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Lemonade: It’s Not A Pink Slip, It’s a Blank Page

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The first thing I thought of when I watched Lemonade was – “Wow, I’m surprised no one else has made a movie like this before.” The economy is slowly recovering, job losses are slowing, but we’re living in a world where 10%+ of the people who want to have a job, can’t get one and it was only until today, this morning actually, that I saw an uplifting and powerful movie about how being fired isn’t always a bad thing.

The movie itself is a mere 35 minutes and is beautifully done, with interviews of recent fired people (from advertising) who took what was an otherwise horrible experience (I’ve been fired before, though not as jarring as any of their stories) and made it a very powerful one. Some started new businesses, either in an unrelated field or as freelancers. Some focused on other endeavors like charitable and philanthropic work, painting, yoga, … you name it.

Lemonade is a very appropriate title. If you have the time, you can watch it in its entirety here:

If you don’t… find some, you won’t be disappointed.

My favorite quote (of many that I really liked):

“You don’t have to quit your job to change your life. You can just incorporate more of what you love into your every day and it makes the biggest difference in the world.”
     – Michelle Pfennighaus (yoga and health counselor)

The movie was made by Erik Proulx (he’s in his own movie, he’s the guy who started Please Feed the Animals). Fantastic job man.

{ 29 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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29 Responses to “Lemonade: It’s Not A Pink Slip, It’s a Blank Page”

  1. ParisGirl111 says:

    What an awesome movie! I love the lady with the Yoga story..her face is beaming. You can really tell that she is HAPPY. :) lol I started crying halfway through the movie.

  2. Donald says:

    I hate to rain on everybody’s happy party, but I have to totally disagree. Nobody I know has ever ever been happy with being fired. Stories like this post and the movie do not help anybody I know, but ultimately, make people more angry. People of considerable means have the ability and good fortune to be able to steer their own financial future, but the majority of working people have no such choice.

    I am not advocating tears and the fetal position, but let’s be realistic here. It is way too early for these tired “lemons into lemonade” stories. Has everyone drank the kool-aid that Wall street is serving?

    Lastly, I think the phrase “jobless recovery” is an oxymoron and the Emperor has no clothes!

    • Jim says:

      There are two things that surprise me about your comment:
      1. You say you aren’t advocating tears and a fetal position but you are slamming people who are trying to turn the dialogue towards something positive. There is a silver lining to every cloud and they’re pointing out that things aren’t helpless, even if you believe they are. It’s not way too early, it’s the perfect time. You can’t rally around a “woe is me” attitude and rally is exactly what we need to do.

      2. How’d Wall Street get involved?

      • Donald says:

        Wall street is involved with the daily deluge that the “economy is improving..” and we are having a “jobless recovery”

        It just worries me that people are easily deluded into think everyone is turning lemons into lemonade and suffering has somehow mysteriously gone away.

        This post just touched a nerve.

        • Jim says:

          No one said everyone is turning lemons into lemonade and no one is saying that the suffering has disappeared, but I am saying that things are better than they were a year ago and they are constantly improving. If you think we are in the same place today as a year ago, then you need to read more. I think you are letting your emotions cloud your vision.

    • I’d have to watch the beginning of the film again but having just finished it, I don’t remember anyone saying they were, “…happy with being fired.” Quite the opposite.

      Everyone in the film pointed out that you have choices when confronted with situations in which you have little or no control. This doesn’t have anything to do with Wall Street or politics. It has to do with being proactive, positive, and being brave enough to take a chance at doing what you love instead of doing what you think you have to do.

      I don’t personally know a single person, who works for someone else, that would continue to go to work each day if they weren’t getting a paycheck at the end of the week. But myself, my wife, and everyone I know that owns their own business continue to get up every day and work longer and harder (than our cubical-dwelling friends), doing what we love, while enjoying the freedom and benefits of owning our own companies and controlling our own lives and schedules.

      The people in the film found that to be true also. Once they were pushed out of their safety nest.

  3. (Donald)
    EVERYBODY has a choice. Our thoughts control our actions and circumstances. This video is exactly what I needed today! Thanks. “Considerable means” and “good fortune” are the result of positive thought. A great book on this subject is “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen which was written during the great depression.

  4. BrianC says:

    Very interesting. I have recently been thinking of ways to increase the amount of time I spend doing what interests me rather than what I have to do at work. I’ve been considering everything from taking a year off, going back to school, to switching to part-time. Whatever I do, I hope it’s on my terms–being laid off unexpectedly would certainly be difficult. I prepare as well as I can, but in any scenario finances would be a huge issue.

    • Jim says:

      Another big lesson from this video is that when you work for someone else, you can always be fired.

      • BrianC says:

        Agreed. Like many in the video, I haven’t exactly been happy with work for a long time. I tend to make major changes only after a long drawn-out process. But sometimes change doesn’t happen unless it’s forced upon us.

  5. Seth @ Boy Meets Food says:

    Thanks for posting that Jim, I really enjoyed it. It was very well done, and touching. There is no mistaking that the economy is not in a great place right now, but your point is exactly correct… it can happen at any time (even in a good economy).

