I love my business but there are times when it’s difficult to enjoy it. When money gets tight, or a business partner disappoints, or when things aren’t going according to plan, it’s easy to become dissatisfied, unhappy, and ungrateful.
My wife read a chapter to me this morning from Max Lucado’s new book, Every Day Deserves a Chance: Gratitude for Ungrateful Days. The chapter discussed how to be grateful even when things aren’t going your way or even when you’re having problems or in a difficult stretch of the business. Max quotes management consultant Robert Updegraff:
You ought to be glad for the troubles on your job because they provide about half your income. If it were not for the things that go wrong, the difficult people with whom you deal, and the problems of your working day, someone could be found to handle your job for half of what you are being paid. So start looking for more troubles. Learn to handle them cheerfully and with good judgment, as opportunities rather than irritations, and you will find yourself getting ahead at a surprising rate. For there are plenty of big jobs waiting for people who are not afraid of troubles.
It is an interesting perspective – especially for those of us that own our own businesses – the troubles of your business are half of what makes up your success. As we used to joke, “Ya know, if we didn’t have all these customers, boy we’d be able to get our work done!” Those customers, and the problems they sometimes bring, are the lifeblood of our businesses and we should be grateful the next time we have a customer complaining. We should be grateful the next time we come to the end of the month with $10 in the checking account. We should be grateful when the company van breaks down and we have to spend $1,000 to fix it. We should be grateful on April 15th. We should be grateful that we can be self employed and enjoy running our own business.
If you are still employed and running a part time business, you should be thankful you have an opportunity to build something for your family, even if you’re up till 2:00 am doing it.
Next time you run into a problem at work, a problem with that new piece of equipment, or a habitually late employee, try thanking God for the small problems of life and your ability to handle them.