As I mentioned before I am bivocational. I work a full-time day job and I work part-time at my church, then, in my spare time, I work on church planting. There is an interesting balance between secular work and church work, especially when it comes to the type of work that I do.
My new day job is in sales. I have worked in sales for a very long time and after being away for a few months and working full-time at my church, it’s weird being back. In some ways being back in sales for me is like a duck being back in the water, but with old skills come old habits and byproducts.
I think that to work in sales one has to be a little cocky. After all, you’re the guy with all of the answers and to play that “role” you have to be in a mindset of success. As much as we must act as if we have it all figured out, most salespeople know that they don’t. However, we continue to act like we know it all so that the customer is confident in our ability, and so that we can get the sale.
I’m not lying or providing false information, but it’s odd to check into this mindset of being “the man” when in other areas of my life, I clearly am not. I have to remind myself that “Pride goes before destruction” (Proverbs 16:18) and that “humility comes before honor” (Proverbs 15:33)
If you work in a competitive sales environment and you don’t want to be the best, quit now! Seriously. Sales is a numbers game and aside from the reward of commissions and bonuses, another motivation to grind through the numbers is to be number 1 in your office. The quest for dominance is real, and when dealing with this competitiveness, I have to remind myself who I work for. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men”.
With every potential (or even hypothetical) sale I know how much money is on the table (every salesperson does), so I want to make that and more. I’m the new guy at work, so when I see my coworkers putting up big numbers I can’t help but do a little math in my head to see what their next paycheck might look like. This mental math motivates me to push that much harder so that I can make that same kind of dough. The next thing you know, I’m checking emails and taking calls at night and on my day off to try and make it happen.
This is dangerous territory because it can fall into the realm of coveting my neighbor’s (deals?) money, and Exodus 20:17 tells not to covet our neighbor’s anything. It’s important to remember Luke 12:15 when Jesus warned us to, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
When I am in sales mode there’s a lot of temptation toward pride, competitiveness, and greed, but when I am working at the church I operate in humility. How am I supposed to switch hats back and forth?
I’m not. I must wear the humility hat at all times, in both jobs, and in every situation. That may sound like sales suicide, but it’s the truth. Consider Colossians 3:17 which says, “whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” I must remember that and live according to it at all times.