You’re Fired!

By: Dan Kennedy on: August 1st, 2011 19 Comments

A while back, Donald Trump became the 2,327th person to get a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

Almost before the glue dried, but then his TV show was rather abruptly cancelled. Somebody at NBC called and said: “You’re Fired.”

That’s life.

Tom Monaghan once said he went from the World’s Wonder Boy to the Village Idiot almost overnight. Personally, I’ve never actually been fired, but there are plenty of times when I should be, but if I fire me, there’ll be nobody to do the work. I know what ignominy is. I’ve been in bankruptcy court, I’ve been thrown out of a trade association, I’ve been served divorce papers.

At some point, usually more than once, everybody who’s doing much of anything gets their teeth kicked in. Goes from being the most popular king to the outcast nobody admits knowing. Has a series of really, really, really bad days. Fortunes turn.

Michael Eisener led a renaissance at Disney and was then driven from the kingdom. He’s far from the first or last CEO to have that experience.

There’s little of interest in any of these many fall-from-grace stories, although the public and the press take so much delight in the embarrassing crashes off pedestals you can almost hear a collective snarling and chewing of bones.

Most of the fall from grace stories are maudlin and representative of remarkable stupidity and smallness and arrogance or greed or absence of control, and poking around in all that only leads to a need to shower.

What’s interesting and instructive is those who are unabashed, who are quickly resilient, who achieve redemption, who have a greater and grander next act. From those people, there are philosophical, attitudinal and methodical, operational object lessons. A comeback story is infinitely more instructive than a success story.

Over the long haul, this ‘resiliency’ may be the single most important of all personal characteristics.

How well you can take a punch.

How quickly you can recover.

How you can weather storms of criticism or humiliation. How adept you are at reinvention.

If you want to cultivate a characteristic, this is the one. And one way to do so is with the little stuff. The day to day.

A lot of people are easily de-railed. Easily put into a funk lasting hours or even days.

Easily compromise or sacrifice their agenda. The breeze from a missed punch is sufficient to send them to the canvas. They wonder why they don’t get a lot more accomplished. It’s their glass jaw.

Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.


Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to

19 Responses

  1. Larry H says:

    You are right on, Dan. I like the word resilience better than persistence. Persistence always seems like a motivational speaker telling me to keep-on-keeping-on, where to me resilience is a skill and an attitude that says I will find a way to bounce back – first in the daily struggles of everyday life & also in the big areas of life where the stakes are high and our impact is needed to make a difference in the world.

  2. Jorge says:

    Let’s cultivate a fast recovery when life tries to knock us down =)

    Great stuff Dan, good to see you posting often again

  3. “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
    — Calvin Coolidge

    Couldn’t say it better :)

  4. Scott Martin says:

    That’s a tremendous post, Dan, and ‘never giving up’ is a vital trait for the entrepreneur…for anyone who wants to be successful.

    Taking a punch is a lot easier when you have a database of qualified prospects and leads. So I encourage everyone who reads this blog to build and maintain your list: it’s the ultimate insurance policy.

  5. Chris Brown says:

    If a person has set backs in their success 2 thing happen 1) they are not improving themselves 2) They have not developed themselves to be the person who they need to be to have success.

    All successful people have set backs at one point in their lives. My first business I was a distributor for another company I made very little in 9 months my 9th month I made $15K.

    The company I was a distributor for was then out of business from the FTC 45 days latter.

    I had problems in my next business because I had not developed myself to be who I need to be.

    Chris Brown

  6. Quentin Pain says:

    Brilliant Dan. It all comes down to experience and confidence in the end I guess. If you want to see resilience, look no further than Jack Bauer 😉

  7. John Parsons says:

    nice article – need to bounce back into success so am attending seminar wih Chris Cardell in london 2 weeks time, need to get into the information and education business
    thanks John, UK Chiropractor extroadinaire

  8. Tom says:


    As a new guy to your site and blog, I see this post similiar to what the Army (I’m a retired 20yr vet) has gone to with what they call Master Resiliency Trainers.

