The other day I was grousing to a friend over the phone about some clients who make my life very trying. After several minutes of venting, I concluded, “You know, I love my job but at times, it is really painful. It’s those few customers that I can never seem to please, no matter what I do.”
My friend is a successful businessman, highly skilled in the sale of medical equipment. He has successfully navigated the polarizing world of hospital politics, able to bridge the behavioral chasms between physicians, nursing staff, and hospital administrators. After listening to my rant, he offered his advice. “So I heard two things you said. First, you love what you are doing and second, there are a few customers that make your life unpleasant.”
“Let me ask you this. Is it worth the hours of aggravation to preserve these few relationships, or is it better to let them go? If these clients comprise 10% of your entire customer list but cause you so much grief, do the math. Is it worth giving up 10 minutes every hour to have this much anxiety, anxiety that lasts much longer than 10 minutes?”
“I don’t know…” I mumbled.
“Listen, I have clients who are never happy with what I do. I used to agonize other what I could for them and ending up expending a tremendous amount of mental energy. One day, I realized that life is too short to let 10% of my life cause me so much heartache, so I dismissed these clients and you know what, I have never been happier!”
I nodded at the disturbing but sage revelation. In business, no one ever wants to lose or dismiss a customer, but sometimes a difficult decision needs to be made and a relationship must end by agreeing to part ways. I reluctantly agreed with my friend to consider his advice.
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
Luke 15:4-7 (ESV)
What a contrast in behavior Jesus Christ gives to those who criticized Him for eating with sinners. His reply to his critics was a beautiful example of the expansiveness of the love He has for all of us. We are the lost sheep, wandering away from Jesus, our Great Shepherd. Jesus makes the effort to find us and bring us back into a relationship with Him.
Is it worth it?
Jesus Christ gave His life for those who hated and cursed Him with their dying breath. He did it because He loved us so much and did not want any to perish but for all to have eternal life and salvation by confessing and repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior.
In business, some relationships need to end. Thanks be to God that He will never end His relationship with us and will go to the ends of the earth to offer us the opportunity to restore the broken relationship that sin has wrought between God and man.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.