It’s We, Not I. It’s Ours, Not Mine. 

This is your baby. It is your vision. It is your passion. You gave birth to it. You live it and breathe it. You are the only one that burned through your life savings. There is no doubt about your commitment and dedication.

Now what about everyone else that you want to be dedicated to the cause? Why will they be committed? Why will they be committed when they are being paid below-market compensation, or only equity, while working crazy hours? When you use words like “my” or “I,” you may not realize the message this sends or the impact it has on people who have invested time and energy in the business and made numerous sacrifices for its success. It is understandable since this is your baby.

Entrepreneurs often feel they are entitled to say this is “my” business. For some, it is a source of pride.

“We WILL be there with you every step of the way.” 

This seems harmless initially, but it erodes your team’s connection to the venture. If you listen to experienced CEOs, they rarely use words like “I” or “my.” They understand the impact this has on employees—even those of a larger company. For employees of an entrepreneurial venture, the message reads: “Even though you continue to commit your blood, sweat and tears to the company, it is mine not yours

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