Lately I’ve been thinking about all of the time and effort I put into my trucking business and how stressful it can be at times. All jobs can be stressful, of course, but when it comes to drawing the boundaries on how much you can and should tolerate, you have to evaluate what you’re putting in, what you’re getting out, and whether the payoff is worth it.
As much as I enjoy the trucking business, there are a lot of things I don’t enjoy, which has brought me to the point that I’m evaluating the skills I’m good at and the things I love about business: talking to people and making the deals… and how I can focus most of my time on these two things,
So many people go through life chasing their tails and being unsatisfied with their jobs and/or income because they don’t know: 1) what their core strengths are, 2) what part of their job they enjoy doing, or 3) what they’re good at. Ask anyone who has worked for me and they’ll tell you that management isn’t one of my core strengths… and I must say that I agree. LOL
I know I’ve improved a lot over the last ten years, but I blame the perfectionist in me for always wanting everything done just right. In all honestly, my approach is always in the best interest of our customers. You have to provide the products and services your customers need when they need them. (And if you don’t, what good are you to them?)
Although I know what my core strengths are, I’m finding it difficult to position myself to focus on them because there’s always something happening to throw me off course. Example, I had a driver resign the other day because his duties with a specific customer we have were too much for him.
This week I’ve been running a truck to pick up the slack and I can honestly say that I can’t blame him because handling time critical shipments all the time is stressful. I think the major issue is always working against the clock and fighting traffic day in and day out… after a while it starts to wear you down.
A few months ago we started shifting the direction of the company away from time critical shipments and more towards working with larger customers full time (also know as dedicated transportation). I should have done this a long time ago, but I held back because time critical shipments bring in more revenue for the same time and resources—and the thought of having a few big customers scares me.
If you’ve listened to my audio course Secrets of Living Like a Superstar Now, you’ve already heard the story of my big business failure in the early 2000′s. Back then, we were moving servers for Google and other companies all over the Silicon Valley and business was booming because of the growth of the Internet.
I had trucks running all over the place, a warehouse, and a full staff. Then the day came when my primary customer, Google, moved their server operation to Atlanta… and 75% of my company’s revenue went with it! That was a very smart corporate decision for Google for a lot of reasons and a very hard lesson for me.
As hard as it was to recover from that lesson both mentally and financially, I actually thank them for it because I learned it on a relatively small scale. Not to mention, I know better than to ever make that mistake again. In a lot of ways, they actually made me an even greater success. Thanks Google!
With this new issue of time critical shipments being too much stress, change is very welcome. It’s going to take a while and it will affect our revenue in the short term, but over all I know everyone will be happy with the transition once it is complete as less stress is always better.
When you’re in a difficult situation and you need to make a change, the most important things to think about are: 1) how you want your life and/or situation to be, and 2) what you need to do differently to enjoy that result in your life… because it’s always what we’re doing or not doing that creates the results we have. And as obvious as it seems, unless we do things differently, we’ll always have the same result.
Success doesn’t always come in leaps and bounds like we hope it will. Instead, it tends to come as the result of small shifts made over time because the adversities we face make us stronger, teach us important lessons and build us into a wiser, more capable person.
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