I remember it quite vividly. An employee had a completely different idea of how our self-promotion should be executed. We discussed it and went back and forth. I suggested we sit on it and come back to the project in a couple of days. On the inside, I was frustrated. “I own my own business, why can’t I get my way? This stinks.” I kept playing back this internal message.
A pill to swallow
I went home and pondered what to do. I came to realization I needed to let my idea go, and affirm my employee for the benefit of the office culture. The very next day I told my colleague to move forward. It was the right decision, and there have been many decisions since then that were not my personal preference, but were right for the organization.
The difference between owning a business and working for one
Owning a business is like buying stocks. You can win big, but you can also lose just as big. You have to learn to live with the weight of knowing all decisions are on your head. Being an employee is like owning a mutual fund. You will likely get a decent return, but not a huge one. It is a lot less scary, as you don’t have to watch the market and worry if you have made the right stock pick. On the other hand everyone is down when the market goes south.
Before you call me Debbie Downer
Yes, owning a business stinks, but only sometimes. Being an employee would stink sometimes too — no one can really escape the occasional unpleasant odor. After fifteen years, I can say without a doubt it has made me a braver person, and it has also increased my faith. A farmer works hard, but he is very aware that God provides the rain and sun. Lessons I could only have learned by taking a leap of faith fifteen years ago.