if laid-off folks would be willing to share their stories with me.

Will Martin wrote me back with his story. It is a story of finding your dream and of turning a bad situation into a good one.

Will was an architect for a company that was getting ready to grow. The owners were grooming him to take a management position, and perhaps even one day, take over.

So despite the intensity of their current school construction project, Will put himself through an MBA program at night.

Shortly after finishing the degree, the school project ended with a financial hit to the firm. His job prospects soon evaporated and Will was left jobless and over qualified for many openings. Though he was employed at various firms over the next few years, his ideas for growth and innovation were squandered.

One company refused to listen to his ideas about building a website. Another turned down Millions of dollars worth of contracts that he had uncovered.

What struck me most about his story was the fact that getting laid off had been a real blessing for him. It took him a month to get a website, where at a company, it had taken 5 years. He is going after business that he enjoys, at a company, most of his contracts were overlooked.

And the most amazing thing he shared with me was that even though he struggles to find business every month, and they have to cut costs like crazy, he is happier than ever.

If you were laid off, what has that experience taught you about yourself?

What hidden talent or aspirations were suddenly revealed when you went to bed knowing you didn’t have a job anymore?

If you live in Washington State and have some construction or renovation work, look up Will Martin. He’ll greet you with a smile.

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