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Do you have an owner mentality? Alan Berg CSP - Wedding Business Solutions PodcastDo you have an owner mentality? 

Whether you own your business or work in it, having an owner-mentality is a recipe for success. Some people do this naturally, some need to be shown the way. Which one are you? 

Listen to this new 9-minute episode for inspiration on having an owner mentality for you and your team. 

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Below is a full transcript. If you have any questions about anything in this, or any of my podcasts, or have a suggestion for a topic or guest, please reach out directly to me at [email protected] or contact me viatext, use the short form on this page, or call 732.422.6362 

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– What does it mean to have an owner mentality? Listen to this episode and find out. Hi, it’s Alan Berg. Welcome back to another edition of the Wedding Business Solutions podcast. This is another topic that came from my sales training. One of my clients wanted his employees, his salespeople, actually everybody in the company, to have more of an owner mentality and to understand what that means, there’s a difference between thinking like a worker and thinking like an owner. Now, whether you own your business or work in a business, whether you have worked in a business before and now are an owner or whatever, that, here’s what it is. 

I used this example for his team to explain this. I said, let’s say it’s seven o’clock in the morning, and you’re working inside of a coffee shop, and there’s a line of people outside waiting for you to unlock the doors because you open at seven o’clock, but it’s about a quarter to seven, right? It’s not even seven o’clock yet. You’re inside. Everything is ready. All the workers in the store are ready. The doors are locked. People are outside. The owner mentality is: It’s quarter to seven. Everything’s ready, open the doors. The worker mentality is we don’t open until seven. So, this is kind of a little way of showing the difference. An owner would look and say, let the people in. And we let the people in. Yes, it’s a little bit early. Are we setting a precedent? Maybe, but maybe we find out that we have a lot of people that have to get to work on time and seven o’clock is cutting it close for them. So, maybe we should open at 6:30, and we’ll have customers coming in at 6:30. That’s the owner mentality. The worker is: the sign says we don’t open until seven. We don’t open until seven, or the converse of that is getting ready to close the store, and somebody walks in five minutes before, and you’re looking at them like, uh, I’m trying to close the store, or are you thinking, hey, I have a customer. I might make a sale. There’s again the owner mentality. 

Part of this comes down to another episode that I did about, you know, saying, Yes. How do you say yes to the customer all the time? Which we know is impossible, but it’s the idea of, can I give them a yes, even if it isn’t the yes that they want. And the owner mentality is kind of the same thing. Are your employees feeling free to speak up about ideas that they have? Or are you resistant to any ideas, but your own? You know, one thing that I’ve learned over the years is that, I think it was the title of a book even, none of us is as smart as all of us. The best ideas often come from people not involved with your business or people that are watching what you’re doing from the outside and going, hey, why do you do that? Why don’t we do it this way? And one thing that I’ve also learned is, I’m very fine with somebody telling me, hey, you know, I’ve tried it the way that you said. I think I have another way that we could do it. I think that’s great. 

What people have to understand is somebody new coming in to the company, sometimes it’s young people. Sometimes it’s just a new employee. They may not be as young. They’ve done things differently somewhere else. That doesn’t mean that it is or isn’t right for your business, that it may or may not be better for your business. The question is, are they willing to speak up and take that owner mentality and say, hey, I think I can make us more efficient. I think I can provide better customer service. I think I can, you know, make us more profitable if we do it this way. And that’s the owner mentality, but then you, if you are the owner, you have to be open to that and willing to that. Now, it also, yes, it’s definitely how someone brings that to you. Criticizing what you do, that’s not a good way to bring it. It’s this, it’s really to say, kind of, coming from the world of improv. Yes-and, listen, I see the way we do it, and I think if we did it this way, we might be able to save, fill in the blank, money, time have better customer relations, whatever it is. That’s more of having that ownership mentality where I’m an owner. I’m thinking like an owner, even when I’m not. 

