Business

Ep 102. Become a More Confident CEO

confident ceo
I'm Ashley!

My mission at The Purpose Gathering is to help driven momtogs like you level up, so you can build a sustainable business AND a fulfilling family life. I do that through authentic brand photography for mompreneurs and my signature program for mom photographers: Side Hustler to CEO.

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Are you confident in your role as CEO?

There is a difference between an employee mindset and a CEO mindset.

Most of us are solopreneurs. Some of us have contractors on our team. Some of us have full time team members. But it’s really important that we take on both roles. We are the CEO and the employee, but it’s super important to step into this role with more confidence.

So here’s a question for you mamas:

Do you have a dedicated time, every week, that you focus on CEO work?

If so, when? Do you have this time carved out in your day? Follow me over on Instagram @thepurposegathering and answer that question. I want to have a conversation with you!

Maybe you’re not really even sure what the CEO mindset is. I’m going to get into it a bit and I’m going to have some complimentary episodes listed below so that you can go back and check them out. I want to give you some really practical ways to step into confidence as the CEO in your business. So if you are ready, let’s jump right in.

Step #1: Own your Role as CEO

First of all, you need to own your role as a confident CEO in your business. Let me kind of break down the difference between that CEO mindset and that employee mindset that I mentioned. You might be wondering..

  • What does it mean to have a CEO mindset?
  • Do I have that mindset?
  • How do I get it?

Well, let’s start firstly about talking about the employee mindset: An employee is obsessed with task completion, basically checking off tasks. They wait for approval from others and they’re only really focused on what’s happening here and now, in the present moment. If you’re a solopreneur, you’re going to have to do a lot of that employee work, but you also need to be thinking about the CEO work.

Now with the CEO mindset: A CEO is obsessed with results, profitability and efficiency. Creating systems, streamlining processes and making things easier to enhance the client experience. So take a minute, really quick, and think about these things, which mindset are you living in?

Are you focused on just the to do list and your head down working in your business? Or do you often lift your head up, step outside of the business and take a look at the bigger picture, the future of the business? If you’re in that employee mindset, don’t worry, you’re not alone. A lot of us start there, but stepping out of your business so you can work on it is really, really important.

Step #2: Do the CEO Work

CEOs are always thinking about the future of their business. They’re forecasting, strategizing, putting marketing plans into place. They’re always thinking about increasing profitability. They’re creating systems, optimizing their time. Their tracking metrics like email list growth, email open and click rates. They’re focused on relationship marketing, which is really taking marketing a step further and focusing more so on creating several deep relationships with complementary vendors, and other photographers in your area.

Also engaging with those hot leads, those people who are inquiring with you or any of your engaged followers. So people who are watching your stories, commenting on and liking your content, these are people that you need to be engaging and connecting with and creating a relationship with. Relationship marketing can also be searching out those potential leads using Instagram or Facebook. So these type of tasks are extremely important for the sustainability of your business. This blog is really trying to hit home on this idea that if you want to create longevity and sustainability in your business and you want to create profitability, you have to focus on these really crucial parts of your business.

Step #3: Trust Your Instincts

So we talked about step one, owning your role as the CEO. And then step two is to actually make the time and do that CEO work. Now step three to becoming a more confident CEO is to trust your instincts. It’s super easy to fall into the trap of conforming, based on what everyone else is doing. When I first started, well into year one to year five, I feel like this is where I was at. I was constantly looking at everyone else for what to do. I didn’t have a plan, I was flying by the seat of my pants.

  • I’m such a creative person
  • I don’t get the systems
  • I could never time block
  • I could never schedule anything

I just wore these labels, I wore them as a badge of honor, but it wasn’t honoring the business that I wanted. It wasn’t honoring the person that I wanted to be.

So I think it’s really important to have that plan in place, and to trust that you know what’s best for your business. It’s important to trust your instincts and stay in your lane, because it’s natural to look to others for inspiration and encouragement.

But it’s important to remember that there’s not just one way to do business, there are multiple ways and you have to find what works best for you and your business.

People are going to have all kinds of advice and opinions. You have to learn to trust your instincts early on, even if you don’t feel like you really know what you’re doing. Lean into that intuition. You know what’s best for your business. You know what feels right and when something starts to not feel in alignment, that’s a red flag for you to stop and read into what that is trying to tell you.

At the end of the day, this business is yours. You are creating this business, you have to be the one to do the work. So if it doesn’t feel right to you, you’re not going to do it. So I want you to own that and know that it’s okay if you disagree with someone else.

