The Privilege of Payroll

 In Inspiration, Small Business

Over the last 18 years, a lot has changed for this company.

I have worked in my dining room, a generous colleague’s extra office, my mom’s spare bedroom (that is another whole story), an office when I didn’t really need one, loft space in a friend’s business at well below market value and now in a great office condo with an open floor plan and lots of natural light.

I have excused myself from a client call to help my toddler-aged daughter screaming for help from the bathroom.

I made it through the Great Recession.

I have borrowed money from family to stay afloat.

I have followed the sometimes tough advice of a business consultant/mentor who has guided me toward success.

I have (almost) always listened to my wife.

And I have benefitted from a great network of friends and clients who told others about the work we were doing and thought we might be able to help them, too.

Over the last eight years or so, however, things really started to change – and we were able to build a team that could start taking the focus off of me and place it on the services we were providing to our growing and diverse client base.

Even just two years ago, when the phone rang it was almost always for me. Now, it rarely is – and I could not be happier.

That is possible only because we have a team of talented, creative and motivated communicators who buy into the vision we have cast. They are younger and smarter than me (an admittedly low bar on both counts), and they understand that although some of the tools are new, the principles of effective communication are certainly not.

We also have been blessed with outstanding clients who trust us to build and enhance relationships with their key audiences and steward that trust effectively.

That has all resulted in some nice growth for us. In fact, earlier this month it was revealed that we were No. 22 on the inaugural list of fastest-growing companies in the country owned by a Florida State University alumnus. It was a tremendous honor that we celebrated together.

But increased growth comes at a price. And writing checks is not usually the best part of owning a business.

There is one exception.

I am literally writing this post just minutes before entering hours and paid time off into our payroll system and authorizing everyone’s paychecks for this two-week period. It is more money than the company used to make in six months. You would think I would dread it.

I don’t.

Much like writing a tithe check to my local church, authorizing a payroll is a privilege. It is a reminder not of what I owe, but of what I have been given. Without my team, none of this would possible. And I am pretty sure my wife is not interested in me being back in the dining room all day.

I’m also sure if you polled my employees, they would say it would be OK with them if I wanted to appreciate this privilege even more.

If we keep growing, it will be my honor.


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