When you think of the word CEO, what comes to mind?
A couple of years ago, if you would have asked me that question, I would have stared at you blankly. What! Isn’t a CEO just part of the corporate world?
Wrong. A CEO is the main leader of a company, whether it’s big or small. The person who calls the shots and has the final say, and that’s you, my friend, whether you know it, or whether you believe it. It’s been an incredible experience over the past several years to watch my business transform, now that I’ve embraced the role as CEO.
Today, I’m sharing with you three truths that effective CEOs embrace so that you too can walk confidently into this new perspective of what the CEO of your business looks like.
- Truth #1: Just Because I Can Do it All, Doesn’t Mean I Should
- Truth #2: Power of Yet
- Truth #3: View Failure as Fuel
If you didn’t catch my last blog, I actually posted one of the presentations that I did during the Focused Mom Photographer Summit called How to Run your Photography Business like a CEO. If you haven’t caught it, yet, I encourage you to go check it out! Because maybe you’re still in that camp where you’re like, I don’t even really understand what my job is as the CEO. And that blog will give you basically everything you need to know to get started. Otherwise, if you’re ready to dive deeper, I am so excited to share with you these three truths that effective CEOs embrace.
Truth #1: Just Because I Can Do it All, Doesn’t Mean I Should
This has been one that is so hard and quite honestly, it’s still hard. There are still certain things in my business that I just have a really hard time of letting go of. And I think that there’s this time in your business where you really start to see your business. from a different perspective. You start to see it from a future perspective and you’re not just stuck in the mentality of task completion You’re also in charge of the trajectory of where your business is going and making sure that you’re future planning and not just worried about getting the stuff done on your to do list.
It’s really important that you understand and adopt this new mentality that if you want to scale and grow your business, you have to get out of solopreneur mindset. Just because you are a solopreneur today and maybe you don’t have anyone on your team yet doesn’t mean that you won’t in the future. And the quicker that you realize that the faster that you will be able to grow.
However, I still want you to think about the support that you need, just as a human being right? As a mom, as a woman, and think about how you’re going to be able to handle it all.
Keep in mind that getting support in your business doesn’t always mean hiring someone. It could mean asking for help from someone, like your family members, your spouse, a trusted friend, it could even mean hiring someone that doesn’t help in the business, maybe someone that helps at home. Maybe it’s simply grocery delivery, or things like that.
But I think that this idea, this truth, is something that you need to step into, in order to own your role as CEO.
Just because I can do it all, doesn’t mean I should.
I want you to get out of the martyr mentality of like, I wish I could afford that. I wish that could be something for me one day. Get out of that mentality and think about that is going to be me one day, I will be outsourcing this one day. And switch that mindset and I promise you that will help you so much in order to achieve those goals. I think also hiring help requires a lot of releasing control and I think a lot of us really struggle with that. I know for me, that’s really hard releasing control. When you get to that point where you can release some of that control, you get so much time back. But if you get stuck in that mentality of like, I have to do everything, like you will build a business where you are always overwhelmed.
Truth #2: Power of Yet
This is talking about growth mindset. A fixed mindset would mean, like you’re not willing to change at all, while a growth mindset is I am willing to change. But I want you to take that a little step further too and I want you to think of the power of yet: so I can’t do this yet, but I am determined to figure it out. So, for example, in my business, I feel like bookkeeping has always been one of those things that I don’t enjoy and I think a lot of you can relate, because we are creative entrepreneurs and thinking about financing can be boring and not enjoyable. I have put it off for so long and I’m just going to do it like when I absolutely have to.
What that created was just a bunch of tension, and never knowing where my business was, where it stood and what I needed to do in order to project or make a different plan for incurring more income. What I have done is I’ve made it fun and simple. So instead of just saying like, oh, I’m just not good at bookkeeping, I’ll just put that off, or I just won’t do it, I have given myself the opportunity and the space to grow, where you know what, I really don’t enjoy my bookkeeping yet, but I’m gonna get there and I’m going to figure out what can I do now in order to make my bookkeeping fun.
When I have work to do, CEO work to do, I will make a CEO date which is usually at a coffee shop, because I love coffee, and it’s a way that I’m able to treat myself.
