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Episode from the podcastHeart Behind Hustle® Podcast: Entrepreneurship | Marketing | Lifestyle for Impact-Driven Coaches and Experts

29: Stepping into the CEO role

Released Monday, 4th September 2017
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Are you operating as the CEO of your business and your life, or are you only staying in the role of the service that you’re providing? If you are like most people, it’s very likely that you are not operating as a CEO. I am not here to make you feel bad, but I want to bring it to your attention that you might be digging yourself into a hole.

One of the most common reasons we go into business is to have more freedom. Whether it’s to travel more, have more money, support your family in a bigger way, or maybe move to another place, sometimes having your own business makes those opportunities possible. Regarding having my own business, moving somewhere new was a big factor for me. I wanted to move to New York City, and then I wanted to move to San Diego.

I craved the ability to do that; I wanted to travel, speak at events, and live in a way that I desired in the places that I wanted.

I often hear people saying very similar things, but many of them are building their business in a way that forms a breeding ground for frustration, discouragement, and overwhelm. What I mean by that is, they are creating a business that is entirely reliant on them being present at all times to function. That is not a good recipe for success.

For example, one of my clients was getting married, and she wanted to go away on a honeymoon for two weeks. She was freaking out because how would her business function without her there? What would happen to her clients and her marketing? She was concerned because she was not operating as a CEO - she did not have that CEO mindset.

She was growing her coaching business, and this company was reliant on her. It’s hard for people to let go of this mentality of needing to be there and present at all times. It’s easy for anyone with a service-based business to feel like their clients are going to fail if they’re not there for them 24/7, supporting them in a high touch way. Many people believe that they’re directly responsible for their client’s success, but that’s not how it works.

They need to go out, actually show up, and do their part of the job. Whether they succeed or not is not up to you. You can be there to support them in making it happen by creating that environment, but it doesn’t mean that you need to forgo your life or not go on a honeymoon to make this possible.

Your clients should still thrive, whether you’re present 100% of the time or present in a more boundary driven way.

Sometimes there are situations in life that require you to step away. Occasionally things happen that aren’t very happy - maybe there’s an accident that happens, or you’re sick or hurt and need to be away from your business. What’s going to happen then? Is your business going to crumble and fall to pieces, or will it keep going? Is it still moving forward, or does everything stop because you can’t tend to your clients?

If it’s the former, it means that you’re not operating at the CEO mindset. I want to empower you to think bigger, past just being a coach, designer, copywriter, virtual assistant, or any other service provider. How can you start to think bigger and brainstorm how to create a legacy and a company that is going to serve you, regardless of what happens? Of course, this isn't something that will happen immediately.

It’s not something that will occur in a week or a month, or even a year unless you’re very fortunate. But, the sooner you can start thinking about it and becoming aware of how you want to structure your business, the better off you will be. This game plan will bring you closer to the opportunity of having the freedom that you want, and more space for innovation and creativity. That goes beyond just serving yourself and your family; how can you make a bigger impact when it comes to your work?

If you are always exclusively working with clients, then it’s really hard for you to have that space for freedom, innovation, a greater impact, and global thinking.

Take a look at your calendar right now. How much of your week do you spend on client calls or sales calls, and what space do you have left for business development, creating potential partnerships, or focusing on long term vision goals? There may be a balance issue if you are building a business that is extremely reliant on you being there at all times.

Even if you have a team that supports you with some of these tasks, you’re still delivering on all of them. If all of your time is spent on your calendar and working with clients nonstop, that’s not giving you any space for doing the bigger things you want to do in your life. If you don’t care about any of that and this is fine with you, then you’re obviously in good shape. But if you know deep down in your heart that you are meant to be doing more, then you need to start thinking about things a little differently.

If you keep spending your time on these things that are not serving you, there’s going to be a bit of a problem in terms of growth.

There are two things that you can start doing that can help you significantly. The first one is outsourcing. Look at how you can outsource some of the things that you're doing right now that are taking you a lot of time and that you don’t personally need to do. The second one is leverage. Make sure you aren't spending all of your time on delivering one on one services and that you’re not the only one delivering them.

Have a team in place for outsourcing, where you can leverage them to support your clients in getting the results that they’re asking to receive. If you’re a coach or a mentor, you should be creating leverage based offers as well, so that it’s not only one on one services all of the time. This is how you will be able to invent other ways of bringing in income outside of just one specific offering.

Think about business development and growth in a bigger way that supports you personally. Don’t be afraid to take on that CEO role and start structuring your business so that it won’t crash and burn if you’re not around.