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You're Fired!

Congratulations on getting canned. Now you can finally do what you want to do-on your own terms.

When Frank Wood, the 36-year-old owner of Key-Logic LLC, a computer education center in Windsor, Connecticut, concluded a recent presentation with a prospective client, the president of the client company remarked, "Do you realize your company is nearly the most expensive bid we have received for this project?" Not missing a beat, Wood calmly replied: "I'm so very sorry. We pride ourselves on being the most expensive!"

Key-Logic got the contract. Such confidence in his product has helped Wood and his outstanding team build a successful $2 million company in the eight years since Wood was fired from his previous job. Shortly after new owners took over the company, Wood's entire work unit was cut, despite its high profitability and strong contributions to the company. Recently married and a new homeowner, Wood initially considered seeking another job, but not for long. One day in the shower, he said to himself, "Go for it!" and decided to start his own business.

Wood spent the next few weeks writing training manuals 12 to 14 hours a day, then began seeking business from colleagues who knew about his talent for computer training. He was breaking even within four months. Today, he's built a successful business with three branches, a global training presence and a solid reputation for quality.

The experience of being fired can, in fact, be a catalyst for many-a jump start on building a life as an entrepreneur, according to Dr. Alan Weiss, president of the Rhode Island management consulting firm Summit Consulting Group Inc. And author of Million Dollar Consulting (Mcgraw Hill, $15, 800-766-7935). Weiss' very successful company was launched more than 15 years ago when he was fired from the presidency of a consulting company. "Traumas shake people out of lethargy," notes Weiss. "They allow them to buy into a new course of action. Individuals often need emotional upheaval to make it happen. In many cases, trauma actually helps to motivate."

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This article was originally published in the May 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: You're Fired!.

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