Small Business Owner Manifesto: Entrepreneurs View and Treat Employees Differently

Small Business Owner Manifesto

Small business owners and entrepreneurs are a unique group of individuals who are often so passionate about what the do or produce that it can be challenging to work for them. People who find themselves in the unique position of working with these trailblazers should leave their notions about 9-5 Corporate America at the door, because entrepreneurs work differently.

The following is a manifesto created by an entrepreneur who, on the promise of anonymity, allowed this to be reprinted to help prospective employees understand what to expect before accepting a position in her organization.

My Future is on the Line

  • I have put my heart, money, soul, and gambled my family’s future on this company. It means everything to me and I often expect it to mean as much to you as it does to me.
  • You are important to me and my business, but realize that I am the one taking 100% of the financial risk for this venture, so when it pays off, don’t think you’re entitled to 100% of the reward.
  • I give 120% every day. I expect the same from you.
  • I never say “die” and I never say “quit”. I may say, “Give me a minute to catch my breath” but then I’m back in there fighting for this company. Quitters and defeatists need not apply.
  • I expect you to not just do your best, but to do what is required.
  • This is not a job but a passion and a way of life. When you are here, this is not what you do, it’s who you are.
  • I do not expect my employees to stay in this organization forever- but I do expect that while you are here you honor your contract, are on time, prepared, enthusiastic, willing to help out in any required capacity, and that you never stop pushing to be better. You do a good job for me and I will make it my mission to get you where you want to be in life. If you leave me hanging, be assured that I will never do anything positive for you ever again- even if decades pass. I have a really long memory.


  • Everyone, regardless of title, sells, recruits and markets every single day.
  • We all work as a team. Everyone sells, markets, teaches, collates, files, cleans the office, takes out the garbage, and does what is needed, when it is needed- even me.
  • In this organization the words “That’s not my job” equal the words “I quit.”


  • I am too busy to be politically correct. I never go out of my way to offend someone and if I offend you, know that it’s not intentional and move on.
  • Communicate with me. I can not read your mind and, quite honestly, I don’t want to. I can not help you if I do not know you need help or are unhappy.
  • I only want people on my team who are happy to be where they are. If you’re not happy it will show in your work and I can’t have that. Tell me and we will work toward a solution that will make everyone happy.
  • I listen to all feedback, criticisms, and suggestions- just don’t expect me to act on everything.
  • Do not lie to me. I do not have time for it and there’s no good reason to do it.
  • I give you a lot of time off so do not ask for additional time unless there are extreme- and I mean extreme- circumstances.

Interoffice Politics

  • I can not stand in-fighting and back-stabbing and won’t tolerate it.
  • Disagreements will happen and they are healthy. Don’t take it personally and be a professional. This is America- people are allowed to disagree about things and still respect one another.
  • Do not write something down unless you plan on allowing every person on the planet to be able to read it.
  • You do not have to like me, but you do need to be a professional and be the best at your job.
  • The boss may not always be right , but she’s always the boss.

Employees who can handle the intensity and uncertainty of working for a small business or entrepreneur will develop professional skills serving as a key member of a small group that can propel them to higher levels of larger corporations later in their professional lives.