  6. Howie says:

    hi Jim – the 10% unemployment rate doesn’t mean 10% of the people want a job and can’t get one. It’s just means the unemployment rate is 10%. I think the “can’t get one” part is not accurately stated.

  7. Erik Proulx says:

    Jim, thank you for sharing this with your readers. And Donald, I don’t think for a minute — nor does the movie portray — that people are thrilled to lose their jobs (with the exception of Michelle). It’s a shock to everybody in the film. All Lemonade is trying to convey is that it’s not the end of the world. And, in fact, things can improve with the right mindset. Most of the people in this film are working class, middle income people, myself included. And no one is riding off on their horse with bags of money here. We’ve all just found something we love to do, and are working our tails off to make it successful.

    Thanks for the comments everyone.

    Erik Proulx
    Creator, Lemonade

  8. Matt says:

    Although your commenter is wrong about As a Man Thinketh being written in the great depression time, they’re right about it being a wonderful book! Check out: http://jamesallenlibrary.com/as-a-man-thinketh.html

  9. Wow, that video is pretty incredible. It makes me want to quit my job and do something that will make a difference. I also love the idea that getting fired or losing your job is not necessarily a bad thing. Always being positive is the way to live life.

  10. Jessica says:

    Since the economy took a dive I think we’ve all been thinking about what we’d do if we lost our jobs. My husband and I both have stayed employed throughout the slump and I’ve been really thankful for that but at the same time we always talk about how we should take less stressful, lower paying jobs or start our own business. We make really good money at our current jobs that’s very difficult to just walk away from (six figures each).

    I can’t help but think that if we did get laid off, the forced change might just be the best thing that could happen to us lifestyle wise. Right now we work 12 hours a day 6 days a week moving from one fire drill to the next. It definitely takes its toll physically and mentally.

    That said, I don’t think I’d feel the same way if we weren’t debt free and have 2+ years worth of living expenses saved that would allow us to be unemployed without the fear of having to eat cat food to survive.

    Great video!

  11. jsbrendog says:

    i am currently going through the process of trying to do exactly what that quote you picked out says to do. Just incorporate mroe of the things I want to do/love into my life and eventually something will come of it (while keeping my job currently thank god)

  12. Linda says:

    I loved this documentary, it is wonderfully done, I cried, I laughed, I realized I’m doing what I love to do. If you do what you love, you never work another day in your life!

  13. Safeway_Sage says:

    I was just forced to switch jobs a few months ago. It is the best thing that ever happened to me.

    i remember reading something from Jack Welsh that talked about how getting fired is the best thing that can happen to most people. No, its not all fanfare and balloons, but there is a good reason for being upbeat.

    Imagine working at a job where your performance is mediocre or you simply don’t have the interest to really put on a good performance. Further, lets say that you don’t get fired and that you are allowed to stay in that position for a number of years. Those years that you have spent being an under-performer have hurt you because you have fallen behind the curve even farther and when you do finally get kicked to the curb, you will have that much of a harder time getting up to speed and back on your feet.

    I would rather be fired and have to swallow bitter pills then hand on to my current job by my fingernails.

    Also, in the greater sense, letting people stay on in their jobs when they should be fired hurts the economy.

    There is my rant for the morning, now I am off to support the grocery store industry with my earned American coin. Huzzah.

    • Jim says:

      I’ve read the same about Jack Welch, how the lowest performing 10% or 20% are really just in jobs unsuited for their skills and deserve to be told that so they can find a better fit. That’s definitely a “make lemonade out of lemons” type of statement but it’s probably true.

  14. Veritas says:

    It’s a very nice and emotional piece of work. It is also a propaganda tool. This was found by many on a Wall Street related website (The Street.com). It’s interesting that the biggest cheerleaders in this supposedly improving economy is Wall Street. Do you ever listen to The Wall Street Journal report? It’s amazing that people don’t call them on their constant culling of news reports to ignore the REAL news in the economy. Here’s one that you won’t hear in the happy talk, George Soros, internationalist multi-billionaire, attacked those buying gold. He has now quietly made gold the single largest investment in his portfolio. Wonder why? And the unemployment is FAR greater than 10%. The feds are no longer counting those who have been dumped off unemployment. Look, I agree we should be happy, just don’t let the cash harvesters of Wall Street con you into spending what cash you have left thinking all is well. That’s what they are doing, and they are doing it intentionally to gouge the “everythings better now” well-meaning but naiive Americans. I don’t care if Wall Street is doing well, they don’t DESERVE to do well. They did this themselves.

  15. Veritas says:

    And by the way, I have started my own company. And I didn’t need a documentary to inspire me. The energy and will does indeed come from within but you will only flourish if you get GOOD and truthful information so that you know which way to go. Always doubt any source that has a vested interest in your psychological desire to acquire things. They will tell you what you WANT to hear not what you NEED to hear. Those who made this mess will manipulate your emotions to save their own backsides. Worry about yours first and you will do well.


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