How To Escape From A Bad Job

escape from a bad job

Making The Great Escape From a Bad Job

escape from a bad jobI can laugh about it now – or at least shake my head at the memory as I did eventually manage to escape from a bad job. But at the time it was truly awful. Those weekly then daily sales meetings, often after official work hours were over and I longed for home. I can even remember the room they were held in: the kitchen area of a 70’s nightmare building in a Glasgow industrial estate. This is how I managed to escape from a bad job and finally build my laptop lifestyle.

I remember waiting for my turn to report on what I had in the pipeline whilst listening to my colleagues presenting theirs with flowery, “talk a good job” techniques aimed at getting on the boss’s good side. Telling him what he wanted to hear – always a useful skill if you have it – especially in the midst of a recession.

Rock To A Hard Place

In those meetings it was clear that I wasn’t delivering the goods. The clients I had thought would come with me from the previous job hadn’t. Those that had were not impressed by the proposals and quotes they’d, out of loyalty to me, allowed me to submit. I had after all gone from a huge multi national company to a small, family business. They had fewer resources and vastly inferior equipment. I’d actually brought opportunities to the new company that they simply couldn’t fulfil. Some of them would have been the biggest jobs in their 40 year history.

Not unexpectedly things were to get worse. One morning I was summoned to a meeting. I was told I’d be based at their Edinburgh office until further notice. This involved a daily 100 mile commute to and from my home in Glasgow adding 2-3 unpaid hours added to my weekdays. I should have walked then but of course fear holds you back doesn’t it. You reason that its better to have work than to try and from escape from a bad job in a recession, especially in your late 40’s.

From Bad To Awful 

escape from a bad jobActually this worked well for a while. I got on well with the Edinburgh guys who ran their own game. The had zero respect for the MD or his incumbent sons with their well paid sinecures. They let me know in no uncertain terms that they’d cover me if I wanted to turn up late and leave early so as to miss the rush hour delays. That’s what they did after all. To say this was a dysfunctional family business is an understatement.

Behind the scenes and manipulating the boss man was a “golden boy” who in his eyes could do no wrong. He was universally despised by everyone else in the company. I learned that he was the latest in a long line of Wormtongue types employed by a boss keen to retire but unwilling to leave a decades old business to sons who had neither the ability or interest to run it. As is typical with these situations, no one was prepared to tell the boss that he was nurturing a sycophant. That left the field open for the puppet master to weave his self advancing schemes.

The Multi Task Syndrome

The next of these schemes to affect me came with another summons to another meeting. This time at the technical office (another fiercely independent island within the business). This meeting was between Golden boy, the technical director and myself. Here it was announced that a lucrative hotel contract had been won – largely due to my efforts. Naturally  the golden one took the credit (I was out of the way in Edinburgh after all ….) At this meeting a new role was proposed for me as I was the “ideal” candidate.

I was to be “Ta da!” the hotel’s in house technician and business development manager. At the same time I’d still be looking for new company business out with the hotel. Golden boy had struck this deal with the hotel to win the contract, with me in mind as the fall guy. Again I should have walked immediately. Since this was the veiled intention, out of bloody mindedness and again, fear, I didn’t.

I hadn’t been a lowly technician for years and told him I couldn’t see how all 3 roles could work together. Deaf ears… At least I was back in Glasgow, wanting more than ever to escape from a bad job.

Yes Things CAN Get Worse!

Things got worse when I saw where I would be based. I’d be in part of the hotel’s operations office where I could hot desk with another employee or in the banqueting office – basically a grotty cupboard. Neither was ideal. The internet connection was abysmal in both places and the phone was in constant use by all manner of staff. None of whom exactly embraced my appearance with open arms.

Somehow, with help from the technical manager who was sympathetic and assured me he would get me out of there as soon as possible, I managed to get by for 6 months. The worst six months of my working life before or since.

Why People Don’t Escape From A Bad Job Sooner

I’ll pause here because I’m sure if you’ve read this far you’ll be thinking “why the hell did this guy put up with this shit?” Surely escape from a bad job like this must have been possible. I assure you I’m thinking the same as I write it but hindsight is a wonderful thing. I had taken this job after being made redundant at a key time in my life: I’d just taken on a bigger mortgage to finance my partner’s business; I was 47 and the country/world was in the grip of a deep recession. Competition was fierce and I really didn’t see any other option.

