Have you ever been fired from a job before? I have.

And it was my own company. 

But to be honest, I’m not sure I’ve ever met a successful entrepreneur who hasn’t been fired from a job before… But then again, as entrepreneurs, we were never built to work for others. 

It’s because we have a vision. And if you’re anything like me, you don’t stop until you achieve your vision.

But sometimes it takes us a few tries before we bring that vision fully into focus… That’s certainly what happened to me. 

When I was in my twenties, I built my first business. It quickly became a franchise with thousands of locations across the country. I had single-handedly raised millions of dollars in private equity, was on the verge of explosive growth, and had taken the company public…

I was 28, and the youngest person ever to ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange. I was on top of the world. 

I remember being invited to a meeting in New York City with my investors—they flew me out from the West Coast. 

I wrongfully assumed I was walking into a celebration… But I could not have been more wrong. 

When you’re beholden to others, you’ve let go of your control

What I learned was that the private equity firm that was backing me (or, that I thought was backing me) wanted to sell. 

But of course, I didn’t want to sell. This company was my baby. We were on the edge of unimaginable, explosive growth. I intended to see that through. 

But here’s what happens when you don’t see eye to eye with private equity: You get replaced. 

I was moved from my CEO role and was given a new role as Chairman, which was essentially a consolation designed to push me out entirely. 

So I resigned. It was a devastating experience, but one that I learned an incredibly valuable lesson from. 

Because you see… when you’re working with private equity, you’re playing by their rules. And I made a grave misstep. By using other people’s money to back my dream, I essentially gave my dream away without even realizing it… 

I envisioned it. I grew and scaled it. I put my blood, sweat, and tears into it, and then was pushed out as it hit its peak. 

So I vowed I’d never let that happen again. 

Learn your lesson. Brush yourself off. And keep going. 

Building this business was my biggest professional accomplishment, but I didn’t want that negative experience to define me. 

I was determined to do something even bigger and better than I had with that business, but I wasn’t sure where to start. 

So I did what I believe all entrepreneurs should do: I found a mentor. 

It really doesn’t matter how successful you are, having the right mindset and the right mentor will help you better understand where you currently stand so that you can achieve your long-term goals…

I vowed that I’d never let anyone control my destiny again in that way. And with the right guidance, I was able to shift my perspective from one of failure, to one of limitless possibilities. 

So I took the lessons that I learned from my success and my defeat and I turned them into a brand new company. I didn’t rely on investors this time, and was determined to never give up the control

I was going to find great people, serve great clients, and scale this business in a way that the industry had never seen before. And that’s exactly what I did.

In 2016, I sold this company — a company that I started from scratch — for $151 million at 77X EBITDA.

It took me a long time to understand that my experience with my first company was a lesson and that I could use that lesson to do one of two things…

I could wallow in self-pity, focus my energy on being a victim, and spend the rest of my life hung up on a situation that had already passed me by…

… or I could use that experience as fuel to push me to greater and greater levels of success.

Now, with Cardone Ventures, I’m using the lessons I learned to create even more success for the business owners we work with, as well as for my team and for my family. 

What lessons have you learned in life that can push you forward? Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years? If you want to 10X your life, you need to start today. Get a jumpstart by attending the next Cardone Ventures event, a gathering of business leaders that will give you the skill and the will to succeed! Register now!