This article is for the clock-punchers. The folks who rent out their knowledge and experience in exchange for an hourly rate or annual salary. This includes the folks who take on part-time work to supplement their own side hustle or solopreneur business. While you may not ultimately have the responsibilities of an owner, you can help the company for which you work thrive and survive even in the toughest times if you’ll think like an owner.
There are advantages to choosing to be an employee rather than an owner. You get to work in your chosen career field without the stress and strain of dealing with all the owner responsibilities. If you’re a graphic designer, you get to do design work, rather than having to handle the business of running a graphic design company; things like renting an office, handling payroll, dealing with employee taxes, vacation schedules, bringing in new accounts, profit and loss statements, creating a website, running marketing campaigns, etc.
But the fact you don’t have to worry about those things shouldn’t prevent you for feeling empathy for the person who does. You know… that man or woman who signs your paycheck (and makes sure it clears) every two-weeks.
The next time you’re faced with a situation where you’re tempted to act like the wage worker that you technically are, take a moment to instead think like an owner…
- Your working hours are 9am to 5pm. You have your jacket on at 5:01 and are headed away from your desk when the phone rings. Do you quicken your pace toward the door or do you think like an owner and answer the call because you know there are customers working in every time zone and it’s still not 5 o’clock somewhere.
- Do you come into work on Monday and waste the first hour of the day complaining to co-workers about having to be at work again and touting your opinion that the boss should pay everyone for three-day weekends, or do you think like an owner and walk into the office ready to get to work and help customers?
- At the end of the week are you TGIF-ing everyone in the office and talking to customers on the phone about how glad you are that the week is over and you can’t wait to leave, or do you think like an owner and leave clients (and co-workers) with the impression that you actually enjoy your job and what you do for a living?
- When you go to the break room to get brew yourself a K-cup of coffee, do you simply grab your mug and go or do you think like an owner and notice the brewer needs more water added, the spilled sugar on the counter, and the K-cup tray is nearly empty — and then do something about it by refilling the water, wiping up the sugar spill, and replenishing the coffee pods?
Those are just everyday kinds of scenarios.
What is your mindset for when business gets really challenging?
Like, say… a viral pandemic that is threatening the health and well-being of not just you and your family, but of your co-workers and the very viability of the company you all work for?
Do you turn inward and think solely of what you stand to lose and how you can keep hold of it for yourself, or do you think like an owner and take on the responsibility to help find a solution to help not just yourself, but all your co-workers and your company (and your company’s customers) survive the economic downturn?
Get in the habit of thinking about what’s good for the whole group instead of just what may be good for you, and you’ll find that going from selfish to selfless expands your horizons with bigger and better ideas, as well as bigger and better business opportunities.
Clock-punchers are hopefully worth their wage, but a team member who thinks like an owner is worth their weight in gold.