I have since – and trust me, this story has a happy ending. One which may be of interest to you if you are looking for a way to escape from a bad job yourself.

To conclude this part of my tale: The hotel situation was a nightmare. I juggled setting up meeting rooms with projectors, PA systems, flip charts etc and sorting out technical problems. I had a small stock of basic kit in house but had to call on our tiny external team for anything else. Although there was a weekly meeting to discuss what was needed where for the following week, things never went to plan. People would forget to order things, or need them at short notice. Communication between the sales office and banqueting staff was awful. I’d often walk into a morning nightmare with two or three simultaneous situations to deal with.

A Bad Job Made Impossible…

As preferred supplier, the hotel was contracted to source all their AV needs from us. “Us” were in reality a very short staffed operation who struggled to respond quickly to unexpected calls for a stage or a 10 ft projector screen, PA system or 10 plasma screens. With limited staff available to respond – even if the required kit was actually available – guess who often had to muck in? Correct! Of course GB had assured the hotel that everything they needed at any time of day or night would be there in 15 minutes…

When I was out for lunch, on my way home or even before I left home in the morning I’d get panic calls from the hotel and would have to firefight them. In quiet spells I’d try and do some non hotel business development but would be constantly interrupted by porters, operations or sales staff. The internet would frequently lose connection. Somehow in the midst of all this I also had to attend meetings with potential clients looking for quotes for AV support at large events. It was simply impossible.

Weirdly during all this I was presented with a new company car. A bizarre situation as it sat in the hotel garage from 8am to 6pm after my 15 minute commutes. I was basically an in house hotel technician on a business development executive’s salary with a shiny new car. It couldn’t last and it didn’t.

My final series of meetings were to discuss my redundancy – one sure way to escape from a bad job. They were laying off the previous golden boy (now the financial controller) a secretary and myself. Much later I learned that my nemesis had finally been found out and let go. Karma.

Escape Plans 1, 2 and 3

escape from a bad jobWhilst I kick myself for taking all this on the chin for too long I did actually start my escape from a bad job plan during my months in hotel hell. I had not touched my redundancy pay out from the first job. I re-invested some of it in an e-commerce business. The conference and events industry is quiet in summer so, when the internet connection was bearable I worked on that. My hope was that I could build an income with it that would allow me to escape from a bad job and walk away from the whole sorry mess.

Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way and redundancy 2 was upon me before I’d made a penny online. To make a long story short, the e-commerce store was a dud. The franchisor eventually folded and I was able to get my money refunded. They had sold my store and hundreds like it under false claims that it could be in profit in months if their training was followed closely. The problem there was that their training was dated. Google began to get very seriously picky about what they saw as valuable online content and SEO strategies, these types of web stores fell foul of their criteria.


I Warned You This Was A Long One

Back then to square one. I’d managed to escape from a bad job but wasn’t any further forward. The few sales I had made with my e-commerce store had at least proved that the affiliate marketing model was sound. The store basically promoted other people’s products and I was paid commission on sales. The model was sound but in this case the framework was deeply flawed. I still saw an online, from home business as my best option but needed to find a more solid foundation to build it on.

Myself and many others who had bought e-commerce stores from the same franchisor had created forums and Facebook groups. After the franchises collapsed we kept in touch. I soon found myself in a world of online business opportunities. There seemed so many. From MLMs to network marketing ideas they all offered an escape from a bad job and an easier life. None of them held much appeal as they were all focussed on the “get rich quick”,  “churn and burn” – move on to the next one – mentality. But at some point I was approached about a new company called Banners Broker (BB) and another chapter began.

First Taste Of Churn And Burn

BB swept the online biz opp space in a wave of controversy. Based around internet banner advertising it was a mix of affiliate marketing, MLM and network marketing. You rented online advertising space and earned money from the revenue that BB generated by filling that space as an advertising banner broker. They sold your space to advertisers and paid you a %age of the fee. You could also purchase traffic to get your ad space filled and/or introduce others to the business and earn traffic (not money) as an introducing affiliate.

