At RCC, we believe that there are three types of small business owners: The Practitioner, The Executive, and The Practicing Executive.
Each type is based on the amount of time an owner spends in either the Practitioner or Executive roles – or both. There is a fourth type of ownership. It is not based on roles but on a mindset. It is the most important type. Any of the role-based type owners can also be this fourth type, which is the True Business Owner.
Let’s elaborate on the three role-based types.
The Practitioner. Let’s say you are an expert at building websites. You turned your expertise into a one-person business or practice. You probably don’t think of yourself as an Executive of a company. (We are using ‘company’ and ‘business’ interchangeably here.) More likely, you are the consultant, expert, or practitioner. You spend the majority of your time at your practice using your expertise. A small portion of time you spend in the Executive role: that is the time when, as they say, you are working on your business. RCC uses The Practitioner to describe your ownership type.
The Executive. Let’s say you are a landscape expert. You hire a staff of 20 people who are experts like you. Your staff does the customer work, you don’t. You run the business. You are mostly working in the owner role, performing ownership rather than employee responsibilities. RCC is inclined to dub your business owner type as The Executive.
The Practicing Executive. How about this owner? She is an owner who runs a 7-person architectural firm, works as an expert on client projects, and also manages the staff. The executive-expert-manager describes small business owners who do not fit in the first two cases. The small business owners RCC works with usually straddle these three roles or perhaps are straddling the expert and executive roles. RCC calls this business owner type, The Practicing Executive because she performs ownership responsibilities which makes her the Executive, and she is also a management and service practitioner.
Choose one of the three types above that best describes your ownership role and then read on.
True Business Ownership (TBO). The fourth type of ownership is available to all business owners. RCC calls it True Business Ownership. It is the most important state of ownership that a small business owner can possess. True Business Ownership raison d’etre is to champion the business owner’s Freedom to Choose the type of relationship between him and his company that will make him happy. (Incidentally, RCC’s raison d’etre to champion TBO among all small business owners.) As mentioned earlier, True Business Ownership is a state of mind. The True Business Owner genuinely believes that he can choose the type of company he wants to own at any time during his lifetime of ownership. You would think this choice a no-brainer, but once an owner is out of startup, this choice is harder to make without a TBO commitment.
Why TBO Matters. Your happiness matters. You deserve to be a happy business owner. It matters to your loved ones that you are happy in your business. It matters to Employees, Customers, Partners, Prospects, Vendors and Stakeholders that they are working with a happy business owner. They may not tell you how they need you to be happy when you are happy, but they will let you know (in spoken or unspoken terms) how your unhappiness is affecting them and their relationship with you.
Why Knowing Your Business Owner Type Matters. If you want to become a True Business Owner, then it will take more or less work depending on your business owner type. If you are an Executive owner, you already have staff in place to whom you can delegate more employee responsibilities. If you have not delegated your management responsibilities, now would be a good time to start.
If you are a Practicing-Executive owner, you also have staff to delegate to. Now, you have to decide how many employee tasks you want to delegate. The more time you work at tasks that employees could do, the more difficult it may be to have the freedom to choose time away from your business for vacations or for personal time. Remember, if you are happy doing employee tasks, then seek other ways to satisfy your TBO needs. (RCC can help!)
It may seem that the Practitioner will find it the most challenging to have the freedom to choose the relationship s/he wants with the business, but that is not necessarily so. Most practitioners are solopreneurs who have already decided to stay a one-person shop. They can achieve True Business Ownership by hiring part-time or outsourcing work.
Regardless of which type you live in, it may be necessary for you to move from one business owner type to another to achieve the True Business Ownership level you require to be happy. If a move needs to happen, just give yourself time to restructure your business. Remember to keep your TBO mindset front and center, as that mindset will be your driving force for change.
You Matter to Us. Small Business Owner burnout happens. It occurs in secret. RCC believes it is more rampant than realized. Working with small business owners for almost 20 years, it matters to us that not only are our clients happy in their businesses, but that small business owners thrive in our local and global communities. It matters to us that you know that TBOing works. (See our client testimonials throughout our website). If the concept of TBO clicks with you, then it matters to us that you know TBO is a choice you can make to enjoy your business again and again.
You can be the Practitioner, Executive or Practicing Executive, and in addition, be a TBOwner. There is only one key discipline involved in being a TBOwner and that is to check on your level of happiness – often. ‘Figuring out’ what level to take your company happens after you determine your own level of happiness at your company and whether you will be happy owning a business that is functioning at its next level of growth.
RCC is in the business of coaching and consulting on True Business Ownership. You have the Freedom to Choose the company you want and the relationship you want with it. RCC works with small business owners to find out what they want from the business and then restructure the business to make it happen!
Let us know what you need.