Being an Entrepreneur
As an entrepreneur, the cliché — “Don’t let the past define who you are today. Rather, use it to create who you want to be tomorrow!” – always made perfect sense to me.
That is, until today when, in the midst of catering chaos, I was forced to deal with an angry employee. It was definitely a “sigh” moment, one that I had been dreading for almost a year. But this was not just any employee – this employee just happened to be my family relative. Therefore, regardless of my approach – personal or professional – it was possible that the outcome could include long-term negative repercussions. Perhaps, this is why mixing work and family does not always go so well. It also explains why seemingly ideal clichés should inevitably come with a disclaimer that includes the possibility of a downside.
Still, I knew in my heart that my relative was a good employee – at least most of the time. The problem, however, became complicated by the notice she gave a month ago. I was prepared for the notice but totally unprepared by the decision to hang around until she was “officially” replaced. The issue? She did not approve of the way I ran my business. In her mind, I had always helped others too much, leaving my own cash flow short far too often.
Unfortunately, in formulating her rationale for moving on, she had forgotten that I had also helped her out in tough times. Another sigh! But my dilemma was not in the past. It was in keeping my business running in the future. This is what made today’s situation critical. Herein, she had taken the kitchen recipes, adamantly deciding not to share them with kitchen staff in order to keep production going. Moreover, other staff members close to her began to hand in their notice too, meaning that recruitment and training new staff in the midst of my busiest season had to become my new priority – not the business contracts that paid the bills.
Then, as if this was not quite enough, I found out that my relative was secretly trying to open her own catering business. Honestly, from my perspective, I wanted to wish her the best of luck. After all, she had been a diligent worker in my business for a lot of years. But how could I? It seemed that in her desire to move forward, she wanted to leave destruction of my business in its wake.
The question was how to handle it? I did what I know best. I prayed. I prayed for wisdom and knowledge. I prayed for understanding. I prayed for compassion and mercy. I prayed that my heart would not be hardened because of these latest actions. Most of all, I prayed for strength through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
Today? I have a new cliché to carry me through the trials and tribulations that come my way. That is, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)
And my family relative? She is still an asset and integral part of my catering business.
And all this — why? Because on that particular day when I knew something had to change – my Lord God and Saviour in His infinite wisdom decidedly changed me 🙂