Step # 4: Invest in Your Growth

I think it’s really important that you invest in your growth. If you do feel like you’re lacking clarity and you’re like I’m new to business, I really don’t know what I’m doing, that’s why you hire a coach. That’s why you invest in a program like the Side Hustler to CEO, and that’s true. That is 100% true. But I think at the foundation, before you invest in a program or anything else, you have to be willing to change.

You need to be willing to do the hard work, to invest in that mindset work.

Now I’ve been struggling a lot with my mindset lately and this is something that as you become a seasoned photographer and business owner in general, it doesn’t just go away completely. You’re just able to recognize and course correct faster. But I’ve been struggling with my mindset lately, second guessing myself and really being negative about certain things. Now, I’m typically a very optimistic person, but lately, I’ve been having a lot of self-doubt.

A lot of you right now can probably relate to that…

You just don’t know if you’re cut out for the thing that you’re doing.

Each time you take a step forward, the self-doubt creeps in each time.

It’s important to check yourself when you start to lean into negativity and ask yourself why, why am I stuck in this rut? Why am I being negative about it? Why am I feeling this self-doubt? What makes what I’m doing drudgery? Begin to do this sort of reflection, this introspective work. It’s really hard, but once you begin to understand what’s holding you back, it can’t hold you back anymore. You can draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough. I’m done. I’m moving on. What can I do to simplify this and make it fun?

Step 5: Invest in Skills and Knowledge

A lot of people will advise you to outsource the things that you are not great at, or maybe the things that you don’t love. But I’ve found that that’s not always the best idea, as sometimes we are the best person for that job. We just put on labels, like I’m just not good at marketing, or I just don’t enjoy social media. Take a minute right now to just think about this..

What are those labels that you put on yourself that you tell yourself you’re just not good at?

Then, I want you to practice that exercise right now of just removing yourself from the present moment and thinking of the big picture of who do I want to be in my business?

  • What do I want my business to look like?
  • How do I want my business to function?
  • What do I enjoy about business and what do I absolutely dread?

Those things that you dread, just dive a little deeper into them, do that introspective work and figure out why you dislike it so much. Is it the time commitment? Is it you just don’t know what to do? You just need that clarity? Do you need someone to bounce ideas off of? What is it that you need?

I want you to really think about this. Because as business owners, if we are not willing to pivot or grow..

…if we are not willing to invest time and money into the areas in which are going to help our business, then we’re going to stay stuck for a really long time.

That was me. I decided really early on that I was going to invest only when I was making a certain amount of money and that just really held me back in a lot of areas. So it’s really important to prioritize certain things in your business at certain times. The idea of growth is one that I think you’re on the right track with, because you’re reading this blog or maybe listening to the podcast, which means that you are invested in growth. Remember, a lot of us love to listen to podcasts, but we don’t actually do anything with what we learn.

ACTION STEPS

Here at The Purpose Gathering, I am so passionate about not just wasting time. I don’t want to waste your time, I want to pour into you and invest truth into you. I want you to be an action taker, growth mindset is not enough. I love growth mindset and the willingness to grow, but the action mindset is where you’re actually going to do the work.

When you leave here today, I really want you to do the work. Maybe that looks like journaling it out:

  • I’m the CEO of __________ (fill in the blank) your company.
  • I’m committed to setting aside time every single week to focus on these __________ CEO tasks in my business.
  • I choose to trust my own instincts and know what feels authentic to me.
  • I’m going to take advice with a grain of salt.
  • I’m going to lean into what feels fun and what feels simple, and if it doesn’t, then I’m going to invest in growth.

Now I have a free challenge coming up that I would love to invite you to. It’s called the Passion to Profit Challenge. I host this challenge every quarter for mamas who are ready to step into the role of a confident CEO in their business and they’re ready to create profitability and sustainability.

Join us for that free challenge!

From April 4th through the 8th

Head on over to thepurposegathering.com/challenge and save your seat there.

Remember to answer the question for today: do you have a dedicated time every week that you focus on this CEO work and if so, when? And if not when are you going to start? So I challenge you, take action today. Don’t let this blog slip by. Don’t just rush off to the next thing. Really decide that today is going to be the day that you start to take ownership as the confident CEO in your business.

As always, Mama, I am here rooting for you and you are not alone on this journey.

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My mission is to help fellow momtogs (mama photographers!) experience success in business and in motherhood. As an Arizona brand photographer for mompreneurs, I’m passionate about capturing authentic images that show off my clients’ unique personalities so they can connect with their ideal clients. And as an online business coach for momtogs, I LIVE for helping mamas experience incredible transformations that help them build a business they love, without sacrificing their precious time with their littles.

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