By Kenton X. Chance 

Depending on how I look at it, I can say that today, Feb. 5, 2018, marks five years since I was fired from my post as assistant editor at a traditional media outlet in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I can, equally, say that today marks five years since circumstances forced me to look within and act on my potential.

Today marks five years since I was given a letter of dismissal from the last job that I held in “mainstream” (traditional) media. No reasons were given and I was hounded out of the organisation like a criminal, while my departure was celebrated by some of my former colleagues who were later dismissed for actual criminal actions and another who is actually facing prosecution for alleged criminal actions.

Two close friends of mine, one of them a university colleague, also celebrated my dismissal, albeit for more wholesome reasons.

I was not completely surprised when I was terminated. I was only surprised that it came when it did — less than 24 hours after producing my last edition of a publication for which I had editorial oversight. Just two weeks earlier, I had confided in a colleague my intentions to quit. That person dissuaded me.

Some of my best moments over the past five years have been encouraging the nation’s youth to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams, a story I shared with Form 3 students of the Bethel High School at their career retreat two weeks ago.

And it was good that they did. When I was fired, I was given a cheque for EC$10,000 in lieu of notice — after just six and a half months on the job. Had I resigned, I would have left totally empty handed.

This is not a post about the circumstances that led to my dismissal. I cannot speak authoritatively about those circumstances because the simple truth is that I do not know, nor do I any longer care. I was simply told, “This relationship is not working out. I am sorry, but we have to let you go.” Further, for me, that is passé and warrants no rehashing as things have worked out nicely for me, my world has expanded and I stand often in the corridor of professional fulfilment.

This is a post about the good things that can come out of “bad” developments, depending on one’s reaction to them.

When I joined the traditional media organisation from which I would be fired, I had invoked a hiatus for this very website on which you are now reading: iWitness News.

I did so after three full years of building the site, while as a student in Taiwan, to the point where it had become a household name in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (It is funny that I said it was a household name then. What should I call it now?)

One day before I was fired, I was offered an opportunity to work for an international media outlet.

One day after I was fired, I was offered an opportunity to work for a regional media outlet.

I rejected both offers. I also rejected offers to join other local media entities.

I had had enough of building other people’s dreams, of being boxed-in, contained, “toned down”.

And so, that afternoon when I was fired, I went to the Community College, as planned, and delivered a guest lecture on “Ethical Considerations For New Media”.

Then I went home and reactivated iWitness News.

Many persons might not immediately remember, but it was iWitness News who broke the news about the extent of the devastation of the 2013 Christmas floods.

It was iWitness News that ensured that our missions overseas knew what was going on in the country, as our diplomats tried to lobby allies for assistance.

With students at my alma mater after a career event at which I was a facilitator two years ago.

In the meantime, my former workplace has sent out its pack of reporters, collecting information for a hard copy publication, distributed one week later, to which they tied an earlier and by then, dated edition of their publication, ensuring sales rather than ensuring that citizens were informed when they needed it most.

If I had not been fired in February of 2013, I would have definitely resigned in December.

When I was dismissed, some persons encouraged me to sue — if only for public relations going forward, they said. I took public relations to mean to act in defence of my professional integrity. However, I thought and acted otherwise. Why would I have done that when I was rid of a much less than holistic relationship that was definitely not in my long-term interest; a relationship in which one of my workplace superiors could not resist the urge to tell me “ I am not threatened by you”?

In the five years that have passed, iWitness News and Kenton X. Chance, both as a brand and as an entity, have grown meaningfully. It has been a very exciting and rewarding journey.

And, as I reflect on the last five years, I am so happy that when I was fired, rather than applying for a job, I created a job.

24 replies on “When I was fired, I created a job ”

  1. Ricardo Francis says:

    Congratulations!!!

    I appreciate and respect the fact that you have taken initiative and pursued your purpose and contribution to our society and the world at large.

