"I Feel Like a Fraud, Why?"
I had a baseball coach in High School. He has been teaching and coaching at the school for decades. In my Sophomore year, the school completed a build of a new Baseball diamond, with quality bleachers and dugouts. Every single day after school he went out to the field to manicure the lawn. To rake the field and to ensure that each piece of that field was impeccable. I would not be surprised if he was still doing this today, all himself.
It is very unlikely that he was paid anything more to do this.
It was also not necessary for the game to be played.
And, the common joke was that he would use a magnifying glass and tweezers to pluck the grass.
This is an owner.
Founders of companies aren’t a different breed.
They are just like you…save for one subtle change.
There IS a reason that they keep a fair share of the equity in a given company.
And a reason in which their actions to you, might seem strange…
Or, if you are a founder, why your actions might be misunderstood by those you work with.
The difference is that one person takes full responsibility, while the other does not.
And it is this feeling of responsibility that creates a feeling of Ownership.
When it is YOUR house, or YOUR car, or YOUR child, you see things differently.
This perception of ownership leads to a type of care and awareness that isn’t present in those who do not feel it.
This is why equity is given out. To change the relationship from employee to owner.
You see, Ownership is a feeling, rather than a title.
And while equity may be given freely, this feeling cannot be.
It is in each individual to discover.
Even if you are the CEO of a company with hundreds of employees, you may feel like a fraud.
Not because you don’t deserve to be there. Not because you aren’t fit for the role.
But simply because you haven’t fully accepted this responsibility, or allowed yourself this feeling.
The feeling that you would choose to be out on the field, plucking the grass; from care, not from fear.
From love and responsibility, not from obligation.
An owner is more like a caring father or mother.
And in any vocation, from Janitor to CEO this quality of ownership may exist.
This is the Freelancer who is focused on service to the client.
Or the Barista, who has memorized dozens of customer names and orders.
If you feel like a fraud, you have not become an owner.
This is not about a role. It’s about what you are doing with where you are, regardless of title.
This is not about hard work. It’s about the place in which this perceived “hard work” comes from.
This is not about ego and false confidence. It is about the comfortable feeling of selfless giving to your craft.
To an “owner" it is not hard work. And they could care less about a title.
This care, this quality, is a feeling that you can find within yourself.
But do not fall trap to bravado or mimicry.
Fall in love with care and responsibility.
And I will tell you a secret.
The world will tell you that the "Crown is a heavy burden to bear."
And this is true… for those who haven’t discovered this quality.
To feel like an owner is a very comfortable place to be...