• BONUM Staff

Thinking Like an Owner vs. a Boss


Freedom from the traditional 9 to 5 and the ability to purse one's passions are two common reasons the entrepreneurial-minded open a small business. Yet, many end up being a boss owned by their company- dreams consumed by the daily grind and endless email.

12 Signs You're a Boss... not an Owner
1. Working for work's sake and losing sight of dreams 
2. Working where you live, sleep or should relax
3. Chasing unqualified or international customers
4. Answering email that won't result in sales, can be answered with FAQ
5. Handling issues that coworkers, employees or outsourcers can resolve 
6. Addressing the same issue or non-crisis more than once 
7. Micromanaging and sending emails to feel active and in control
8. Striving for endless perfection
9. Blowing small problems out of proportion
10. Making non-time-sensitive issues urgent 
11. Not continually evaluating activities to make best use of time
12. Viewing one product, job or project as the end-all be-all

Are you ready to make the shift from boss to owner? Owners diverge from what the rest of the world is doing, yet are surprisingly uniform:

Mindset (Purpose)

Owners begin with a deep knowledge of themselves to cultivate the mindset and methods which drives the motivation needed to act and achieve. They question their motivations to continually align activities with their purpose and avoid miscuing or acting from false assumptions. Owners don't confuse work with their sole purpose in life, but rank it appropriately as one of many. Instead of hoarding income for some future retirement, owners put their income to work to enjoy periods of rest throughout life. They do not cultivate power, but power settles on them as a byproduct of sound leadership.

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Methods (Process)

Owners see time, like health, as an irreplaceable resource. They consider the limitations of timing and strive to produce more meaningful results with fewer hours in the office. Less is not laziness, but efficiency in choosing quality over quantity. Owners don't do things because that's how things have always been done. They ask why and look for areas of improvement focusing on strengths- not fixing weaknesses. Owners mitigate down-sides to create win-win scenarios. Money alone is not the solution. Like people, money is a workforce. Owners regard relative income as more important than absolute income.

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Motivation (Push/Pull)

Purpose motivates owners to act in relentless pursuit of their goals. Actions are consciously connected to goals. While the source of purpose varies, owners continually draft, set, revise, and accomplish goals. When failure stops others in their tracks, owners work through failure as a necessary and calculated cost in progress. They use failure to refine strategy and steer next steps. Being underestimated or doubted drives some owners to prove others wrong and beat expectations. Seasoned owners understand interest and energy as cyclical, at times sensing the wave of change.


Thank you for reading, Beyond Business: Musing from a socially conscious international small business.


Additional Resources

4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss