What I Learned This Year in My Business: The Shift From Solo-Preneur to CEO

ceoIn this special month at Incredible Factor TV, I’m not taking questions. Instead, I am sharing my top five lessons that I learned during this ground breaking year at Incredible One Enterprises.  If you didn’t read last week’s lesson, please go back and check it out.

And now for lesson number two….

Prior to 2014, I was a solo-preneur (a non-employer entity according to the US Small Business Administration and the IRS), of which there are 28 million in the country.  Yes, I was the ONLY person in the business, unless you count my part-time assistant, who was a catch-all 1099 who did everything I didn’t feel like doing.  We had no culture and we had no true direction.  We were just working.

Until just working wouldn’t cut it anymore.  I had to make the shift and start thinking like an Empire Builder, a true CEO.  I used to think about the CEO of any major Fortune 500 as my muse and I’d say, “what would the CEO of XXX do in this situation?”

Overwhelmingly, I realized they wouldn’t do what I was doing, so I shifted.  And it was a process.

Check out my lesson in this week’s episode of Incredible Factor TV:

Trust me, thinking like a hustler is NO WAY to build a business.  So, you have to decide… do you want to build a business or do you want to “hustle and grind”?  You see, business owners think and act differently, they think like they own something.  They think like they are in charge and they have the ability to change things.  They don’t “hustle and grind” aimlessly, they are strategic, they build teams, they track results, they focus on growth.

That’s what I did in 2014.  The growth of my company made it impossible for me to be a “one woman show.”  I went from 25 clients to 125 in less than 6 months into 2014.

So, I had to think differently and make the physical and mental shift into that of CEO.  The truth is, I was not meant to be a solo-preneur anyway.  And likely neither are you but you are fearful of what it will mean to truly build a business so you may just “hustle” and call it building a business instead.

I recommend that you don’t.  To make the shift, here are three quick tips:

1. Clarify your goals, your vision and your reason why you started your business.  Look back over the decision to get started.  What do you see?  Is it just you, a computer and phone?  Or, are there others participating in the process and helping you do your great work in the world?  If your vision reveals the latter, you are a CEO and you need to mentally and physically position yourself for the shift.

2. Create a transition plan.  If you saw a group of people helping you when you did the first tip, then you need to plan.  Remember, no one goes to bed a blunder and wakes up a wonder; it’s gradual.  So, start by taking a sheet of paper and making three columns.  In column 1, write everything that must be done in your company for it to operate optimally.   In column 2, write everything that you do well and get praised for (this is likely very few things and your area of core brilliance and talent.)  In column 3, write everything remaining in column 1.  What’s in column three needs to eventually become the tasks that the job descriptions you will write will perform on behalf of your company.  No, you won’t hire all at once.  And remember, be slow to hire and quick to fire. In this plan, you’ll need to get crystal clear of the timeline to the transition from solo-preneur to CEO.

3. Make the first move.  Information, strategy and planning without action is a waste of time.  So, take action. Determine the first position that must be filled from your column 3.  Create a job description and hiring process.  For help determining who you need on your team, check out my post 12 Team Members Every Entrepreneur Needs To Accelerate Their Growth and Results.

Need help making the shift?  Consider our Strategic Biz Retreat – a 2-day business building experience for a small and intense group of entrepreneurs ready to make the shift to CEO.  Learn more here.

©2014 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Business Optimization Coach and Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises®, Incredible Factor University® and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System®, a proven step-by-step program so you experience financial and spiritual abundance in your life because of your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “7 Critical Mistakes Even Smart Entrepreneurs Must Avoid for Clients, Connection and Cash Flow!” just fill out the form below.

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