Company Owners are Employees Too

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multi-tasking womanBeing a company owner is a fantastic achievement. It’s gratifying and rewarding, but it is also a slippery slope. Not a one of us is exempt from becoming a liability to our companies. The only way to prevent this is to hold on to our humility and live it every day.

Hubris. The dictionary defines it as “excessive pride and ambition that usually leads to the downfall of a hero in classical tragedy”. However, it exists everywhere and everyone is susceptible to it. Just as it was the downfall of Greek heroes, it is also one of the highest reasons for why companies go out of business. That is why humility is so essential to the execution of good business.

A company owner can reasonably tout, at least in the very beginning that the company is theirs and whatever success the company has is solely theirs too. But, as the company grows and employees are brought it, the success is shared and everyone should reap the rewards of good business. Granted, the owner used his or her ideas and money as the initial investment to create the company, and these investments are at risk every day. But, it is the employees that allow those ideas to take tangible shape and turn a profit.

Reality is, once a company becomes a corporation, corporation owners answer to the federal government and state laws and taxes. In keeping with this idea, business owners are not only employees of their own companies, but they are also employees of the government. They work and serve in the same capacity as everyone else employed by the company. Not to mention, it is just good business to see yourself, the owner, as a trustee of the company money. In doing so, company owners will protect company money from personal use. In a sense, this view of business is a form of self-preservation for the welfare of everyone involved with the company. In a broader perspective, it is unhealthy to adopt any form of smug behavior.

A company owner’s mindset will usually forecast a company’s longevity and ability to succeed. Mind control is also essential when conducting business. And when all else fails, when owners question themselves and the choices they are about to make, it boils down to this… what philosophy do you want the company to embody? After that, every decision made should lead to that end.

“On the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.”
Michel de Montaigne’s The Complete Essays

“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”
Abraham Lincoln

Last modified: August 9, 2013
Nikki Hall
Nikki is the co-owner of Aspect Tree Service in Alexandria, VA. Learn about her business at

This story is part of our Small Business Corner, a peek into the life and trials of small business owners.

Category: MPR Authored, Small Business, Small Business Corner, small business owners, Tips