The One Difference Between Bosses & Employees
In America in 2016 we lay at a forefront of culture. Where anyone can achieve anything. No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, we have all heard those rags to riches stories. The college kids who drop out and become millionaire bosses or the pretty kid who becomes instafamous. For a long time, I was influenced to never believe these things could “happen to me”. That I had to live my life in the median of society, rely on culture and sort of be thankful for the mediocrity I haphazardly wander into. Until, thank the Lord, I got the most mundane job of my life.
Office Space Dreams
A few years ago I was beginning my job as a Graphic Designer/Brand Manager at a fragrance company outside of New York City. It was my strong belief that I was at a point in my life where I wanted a nice, high paying job, good benefits, a chance at promotions, steady income and to drive off into the suburbs in my 2001 Volvo with my wife and 2.5 kids.
It was a great job, don’t get me wrong. At first very expressive and very free, until I became aware of the fact that I was inherently a terrible employee. Despite all of that, my boss was inexplicably fond of me (favor) and tended to instill in me nuggets of wisdom.
Office Space Nightmares
The deeper into my career I got, the more aware I became of employee structuring. I am not giving a sweeping generalization and saying that if you enjoy your job as an employee you are a pawn. However, in my case, I began to notice my inability to work for someone, knowing that I had the tools necessary to create something myself. I began to wonder why them and not me! What made them so special!? As I got closer to my boss and had deeper personal conversations I got my answer.
In a car ride to a meeting one day, I looked over at him to ask him about how he started out in business and what made him different. A rather vague question. He told me how he grew up poor in Philly and how his dad was rather rude and abrasive (which kinda made sense). Then he said it, the answer…
Well, my wife and I were poor for a while at first, but now things panned out thank God. It’s still a little rough in some seasons but because of you guys the company is growing so much faster than anticipated!
Nope! It’s not because of me, that’s not where I was going.
What separates bosses from employees is risk. Their willingness to put it all on the line time and time again. Their wisdom in dealing with risk and their strategy in minimizing risk over the years.
Without risk there is no reward. People who are bosses understand that risk should be managed just like anything else that is dangerous. And because of this, they are no longer employees. If we haven’t put anything on the line in life, if we haven’t leaped out of our comfort zones into a place of the unknown, there is no way we can grow or change. Even in our subjective spiritual lives, there is no finding without seeking. There is no reaping without sowing. How can we ever reach a place of “success” if we never start, never move, never attempt our dreams? The risk of success outweighs the risk of failure with God on our side.
What my boss taught me wasn’t how to shrink PDF’s (which I actually taught him) but rather integrity. He was teaching me about owning up to our own mistakes. Taking ahold of our own situations, not letting our circumstances define us. When we can grab ahold of these principles, we can be “bosses” even though we still are technically “employees”. And when we can instill in us those defining characteristics, creating any business will be that much easier. Influencing change in peoples lives will be that much easier. Creating a company that changes the world will be that much easier.