Many weeks I’ve gone without paying myself. After paying the employees and bills, there wasn’t anything left for me.
There is a school of thought out there that says “pay yourself first” because how can you help others if you can’t help yourself and how can you lead others if you are financially stressed. Both are valid arguments.
I’ve chosen the other view, which is that it’s more important for my team to get paid and for them to see the example in leadership that I set. Furthermore, I was declaring to God that I trust you and I know you will take care of me.
It would be easy for me to pay myself first and place the burden on the employees to perform better if they want to get paid. The harder part is trusting God.
We entrepreneurs are sometimes in positions where we are ‘entitled’ to do things because of our position that can end up playing a burden on our own employees, vendors and contractors. We pay ourselves first, take off more days, take longer breaks, more vacations, etc.
God is searching for hearts that are aligned with His. He’s seeing how you treat the perks that are rightfully yours.
In Nehimiah’s case, he was appointed Governor of Judah so he had tons of perks. He got allowances for food and wine, money, etc. He could get anything he wanted. But he took a different mindset.
Nehemiah 5:14-15 says Moreover, from the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, until his thirty-second year—twelve years—neither I nor my brothers ate the food allotted to the governor. But the earlier governors—those preceding me—placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels of silver from them in addition to food and wine. Their assistants also Lorded it over the people. But out of reverence for God I did not act like that.
Your business is in rebuilding mode. It’s all hands on deck. This means sometimes you don’t get paid. It also means that you put down your CEO hat and you stand side-by-side with your lowest rank employees in building the business.
We serve a God that is training our hearts to be aligned with his. It’s not about the product or service you provide, its about the purpose and the heart behind the business.