If Hashem wants to bless an individual with financial success, He can do so in an instant. To us, the road to success might seem very long, but Hashem has countless ways of shortening that road and bringing one instant success. Of course, we need to do our hishtadlut, to invest effort and to work hard. But our main area of hishtadlut upon which we focus must be the area of avodat Hashem, raising the standards of our service of Hashem. Wealth is a wonderful blessing, but the pursuit of money should not consume all our time. We need to make an effort, to put in a hard day’s work, but without ever forgetting the real purpose of life, which is to serve Hashem. We should be asking Hashem for success, and when he feels the time is right, he will send it to us, in ways we would never have imagined.
A successful businessman told me that he went to lunch with one of his friends in order to try to direct him toward greater emunah, to impress upon him that all success comes from Hashem.
“We don’t accomplish anything,” he told his friend, “It is all from Hashem.”
His friend, however, felt that to the contrary, we need to be investing greater effort. “I think you’re too laid back in your business,” he said, “and you’re not putting in enough effort. You don’t have accounts with the big names like Macy’s and Kohl’s.”
The man explained to him that building a relationship with these corporations requires a lot of time and a lot of traveling. To do so, he would have to spend a great deal of time away from his family, and he enjoys the quality of life which he has, being able to learn Torah in the morning until 8:45 and then coming home at 6:30 to be with his family and learn more Torah at night. He then said, “Hashem has blessed me with everything I need. If He wants to bless me with more money, I know that He could bring me any big company right to my doorstep.” These were his words.
The man returned to his office and a short while later he received a friendly call from his nephew. His nephew told him of a new job that he had recently started and mentioned that his company has a salesman with excellent connections with all the major stores, and who had succeeded in creating accounts with many of the big names. The next day, the nephew called back and said, “You won’t believe it. Remember that salesman I was telling you about? He just left the company and is looking for a new job.”
The businessman immediately contacted the salesman and hired him. The new employee spent the next two weeks on the phone trying to set up accounts with all the major companies. “Don’t worry,” he told his boss, “I know you don’t like traveling, so I will be happy to travel if I get meetings set up.” As it turned out, that week was market week, and every store came to them, right to their office. They held very successful meetings, and, as the man had said, Hashem brought all the major stores – such as Kohl’s, J.C. Penny, Sears, Kmart, and others – right to his doorstep. Sears even requested a follow-up meeting, and they agreed to meet at a show that the businessman was in any event planning to attend.
If Hashem wants, He could bring the business right where we are. We should work very hard, not be lazy, and put in the effort, but we should never compromise our quality of life.