I don’t do this often, but I sat down this morning and wrote a list of all the business issues that are nagging at my brain. I seem to have worked myself into a logjam of problems that seem to continue to pile up into a Mt. Everest size proportion. What’s worse, none of them appear to be getting close to being settled despite my making a daily resolve to conquer at least one of these issues.
Not to go into detail, but some of these are big issues that include lawyers and courts. Other big problems arise from attempting to get into new markets and the people I have relied upon are not performing as I imaged they should. And then, there are the typical issues such as buying vehicles, hiring new employees, and collecting accounts receivables that are still on my list because I cannot seem to get to them. Finally, I have to admit, that I also have on my list problems of my own making that to solve will require me to make amends and put my pride aside.
I’m not lamenting my problems. If you are a small business owner or manager, I bet you have found yourself in a high level of frustration on a regular basis caused by problems such as these. I want to provide three pathways to not letting the accumulation of “problems” affect your ability to enjoy your work.
- Get To
Remember that you GET TO participate and hopefully solve these problems. You have been blessed with some gifts that you get to shepherd as part of your work-life. You were astute enough to build a company around your talents and now those talents are being sold to the marketplace. You have employees and assets, clients and liabilities, markets and vendors. It is your baby and you GET TO see all this come together. What is the alternative? You let someone else run with your idea and they get to enjoy the successes and problems. But then what do you get to do – you get to see someone else run with your ideas and, for me, that would be painful.
- It’s Yours
I am aware that many consultants are quick to advise that we need to delegate as much of our work as possible so we are free to. . .well that is the part I never really understood. I am thinking from a small business perspective, which incidentally is most of the workforce out there today. Who do I delegate to? For me, my administrative staff is me, one full-time staff and three part-time employees. Everybody else is production. As a manager or owner, our primary responsibility is to keep production producing. All issues outside of what a business produces are the responsibility of administration. So, this pile of problems — I own them. They are mine. It is what I get paid to resolve. Sure, there are many things I would rather be doing but these issues are my part of the deal.
- Its not “I”
I immediately recognized as I was writing my list of issue that were giving me a headache was the prevalence of the personal pronoun “I.” The list was about the things that I needed to do, I could not do, and things I did. It was as if the list was about me, and for me that is a dangerous place. The lawyers and courts were not about me personally. Many of the things on the list were things that I could not physically do but someone else would have to do at my request. And the things I took credit for doing, both good and bad, were not actually done by my hand; I just played a role.
One of the benefits of having a knowledge of the Bible is the awareness of how there is nothing we really get to take credit for. That occasionally pains my ego, but I need to constantly remember that I’m not in control, even when it looks like I am. We have a great God who has created all things and has a plan for all of us.
Matthew 6:31-34 says.
Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
My Mt. Everest sized list of outstanding issues are not mine. They are not about me. In reality, they are part of God’s plan. Now I know that sounds odd, but remember we do not know God’s ways or thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). I need to look at these business issues differently. If they are part of God’s plan, then I should be interested in seeing what that outcome might be. What role in this court case could I be playing for God. God’s plans are all for good, so now I’m interested in how this will work out. How will my hiring someone be part of God’s plan? The same is true when I’m buying new equipment, entering new markets and, of course, when I’m beating down my ego and making amends for unthoughtful actions on my part.
You know what, I’m kind of excited about tackling this list of issues that just before I was dreading. Its going to be a good day after all.
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