Time to Read: 5-7 minutes


I used to work at a gym during college as an intern which eventually turned into a full-time personal training job during grad school. Still to this day, I have never forgotten what that place taught me. It was a life altering experience and I made a great friend/mentor, Pat. He was the one that not only opened my eyes to powerlifting, but I attribute a ton of what I know about customer service, service to others, and ownership to him. When I stepped foot into that gym, whether working on the job or lifting weights, he taught me to own it – that it was MY GYM. If something was dirty, trash on the floor, or out of place, I cleaned it, picked it up, put it back in place. I took OWNERSHIP of it all. Looking back, I took better care of that gym than my own apartment sometimes.

From that point forward, I never thought like an employee’s default mindset – if it’s not in my job description, I’m not going to do it. I had an owner’s mindset – everything under this roof, the land it is on, the people inside, I am responsible for it all and commit to making it the best.

When one can start to think in the “Owner Mindset”, amazing things happen. For example, our gym thrived above all others during the good months (Jan – Apr for those resolutions and snow birds, this was in Myrtle Beach); and we never struggled during the off-season or down months. All the employees had the mindset of being an owner and our clients took quick notice. The ownership mindset Pat passed onto me, I passed it onto others and the mindset spread like a wildfire spreading throughout the organization. The standard was always high because everyone had a piece of ownership, of owning our culture. This was why so many clients stayed with us, regardless of cheaper price or convenience; we had great retention because we took care of our clients, our colleagues, and the facility itself – we had ownership. From that ownership, we created trust because our clients knew that when issues came up, we wouldn’t give them talk, we would provide a disciplined response which provided the best outcomes.

Not all people want to think of their life, their work, their relationships like this, and that is okay, but what benefits or outcomes are you getting if you don’t think like an owner? In the ownerless mindset, you get no responsibility, no sense of achievement, less opportunities, and less freedom. Is that what we seek? The list for this can go on and on, but what you can get out of having an owner mindset is a true result of accomplishment, many more growth opportunities, raises/promotions, better relationships, and true freedom. Aren’t these better aligned to the attributes of life we all seek?

Take time this weekend, this next week to “Be The Owner”. Go out of your way to pick up trash someone left behind, be the first to volunteer for a project, be willing to own your mistakes, be open to being vulnerable, be the change to elite. Your behavior makes up your habits overtime. Your habits create your culture. Can you be the piece to not only change your personal culture, but the culture of your team, your organization, your family? Go out and own your culture – BE THE OWNER!

 Key Points:

  • Take ownership now of every aspect of your life
  • Ownership is not talk, it is in do the work and action
  • Ownership begins within – be the owner first, don’t wait on someone else to be
  • Your ownership affects how others respond with their own ownership – if no one on the team has ownership then it will stay that way
  • Have courage and step up
  • Ownership is encompassed on discipline which all leads to freedom


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