This week, Jay Goltz tells Shawn Busse about the latest stop on his journey to figuring out whether an employee stock ownership plan is right for his business. Jay’s latest adventure includes waking up at 4:30 in the morning in Minneapolis too anxious to sleep—“Oh my God, what am I getting myself into here?”—and deciding to leave the seminar and drive back to Chicago. But on that six-hour return trip, Jay says his anxiety turned into clarity. In fact, he thinks he’s pretty sure he knows now what he wants to do. Of course, he has said that before. And we continue to learn more about ESOPs, this week hitting upon an interesting issue: ESOP enthusiasts love to tout the benefits of turning employees into owners. But are they really owners? And is that the right message to send them? “If you bought 10 shares of General Motors stock,” Jay asks, “would you tell your neighbors that you’re an owner of General Motors?” Plus: We also talk about when business owners should ignore their accountants and whether Shawn and Jay expect their employees to come forward and tell them if they see another employee doing something they shouldn’t be doing.
— Loren Feldman