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Work On Your Game Content/Personal Branding/You Want To Be A Boss? Maybe Not
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You Want To Be A Boss? Maybe Not

Calling oneself "A Boss" is a popular thing to do these days; I blame Rick Ross (or Slim Thug, who actually said it first). But I don't think people really know what a boss is and what a boss' position is in the work hierarchy.

Say I open a restaurant, but I am no food connoisseur or even a good cook. I just like doing business and see a good opportunity in having a restaurant. I open my restaurant -- Dre's Fine Foods -- and hire Mike to run things as my restaurant general manager (RGM).

Mike's the Boss. Anyone who gets a job at Dre's gets hired by Mike. Mike shows you around an assigns your duties. Mike makes the schedule and deals with complaining diners. Mike is the person whom the bartenders and waitresses and cooks answer to, and the guy who fires anyone who needs to be fired. If you're a regular at Dre's it's pretty clear that Mike is running things. When you tell your friends how great Dre's is, you mention the manager, Mike. Anything goes wrong in the kitchen, Mike has the final say on its resolution. Mike is the Boss. Everyone answer to Mike.

But Mike answers to me. I am the Owner.

You never see me, but that's my name on the marquee -- even if it's not, that my signature on the bottom of your paycheck, coming out of my account. If the plates and forks aren't coming out clean, Mike can fire the dishwasher. If I don't like how Dre's is performing financially, I can either close up shop -- the restaurant was just a bad idea -- or I can fire Mike and get a new RGM.

Bosses are employees.

I'm not doing any work at Dre's; Mike handles all of that. In exchange for freedom of my time and energy, I pay Mike -- or my new RGM -- a certain amount to run things at Dre's. I pay him well because I want my place to be run well. Mike makes great money and he's happy. So are all of the other employees. None of them see me, most of them have never even met me, but they all work for me.

Bosses can do very well. They can make a nice salary and give nice-salaried jobs to other people. When the checks get cashed, though, bosses are nothing more than highly-paid employees.

Whatever you are earning as a Boss, understand that the person cutting your check is paying you and everyone else working there. What you're getting in a check is a small slice of the pie. The owner is the baker of that pie, holding all the ingredients.

This is not about money. Employee, Boss and Owner are mindsets.

Employees look for a job -- someone to hire them -- so they can get money in exchange for the time and effort.

Bosses seek a job with a lot of responsibility because they like the work and the responsibility that comes with it. Bosses like being in charge as long as there is some sort of security blanket (that consistent paycheck) under their feet.

Owners create and run their own ventures, assuming the risk that comes with the uncertainty. Owners jump in the ocean with no life vest and either sink or swim. To leverage their efforts and assets, Owners seek out Bosses -- those hard workers -- and pay for that effort and energy to help build their venture. The Bosses out there, always looking for a high-responsibiltity assignment, are more than willing to work hard for the Owner, as long as that always-on-time check keeps clearing.

Bosses do the most work, have the most responsibility and answer to the most demanding and all-powerful individual in the chain of command. And a Boss owns nothing.

Being an Owner is not about how much work you are willing to do or not do. Not all owners are like me at Dre's - An owner could be in the trenches too, working hard alongside everyone else. And with good reason: everything that happens in there is a direct reflection on that owner in some way. One thing about Ownership is leveraging your efforts so that it's not just You Or Nothing deciding your success, and if it is You or Nothing, all the pay-offs and benefits are going to you too.

Security is overrated; it's not real. Ask anyone who's been laid off from a great job. You're a hard worker and you feel your efforts produce results. So be sure you're reaping the lion's share of the benefits of those results. If you are going to spend a third of your life doing all the work, make sure you are owning all the good that comes from it.

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