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Are You Thinking Like an Employee or a Business Owner? 5 Tips to Help You Develop a CEO Mindset

by | Apr 7, 2022 | Features, Career, Productivity

Plenty of people want to be entrepreneurs. In fact, 55% of Americans believe they are capable of running a successful company. There are eight million minority-led companies in the United States currently.

With that being said, making the leap from employee to entrepreneur is difficult for many people. Operating a successful company requires more than ability – you must shift your thinking. To help your new business succeed, try these five strategies to develop a CEO mindset.

1. Learn to delegate tasks.

CEOs have the greatest impact on their companies when they focus on leading and strategizing. To maximize their value, they don’t spend time on tasks that are best left to other people.

The most effective CEOs:

  • Avoid micromanaging people and operations.
  • Hire talented employees.
  • Give their employees the training and resources to succeed.
  • Trust their teams to deliver.

2. Determine rates that are on par with the value that their company provides and include overhead expenses in the pricing.

Employees and freelancers usually expect to be paid the market rate for their skills and experience. A CEO has to take a different view. You are no longer accepting a paycheck; you are billing clients for services offered. When you determine those rates, you have to consider:

  • Insurance
  • Payroll
  • Taxes
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Rent and utilities

It can be disconcerting for new business owners to make this shift, but it’s absolutely necessary for long-term sustainability.

3. Embrace Outsourcing

When you start a business, it’s normal to feel pressured to stay on top of every detail. You may also be exceptionally aware of your expenses. The combination of these two things may tempt you to keep tasks in-house that you should be outsourcing.

If you aren’t outsourcing menial tasks, you could be wasting time and resources that are better spent on mission-critical items. Consider hiring a pro to do your taxes, set up your computer networks and design your logo. This also leaves your team more time to focus on their core duties.

4. Create a long-range plan.

It’s easy for new business owners to hyper-focus on their current projects. Of course, you want to complete each project, satisfy the client and get paid. But if you aren’t careful, you are simply moving from one task to the next.

Unfortunately, this can lead you to neglect other important tasks. One of these is long-range planning. Commit some time each day for future planning and building a growth strategy.

5. Develop business owner competencies.

Many talented people start businesses only to have them fail. That’s because owning and managing a business takes an entirely new set of skills. Sadly, many entrepreneurs never develop business ownership skills. 

This lack of competency can make it difficult for them to hire and retain staff, earn customer loyalty, and even ensure they are in compliance with employment regulations. Consider it your responsibility to have the following competencies:

  • An understanding of laws that apply to hiring payroll and healthcare
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • The ability to accept feedback
  • Knowledge of how to motivate employees
  • Sales and negotiation skills
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Thought leadership skills

There may also be industry-related expertise you need to refine in order to successfully operate a business.

When you develop a CEO mindset, you bring the best you have to offer to your organization. You benefit from developing these skills, and so does your team.

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