I remember, I left a job because they didn’t like that I asked why. So, you know, why do we do it this way? And if the answer was, which it was back then, because we always have, that’s not always a good answer. We always have doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way. Maybe we didn’t know any other way, and that’s why we did it, or maybe when we started doing it that way there was no option, but now there is. So, do you have the owner mentality as an owner? Are you open to the idea that maybe you could do things differently or you, kind of, get stuck in your way? One thing that I’ve said before many times is, you know, I want to make my business model obsolete before somebody does it for me. So, what is my innovation? What’s my next way? What’s the way to make it better? What’s the way to make it different? What’s the way to give my customers a better experience? That’s part of that owner mentality, whether you own the company or not. 

When I was Vice President of Sales at The Knot, I used to have this thing called “Ideas come first”, where on the first of every month, I encouraged my sales team, my customer experience team to come to me with ideas that either they or customers had, because I’m not out there with the 50, 60 sales reps and the 20 customer service people, whatever. I’m not talking to customers every day the way that all of these people cumulatively are, and if there’s a user experience thing that we could make it better because a customer said, hey, why do we do that on the website? Could we say that instead? Or if one of my sales reps said, you know, this is the way we’ve described this. I think we should describe it that way might be better. If I don’t hear that we can’t make the change. None of us is as smart as smart as all of us. So, I encouraged on the first of every month for people to email me things that they thought, or their customers thought, and I acknowledged every single one, even if we couldn’t do it. Sometimes we couldn’t do something because it might work in one market. Let’s say it worked in Des Moines, but it might not work in 50, 60, 70 other markets. It wasn’t scalable. And I understood that that person, that customer service rep or sales rep is thinking locally. I have to think more globally, and when I was in that position, I had to think, can we scale this? And I would go back and say, hey, I love that idea. I don’t see how I can scale that to make it work in the other markets. Think about that and come on back to me with some ideas on how we can. 

So, I never shot down an idea. Even if we couldn’t do it, there was always a why. There was a why we couldn’t do it, but let’s go to the next yes. And then sometimes we were able to do it, like, duh, yeah, absolutely. Let’s do it. And when people first came to me, they were skeptical. Some people didn’t come to me with ideas. They didn’t think we would do them, and then I had a meeting and I put up on the board, it was slides and it would have very small print, but it would say, so and so said to do this, done. So, and so said to do this, done. And it went down two full slides of small print of things that people suggested in the company, whether it was the customers or the sales people or customer service people, and we did them. And then it was, like, wow, they’re actually listening. They’re actually doing this. And that’s, again, part of that mentality. I wanted people to feel invested in it. That’s the owner mentality as well. 

So, do you have the owner mentality, whether or not you are the owner? Do your people have the owner mentality? Can you be giving them not just responsibility, but authority to go with that responsibility, so when you’re not there overseeing what they’re doing, they’re thinking like you would think? They’re thinking like an owner would think, and then you don’t have to micromanage people. Micromanaging people turns off the owner mentality because they feel you don’t want to know what they think anyway, so they’re not even going to share when they have ideas. You want to be open to those ideas and then celebrate those ideas. Certainly the ones you do, but then also celebrate the fact that people come to you with ideas that you can’t do and say, hey, great idea. I don’t think we can do that right now because of this. Can you come back with a, you know, something else that’ll help fix this thing, that’s preventing us from doing it, or I don’t think we can do that one. Keep the ideas coming though. I love the way you’re thinking. 

Encourage that owner mentality among your people, and then you and they will thrive because if people feel valued, valued for their ideas, they’ll stick around, even if they might be able to make more money someplace else, because job satisfaction. Part of that is feeling valued in your position, and thinking like an owner and being celebrated for thinking like an owner is one way that you can actually do that. I hope this gave you something to think about. 

I’m Alan Berg. Thanks for listening. If you have any questions about this or if you’d like to suggest other topics for “The Wedding Business Solutions Podcast” please let me know. My email is [email protected]. Look forward to seeing you on the next episode. Thanks. 

Listen to this and all episodes on Apple Podcast, YouTube or your favorite app/site: 

©2022 Wedding Business Solutions LLC & AlanBerg.com 

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