Taking on the Owner Mentality: Owning Your Work

ownership mentality graphic

We’re all running around like we own the place. Why? Because when you behave like an owner, you take care of it, sacrifice for it, and view your relationship with it as a long-term commitment.

I’ve always taken great pleasure in keeping up my living areas. So much so, when I was younger, I would sometimes tell friends I couldn’t play because I needed to clean my room (even when no one was forcing me; I just enjoyed that clean-up time so much). I know this urge for tidying is a little embarrassing to admit, but I’ve accepted it – it’s simply a part of who I am.

Things changed when I went off to college and lived in dorm rooms, then apartments and townhouses for years after. These were residences I could afford on my fresh-out-of-college budget – and with lower rents also came… shall we say… aged spaces. The type where you don’t even know how to clean the baseboards (even when you really want to) because if you tried to wipe with a cloth, they might just crumble and reveal something even worse. Though I made it work in those spaces, the cleaner in me was never completely satisfied – I wasn’t up for fixing the baseboards or replacing the multiple well-worn appliances. It’s not because I suddenly didn’t care. It’s because none of it was really mine. Why sacrifice my blood, sweat, tears, dollar bills, or time to make someone else’s house feel like home?

Fortunately, I have now owned my own house for three years. I have a running list of things I want to work on and many things I’ve already improved in this home to make it a reflection of how I want to feel when I’m there, and especially how I want others to feel when they walk in the door. Here’s the difference: I now have an owner mentality, and I’m invested in this place for the long haul.

I spend a lot of my time at home. But there’s another place I spend just about as much time – my workplace. Can you apply the same “owner” mindset at work, even when you don’t actually own the company? Take it from me – you sure can.

You know the expression “running around like we own the place?” At N2, we all do that – and it’s a good thing. We believe people behave like owners in their workplace when they:

  1. Are self-motivated, self-disciplined, and self-improving.
  2. Have a “pick up the trash lying on the floor” mentality.
  3. Understand their character is a reflection of the company.
  4. Aren’t afraid to sacrifice and work hard for long-term gain.

What space – mental or physical, professional or personal – do you need to take ownership of right now? When we truly “own” these areas in our life, a sense of pride and solid results flow from that deeply-rooted mindset. I’ll forever be keeping up the areas where I live, and now that I have that same mindset for my workplace, I anticipate plenty of improvement and innovation will take place as well.