Having been in business for over 25 years, I want to address an issue that is probably more common than we’d like to admit, but it’s also a very sensitive issue: Pressure. I owned a moving and storage company for 17 years, and I’d like to be able to tell you that in that time I was the perfect boss and never let anything get to me. But I’d be lying. I think we probably tried to grow the company a little too big too quick, and that might have added to the pressures. But the big issue for me was payroll. We had 50 or 60 employees, including 6 or 7 contract drivers who were paid about $3,000 to $5,000 per paycheck. In all, our payroll was about $50,000 every two weeks. That’s a lot of pressure.
On the off weeks, I would make the mortgage payment or pay the utilities. But those payroll weeks were a lot of pressure. You had employees who expected to get paid on time – which they were – but you had customers who didn’t necessarily pay me on time. That created unruly, unfair, unimaginable pressure on me. I’d like to share with you one of the dirty sides to owning a business, and that’s how we handle pressure sometimes.
I found that the way I would handle pressure was to take it out on other people who were totally innocent. At first, I would take it out on my wife. But she would kick back and I found out real quick that wasn’t very productive. But then I would take it out on some of my employees. Maybe I’d see someone use an extra coffee cup and think, “Hey, they’re wasting money!” I would randomly lash out at those employees, and this was unintentional and really a product of me not handling the pressure well. I finally came to the point of repentance where I would have to call up employees and apologize for how I was lashing out.
Finally, I found something that really helped me deal with pressure. Now, I’m not saying this is the only way or the best way to deal with pressure, but I found it worked for me. I was studying scripture and found that one translation for the word “praise” is “to shout.” That means that I could shout to the Lord and in an almost miraculous way feel relief of pressure. I would go into the warehouse when no one was around – I liked the warehouse because there were some good echoes in there – and just shout at the top of my lungs. A big, loud, full breath of air, bellowing shout to God. And here’s what I would say: “Thank you, Lord for taking care of me! Thank you, God because I know you’ve got an answer for me!” I knew that God would provide, but I would still have to work for it. Money didn’t rain down from heaven literally. I’d still have to go and chase after customers to get paid on time. But just like James 1:4 tells us, we are not to rejoice because of our tests and trials, we are to rejoice in the midst of our tests and trials. I would rejoice and be glad knowing that God would take care of me. And I would shout it!
I hope this helps you and I hope you find a way to deal with your pressure. Pressure is common for any of us who work in the real world, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. But we do need to find the proper way to deal with our pressure. Thank you.
To hear the full 7 Minute Lesson, click here.
To read a transcript of the full 7 Minute Lesson, click here.
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