Written by: Torie Mathis, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Many solopreneurs, coaches, and freelancers rarely think of themselves as a CEO. And because of this, they may never fulfill the potential in their business.
But if you're a freelancer or solo entrepreneur, then you are running your own business. And even if your business is just you on your own, you can step into the role of CEO.
By assuming the CEO role, you become captain of your venture and can steer it to unbelievable success.
To do this, you need to adopt a CEO mindset. By taking that step to think like a CEO and not to discount yourself as a freelancer or solopreneur, you'll be able to scale your business to new heights.
Let’s go over the “what makes up the CEO mindset” first, and then how to actually make it happen because THAT is how the magic happens.
Here are three keys to approaching your business like a CEO.
1. Focus First on Results
The first step to your CEO mindset upgrade is the focus on results first. Did you know that most times, 80% of your results come from only 20% of your activities?
This is known as the Pareto Principle.
The Pareto Principle
The Pareto principle is a business law that was developed by Vilfredo Pareto in the late 1800s. It is a simple but powerful tool that can be used to help make better decisions. It states that, for many events, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. This means that if you want to get the most out of something, you should focus on the 20% of things that have the biggest impact.
This principle can be applied to many different areas of life, from business to personal productivity. For example, you might use it to determine which tasks are the most important and should be given priority. Or, you could use it to figure out which customers are the most valuable and should be given the best service.
Do you know which of your activities make up that 20%?
For a CEO, results are everything. They're aware of which actions produce which benefits, and they focus their energy there. As a CEO, you don't want to waste time on activities that don't get results.
2. Try New Things
Another way to think more like a CEO is by consistently trying new things. Successful leaders are driven by an insatiable curiosity. One way to cultivate this is to make a habit of trying new things.
"Every day, I force myself to do something that is out of my comfort zone. If I hadn't left my comfort zone back in 2008 to buy that one-way ticket to Buenos Aires, I never would have met my business partner, Aaron Firestein, and BucketFeet would never exist." — Raaja Nemani, Co-founder and CEO of Bucketfeet
New Things Can Improve Your Business
As a business owner, you want to always look for ways to improve your business. Trying new things is definitely one way to do this. Although it can be scary to try something new, it can also be very rewarding, especially if you want to grow your business.
Here are three ways to try new things as a business owner:
1. Talk to other business owners.
The best new things to try are ones with a track record of success. You can get advice from other business owners about what has worked for them. You can connect with other business owners in networking meetings, online forums, and groups, or even reach out and take a fellow business owner out to lunch. They may have tried something that you haven't even thought of.
"Long ago, I realized that success leaves clues and that people who produce outstanding results do specific things to create those results. I believed that if I precisely duplicated the actions of others, I could reproduce the same quality of results that they had." — Tony Robbins
2. Read articles or books about business
It's important to stay informed about your industry, business, and marketing. This can give you some great ideas about how to improve your own business and you may even find a new way to market your business.
"[I spend] an hour or two every day keeping up with tech news on Twitter. It's not good to obsess over what other people are doing, but staying informed is certainly important." ‒ Michael Bruch, founder and CEO of Willow
3. Take a course or workshop about something new.
This is a great way to learn about a new topic and take your business where you want to go. Many times there are gaps from where we are to where we want to be. That doesn't mean we can't do anything; it only means we need to fill the gap. And these days it's easier than ever. Ready to take your business online? Take a digital marketing course. Want to be more productive? Check out a productivity course.
Trying new things can be a great way to improve your business. These are just a few ideas to get you started. Be creative, and don't be afraid to try something new. It could be the best thing you ever do for your business.
"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." — Walt Disney
3. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Business owners are often creatures of habit. We tend to stick to what we know and are comfortable with. But comfort can be the enemy of progress. If you're not careful, your comfort zone can become a trap that prevents you from taking your business to the next level. If you want to think like a CEO, learn to recognize when you're stagnating and seek out new challenges.
Here are three ways to get out of your comfort zone and achieve more:
1. Face Your Fear.
If you're not comfortable facing obstacles, it's going to be difficult to grow your business in the long term. Some of the best opportunities to grow our business are some of the things we talk ourselves out of due to fear. Have you been putting off Facebook Ads or speaking in public? How can you punch that fear in the face and move toward a new opportunity?
"If you want to conquer fear, don't sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy." — Dale Carnegie
2. Take a risk.
In order to achieve something great, you have to be willing to take risks. This doesn't mean that you should take unnecessary risks that could jeopardize your business. But it does mean that you should be open to new ideas and opportunities. Sometimes the best way to get out of your comfort zone is to simply take a leap of faith. Maybe you've thought about adding a new product, expanding, or moving to a new location? What risk can move the needle for your business?
"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go." — T.S. Eliot
3. Be persistent.
If, at first, you don't succeed, that's completely normal and very common in business. When you're striving to reach your goals, there will be setbacks and roadblocks along the way. Keep your head up, and your persistent CEO hat on, and keep moving toward your goals.
"Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them." — Ann Landers
How to Work the CEO Mindset Into Your Busy Schedule
So, you may be thinking, that’s great Torie, but I’m so busy already that there’s no way I can fit this all into my schedule. And I get it, I’ve been there too.
But the tricky thing is, unless you fit this in, you will continue to be busy. You’ll be the doer, the busy, busy worker bee. And being a CEO is not just about doing, it’s pushing past where you are now, thinking about the big picture, and working toward bigger goals. And it’s doable, even for solo entrepreneurs.
What has worked for me, is to schedule and separate CEO time and doer time. Even if you only start with 15 minutes a day of CEO time, that is fine. It’s a start that you can build on.
How to get started
Schedule and block out this time daily. Here’s a sample schedule:
Start with 15 minutes each day
Mondays reading about your industry.
Tuesdays networking online with other business owners.
Wednesdays learning a new skill or taking a course.
Thursdays figuring out what is driving the most results and how you can focus more on it.
Fridays planning your next big product launch or expansion.
Stay consistent on your CEO time even if you get busy. Make your CEO mindset a priority.
No matter what stage your business is in, start thinking like a CEO now, and you'll see your business grow, and you'll get closer to your goals.
Adopt these three keys of a successful CEO mindset:
Focus on Results
Try New Things
Get out of Your Comfort Zone
And be sure to schedule your CEO time, just like an unbreakable meeting.
It's time to stop downplaying your role in your business. Your success is not dependent on your business size or your background. It's dependent on your mindset.
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART. Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine. Learn digital marketing for your small business at toriemathis.com
Torie Mathis, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow their business without wasting time, money, or your sanity. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and digital marketing coach. She'll show you how don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART. Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean, fellow entrepreneur and founder of the Miles Through Time Automotive Museum. She is also the creator of SMART AF Magazine and the Smart Arsenal. You can learn digital marketing for your small business with Torie at toriemathis.com