In life, the people who achieve any level of success, seem to have a defining moment or defining moments. You know the moment in or of time where things are different, things change, the point of no return. The place and moment of life where one feels either I do or I die; maybe not the physical death, but all of the other deaths of and in life (socially, emotionally, mentally, and financially); one can have before physically dying. My defining moment occurred Tuesday November 1, 2016.
Working for a property management company (contract), Tuesday was only my 7th day and it was payday. For six days, everyone was so polished (as much as they could be). Unfortunately, this was something I that was not new to me. I’ve known for about 15 years that I am an entrepreneur soon to become a business owner (those two are different and that’s for another blog). My gift of business specifically accounting provides me and has afforded me multiple opportunities with diverse companies while building my own business so having said that, allow me to set the atmosphere. I’m in preparation for the busiest time in my business, end of the year so for entrepreneurs that means tax season is around the corner and simultaneously preparing for Christmas. So, outsourcing myself to a company meaning working as a contractor is typical for me. It is a typical company for me, million-dollar company with the working conditions of hundred-dollar company or a startup. Old computers, with older key-boards, paper EVERYWHERE, chaos is the norm rather than the exception. Coming in on the heels of so many who have come and gone before me for any number of reasons; it was exciting, frustrating, and odd all at the same time. For me, the work I had been given wasn’t enough to do, not on the level to which I have been accustomed. I love to be busy and I love doing accounting work which is what I thought I was hired to do but it was a job that paid and paid decently. Additionally, it allowed me to flex my auditing skills of an accounting; dealing with a company from the inside out, discovering their weaknesses, strengths, grey areas and for this company answering/fighting a lawsuit (which is pretty phenomenal).
Tuesday (November 1st) was the first payday with this company and suddenly everything changed. There was a nervous and anxious feeling in the atmosphere, poised employees looked frustrated and angry. I begin to hear how they all really felt. It would seem that each payday the owner of the company did something to make them wait or feel that they may or may not be paid and today was no different. I listened, said nothing. I took it all in. It’s now 4:30 and every one was looking defeated and the office manager is like “well maybe he’s not coming in. He’s not responding to my texts or anything so maybe we will get paid tomorrow”. Then I spoke, “Oh not me, I will be paid today one way or the other.” Everyone looked startled to say the least. It’s 4:55 and guess who strolls in, yep the owner. My desk closest to the door and I looked up at him and gave him a look that if looks could kill would have rendered him DOA. He settles in his office and then begins yelling out to the employees, *** come here. He questions her for a minute and she comes out with her check smiling as if she won the lottery. I wait for a few minutes (because I’m still on his time, he’s paying me to wait for my pay!) It becomes evident that he wanted to see my response because as he has other employees to do other work or questions them as if making them earn the pay that they have already earned, he never acknowledges me at all. The office manager and supervisor who has then begun a call that he instructed her to do, looks at me frantically unable to stop me from walking in his office. He’s speaking with someone and I stand in the door. He looks up barely, seriously, and says “I’m talking to him.” I reply, “yes, I know. Do you have my check?”. Voice is calm, face is serious and disposition firm. He pauses and we stare one another down. I feel my anger mounting and because I have no poker face it shows and I shift my foot prepared to get REAL UGLY WITH him! Quickly he signs my check, he says I need you to make a copy of it first. I take it giving him an additional ugly look and never acknowledge what he says. Yes, I make the copy but I treat him the way he treated me, making him wonder if I did or not. As I turn to leave, I said, “I’m the wrong one!”
As I drove home, I fussed, and yea said a few choice words (I’m working on that) but when I settled down, I begin to furious with myself. This man was despicable, ignorant, barely spoke English and no I’m not prejudice against foreigners but he knew nothing and didn’t even respect the laws, this man had been doing business, cheating people, making them wait for their checks, and paying them as contract workers when they were actually employees! For some people, like me, it was fine because I own a business but for others they lived in fear but couldn’t afford to quit, leave or walk away. AND THAT’S WHERE I begin to look at me!
It doesn’t matter what I said about him, I couldn’t talk about him without talking about myself! I KNOW, KNEW AND UNDERSTOOD EVERYTHING THAT THIS IGNORANT MAN needed to do in his business. I saw the flaws in the financial structure, the accounts payables, the receivables, the areas of weakness and strength and yet I WAS WORKING FOR him! Ummm Hmmm My entire focused shifted and changed. Fear of what people thought, who would question me, speaking up, speaking out, frustration over a few clients that fell off, frustrated with trying to teach close friends and even family about where I’m going and a million other insecurities and doubts pushed me into a delay until this day! YEP MY DEFINING MOMENT! I’ve heard words before, I’ve spoken and encourage quite a few people and yet always managed to allow people and their influence to be a hindrance to me.
TODAY WAS DIFFERENT! I didn’t talk, I didn’t explain, I didn’t tell anyone, my actions became different. Instead of sleeping, when I wanted or rushing to be with the family or allowing the plans and actions of people in my home to hinder me, I stopped and put my efforts into my business. No more explaining, hoping, no extra calls that were unnecessary, I prioritize my thoughts and actions moving closer to all the things that I know lie within me!
The fear of working for a fool prevailed over the fear of stepping out and maybe failing!
THANK YOU LORD, FOR MY DEFINING MOMENT, FIND YOURS AND SHIFT!