For the first time in my adult life, I was broke, jobless, and out of options. Holding back a few tears, I phoned a former mentor, hoping he could supply a miracle or two.
When I arrived at my mentor’s office, he invited me to sit. Ashamed of my circumstances, I said nothing, but he forced me to vomit out the truth about my fledgling business.
My one shot at entrepreneurship had collapsed, but I refused to recognize it’s death, clinging to the delusion that I could resurrect it. All the while, my bank account bled until only wisps of life remained.
“Your business is dead,” he said.
Part of me sensed it months earlier. That’s why I hedged and prepared for life after entrepreneurship. I explained to my mentor how I had spent a lot of time acquiring skills for a new career and needed help moving forward.
“New skills?” he asked. “Teach me something.”
So, I did. He responded with questions and took notes as I answered. For the first time in almost a year, I felt useful.
We chatted for a few minutes longer, and then he looked at his notes again.
“I should share this with my team,” he said. He then rattled off a few ideas about how his team might benefit.
Okay, I thought. He really did find my knowledge of Project Management valuable. I felt validated. We finally got down to the meat of the conversation. I needed help but didn’t have the funds to hire someone of his caliber to assist me.
He offered to coach me for free, but with one catch. He’d counsel me, but I’d have to do the work, take actions that would push me out of my comfort zone, and never question his instructions. I agreed since I had no other options.
Two days later, I called almost everyone in my network and asked if they could connect me with a hiring manager. The few that didn’t rebuff me were noncommital. My mentor had me call back and act pushy. I hated doing that, but I did it. And it worked.
Two weeks later, I flew to New York City and received a verbal commitment for a six-figure job — a position way beyond my…