Lloyd Hopkins lost his job. As if to eliminate any possibility of misunderstanding, he elaborates. He was fired. And, for punctuation, he knew it was coming and knew he should’ve left the job at least two years before his firing. Make no mistake. There is no sugar-coating in his unvarnished, relatable perspective.
The loss of a job, or the fear of losing one, is something we’ve become all too familiar with during the pandemic. Some have lost jobs they loved. Others miss nothing more than the income. But what do you do when you can see it coming? What do you do when you can feel a misalignment between your values and those of your boss or your company?
That is exactly the experience Hopkins shares from 10 years ago—before the pandemic and before he founded the Million Dollar Teacher Project. His firing is a personal blow many can relate to. There are the initial feelings of fear and what-ifs. And there is a personal reckoning with your inner voice and insecurities. In Hopkins’ case, he had to deal with the loss of his identity as the family breadwinner.
He reminds us. Tomorrow is not promised. And jobs are all too temporary. Yet, rather than focusing on the reality of what he didn’t want, he focused on what he did want. Gradually that focus evolved into a faith walk where he learned to trust in himself and believe in his purpose. Hopkins believes that is a faith walk we all could benefit from taking.
Hopkins also expands on his earlier comments in the Community Collaborative about cancel culture and why it too often eliminates the opportunities for fair and honest communication and learning during a learning curve. He cites the need for progress over (unrealistic) perfection. “We have to allow room for conversation,” he says. And from that conversation comes learning.
Hopkins shares many of the resources he has learned from, both to recover from setbacks and approach racism conversations. This free-flowing interview includes lessons from business magnate Richard Branson, famed American educator Jane Elliot, 2019 Arizona Teacher of the Year Kareem Neal, and novelist Paulo Coelho, who said, “When you what something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.”