Abundant Optimism

Helping people regain and keep an optimistic outlook in challenging circumstances and improve their creativity, mind, and skills.

Own the Business

by Tamara Martfeld

When I was a child, my grandfather gave me a great piece of advice regardless of the position you are working, act as if you own the business.

Acting as if you own the business has significant ramifications. If you do not own the business it is easy to provide sub-standard customer service, allow waste you can prevent, and make not-so-great decisions just because that not-so-great decision was the easiest solution rather than the best solution.

When you own the business you want knock-your-socks-off customer service so that your customers rave about your business to others and return when they need the services you provide. You want the waste to be minimal so that profits are higher. You want to take care to make the best decision so that the business thrives.

Acting as if you own the business for which you work can be beneficial to you. If you have a good supervisor your attention to the detail may help you get raises or advance in the business. If you do not have a good supervisor you can use the work you have done as examples of the type of employee you are as you seek a position with a good supervisor.

I can almost hear you saying that you have no authority where you work and thus cannot act as if you own the business. This is not true in most cases more specifically, I cannot think of any case where it is true.

If you are a sales clerk or a person who works at a fast food counter you can give a big smile to the customer, make the customer feel welcome in the business, and provide the best service you are able to provide.

If you are a janitor, maid, or other service-oriented occupation, you can do your job with excellence so that those benefiting from your service are impressed. I complimented a janitor in a building I once worked in because the bathroom was literally sparkling all the time. He stated that it was because he cleaned the walls regularly every day he wiped down one of the walls so that by the end of the week every wall had been cleaned. This simple extra effort made a big difference.

If you work in an office you can find ways to reduce the amount of paper used (do you really need to print something that you will toss by the end of the day?), use the available supplies until they are no longer usable, and suggest improvements to existing procedures.

If you are a manager at any level you can remember that those under you are also your customers and remember to treat them well and thank them for a job well-done. If you have not been doing this and start to do this you will likely find morale improving.

Whatever job you have, look at how you do it and determine if it is how you would do it if you owned the business. Make whatever changes you can and, if appropriate, suggest changes to your management. If nothing else you will be gaining practice for when you reach the higher levels of your career.

Have a wonderful March and lots of success!