One of the biggest shifts we see happen for our clients is developing a CEO mindset. When that happens, the vision is bigger, the goals are more forward facing, and people develop businesses that they lead, not run.
A lot of us start out as solopreneurs. We learn how to do all the things, because we have to. We often spend a lot of time working out of our zone of genius, responding to immediate needs, and putting out fires. There’s nothing wrong with this to get started, but at some point if you want to grow and scale, you need to embrace your CEO mindset.
What does that really look like, and more importantly, how do you develop your own CEO mindset? For starters, thinking and acting like a CEO may not look all that different in your daily work life, but you are setting yourself up for change and success.
Here are 3 ways you can be the CEO in your business:
1. Define all the hats — and know which ones you want to wear.
Let’s face it: you are probably the CEO, marketing director, copywriter, designer, sales person, developer, bookkeeper, janitor, tech support, customer service rep and more in your company. If you aren’t doing all of those things, you probably remember when you did. As the CEO, your job is to know all the different hats, even if you wear them all right now.
Think like a CEO:
- Ask yourself: What does being a CEO mean to me? What kind of company do I want to run? What is my zone of genius? What do I want to be doing with my time? Am I building a house I want to live in (do you like your business, the direction it is taking, your role in it)?
- Set up an organizational chart for your business with different departments responsible for different results. You may still wear a lot of the hats, but you start to see where you can hire, outsource, or delegate work.
- Notice where you have repeated tasks. Set up systems to streamline things.
2. Focus on impact.
If you are constantly jumping on your next good idea or following bright shiny things, step back and let your impact guide you. Your impact is where you want to go with your business. Think about the impact you want your business to have on your clients, the world, or even the life you want.
Think like a CEO:
- Take time to do visioning work for your business. Make sure you are really clear on your values and purpose. Know the impact you want to have in the next to two years.
- Create goals and projects based on your impact. Just because something is a great idea doesn’t mean it is the right idea for you now.
- Think ahead. As you start to think like a CEO, you are planning for your business in the future, even as you focus on what needs to happen now.
3. Take control of time.
One of my favorite mantras is: I have exactly the time that I need. I really believe that, but it took me a while to get there. Changing your mindset around time is a game changer when it comes to your CEO mindset.
Think like a CEO:
- Set and enforce boundaries. You get to decide when you work, when your workday ends, when you see clients, when you say no to things.
- Outsource and delegate to let you be the CEO. Go back to the questions you answered earlier about your role. Schedule time for the things you want to be doing in your business and start handing off the other stuff. If you can’t afford it right now, do the math—how much money could you make if you used time to meet with clients instead of setting up your blog post? Would you get better results if you outsourced your marketing? You don’t have to do it all at once, but you can start taking things off your plate.
- Know the best use of your time. Set priorities based on your goals and vision and impact statement — and make sure those things happen, even if other things have to shift. Let your map guide you, not what others are asking of you.
You are already the CEO of your business, but when you shift your mindset—getting clear on the business you want to lead and the role you want to play, focusing on and being guided by your impact, and really taking control of your time—you can grow and scale and love your business even more.