As many of you may know, I recently founded a company called One Loop Consulting, Incorporated. The goal of OLCI is to assist entrepreneurs in establishing a strong business foundation by providing legal and financial consulting for that revolves around the faith, family, finances, and desire for freedom by the entrepreneur. When I started OLCI I was performing contract legal work for a large oil and gas company (OC). Three months ago, in the beginning of July, I was temporarily laid off as the legal matter was going through a transition phase. During that time, I decided that it was time for me to start the business. I had been putting off my entrepreneur goals for over three years.
When the oil and gas project halted in July, I concluded that now was the time to completely sever ties with the OC; however, I did not inform my recruiter about my decision. Not being privy to my now undeniable disdain for the OC, my recruiter contacted me about a new project that was to begin in August. This was unfortunate. I had already decided that the job was not what I wanted, because I was extremely unhappy and uncomfortable with the work I was performing. The primary problem I had with the OC was that I grew to believe that out of callousness and greed, it purposely performed acts that hurt millions of disenfranchised people. As an advocate for this subset of the population, I could no longer sit by and pretend that the work I was doing for the OC was okay and I was just “pushing paper.” Beginning in year one of the two years I was on that particular project, I could clearly hear my subconscious telling me that I was kidding myself if I felt that my bottom basement job was not in any way causing harm to a nation of people who had no voice. I decided that enough was enough.
Instead of actively taking a stand, however, I took the passive resistance approach and pretended as if I did not receive her e-mail correspondence about the upcoming project. At the time, I took this approach because I was receiving unemployment and I knew that my benefits would end if I reported that I had recently turned down a job offer. One of the requirements of receiving unemployment was that you could not decline an opportunity that was at least 80% of your previous income. Thus, instead of responding to my recruiter, I waited. I decided not to contact her or unemployment for 30 days hoping that things would die down and, perhaps, she would have either forgotten about me or she would not tell them I turned down a job because the project would have been over at that point. Once those 30 days were up, I decided to re-file for unemployment. Three days after filing the paperwork, my recruiter not only e-mailed me, but she called and texted me about a new project. This is something she never does.
After I received the call, I considered where my family was financially with our business and personal expenses, and I told my husband that I might think about returning for a short time in order to quickly achieve a special business goal that I set. I told him I could return and work until December 2013- the original date I chose during the lay-off for officially giving my recruiter the “Good-bye” speech. My return, however, was contingent upon one factor- that it not be a position with the OC. Since my recruiter does not give many assignment details before you agree to work, for the first time ever I had to outright ask if the project was one with the OC. She said that it was. The result of that text confirmation was me sending her the following message, “Okay. I will have to decline. I can no longer work for (Company Name Withheld) with a good conscience. Thank you for reaching out to me.”
Initially, I was going to add, “But if something non (Company Name Withheld) related comes up, please consider me for that project.” Before I could type the words, however, that Voice inside told me to just send the text and not look back. I was not only time for me to free myself from the OC, it was time for me to free myself from my recruiter. Therefore, I pressed send, and just assume it was over. I had no idea she would text me back- 10 minutes layer- asking me what case was I referring to and that the OC had several matters that were ongoing. That last statement in and of itself should have been a clue as to why I was no longer working for this conglomerate. Since my text obviously did not do the job, I responded with this e-mail:
I wanted to follow-up on our conversation from yesterday. I am not comfortable working any (Company Name Withheld) matter that would include defending them for any reason. It is not only because of what I read about their actions in (Location Withheld), but they also have a history of harming citizens in the U.S as well as numerous countries abroad. Of course, their lawyers are good enough to have most of this stuff settled or dropped, but it does not negate even the behavior they have admitted and then halfheartedly “remediated,” and, not to mention, the current gas fracking scandal.
As a mother and an advocate for disenfranchised persons, I simply cannot sit blindly by and tell myself that I am only pushing paper in order to make money for a company who has committed even the admitted acts of (Company Name Withheld). At some point, you have to stand up for your beliefs even if it means that you suffer the consequences.
The consequences I was referring to was the fact that I would no longer be eligible to receive the extra money we would have gotten from the unemployment monies. I, however, had to make the affirmative decision that no amount of money, be it working for the OC unemployment benefits, was worth me sacrificing my principles. Moreover, it was time for me to step out on faith and free myself.
Two of the major components of everything I do in my spiritual, personal, and business life are having radical faith and walking in true freedom. How could I, then, remain at a job where I knew it was time to leave over a year ago all because of fear that I may not make it as an entrepreneur? How could I embark upon the ministry journey that I have been given to open an academy with my husband that focuses on freedom and faith if I have not expressed either because of my vice grip on a dead job and unemployment pennies. The answer was, I could not.
I could not stay where I was not purposed. I could not continue to walk in fear and hold on to that which required me letting go. I must walk in faith. I must insist upon purposely pursuing freedom. If I do not do these things, I would be a hypocrite and my personal and entrepreneur goals would fail. I could not be successful telling other entrepreneurs to walk in faith and freedom and pursue their entrepreneur dream when I could not do that very thing myself. So, when my next budding entrepreneur comes to me with doubts about whether she can really leave her job to pursue her dream, I can smile and say with confidence, “Yes, you can. You just have to free yourself from fear and believe that you will succeed. Let me show you how.”