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Renting has its advantages. No commitment. No investment. Free from entanglements.

Owning on the other hand, requires investment. It means putting something at risk. Ownership comes with commitment, obligation and responsibility. You might say ownership requires you to be all-in.

When it comes to your career and your life, ownership is worth the investment. In fact, it’s the only way to go. Employee-ownership of business is the pathway to career and personal fulfillment. Further, broad-based employee-ownership where the majority of employees participate in equity ownership, is foundational to transforming communities and building a stronger America. Employee ownership provides dignity, you don’t just work there, you own a piece of the pie. Employee-ownership provides a pathway wealth accumulation, such that if you choose to work there over the longer term, you will, in all likelihood, accumulate equity assets which will impact your life for the better. And there’s meaningfulness and a satisfaction that come with owning, not just occupying a spot temporarily, but instead possessing permanence. Being able to say this is mine, it’s part of me, and I’m part of it.

Ownership takes many forms. Society celebrates the entrepreneur-owner, as well we should, but most of us are not Howard Schultz or Mark Zuckerberg. Ownership through an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is the most likely pathway for ownership for most of us, including the one-thousand employee-owners at VGM Group.

Before you take a job, do yourself a favor and ask if the company is an ESOP. Rather than just working, you will be investing in yourself. Before you sell a business, consider selling to your employees via an ESOP. You will be greatly increasing the chances of on-going success, and, leaving your legacy. Before you buy goods or services from a vendor, ask if they provide broad-based employee ownership such as an ESOP, and if they do, choose them. You’ll get far more commitment, better service and you’ll be contributing to a stronger America.

‘Transience’ and ‘temporary’ may have their appeal - sometimes. But unleashing the power of employee ownership changes us all for the better. From increasing satisfaction and engagement, to strengthening communities, to addressing wealth inequality - employee ownership reigns supreme.


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