“It’s Not Me, It’s Us.” Why You Should Give Away Ownership in Your Business
One of most effective ways to grow your business is by inviting others to contribute to your success.
Whether you realize or not, the success of your business is directly connected to the cooperation of others — to gather, galvanize, and advocate around your idea. Often as entrepreneurs, we internalize the journey towards entrepreneurship as a singular experience, in which we are the protagonists of our very own, unpublished success story. And we would be justified in doing so. For many business owners, the lone wolf condition resonates the ebb and flow, dips and dives, successes and failures that are oft associated with starting a business.
We are careful to dream too loudly, for fear that someone listening may take our dreams and give them life. And it is understandable. There’s nothing new under the Sun. But, the sun has existed for billions of years. And the way we pursue our business ventures is as unique as our own signatures.
Give to gain.
Success is the cooperation of others. The failure to realize this universal fact or accept its unbridled truth is almost a violation of physics. Sure, the fantastical claim that we do everything on our own looks great on paper but it is an audacious claim nonetheless if we don’t consider the mystical dance that weaves our relationships, our works, our deeds, and the consequence of such actions into one harmonious exhibition.
You can give ownership without giving up equity.
What if you could invite a guest to the ideation stage of a concept you have and allow their creative process to demonstrate the value they can bring? Once you learn how to match a person’s interests and strengths to a financial incentive through a transparent and obtainable path, you can experience the benefits of a vested partner working in and for your business — without taking a title of ownership. It grants an agent of your business just enough permission to take risks without feeling wholly responsible for the overall health of your business. This is important, as it helps contextualize and reframe aspects of the business as project-based activities in ways which might have a psychological significance on their emotional and rational decision-making.
But, there really are some practical reasons as to why give to gain makes sense and more cents.
Your business becomes more efficient. By assigning control to vested members of your enterprise, you turn parts of your business into self-sustained micro-ecosystems whose outcomes affect your overall bottom line.
Your goals become S.M.A.R.T.er. Your business may be composed of seve\jral pieces or activities that work independently, but share a common goal. Leverage the strengths, talents, and interests of a vested partner, assigned to a SMART goal, so you can fail efficiently and/or advance your objectives more efficiently.
It’s healthy for you and your business. Burnout is real and self-care is a habit that’s frequently an afterthought for many of us chasing the dream. But when you spread the love (or the workload), you, in turn, liberate yourself from the task; freeing up valuable mental bandwidth to make clearer, well-informed decisions.
It feels good. Compensation surprisingly may not be enough. People respond to being acknowledged for their contributions. By entrusting someone with a piece of your business, you can satisfy both.
Listen closely. Sometimes the people around you will leave unintentional clues of how they can contribute to your business (and success), through a relationship that is mutually benefiting and enjoyable.
As you consider who to onboard into your emerging business, try to find those whose personal interests and motivations align with your final objectives. Give space for ideation and watch for the projects, concepts, and iterations thereof they gravitate towards. A display of enthusiasm should be satiated with action and the proper means to feed that energy into something productive. Do this, and you might just find harmony among the noise of starting up.