For a business tycoon who’d built his success on the strength of his work ethic and determination to agree to limit his work week to 40 hours was surprising. To eliminate numerical sales goals at his new company was something close to unheard of.
But for Terry Looper, starting this pioneering new effort came after a stunning season of burnout that had left him at his lowest point. And Terry says the most important thing he learned from the experience was that he needed to die to himself. He explains what that famous phrase meant in his life.
“Probably the most drastic example of that was what the Lord convicted me of in order to start the new company. I did not want to go back and become what I was. So He convicted me, if I really didn’t want to go back to the way I was, and I wanted to continue my new relationships with my daughters, with Him, and with my wife – He convicted me of something as an entrepreneur I don’t ever recommend. To start limiting myself to 40 hours a week max at work. And no sales metric goals. No numerical goals.”
It was a counter-cultural prescription to be sure, but it’s grown today into the multi-billion dollar company Texon LP.
“That was the beginning. That was the first and most significant thing to me in dying to self. Because I thought it was absolutely ludicrous, stupid and ridiculous for me to start a company at 40 hours a week! So I definitely had a preference! But that’s what He convicted me of. That was going to protect my relationships with my family.”
Terry explains how that 40 hour number played out on day-to-day basis.
“It evolved into limiting myself for these 30 years, and trying to set a culture of honoring the employees. Some people want to work more than 40. They’re used to it. Sometimes we go through seasons where people have to step up, and we have something of a seasonal business sometimes. But I try to honor them the best I can. To minimize the amount of time they have to put in so they can enjoy their family also.”
That remarkable approach is rooted in a deeply held belief.
“I don’t want to go to Heaven and say, ‘Look at me. I only worked 40 hours a week so I could have a relationship with my family, but I trampled over my employees.’ Wow. I didn’t think that would go over real well in Heaven when I got there.”
Terry Looper is the founder & CEO of Texon LP & the author of the new book Sacred Pace: Four Steps to Hearing God & Aligning Yourself with His Will.On the Road with Terry Looper