You Are the Employee in Your Own Business! Yes, we joke about it. And then we go home late from work, the last to lock up the office, and you are wondering if there is some truth in the joke you shared with the other entrepreneurs earlier.

Why would you be the so-called BOSS, but you seem to be working harder and harder than your employees in the company. Yet, you shoulder so many responsibilities in owning the business, but don’t actually have the benefits of actually being the owner.

I wrote this article to remind business owners if they experience the following in their business, then something is not quite right.I will share the reasons with you. As you read the points I am about to share, I am also not saying that you should get your employees to do these, just because you are doing it. That’s not my point.

What I am trying to say is that, if the below are happening, there is a high chance that your business has a made a JOB for you. It does not give you the freedom to do whatever else you want to do in your life, and there are better ways of running your business.

So, here it is… You know you are an EMPLOYEE in your own business when…

#1 – You constantly go home later than everyone else

Its no biggie if its every now and then. But if it happens most nights, and you find yourself alone in the office, rushing deadlines and missing family dinners, that’s not okay. If you occasionally rush a deadline, but you have your team members with you, that is okay. Well in some businesses, there are tight deadlines and that’s how it goes, but don’t be doing it alone!

Its fine if you think you can do it, but have you ever thought of what would happen to your business, if something were to happen to you? No one else could complete those proposals, or build those campaigns, and ONLY you can get it done. I’d say that’s risky business.

#2 – You have to seek approval from employees to take on new projects

I have heard some real disapproval of business owners wanting to take on new opportunities, but could not go through with it because his employees were not willing to take on more work. I believe in getting buy-in from employees in taking on new projects, but what I do not get are employees who do not want new business because it means they work harder.

At the same time, there is an employee expectation for bigger bonuses and increments, while the “boss’s” portion shrinks if everything stays status quo year-on-year, and if new projects and new business don’t come in, to raise the bottom line.

#3 – You take notes at team meetings while employees listen

We (business owners) take notes of our meetings with employees, because we have a ton of things to do. We write things down so we can remember what we talked about in last week’s meeting. But when we take notes, and our employees don’t, it sends a signal that YOU have a ton to do, while they don’t. If notes are not being taken, it means that…(1) they are less likely to retain useful information from the meeting, (2) employees are likely going to take less ownership on the task. Its still YOUR task, and your business. Not ours.

Does it bother you that when you arrive at the next meeting, just to find your team unprepared and waiting for you to create an agenda of what to talk about? Well, this is not entirely their fault though, and you can change this. Set up a good & consistent agenda, so your team knows what to prepare in a meeting with you, and not come in empty-handed. Get your team to present areas of the business, they are responsible for, not you having to ask for updates. Assign a minute taker who takes meeting notes properly, so it does not have to be you.

#4 – You cancel your holidays because your employees go on one, or don’t show up to work

If this has happened to anyone of you, welcome to the club. Business owners have to cancel their holidays because employees got on sick or emergency leave. When they don’t show up for work, someone has to man the shop or office, and that person is you. Even if there are other employees that could man the front, but you have to do it, for whatever reason.

Sometimes, it’s less obvious. Sometimes, it’s a manager (key person in your company that you have trained to take over parts of your role), and this person keeps playing hide-and-seek and not showing up to work, that sends YOU (the owner) straight back to work. If it happens exceptionally, that’s okay, but if it happens very often, then it’s not making sense in having this manager.

The only reason you’d keep them around is because... (1) you can’t find a new one, (2) you hadn’t looked hard enough for a replacement, (3) you feel it’s a shame to let them go because you trained them, or they have been around for many years.

#5 – You can’t take leave from work because you are constantly “needed” in the business

You have to really ask yourself this one. Are you REALLY needed, or did you make your indispensable? Or did your employees make you feel indispensable? If there is no one else that can do your job, then you have to do it, really. The truth is, it’s nice to have a “boss” that cannot delegate his work to employees, that just means there is less to do.

And if it means that you cannot take even 3 days leave to go for a decent holiday, that tops the charts. Or worse even, you go for that holiday but you have the phone stuck to your face while you are at Angkor Wat.

If you don’t face any of the above, good for you. SHARE this article with someone who faces these, and needs a wake-up call, or needs to know how to run the business better, so that he/she can go get a life. Literally. Because being in a business is about having more life. #GreatBusinessGreatLife

Maresa Ng – Asia’s Top Business Growth Specialist

Maresa Ng is a Passionate Entrepreneur ​who helps business​ owner ​grow their business​ to a stage where it is commercial, profitable, ​and can continue to work without them. Maresa has worked with thousands of business owners and she has been turning around businesses since 2008. She was a corporate and investment banker, but now she is the leading Business Growth Specialist & Business Advisor in South East Asia. She always believes, as entrepreneurs, you can have Great Quality of Life through Great Business!
#​​greatbusinessgreatlife