    I can recollect that a media outlet in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, once advised me that I was a security threat to the paper. REALLY!!! I will not expand further at this time, except to say that I understand your position.

    I hope and trust that should the good lord bless me and the good people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines should entrust me, someday, to govern our nation, that you shall write fair and justifiable articles about my government.

    As you continue on this journey, I ask that you should always allow the facts to speak for themselves and check your ego. I am not suggesting that you have allowed your ego to prevail: I am simply advising you never to allow it, to manifest itself.

    CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN, MY FRIEND!!!

    Ricardo Francis, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Waiting and in the Making

  2. Well said.

    I wonder how many people know that even in rich countries like the United States and Canada many brand new companies, whether owned and operated by a single person or by hundreds, do not survive for long.

    Of American new small businesses, 30% fail during the first two years of being open, 50% during the first five years, and 66% during the first ten.

    It takes courage, determination, hard work, ambition, and brains to succeed as an independent business person which are the reasons why most of us choose to work for other people or jump at the chance for a secure but often useless job with the government.

    Kenton Chance, congratulations on your courage, determination, hard work, ambition, and brains as you celebrate your fifth anniverary back as an independent entrepreneur!

    The whole of SVG has benefitted in the process.

    P.S.: The old print journalism is slowly but surely being replaced by the new media proudly and professionally represented by examples like iWitness News.

  3. Refreshing to hear this from Kenton. I became impressed with Kenton when I was having a problem and was publishing my story in the publication Kenton worked for. Kenton was not the reporter I spoke to originally but one late evening I decided to call the paper even though I thought they had all gone home. It was 7 in the evening. Guess who, to my surprise, answered the phone at 7 in the evening…Kenton Chance. That is called dedication folks!

  4. Well when the Lord close a door is because he have bigger and better for for behind another door. Keep up the good work

  5. Congratulations Kenton for being smart enough to not wauste your time in SUING. That is the practice of petty controlling people. I was very humbled today by the wisdom I got from the post with the lady from Sion Hill.
    I was trying to give my daughter a life lesson only to discover that the lesson was all you need in life is love and some food. That and BeLife (belief) then the Iniverse takes care if the rest ONE LOVE

  6. If you want to motivate the youth get over the past. You seem to like the thought of being a victim in spite of you achievements

  7. I work in Europe and on my break periods i do catch up with whats happening in my country of birth. Thank you Mr Chance, and may God bless you richly.. and may He command His angels to guard you in all your ways,, Congratulation.

  8. Congratulations on your achievements may the good Lord continue to bless you abundantly my old classmate

  9. nancysauldemers says:

    Thank you for what you are doing & how you are doing it, Kenton. Congratulations on your success to date. C. ben-David makes a good point when he mentions the odds you’ve overcome as an entrepreneur. I’ve no doubt there are many more accomplishments to come in the near & distant future as you continue providing vital services to SVG.

  10. Congratulations Kenton. You are very deligent and fair in your reporting. Contunue your exceptional work.

    You have turned a rather difficult situation into the Caribbean’s best online news media with very high quality content. I wish you continued success.

  11. Good work Kenton. Continue to doubt the naysayers and prove to them the power one can have. I also look forward each day to read and keep up with what’s happening in SVG. You believed in yourself and it become fruitful and fulfilling in the end.

  12. I am very proud of you congratulations, keep on doing what you are doing. You are an inspiration to us all and I thank you for giving me an opportunity to know what is going on back at home through IWN. May God continue to bless you always, because you so truly deserve it.

    Remember in this life, sometimes good things have to fall apart for better things to fall into place :))

  13. Brenton Smith says:

    I first came into contact with Kenton during the opening of the new Coast Base in Canouan few years ago when certain things were said to me. I didn’t know who the individual was but as I returned to the mainland I did my investigation and found out it was the popular Kenton Chance. Congratulations to you my brother your staff, your readers, listeners and of course your customers .

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