Listening to longtime trucking friends or acquaintances talk about their frustrations as the bitterness piles on and on and grows with each year with the carrier they are leased to, drive for, or even their older truck.  I listen to some of the latest bitterness and think that five years ago if you would have been hit with the new development within your company you would not have put up with the current dilemma, nor could have you ever imagined putting up with it.

When I was a smoker, I with many others would say when cigarettes reach $2.00 a pack I am quitting, well then it was when they reach $2.25 a pack, and so on, while still continuing to smoke and complain about the price.  Finally, a breaking point was reached and it has nothing to do with the price of cigarettes it was because I was finally becoming uncomfortable smoking as my health was deteriorating.  I was becoming uncomfortable being a smoker.  How far do you let yourself get pushed before deciding to make a change?

There are a lot of articles on Learned Helplessness that talk about the phenomenon of giving up and excepting what appears to be our only choice.

What Is Learned Helplessness?

Learned helplessness occurs when an animal is repeatedly subjected to an aversive stimulus that it cannot escape. Eventually, the animal will stop trying to avoid the stimulus and behave as if it is utterly helpless to change the situation. Even when opportunities to escape are presented, this learned helplessness will prevent any action.

Becoming comfortable in a situation even as the situation worsens is often more comfortable than thinking of the unknown.  New daily routines to learn and even if the money looks better is it really better?  Running your own business can be scary as nothing is guaranteed.  Is it better to keep trying to make or accept conditions where you are or is it time to cut the ties and move on?  That answer is different for each business owner on how long to wait for this decision.  Waiting too long can put the business into a financial bind where the risk of losing even more income could put you out of business, either way if ties are not cut is a downward spiral with no light at the bottom.

When considering a change do research by talking to other companies, drivers, and fleet owners, as the last thing you want to do is jump from one fire to another fire.  When another company has basically the same business model as the company you are presently with why move, as this would be comparable to swapping for the same type of problems.

Business is always risky and knowing when to cut ties and move on is a difficult decision.  We always have to analyze our business to be sure we are not like the frog in the pot of hot water.

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About Linda Caffee

Bob and Linda have been team drivers since 2005 as expediters. They are leased to Landstar Express America. Bob was a diesel mechanic for twenty years before doing over the road and Linda worked in the courthouse.

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