Do you ever work on Saturday?
If you Google “working on Saturday,” you’ll find hundreds of links to articles and blog posts describing why just about everyone (it seems) hates working on Saturday.
But I learned long ago to appreciate the many blessings that happened to me when I worked on Saturdays. No, I’m not kidding. I have found Saturdays to be one of the most productive days in my workweek, and working Saturdays has been one of the secrets to my success. I don’t talk about it too often because most people think I’m either a crazy workaholic who doesn’t love his wife and kids or some ultra-greedy, money-driven Scrooge trying to squeeze every last penny out of my business. Well, neither assumption is true, and I have chosen to work on Saturdays because there are so many benefits to doing so. Let me explain…
When I was growing up in Flint, Michigan, I was lucky enough to have two grandfathers who had started out as dirt-poor southern farmers and migrated north during the 1920s to get jobs in the auto factories. When they started at Buick and Chevrolet manufacturing, they had to work a six-day workweek — as did just about everyone in America at the time. Union contracts from the 1930s and 1940s pretty much eliminated the six-day workweek and replaced it with the 40-hour week that most of us are accustomed to today. Most of the men in my family worked their 40-hour jobs for Ford or General Motors and then worked part-time jobs on Saturdays whenever they could find them. The extra Saturday income often made the difference between an average life and one that provided a few fun extra things in our family’s budget. So I grew up living in a home where Saturday work was a positive thing.
It’s interesting to note that today working dads are often seen as bad dads who don’t spend enough time with their children or as men with misplaced priorities. In my generation, nothing could have been further from the truth. I saw my dad as a good, hard-working man who did everything he could to provide things for our family. I got to spend plenty of time with him, and I had a tremendous amount of respect for the fact that our family lived a good life and was almost totally debt free as a result of his hard work.
So when I bought my printing firm in 1983, one of the first things I did was offer my employees (all two of them) the opportunity to work on Saturdays if they wanted to. Well, they didn’t, but I did. And I used the time productively to build my business. The quiet, peaceful time I spent in my office allowed me to sort things out in a less pressure-packed atmosphere. I was more calm, relaxed, and better able to come up with creative sales and marketing ideas. Working Saturdays also helped me get caught up and clear the piles off my desk. It was very refreshing and so energizing to start each week with an “advance plan.” With the advent of email, I’ve found that Saturdays are a good time to totally go back and read, respond, and clean out the backlog of email that tends to create a lot of pressure in my head as the week progresses.
Over time, the many positive actions that I was able to complete on Saturdays earned me a lot of money. A LOT of money. The truth is, I worked Saturdays because they were not only productive but also very profitable. You, of course, can choose to do what ever you want, but I would always vote for Saturday work. One of the nicest benefits of being a business owner is that we can take a day off whenever we want. If Saturdays are more productive and profitable, that’s when I’ll be working. If I need to run errands or do some yard work at home, I can take off a less productive day like Wednesday or Thursday.
One interesting thing of note, if you follow any of the Christian teachings about business, money, or finance, the Bible has something very interesting to say about Saturday work. Did you know that in one of the Ten Commandments, God “commands” us to work a six-day week? Now, I’m an amateur when it comes to understanding the Bible, so you can look it up and read it yourself. It’s so hard to find, I call it God’s “lost commandment” because, in my whole life, I’ve never once heard it taught in a sermon — even though it can be found in every single Bible ever printed. So you’ll have to read it yourself, if you’re interested (Exodus 20:9 – the fourth commandment).
Working on Saturdays is a personal decision, of course. However, if you are in a position where money is tight, or you’re having a difficult time staying on top of your to do list — or maybe you just can’t seem to find the time to create your next good marketing idea — may I encourage you to consider that the “solution” might be right in front of you. Perhaps you’ll discover the secret, hidden, and often overlooked benefit of working on Saturday.
My name is Mike Stevens, and I am a printer.