At one point or another, we've all been there. The 15 year old kid working a part-time job we could care less about, trying our hardest not to do a shred of work over the absolute minimum requirement. The manager gives you a hard time and you relately work just a little bit harder, until, of course, he leaves again, and then it's right back to the business of minimum business.
And while it was perfectly fine we did this in our youth, the problem arises when we carry this into adulthood. What most of us do not realize is that once responsibility hits us, and we no longer depend on mom and dad for cash, we become our own business. It makes no difference whether you actually OWN a business or work at McDonalds … You are your own business.
What I mean by this is you are responsible for your earnings. Obviously, operating independently gives you more freedom for earnings as you're not restricted to an hourly rate or salary, but you control your income stream in various ways as an employee as well. Promotions, overtime, second jobs, side work- These are all factors you have control over that will contribute to your overall earnings.
An "Employee" mindset only thinks of avoiding things that would have considered "wrong". He does not want to create negative attention on himself or even worse, lose his job. To the employee, success comes in the form of not screwing up. A business owner with the "employee" mindset will be satisfied with his business plan if current customers are happy and there does not show to be signs of decline.
A "Boss" mindset, however, realizes that the biggest mistake you can make is actually not making a mistake, it is a missed opportunity. He is never satisfied with what he has, because he knows that in this fast-paced, ever-changing world we live in, there has to be additional ways to build off of what he's already done and profit even further from it.
There are always new angles you can implement to increase your earnings. If you are an employee, the reasons I listed above such as overtime and 2nd jobs would be examples of those angles. If you operate independently, then it might be a new product or additional forms of advertising to drive more people & attention to your business.
For all my flaws, this is one thing I have always had that I feel has pushed me harder, and in some cases further, than the majority of my friends. I've always had an overwhelming sense that there was something more I could, or was supposed to, be doing. It led me to numerous career paths and hobbies, and in some aspects, if you consider money to be the primary measuring stick for success, I was a failure at many of them. But to me, the experience alone made it worth it to me. I learned things from it, and will continue to. I was never satisfied with working one job, going home & having a few beers. That's fine occasion, but my mind is always searching for more.
It's led me to numerous career paths, 3 different states, and even a gambling addiction for a while, but for all the mistakes I made, I am better for it. My "boss" mindset has allowed me to experience things my friends with the "employee" mindset will not only ever get to experience, but will never even realize the value of. As long as they get enough money to pay bills, eat, and go buy a new shirt at the mall they feel they are doing things the right way, because they're not making visible mistakes.
But sometimes it's what we can not see that's hurting us the most. Be a boss.