There comes a point in your business when it is important to decide if you want to shift from solopreneur mode to CEO mode. For some, this can happen very quickly if their business grows rapidly. For others, it could take several years. Developing a success mindset, though, is the first step to mastering your role as a CEO when the time comes.
Before we dig into this too much, I want to take a moment to underscore how embracing the role of CEO is not at all required to run a successful solo business. Developing a success mindset is very different in a one-woman shop than one where you’re looking to grow and scale a team. But different doesn’t mean better!
Identifying your goals for your business is perhaps the most critical first step in this process because they determine what happens next. If you want to generate a salary on your own terms that covers your base expenses, then you may never need to focus on developing a success mindset of a CEO.
However, if you instead want to grow a larger business capable of supporting higher and higher salaries for yourself and those of other people, you will have to step into your role as a CEO fully.
There is no right or wrong answer to whether you “should” want this or not; instead, let what you truly want to dictate what you do here.
Assuming you truly want to step into your role of CEO, developing a success mindset is the first step in the process. This so often goes beyond simple skills or concrete habits that you feel like you should do.
In fact, developing a success mindset requires such a shift in how you do things that it often requires new kinds of support to help you with this transition.
This is exactly why many of my clients opt to hire me. They know they want to move into a CEO role, but they don’t know how to start. They’re so bogged down by working in their business they cannot find the time or space to do the work on their business in the ways they need to. This prevents them from having the breathing room they need to focus on developing a success mindset.
So, before anything can really change, it is important to take steps to remove yourself from the day-to-day operations that are bogging you down. Once you do this, you can free up the time and space needed to work on your business, and begin developing a success mindset.
Developing a Success Mindset Shift #1
The initial mindset shift that’s required here is understanding how and when you delegate. If you started as a one-woman show, you are likely used to doing everything on your own. But, as you grow, this becomes more and more challenging, so you’ll need to start delegating to a team. You simply won’t be able to do it all on your own — nor is it healthy for you!
To get started delegating, there are a few things to consider:
- How do you want to manage task assignments and deadlines?
- How involved do you want to be in the completion of delegated tasks?
- What is the ROI of delegating these tasks?
Once you know the ROI and how involved you want to be in the process, you can start to make decisions about the skill level of who is completing them. Developing a success mindset around delegation takes time, but it’s helpful to get an initial starting point before you dive in.
Developing a Success Mindset Shift #2
A second mindset shift is related to moving from more tangible tasks to more intangible tasks. When you are in solopreneur mode, you very often spend a vast majority of your time on concrete deliverables. If you use the Eisenhower matrix, you spend your time primarily on the urgent categories.
However, as you shift into the CEO role, you’ll likely spend more time on non-urgent tasks, like building relationships with potential collaborators or developing new revenue streams. These tend to be more abstract items with less immediate and tangible results, so it can feel very pointless in the moment. These tasks don’t fit nicely into a to-do list or provide the same kind of satisfaction we often get from checking them off the list.
Not embracing these task because they don’t feel as satisfying to complete can be very detrimental to developing a success mindset because you end up floundering a bit. It can feel very much like you’re spinning your wheels and wasting your time as you shift to the more intangible tasks, but the long-term implication of these types of tasks is essential to growing your business.
Understanding this shift in your role and dealing with the common mental struggle of “but I’m not really doing anything,” will help you successfully navigate this change.
Developing a Success Mindset Shift #3
A third mindset shift is accepting that things may get worse before they get better and that things always take longer to do properly than we’d like for them to take. This is a huge part of the battle when developing a success mindset because we are so often wired for instant gratification that if things don’t happen now, we assume we’ve failed.
For instance, I commonly help my clients evaluate any existing team members when we first start. In this process, we often realize they don’t have the right people doing the right things. So, to make the changes they want, we may have to change team member roles or even let them go.
This can feel very much like a step backward, but it is essential to the overall goals of the business. You simply cannot make the long-term progress you need to make without the proper support available.
Putting sustainable support in place very often takes longer to do than we’d like. You may not find the right team member on the first — or even second — try. So you have to be willing to stay the course until you get it right for the long term rather than accept less than you need for short-term gains.
Developing a success mindset starts by knowing what you want and continues by consistently working towards what you want. These three mindset shifts will help you start your journey from solopreneur to CEO. Ultimately, you will accomplish far more than you may have ever imagined in the process and have more fun than you might think if you’re prepared to take things as they come and pivot as needed.