June 22, 1985 the general manager of personnel at LTV Steel laid me off. My birthday was eight days away; my wife was three months pregnant. It was late on a Friday afternoon. I was devastated.
By December I’d accepted a straight commission job at Louis Thomas Masterson & Company. I sold and delivered outplacement services; I got paid only when the business came in. No salary and no benefits. I was full of anticipation. I was scared to death.
By March of 1986 I’d made nearly no money, suffered from telephone call reluctance and was down about my situation. Everything about the work was a struggle. Then the call from LTV came. “Ralph, would you like your old job back? We need you.”
I loved the steel business. I worked summers at US Steel during college. My work at LTV Steel had been fun and challenging.
But I said, “No thanks.” I rejected going back to a steady pay check and a business I loved.
My life long dream was to own a business. I had to learn to sell if owning a business was ever to be in the cards. There was no better or tougher decision I could have made. Now I have a better business than Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, it's my own. Go for it!