Ade, a hardworking woodcutter, once found himself in an interesting debacle. It’s what some describe as a growing pain – when challenges pop up after growth and success. His customers were happy with the quality of his work, so happy that demands were increasing. They requested for different kinds of wood – mahogany, oak, beech and pine – all of which would require slightly varied processes to supply.
He tried to keep up at first. After all, he loved to serve people and believed wood-felling was what he was called to do. But eventually, it started to wear him out. Ade would get home exhausted and useless to himself. He asked his support network – a collective of trusted, godly mentors and confidantes – for advice. These are the solutions they offered:
1. Turn down some demands
“You weren’t created to meet everyone’s needs,” they said. “Prayerfully decide which you’ve been best suited to, then follow through. Follow One Course Until Successful.”
“But what if I have to do many things at once?” he asked.
“Then prioritise!” They helped him see that it was okay to give certain things that weren’t as pressing less attention, at least for a season. “Create self-functioning systems,” they said.
3. Get help
This was a difficult pill to swallow because he’d been let down by others several times in the past. But it was something they insisted on, so he obeyed.
After prayerfully settling on the kind of trees he would supply, that is, his specialisation, he created a team of woodcutters with like values and interests to assist. What he would then do was train a person at a time to a certain level of competence before giving him/her reins of responsibility. It was a system of operations that even his perfectionist, controlling attitude had to align with.
You won’t believe it, but this impressively led to an increase in the number of trained woodcutters in his town. All thanks to the multiplication process he kicked off.
P.S. I touched on why working, or walking, with people of like values is important in this post – Is Your Relationship Worth Saving?
I hope these lessons help you as much as they’ve helped me.