Being your own boss is a little overrated. At least in the sense that you have your own company and get to do whatever you want. If you have a successful business then you know that that's not how it works. You work longer hours, you make tough decisions, (like firing people), you have to deal with customers directly and do many more stressful things. But I am not writing this to tell you how to handle your small business. This is about being your own boss at while being an employee.
Despite being paid a very low wage, I liked my first jobs. I had finally started feeling useful in this world, heck I would have done it for free if i didn't need the money. But I noticed after a while that there is one guy that I met in every single job I ever had. Sometimes it was a girl, but nevertheless the spirit was always the same.
Can you believe, the boss can come here and fire every single one of us at anytime.
At first my reaction to this statement was, "He can't do that, who else is going to do the work". And of course everyone looked at me as if I was naive.
Today, my opinion did not change one bit. I think it is still stupid and very unproductive to think that your boss can fire you anytime.
First of all, let's drop the word boss. Nobody is your boss, unless you work for the mob. There may be a manager, a supervisor, or someone with a title of the like that oversees your work. It's not like if you fail to meet that deadline they will send someone to whack you.
You have no boss but yourself. Whether you are an employee or a contractor, you are professional that provides a service and gets paid for it. The boss mentality is something that has to go away. I don't mean that it has to be treated like a curse word but at least remember that no one has any power over you; you are there for the pay check and you work for it.
But be careful, a lot of people still think they are the boss, and will try to treat you like their subordinate. I was recently told about how airline workers get punished for being late. When you come in a more than 15 minutes late, you get sent back home. I think that is insane, because for the rest of the day, or for that shift they will be short one person, and the the rest of the team has to make up for it. At least I like to believe that the reason they do so is to cut your hours so you get a lower paycheck, but what they don't realize is that they are hurting themselves too. Less people means more work, more stress, more errors, more delays, but as long as the employee feels bad it's all good man (sorry I had to do this).
The way I have been dealing with this so far is to show early on in your employment where you stand. You may not have a choice for who you work with, but you do have a choice on who you want to be friends with. Might as well make the place where you spend 9 hours of your day a pleasant place, not one where you have to worry about every single mistake you make.
So go out there and be your own boss.