how to be an owner

part one: the owner

(figure 1)


diagram: single point

the single point in (figure 1) represents the business owner, the person who controls a business and all of its operations.

when a business’s profits exceed its expenditures, the business owner must decide where to reinvest the excess money. the most popular investment strategy amongst owners is to hire employees:

(figure 2)

· <——————> ·

diagram: two points and a double-sided arrow

thereby, the right point is born.

the choice to hire an employee is done under the presumption that the cost of their labor will be less than the value they add to the company.

(figure 3)

[   salary of employee   ] <  [    value added to company     ]
[ value added to company ] == [ value added to business owner ]

diagram: mathematical representation of an employee

ultimately, the employee is an asset and should be considered a part of the company’s investment strategy.

part two: the employee

after reading the previous section, the employee may begin to question their reality:

  • “will i get paid more if i work harder?”
  • “will i get paid more if the business succeeds?”
  • “what happens if business goes poorly?”
  • “why should i work hard to make the owners richer?”

the worker is left with a few choices:

  • do nothing and accept reality
    • “this job is a means to live my life outside of work”
    • accept reality
  • quit and get another job
    • the same problems will persist at the new job
  • quit to become an owner
  • classified - employee access only
  • classified - employee access only

part three: perspective from the owner

after reading the previous section, the owner begins to worry about their assets:

  • “are my employees really trying their hardest?”
  • “are my employees really passionate about making me richer?”

the owner needs to ensure their workers are productive and motivated.

to accomplish this, the owner must understand the psychology of a cog.

part four: the psychology of a cog

a good cog is grateful for their job. reasons why cogs are happy and don’t question their surroundings:

  • “the hours of this job are so relaxed and flexible!”
  • “this job pays good money; why would i ever leave?”
  • “money can’t buy happiness, and this job makes me happy.”
  • “i literally couldn’t find another job if i tried. it’s tough out there.”

in summary, the 4 things to focus on in order to grease up the cogs are:

  1. hours
  2. wages
  3. working conditions
  4. manipulate the job market (realistically, not possible)

…admittedly, these aren’t great options.

the owner probably wants people to work more and get paid less; they want to maximize the roi on their investment.

to accomplish this, the owner must understand the psychology of an owner.

part five: the psychology of an owner

goal: to manipulate the emotional state of employees so that they:

  • accept lower wages
  • put in extra hours
  • are fully productive while at work

to accomplish this, the owner must consider the perceived gap (figure 2) between them and their employees.

the owner should absolve their ego and be reborn as an employee.

(figure 4)

[[ company ]] <—————— ··

diagram: two points and an arrow pointing to the company

a typical employee should work hard to uphold the company. (increase profits, hit kpis, et al.)

reminder: employees should (subconsciously) be fearful for their wellbeing. this should increase productivity amongst employees, ensuring the company’s success.

as such, the owner should be seen as synonymous to an employee. “one of us.”

if done correctly, this should build camaraderie amongst the entire team. the idea is to convince employees that everyone is happily working toward a common goal due to “aligned incentives.”

…unbeknownst to the employees:

  • the owner don’t actually work as many hours as they do.
  • the owner gets paid more than they do.
  • the owner “steers the ship” (makes all the decisions)

to verify things are running as expected, make certain that everyone is unquestioning, satisfied, and deeply fearful.

once this dynamic is set, the company is destined to have a pyramid-like power structure.

(figure 5)

             /===\ \
            /=====\' \
           /=======\'' \
          /=========\ ' '\
         /===========\''   \
        /=============\ ' '  \
       /===============\   ''  \
      /=================\' ' ' ' \
     /===================\' ' '  ' \
    /=====================\' '   ' ' \
   /=======================\  '   ' /
  /=========================\   ' /
 /===========================\'  /

diagram: pyramid

part six: rusty cogs

there are going to be some “free thinking” cogs that still remain. they might be wondering:

  • “i don’t get paid enough”
  • “when do i get my carrot?”
  • “what is my job security?”
  • “why is everyone two faced?”

they also might:

  • not embody company values
  • not be working as hard as they could
  • not be delivering a return on investment

it is probably best for the company to get rid of rusty cogs.

part seven: getting rid of rusty cogs

follow these steps:

  1. over-hire
  2. “oops, we over-hired. now we have to do layoffs”
  3. dispose of the rusty cogs
  4. instill both fear and gratitude into those that remain
  5. repeat

part eight: compliance

for companies where:

  • they are seeking vc (venture capital) funding
  • vc already has majority control of board

the steps outlined in part seven are a frequent prescription. you may be required to comply.

for more information on ownership compliance, please refer to figure five.

please be mindful of who your real owner is.

Now it’s your turn

Time for a self-diagnosis. What step is your company at right now?

Written on July 16, 2022