How To Be A Boss: Put The Money Up

In Blog, Business & Entrepreneurship, Discipline, People Skills
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Put the money up.

Yes, that’s it. The person in charge in any situation is the person who’s putting the most money up. The person who has the most invested runs the show. 

The person in charge in any situation is the person who's putting the most money up. Click To Tweet

Yesterday we met with this clown real estate agent who lacked People Skills; he was a jerk. Well, it was either that, or this guy isn’t used to talking to a person who looks like me. He asked some questions that implied I needed his approval. His manner was dorky and loose. I’ll say it was a solid 50/50 combination of both jerk and discomfort in conversation.

Thinking about it this morning, I realized something about him and people like him: he’s a worker who attempts to play Boss by proxy.

Here’s how: this clown is a listing agent. Listing agents are hired by property owners to find tenants or buyers for their real estate. The listing agent is the worker. The property owner is the Boss, because the owner of the property already put the money up to own the place – and will put up more money when the listing agent completes a tenant or buyer agreement, otherwise know as the agent’s commission. Even though the listing agent was working on behalf of his boss, he isn’t the boss. And the buyer/tenant is not a fellow worker – they’re putting money up too.

Notice that only one entity in this triangle has nothing invested. 

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Here are some professions you may encounter in your day-to-day where workers act as if they’re bosses. 

  • Security guards
  • College administrators
  • Real estate agents and property managers
  • Restaurant managers
  • Front desk receptionists

Usually, people in these roles have some authority over some employees who are their direct reports. having direct reports isn’t the same as being a boss. These people are, at best, glorified supervisors. “Supervisor” is a job appointment. Meaning, someone deemed you a supervisor. Which also means, the title can be taken from you.

A Boss’ title cannot be taken, as long as the Boss keeps putting the money up.

People who receive a salary for their work are workers. The person signing the check is the Boss.

If you are spending/paying/investing more money than the person you’re dealing with, YOU are the Boss. Remember this.

If you are spending/paying/investing more money than the person you're dealing with, YOU are the Boss. Click To Tweet

When I was in college, the Campus’ Dean of Students seemed to be the Boss. This person had the title, the authority, and a page on the school website with a nice photograph.

But think about it.

Is the Dean putting any money up?


Who’s paying the money at colleges?

The students!!

The Dean, Admissions Directors, Professors and all the rest of them are not bosses. They get a check just like the Pizza Hut delivery guy gets a check. At college, the students are Boss. Student tuition pays the salaries of the administration.

The administration fully knows this, but the college system is set up to make students believe the administration is the Boss.

They’re not. STUDENTS are the Boss.

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That story from a few days ago, about the protesting students who wouldn’t let that speaker talk?

Why didn’t the school just call police and clear the protesters out of the room? Why didn’t they just put their foot down and stop the protest?

Not because of free speech rights or any of that – can you cuss out your manager at work and cite free speech to protest getting fired?

No. Free speech ain’t free. Free speech ain't free. Click To Tweet

The school didn’t stop those protesting students because they couldn’t. The students are the Bosses. Those students knew this. And the staff people knew that the students knew it. Thus, the staff was forced to bend to the will of the students, the real Bosses in the room.

This is what happens when those who are truly Bosses organize and unite and exercise their power. Funny – or alarming – thing is, many people spend their money just to have the person they’re paying tell them what to do.

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Do you watch the ABC show Shark Tank? When a deal is made, who’s the Boss? The entrepreneur with the great business and idea, or the millionaire Shark investor who agreed to put the money up?

How about The Profit? Before Marcus Lemonis hands that big check over to the business owner, what’s the last thing Marcus says to him/her?

“I am 100% in charge.”

Marcus never gets any pushback (and yes, I know it’s staged for TV). You know why Marcus never gets pushback? Because that business owner knows: the guy putting up the money runs the show. Until this moment, the business owner was that person. Not anymore.

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In life, people hesitate or outright neglect to invest in themselves. These are people who believe buying books is a rip off, since they can read blog posts or watch YouTube videos.

Fine. Your decision. But think about this…

The same people who say this – what do they get up and do every day? They go to work and get told what to do. They’re workers. Because they haven’t put any money up to be the Boss of themselves. And until they put money into themselves, they’ll be taking orders for the rest of their lives.

Until/Unless you put money into yourself, you'll be taking orders for the rest of your life. Click To Tweet

It’s all connected.

Simple rule of thumb to take from this: When you’re paying, you are the Boss.
When you’re ready to Boss up, start investing.