Possessive Business

Possessive Business: The Pitfalls of Being Overly Attached to Your Company

For many entrepreneurs, starting and growing a business is a labour of love. The amount of time, money, and effort put into building a business is significant, and it is only natural for founders to develop a sense of attachment to their companies. However, when this attachment crosses the line into possessiveness, it can become detrimental to the success of the business. Possessive business owners tend to micromanage every aspect of the company, resist delegating responsibilities, and cling to outdated strategies, obstructing innovation and growth.

This article delves into the dangers of possessive business, why it is harmful to a company’s success, and how to avoid falling into the trap of being overly attached to your business.

The perils of Possessive Business

Being a possessive business owner might seem like a badge of honour, but in reality, it can be destructive to your company. Here are some of the perils of being overly attached to your business:

1. Micromanagement

Possessive business owners tend to micromanage everything and everyone involved with their company. They feel they are the only ones capable of making important decisions and often bulldoze their employees’ ideas with their own. Unfortunately, this leads to a disengaged workforce, stunted innovation, and an unhealthy work environment.

2. Resisting delegation

A common characteristic of possessive business owners is resisting delegating tasks to employees. They fear that others will not be able to do things as well as they can or that things will not be done to their standards. This tendency can cause burnout as it limits the employee’s professional development, which affects their motivation and job satisfaction.

3. Obstructing innovation

Possessive business owners have a hard time letting go of their traditional methods and are reluctant to try new things. They tend to stick with what works for them, even when it is clear that it is not working for the business. This mentality can prevent the company from exploring new markets, adopting new technologies, and keeping up with industry trends, making the business stagnant and uncompetitive.

4. Lack of trust

A possessive business owner often operates their company without trust. A lack of trust can be detrimental to any business as this breeds an environment of fear, a lack of transparency, and low morale. This atmosphere leads to high turnover rates, which can be a significant cost to the company.

5. Outdated management style

Possessive business owners often have an outdated management style, where they rely on control and authority to direct their workforce. This methodology worked in the past, but modern businesses require an agile and collaborative approach to stay competitive. Companies that do not modernise their management style risk lower productivity and market share.

How to avoid possessive business?

The good news is that it is possible to avoid falling into the trap of possessive business ownership. Here are some strategies to help you let go of your business:

1. Delegate responsibilities and allow staff to grow

Delegation is essential to business growth. Letting others take on responsibilities for key areas of operations empowers employees and promotes a collaborative culture. In order for delegation to be successful, provide clear instructions and deadlines, offer feedback and support when needed, and recognise those who have performed well.

2. Embrace change and be open to innovation

To be successful in business, you need to be willing to embrace change and continually adapt to market conditions. Being open-minded will help you identify areas where innovation would benefit your business, and encourage problem-solving by seeking employee feedback, considering new solutions and test-driving new ideas.

3. Hire talent with different strengths and points of view

A diverse team with a range of skills, expertise, and backgrounds can bring fresh ideas and help to balance decision-making. The right blend of individuals can help your business to avoid groupthink and achieve success.

4. Create a company culture based on trust

Trust is fundamental to any healthy business culture. By building a culture of openness that rewards honest feedback and values collaboration, employees will feel comfortable in sharing their insights, highlighting important areas for improvement and positively challenging the status quo.

Comparing Possessive Business To Other Business Styles

Possessive business is not the only style of business ownership. For example, Business relinquishers are business owners who aim to create value in their company and sell it once it has a positive reputation. Often, these business owners use their winning strategies to leverage their sales, looking to sell and move on as quickly as possible. Similarly, Business guardians’ aim is to maintain their business’s way of operating values and practices that the previous owner would be proud of. In contrast, a Venture capitalist is an investor who believes in the growth and innovation of established businesses with differentiation and capable of taking significant market share. Venture capitalists aim to provide financial resources paired with development and professional input to increase market share, dominate the industry and gain a return on investment.


Q: What is a Possessive business owner?
A: Possessive business owners are individuals who have developed a sense of attachment to their companies. Unfortunately, this attachment crosses the line into possessiveness, which is often harmful to a company’s success. These individuals tend to micromanage everything and everyone involved with their company, resist delegating tasks, obstruct innovation, and exhibit a lack of trust regarding their employees, strategies and direction.

Q: How can business owners avoid possessive business ownership?
A: Avoiding possessive business ownership can be achieved by embracing collaboration and delegation, fostering a culture of trust and openness, hiring diverse talent, being open to change and innovation.

Q: What is Venture capital?
A: Venture capital is a type of financial investment that focuses on funding start-ups, early-stage and emerging technology firms that are expected to achieve high growth potential in the future. Venture capitalists provide financial resources paired with development and professional input to increase market share, dominate the industry and gain a return on investment.