Related: Harnessing the Power of CEO Days
I see so many business owners who carry the CEO title, yet they’re still spending a lot of time on non-CEO activities.
Believe me, I get it. When you own a small business, you have to wear a lot of hats. It’s not like you’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 company with tons of departments under you. You don’t have an executive staff to manage those departments and keep the tiny operations so far away you can’t even see them.
And this is YOUR business that you built from nothing. You care about the tiny details because when it was just you, you handled EVERYTHING.
But as CEO, it’s not your job to get stuck in the weeds.
What’s the biggest thing you can do to step into your role as CEO?
Give yourself the time and space to do the things only YOU can do in your business.
How many Focus Forward Days are you taking?
By Focus Forward Days I mean days when you ONLY work on high-level, move-the-needle, steer-the-ship kind of tasks.
These are activities like creating products, setting goals, creating strategies, doing live videos, networking, negotiating joint ventures, educating yourself, mapping out all of the tasks to bring that next project to life, etc.
You know, stuff that’s going to make a huge difference in your business, moving you forward.
One of the greatest benefits of doing this is that you're going to be able to knock out the things on your to-do that more than likely keep you as the bottleneck in your business. Whether you have a team or not, there are a variety of things that cannot move forward until you produce them in some way, shape or form.
On Focus Forward Days, you’re not available to clients or your team, except in DIRE emergencies. These are the days when you shut off your phone, turn off your computer notifications, and focus on the big stuff.
If your answer is zero days, that's okay. The next best time to start having them is now. I challenge you to schedule at least one Focus Forward Day within the next month.
If you can handle one Focus Forward Day per week, even better! The more time you take to be a CEO, the quicker you’ll find your company growing more purposefully.
How to make this happen:
“Yeah, that sounds great, but how do you even do that?!”
I know, it’s a challenge to think about blocking out that much time to be unavailable to the many people and activities that are vying for your time and attention. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the difference you'll begin to see.
This is the biggest piece of advice I can give you because we make time for what’s important to us. The thing is, it takes a lot more discipline than time.
If you want your business to grow, you’ve got to commit to making time in your schedule to make it happen. You are the CEO of your business, and this is what CEOs do.
Make it part of your non-negotiable business practices, and it will soon become a habit!
Set yourself up for success
- Put it on your schedule and let your team (if you have one) and clients know you won’t be available that day.
- Create a canned email response to let people know you’ll get back to them the next business day.
- Turn off all notifications that day.
- DO NOT schedule any client or team meetings that day. Make sure it’s blocked out on your online scheduler so no one can schedule a meeting.
- Start now by creating a document of all the things that come up that are waiting on your attention and/or keep getting put on the back-burner. It doesn't mean you're going to knock them all out in your first Focus Forward Day but you can stop them from falling through the cracks and losing sight of them. You can prioritize what comes first.
You’re probably feeling overwhelmed and wondering how on earth you’re going to make this work.
If you feel like you can’t step back for one day a week or month to focus on growing your business, it’s time to make some changes so your business can get through a day without you putting out fires or running the show.
This is a huge benefit of hiring an Online Business Manager (OBM).
An OBM helps you get organized and handles the managing part for you so you CAN step back and take those CEO days.
Your OBM is a touchpoint with your team so you don’t have to answer every question and every message and put out every fire that comes your way. If you don't yet have a team. it may be time to hire a Virtual Assistant who can begin taking things off of your plate.
Your OBM closes the office door for you so you can get shit done in your business.
Long-term planning is a discipline. OBMs help you find the time AND develop the discipline.
Once you take that time, your business is going to expand. That’s how CEOs grow their businesses from garage start-ups to global brands.
A CEO knows the value of CEO time and makes it happen.
There is no cut and dried list of what you should include in your Focus First Day. It is unique to you and your business. If you would like more details about setting up your Focus Forward Days, reach out anytime! I'm always happy to help.