    It’s kind of along the lines that one learns from their mistakes, in life or business, we hope.

    Now, the real reason I am responding, besides sharing my thoughts, is to ask one question.

    If a guy like me is to buy what the kool-aid sort of speaking and listen to your advice, have you been like these guys above in your story and gotten your teeth kicked in and knocked down? If so, how long ago was it, because all the information you have put out according to your books or site is you have been doing this for 20+ years helping entrepreurs reach success, but you mention nothing about your failures, what businesses you have ran successfully or unsuccessfully, struggles in and out of school or college, etc…

    If a new guy like me who is military educated, college educated, and have seen my life and businesses full of setbacks, why should I follow your advice or listen to what you are selling if I don’t see or read any issues where you too had to be resilient, know what I mean?

    Well, if you could respond to the blog, since you don’t do email, that would be cool.

    Thanks for allowing me to come and post to your blog.



  9. miltownkid says:

    I think I was “blessed” with being bipolar. You won’t hear that from a lot of people diagnosed with bipolar (or have a close friend or family member who has been). I say blessed because of what I’ve gotten to experience 4 times in my life now. Coming up from the ROCK rock bottom. The falling down isn’t very fun (especially that first time), but coming back feels GREAT! Even better is knowing that you CAN come back! I see so many people scared to do… anything because they’re worried about this, that and the other thing. Once you know rock bottom isn’t a place you live, but a place that’s visited, it’s not so scary. Almost exactly 2 years ago from today I had my 4th manic episode. I freaked out my girlfriend, mildly attacked my best friend and cops threw me in the back of a paddy wagon… When I got out of the mental hospital I had to move in with my mom and grandma (who live in Iowa) and… recover. It took me a year to move back to my home town, got my girlfriend back a year and a half later and now, 2 years later, I’m getting the opportunity to learn more “secrets to success” from a legend… in person! 😀 (I even got invited to the VIP dinner because I won a contest.)

    This was a fitting post for me to read to start the event! :)

  10. Bill Lyon says:

    Au contrare Chris. You may have failed because you took a risk . Saying nothing happens runs contrary to several universal laws.
    1. Nothing happens inside your comfort zone.
    2. You learn from your failures, not your success.
    3. we live in a world of dualities… It is impossible to know success without knowing failure
    4. Calm seas never made a good sailor.

  11. Jon Simons says:

    I agree, self employment is not for those who can’t take set backs in their stride. This may well be why most people prefer employment to self employment, in theory it’s a much lower risk proposition.

    And I’m paraphrasing here, but I remember someone telling me that people who succeed early and easily often are unable to replicate that success when it fades since they didn’t know exactly what they did right, whereas someone who takes a while to succeed, is able to sustain it, and replicate it with some sort of predictability.

  12. stephanie says:

    valuable!!! the article is actually the best on this deserving topic. I fit in with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your future updates. Saying thanks will not just be enough, for the wonderful lucidity in your writing.

  13. Suzanne says:

    Nice words. I’ve always had a “never give up” attitude thanks to my good ol’ dad, international entrepreneur and risk taker. When you’ve grown up hearing that you should never give up, it is ingrained in your personality. Your point is well taken – yes it takes guts and perseverance to get back up again!

  14. Thomas John says:

    “Never give up. Never surrender.” ~Galaxy Quest

  15. elpidio says:

    I agree with Cris Brown for the two things he mentioned, nevertheless we need to improved our ability to do something better for good to our career.

  16. Shaun says:

    “What’s interesting and instructive is those who are unabashed, who are quickly resilient, who achieve redemption, who have a greater and grander next act. From those people, there are philosophical, attitudinal and methodical, operational object lessons. A comeback story is infinitely more instructive than a success story.”

    Love this post. This is definitely a mindset.

  17. Dianne says:

    Good post.

  18. The very last post (in a very long time!) on Dan Kennedy’s blog is titled “You’re Fired.”

    Did we all get fired, or what?

    That’s funny!

  19. That is a nice story. And very inspiring story.

Leave a Comment