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Inc. #868

By August 20, 2014August 30th, 2022Devotional

Back in 1988, in our first eligible year, five years after we started the business in 1983, Toussaint and Company made the list of the fastest growing privately held companies in the United States. This annual listing of the Inc. 500 started me on a journey to someday grace the pages of the annual listing again. That first year, there were more than 17,000 entrants for the 500 places and we came in just under the wire – at #485. Our growth rate had been pretty rapid and I remember that there were seven companies from the state of Indiana who made the list.

I kept thinking that it would be easy to make the show a second time – but I was wrong. It takes sustained activity and growth, over a period of years, to make the list. And every year the competition got tougher. Needless to say, we fell short of the mark for the past 25 years. But earlier this year, based on growth in the company since I finished seminary, we decided to apply again. Only now, Inc. lists the fastest growing 5000 companies, not just the top 500 as they did years ago.

While I am disappointed that we didn’t make the top 500 again, I received notification earlier this week that we have made the expanded list – and as you can see from the title of this post – we came in as number 868 – not exactly what I was hoping for. To paraphrase what Maxwell Smart (Don Adams) used to say each week on “Get Smart” – we missed it by “that much.”

Now I am not giving up – I’ll still hope that we can break through to the top 500 next year – or the year after that. But if we don’t – well, at least we tried. And I have to hand it to our son, Andrew, who saw that I was a little disappointed in the ranking. As he said, “Dad, we’re still an Inc. 500 company” – and you know what? He’s right…

This whole experience has brought back memories of the first time we made the show back in 1988. I would never have thought that I would still be interested in the listing 26 years later. Yet here we are – and the last time Andrew was all of 7 years old. That really hit home with me this evening. And Al, our friend and accountant, has taken every step of the journey with me. That’s really something – to work with somebody that many years and to share the honors with the first person who signed up with Janet and me way back in 1983.

The verse for this evening acknowledges the fact that there is a time for everything if we persevere. We are told in Gal. 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” And we haven’t given up – we’ve been trying to help people and companies for quite a few years now. We’ve coached more than 60,000 people and found jobs for more than 15,000. That’s in addition to all the ministry work we have done – I’m grateful for the recognition of our effort. My encouragement this evening is that it is never easy to stay the course for a sustained period of time, but that’s what God expects from us. My prayer is that you will receive affirmation of your effort from time to time – as we did this week. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…