Before Erik Allen co-founded basics brand Buck Mason with his Venice Beach neighbor Sasha Koehn, he got fired from his job as Director of Sales for a well-funded fashion group. Instead of letting the experience crush his confidence, or playing the blame game, he used the loss as a opportunity for personal growth and self reflection.
“I realized that didn't know how to communicate my message, I was impatient, and cocky. I had all of these personality things. Getting fired caused me to look back and go, 'Okay, well, what do I need to work on and how can I become a better leader and communicator?' How can I get people to believe my vision because, obviously, I couldn't get these guys and this team to follow me. Obviously there are some things I need to change.
"I was reading Steve Jobs right around this time and there's that one point in the book where he gets fired and it's just so crazy, what he accomplished after getting fired. I think reading and trying to learn from people who have gone through those experiences—times when maybe the vision or ideas were right, but the method was off—helped me a lot. The more you study history, the more you realize that you aren't the only one."