From Setback to Comeback

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Written By Colin Graves

In October 2018, amidst a shakeup at work, my boss informed me that he was transferring me from the bank branch I had managed for three years to another location about 25 miles away.

Same job, same pay, but a much smaller team.

He didn’t call it a demotion, but I knew it was, and everyone around me would know it, too.

My initial reaction was anger. How could he do this? After all, we were approaching the end of the fiscal year, and my team had delivered solid results. Purely from a business standpoint, the move was hardly fair.

After dwelling on it for a few days, I realized what hurt the most — my bruised ego.

I suddenly felt unvalued by the company I’d been loyal to for 20 years. In my boss’s eyes, my stock had dropped, and he was hitting the sell button.

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At the moment, I saw it as a major setback.

Or was it an opportunity? A chance to reevaluate my goals?

After all, it was only a few months earlier that I had started my side hustle. I had already determined that I would build a work-from-anywhere business and quit my job at some point in the future.

I had already decided to climb DOWN the corporate ladder.

I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started looking for the positives in my situation:

  1. I wasn’t losing any pay.
  2. My job level stayed the same.
  3. My new role would have less responsibility aka less stress.
  4. With a smaller team and shorter hours, I could leave the office by 5 PM. (I had become accustomed to working until eight or 8:30 at least two evenings a week).

And while the new office was 25 miles away, it was 25 miles closer to my house.

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I went from setback to comeback within about a week.

My boss didn’t believe in me? I would use it as fuel to accomplish something far more meaningful than any corporate job could give me.

Within six months, I increased my side hustle income to $2000/month, then $4000/month. The funny thing is that over the next couple of years, I was offered several promotions.

I turned them all down.

My “demotion” was paving the way for me to quit my job and build a business on my terms, and in October 2022, I walked away for good.

— Colin

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