I’m able to enjoy what I’m doing while I’m sitting down at the coffee shop and it could be stuff that’s boring like bookkeeping. Remember, there are so many things that you can do with this truth of the power of yet, so I don’t want you to get stuck anymore with the idea of well, I just am not good at that, or I just can’t do that. I love Marie Forleo’s saying of everything is figureoutable and I just think it’s so incredibly powerful to know that when you don’t know something, you can figure it out. And if you personally can’t figure it out, you can for sure find someone that already knows and can help you, so don’t get stuck and embrace the power of yet.
Now remember, you can’t just stop with the growth mindset. It’s cool and all that you want to change and that you believe everything is figureoutable, but if you don’t actually go to the next step, which is the action mindset and actually doing something with what you know, then what’s the point right? A growth mindset is great, but without action, there’s no change.
I want you to write down all the things that you’re struggling with right now and I want you to repeat with me: everything is figureoutable.
Then make an action plan with actual tasks that you can check off.
The other thing that I’ve noticed, is a lot of us put things on our list that are so broad, like figure out my bookkeeping and then you ask yourself, how can you check that off? That is multiple steps in and of itself and so it’s really important that you take each thought, each stuckness and create an action plan for what are you going to do to figure out your bookkeeping.
Maybe you need to do some research about what program to even use then sign up for that said program. Or maybe you need to set aside some time to actually interact with that program and learn the program. Or even hire someone who has used that program. Maybe you have a friend who uses that program that can give you a super simple crash course. So there are different steps that you need to unpackage beneath that one overarching task.
Truth #3: View Failure as Fuel
And the third truth that effective CEOs embrace is that they view their failure as fuel. I’ll say that again, effective CEOs view their failure as fuel. I want you to think about this truth. For a really long time I let my failures defeat me. I let them hold me back, I let them convince myself that I was less than or wasn’t good enough. I feel like these are blatant attacks from Satan where he wants to convince us that we are worthless. That we can never grow or can’t figure things out.
I’m so disheartened to admit this, but this held me back for so many years. I believed the lies and I let them completely derail all of my progress. I don’t want that for you. I read somewhere in a book or heard it in a podcast, that you should fail faster. I It was such a new concept to me and I was like, what! Like, why would you try to fail? That sounds awful.
The faster that you can get to a no or the faster that you can see that the door has been closed, the faster you can move forward, and that you can learn from it.
In 2020, I absolutely embraced that concept when the pandemic hit. All of my meetups that were in person had to be moved online. Not a lot of people really wanted to be online. I had two businesses at the time that really relied on being in person with people. That came to a halt.. I had to decide what I’m going to do even though I was scared. So, I started a podcast right at the beginning, around March of 2020.
A little bit later, I launched my first course, that didn’t work for me. That failure was information that that wasn’t the right path for me at that time. That’s not what I wanted and that’s not how I wanted to show up. I also started a membership group. So in one year, I launched a podcast, I launched a course and I launched a membership.
You might be thinking like oh my gosh! That’s crazy Ashley, why would you do that? It’s because I wanted to fail faster, I wanted to see what worked. I gave each thing about six months and knew pretty quickly that it just wasn’t the right path for me. Sometimes, there were things that I wasn’t sure about and that I didn’t understand yet.
But each new thing that happened was a really beautiful gift of insight about where I should go next.
When you feel like you’re failing at something, I want you to let it fuel you, I want you to let it be just information that helps you make a different choice or a different decision in the future. When something isn’t working, instead of asking why me, I want you to use it as an opportunity to try something new. To stretch yourself and to figure out another way.
Something I think is really important to effectively embrace all these truths? Having someone to do it with you, so that you’re not doing it alone. I think it’s really important that you join a community. We have The Purpose Gathering Mamas community, an incredible place for you to plug in and get to know people. Put a post out there telling people who you are, and what you’re looking for in a business bestie. It might feel awkward to put yourself out there, but this is how you learn and grow. Also remember, if you put yourself out there, and you get rejected, don’t stop. Don’t feel like if you tried it once and it didn’t work that you have to quit.
So I hope that you’ve enjoyed today’s blog. I want to recap just those three truths again, just so that you remember.
- Just because I can do it all doesn’t mean I should.
- Have the growth mindset and the action mindset with the power of yet, everything is figureoutable.
- View your failure as fuel and fail faster.
All right, Mama, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to be here with me. It always means so much. As always mama I am here rooting for you. And you are not alone on this journey.
- Ep 114. How to Run Your Photography Business like a CEO
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