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Opt-Out in Business

Have you ever wanted to opt-out?

As if when you don’t like the train ride, you pull the stop cable to let the engineer know to stop the train so you can get off.

No matter where you are or what you are doing, you simply stop and get off.


When we buy new computer software, we often get the choice to opt-out of some of the features.  For example, you can opt out of certain unwanted services or upgrades.

Many times, when signing up for specific accounts, you have the option to opt-out for things such as automatic dividend re-investments, electronic notices, etc.  When you opt-out, you voluntarily agree to forego certain things that you would otherwise be entitled to but have decided you do not want.

Some people in our world today have decided to live an “opt-out” lifestyle.  One extreme is the few brave souls who live off the grid.  They have voluntarily elected not to have the conveniences of telephone, internet, electricity, and mail.

Another opt-out lifestyle is those who are committed to remain uncommitted.  They have opted out of making any commitments to anyone or anything.  They are in personal relationships as long as it is beneficial to them.  They remain uncommitted to an employer and work only as long as they enjoy what they do and find beneficial to them.  At any moment, they pull the stop cable on the train and get off and move to a different job.

It is not that they are perpetually broke or living the life of a hobo; in fact, many people living this style have significant incomes and assets.  What they have opted out of is the life that dictates to them what they will do as opposed to dictating to life how they will live.

Opt-Out in Business

The business world is not conducive to opting out.

Sure, there are many aspects where we can simplify our lives and have more rudimentary accounting systems, management policies, and personal relationships.  But we still have a life of commitments.

We are in business to fulfill a need, and the people whose needs we are fulfilling are depending on us.  Being in business is making a commitment to be in business.

But there are aspects of the opt-out lifestyle we experience in business today.

Employees Opting Out

The average number of jobs in a lifetime is 12, according to a 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) survey of baby boomers.  Our employees are already living the opt-out lifestyle.

In its 2018 Employee Tenure Summary, the BLS reported, the median employee tenure was 4.3 years for men and 4.0 years for women.  Only 54% of workers think their employer is loyal to them, which leads to this willingness to change jobs.

Employers Facilitating Opting Out

Employers frequently do not keep current with salary trends, so employees feel that after several years on the job, the pay increase when jumping from one jot to another is substantial and worth the change.

Alternatively, to keep employees, employers offer flexible work hours and unconventional office environments and unique amenities that are all forms of opting out.

As business leaders and entrepreneurs, we need to pay attention ot the opt-out culture.  While we do not get to opt-out in a business sense, our employees have that opportunity.  Finding, training, and maintaining employees is expensive.  Knowing they can and will leave behooves us to do what we can to keep them employed for as long as we can..

The Bible

Jesus is telling us that every fiber of our being, every facet of our lives, must be committed to loving and serving God. This means that we must hold nothing back from Him because God holds nothing back from us (John 3:16).

Jesus has made it plain the cost of discipleship:

“If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it” (Luke 9:23-24).

Total commitment to God means that Jesus is our sole authority, our guiding light, and our unerring compass. Being committed to Christ means being fruitful; it means being a servant.

Our axiom is simple and succinct: “For me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21).

As an employer of those who want to live a lifestyle of opting out, the benefit we can provide is to show them the beauty of making a commitment.  And the first commitment they need to make it to Jesus.