We both started out in the corporate, 9-to-5 world. When we became entrepreneurs, we had to make some BIG mindset shifts; we had to develop a CEO mindset. Today, we want to help you get ahead a little bit with your CEO mindset by sharing some key things we’ve learned over the years of being small business owners and working with lots of other small business owners, too.
Structure your time.
We’ve seen people typically go one of two ways with time when making the transition to working for themselves. The members of the first group like to go back to the disciplined 9-to-5 schedule. And the second group falls into doing a little work here and a little work there without much consistency. But here’s the thing. When you’re getting into the CEO mentality, you have control of your time and you commit to a schedule that works for you. Having time structure is essential to setting expectations and maintaining boundaries with family, friends, and clients, but you now get to choose what it looks like. Figure out the hours and days that are right for you, and then hold yourself accountable for them. Be flexible but committed.
Ride the rollercoaster.
Being a small business owner is a bit like riding a rollercoaster sometimes. What worked 6 months ago might not work now. And what works in 6 months from now might be different still. You might need different business routines when your kids are in school and when they’re out on break. This is all okay. As your own CEO, find what will work for you day-to-day right now and go with it, regardless of what other entrepreneurs may be doing.
Go with your passions.
If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing as an entrepreneur, it’s a red flag. Be the CEO, and stop to evaluate. What is it that doesn’t feel right? Are you just burnt out at the moment and in need of a break? Do you need to tweak things to find what is within your skillset and offerings that you actually love? Did you choose to do something you’re good at or have experience in but don’t really like to do? Or have you just fallen out of love with what you’re doing, and you’re ready to shift your business? Whatever the answers are, remember that it will be your passion about what you do that keeps you ticking and pushes you toward success during the not-so-fun parts of business ownership. When your passions meet what others are willing to pay for, you have a sustainable business.
Get real with your money…
The ins-and-outs of managing your business finances might not be the most popular topic for entrepreneurs. But as your own CEO, you’ve got to know intimately what’s going on with your expenses, income, and budget. You’ll be receiving and spending your own money now, not someone else’s. So if you need help, do some research or take a class so that you can feel comfortable with your business finances and can plan what your next financial moves will be.
…but believe that anything is possible.
It’s powerful to understand your money, but it’s also powerful to believe that anything is possible. The key is to know your numbers but not be pigeonholed by them. As your own CEO, it’s important to hold some big goals for your business. Even during a pandemic, people are exchanging money left and right. Money flows in and out everywhere, all the time. So if you want to change your numbers, you can! You are 100% worthy of getting paid for your skills, and you just need to determine what monetary value is a good exchange with your ideal clients for the value you provide.
Start leaving behind the fear of failure.
Failure is easy. And it’s scary until you shift to your strategic CEO mindset and begin to view it as an opportunity. When something doesn’t go well, there is always a lesson to take away about how to make your business even better. So ask for feedback, especially when a client or customer is unhappy! This will let you perfect your process and wow your future clients even more.
Bring in help when you need it.
There are too many businesses that have failed because they didn’t bring in help when they needed it. If there is something that is falling behind in your business and you are stretched to the max, then it’s time to be a CEO and allocate some resources to take care of the problem as an investment in business growth. But this doesn’t have to be expensive! Sometimes family members are able to help. There are services like Fiverr, Upwork, and Codable that can put you in touch with specialists for a single project or continued work. You could do a search for VA’s in business Facebook groups or on Instagram. If you put your mind to it, you can find the help you need.
We hope this post has shown you that you’re not alone in the challenges you’re facing as an entrepreneur. We’ve been there, and so many others have, too! And that’s why we wanted to give you a boost toward becoming the CEO we know is inside you. It will take some mindset shifts, but you really can move forward into business growth and find success even in these uncertain times.