From day one scepticism was rife about ad banner brokerage and the whole idea of purchasing traffic. Nevertheless, BB grew arms and legs. They even partnered with Mastercard to provide a members credit card to withdraw earnings from. They held big events all over the world, one of which I attended. They hired big name trainers and PR people, opened offices in the UK and the Bahamas and set up their own online TV channel.

While it lasted I did pretty well but in what must be starting to seem to you like a familiar story, it all came to a painfully drawn out end. The online negativity became overwhelming. Horrified by cries of “Ponzi Scheme!”, “Fraud!” and “Scam!” from bloggers and disgruntled BB affiliates alike, Mastercard pulled the plug. Payouts that had become  sporadic anyway dried up completely. The big names faded themselves out of the picture and the weekly webinars became little more than a joke.

Looks Like A Duck? Probably A Duck

As far as I know the BB management are still tied up in court with millions owing to affiliates. It does however seem like these millions never actually existed or were spent long ago. I doubt we will ever know whether the BB founder was a genius with a great idea but a poor grasp of business or a very smart fraudster. Quite a few advertising based programmes emerged during and after BB’s 3 years in the sun. Some are still around but I wasn’t tempted. Next.

 After the BB drama had died down I messaged a friend who had built a large business with BB to ask what he was doing now. He recommended a company that I’ve been with ever since by passing me a link to their free video series. On watching those I knew immediately that this was something solid.

I was understandably cautious about investing in anything else online. I was definitely not looking for a franchised e-commerce store and very definitely not a programme of any kind based on a “new” business model. I’d learned a thing or two along the way – mainly how not to build a sustainable online business – so I obviously wanted to learn how to do it right.

In their video series, the founders of that business start by explaining how most people who start trying to make money online find themselves on a similar journey to mine. They went on to explain how they avoided that and built numerous 6 and 7 figure online businesses. They’d sold all sorts of existing products to people who wanted them rather than trying to create something from nothing. Both of these guys had managed to escape from a bad job years ago.

Escape From A Bad Job – Permanently

They explained how they mastered the skills of internet marketing, affiliate marketing and attraction marketing.

 Then they decided to build a community style academy to pass those skills on. They built a platform that was part education, part self development and part affiliate partnership. Central to it is a digital business system that reverse engineered their own success. This  is a step by step digital marketing system. It can be used to promote anything on the internet including (as an option) the platform itself.

So here was an opportunity to gain a hugely valuable skill set and a high commission affiliate business in one. A business based not on hot air but on a product suite based around learning and teaching how to properly make money online. Actually their mission is much deeper than that but at the time I was purely interested in getting an income flowing again. When I saw the back office after joining and started working through the training and set up modules I was awe struck.

Finally – The Real Deal

Using the system I was very quickly building websites, setting up and integrating list building software, automation and sales pages. It was all push button simple with no programming or coding of any kind. On the affiliate partnership side of things the marketing materials and integration tools were remarkable. The recorded and live training available covered every aspect of marketing goods and services online.

3 years later I’m in the place I want to be. I’ve upgraded my membership several times. As an affiliate with the business am earning very lucrative commissions selling high value learning products. I have built several other websites selling affiliate products in areas around my own passions. I have guitar playing and photography sites.  I’ve attended a number of live events, made a lot of friends and am part of a growing, global community of digital entrepreneurs. Lastly I’ve been able to relocate to the coast and have been able to grow my partner’s traditional business here through digital marketing. It doesn’t look like I’ll ever need to escape from a bad job again.

The company is SFM (Six Figure Mentors) and DEA (Digital Experts Academy) Built by Stuart Ross and Jay Kubassek, both of whom I’ve now met several times. They continue to move towards their goal of helping millions of people become financially independent through leveraging digital marketing. Their training and systems are continually updated, improved and expanded. If you’d like to learn more (maybe you need to escape from a bad job?) why not click on the link below to subscribe for the latest free 7 day video series.

escape from a bad job

By Dave Menzies