It’s been about a week since the last time I came to work at PICR- a place I spent the last year and eight months at. I didn’t share anything earlier for primarily two reasons: I needed to put all thoughts in perspective, and I was too busy and simply didn’t have time, but first let me start from the beginning:

About two years ago I started looking for a job. I was working full time at my church and after three years it was time to move on to a new marketplace. That’s when I got into PICR (which was Finic back then). It was a true start-up: small team, small office, lots of work, wearing different hats and learning something new every day. I wrote a blog before about things I’ve learned in the first year, but in reality, there was so much more. I feel like I grew exponentially week after week. From Graphic & UI designer and project manager to UX designer and digital marketing specialist all in a short period. But one morning we’ve got a message in the company chat group:

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I’d be lying if i’d say I didn’t expect it. The company was burning $240K+ per month not making any money at all, market fit wasn’t going as expected and change had to happen. Some people were hoping for just cancellation of free lunches, smaller office, etc. but leadership decided to cut the team in half, so 10 people (everyone but developers and one designer) were laid off that day. I cant judge until i’ll have a company my self and lean to believe it was a nessesary move. For me it was sad for two reasons: I truly believe in the company’s future and really enjoyed the team we had! (also free lunches were very nice)

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On the other note, I wasn’t sad. I knew “God is making all things for my good” so if this is what it would require, i’m totally fine with that! Too often we put our hopes into fragile things like work, government or people and when they are taken from under our feet, we get frustrated, confused or even scared. I always remind myself that I can’t allow it to be true for me. My hope is in God alone! He brought me through highs and lows, good times and not so good, and in the end, things really DID work for the good.

Expect the unexpected

I grew up in Russia when the common belief was that it’s more safe to work for somebody than to own your own business. It was grained into me pretty deeply and only during the last few years this belief was questioned and slowly took apart piece by piece. I won’t dwell on this too much, but while I respect the leadership I had at Picr and enjoy serving the vision, I know sometimes “you have to serve somebody else’s vision faithfully before God will give you yours”

Tomorrow is never promised

If you are like me, you are very goal oriented and results driven. While it’s a very good characteristic to have, there is a danger hidden in it- to start living by clock instead of compass! I’ve talked about it in previous blog post, but basically it means we dive so deep into what we are doing and forget about what matters the most. As Dale Partridge likes to say “Never get too busy making a living you forget to make a life.” After i was laid off, i received a bigger check for all the paid vacation time i didn’t use and our first thought was to get a new car to replace one of the two we have right now. Great idea, right? I thought so too, until I realized that materialism is a very dangerous trap i don’t want to end up in, so instead I want make memories and spend quality time with people I love! In other words i want to repeat family vacation in Mexico we had last year

mexico-family

Hustle is easier when you’re on fire

I always thought i’m the worst sales person ever. I believed i’d hate selling directly face to face to people. But then I’ve got a job in direct sales while living in Dallas and I kind of enjoyed it. Then there was Picr and we started focusing on bringing photographers to the platform. Not direct sales, of course, but i enjoyed this process so much that end up on boarding 1/3 of all photographers myself! I’ve learned that it’s easy to talk to people when you believe in what you have to offer them. People feel it too, that’s why i think so many Portland photographers jumped on the vision company had.

The day i got laid off, i knew i am on the mission. I didn’t jump on applying for jobs, but somehow i had few very profound phone calls with people from different states (and even countries) i’ve never met before but after those calls I knew we are going to work together! There is an interesting tendency in humans to start discovering new talents, connections, ideas or directions when things gets heated or hard. During the last two years I collaborated with brands and organizations like Rags to Raches, McDonals, Harry’s Razor, Socality, xxxChurch, iParent.tv, etc. on instagram, helped and consulted many small brands with improving visual brand appearance, implementing profitable social media strategies and increasing online sales and started amazing fast growing online community. This digital world became such an exciting place! 

Everything happens for a reason and even when we can’t see it, looking back later it will be clear good thing that happened to us. If you are going through a not-so-easy time in your life (either work related, family related or any other area of life), it might be easy to be upset with people, circumstances or even God, but remember that sometimes we win, sometimes we learn and let me end with a quote from John Maxwell: