Being the Employee Vs Manager Vs CEO In Your Business

Do you feel bogged down in your business?

You might be in your email inbox more often than you want to be. Or chasing people who still need to pay that invoice or scheduling people on your calendar all the time. Or perhaps you’re stuck on the technical side of things every day, messing around with the code on your website or trying to figure out what happened to that client email that seemed to vanish.

Instead of being the CEO of your business, you, my friend, are stuck in employee or manager mode. So how do you shake off those shackles and embody the role you’re meant to? In this new series on the Promote Yourself to CEO podcast, you’ll learn the difference between the employee, manager, and CEO roles. And I’ll teach you how to start firing yourself from those first two modes so you can step into your role as CEO.

On this episode of Promote Yourself to CEO:

2:13 – Why do women start their own business? Believe it or not, money isn’t at the top of the list of reasons.

9:30 – There’s so much glamorization around the entrepreneurship space for women. But you’ll see something different, if you take a peek under the hood.

11:19 – I discuss the role of the employee and how it’s different from being a manager or CEO.

13:58 – You can start off wearing so many hats as CEO of your business. Then as your company grows, you start bringing in team members in this order.

17:03 – You might find yourself becoming an accidental manager by adding team members. What’s the role of a manager?

21:06 – Most entrepreneurs spend their time in the employee or manager mode. How much time do you actually get to spend in CEO mode?

25:29 – Here’s how shifting into CEO mode gives you more freedom, flexibility, and control in your business.

30:10 – What does it truly mean to step into the role of CEO? I reveal what happens when you take a bigger picture view of your business.

36:02 – I talk about the importance of having a vision and values for you, your team, and your company.

Mentioned in Being the Employee Vs Manager Vs CEO In Your Business

Do you feel like you are in the weeds of your business, you're constantly bogged down in the day-to-day, and you know that you need to step into your role as CEO? But how can you even make that happen when you continuously have to step in, answer questions, make decisions? You are the bottleneck of your business. Well, today, we are kicking off an entirely new series to help you step into the role of CEO and we're starting with asking this important question: Are you the employee, the manager, or the CEO of your business? Let's get into it.

Are you ready to grow from stressed-out solopreneur to competent CEO? You're in the right place. I'm your host, Racheal Cook, and I've spent more than 15 years helping women entrepreneurs sustainably scale their businesses. If you're serious about building a sustainable business, it's time to put the strategy, systems, and support in place to make it happen. Join me each week for candid conversations about stepping into your role as CEO, the hard lessons learned along the way, and practical profitable strategies to grow a sustainable business without the hustle and burnout.

Hey there, CEOs. Welcome back to another series here on Promote Yourself to CEO. This is a brand new series that I wanted to dive into. Because as I have been talking to more and more women entrepreneurs who are looking at scaling their business or looking at growing beyond just them, they continuously find themselves in the same place where they are the bottleneck where no matter what they do, they just can't seem to get out of their own way.

If this is you, keep on listening because I want to start this entire series by giving you insight into the different roles in your business. If we are not intentional, we find ourselves back in the busy work, we find ourselves back in the day-to-day, and ultimately, our business stagnates, maybe stays where it is, but often starts to backslide a little bit because we aren't being the true CEO. We're not moving things forward.

Let's get into why we started our businesses. Why did we start our businesses? It's so interesting, because over the last 15 years, I've talked to thousands of women entrepreneurs, and the majority of women started their businesses because they're looking for more freedom, they're looking for more flexibility, they're looking for more control over their life and their work. We all have different situations going on in our life that we're hoping having a business is going to help us to manage.

Maybe you started your business because you were starting a family or raising a family and you wanted to have that flexibility to be there for them. Maybe like me, you struggle with chronic health challenges, and working for other people just doesn't work when you are juggling having good days and bad days.

Maybe you are in a situation where you want to be able to travel, you want to be able to work from wherever. As glamorous as it sounds to have work from wherever, be all about sitting on a beach in some exotic location, to be honest, most of the women I talk to who want to work from wherever are the ones who are in a partnership with someone who is constantly moving.

I'm in Richmond, Virginia. I'm near Washington, DC so I know a ton of women who are military wives, their partners work for the state department, or they work for bigger organizations where they are expected to literally pick up their life and move for years at a time. It can be really hard to have any other type of career if that is your situation.

Women are starting businesses for more freedom, more flexibility, and more control. What's really interesting is money is statistically the fourth reason. It's not the first, the second, or the third reason the research shows. It's the freedom, flexibility, and control over their lives that are the biggest reasons we start businesses. Money is the fourth.

This doesn't mean that money isn't important. It is absolutely important. It is important whether you're just trying to contribute to your family, you're trying to create financial independence for yourself, or you feel like you hit a cap, a ceiling on what your income could be working for other people and you want to unlock your income potential. There are a lot of reasons to want more money.

I think that is amazing. It's incredible. I want to see more women in control of more money and stewarding more wealth because statistically again, when women have access to more money, we are more likely to reinvest that back into our families, to our communities, and to the greater world and make the world a better place.

Really, more women need to be wealthier, more women need to have access to more money. But what's interesting as we talk about all the reasons why we started this business, more freedom, more flexibility, more control, more money, is if you were to press pause and really ask yourself, “Am I experiencing these things?” what would your answer be?

Just take a minute and think to yourself, “Do I truly have the freedom I wanted when I started this business, or am I working all the time and I'm unable to turn my mind off, I'm always thinking about work, it's really hard to unplug from my work, from my business, I have a hard time letting go of control of things so that my team can truly support me?” Instead of feeling freedom for your business, your business has become this ball and chain like you're always attached to it.

Do you really have the flexibility you want? Are you able to work when you want? Are you able to work the schedule you want? Are you able to accommodate for those unexpected things that show up in your life, whether you need to take a sick day, something happens in your family, or there are some other scenarios, do you have the flexibility to adapt and adjust to your life? Or are you having to put your business over your life?

Do you feel like you're in control? Do you feel like you're in control of your business? This is a huge one because so many of the women I talk to do not feel in control of their business. They feel like they aren't sure where their next clients are coming from. They couldn't tell me how those next clients are coming to them. They're not sure what revenue they're on track to make. They're not sure how to get more support.

It's almost ironic that what we tend to do is grab on to control even harder. It's almost like this death grip of control that we start having, especially as we start growing our business and having a team, and that death grip of control actually holds you back from growing your business. It makes it harder for your team to do their best work because you're not letting go and you're not letting go because you feel so out of control of your business. It's this vicious cycle.

Then finally, are you making the money you wanted to make in your business? Or are you on track to make the money that you wanted to make in your business? If your answer to any of those were no, “No, I don't have the freedom I want. No, I don't have the flexibility I want. No, I don't have the control I need. No, I don't make the money I want. I'm not paying myself what I truly want to pay myself. I'm not paying myself a CEO salary,” then you're going to love this series because, over the next few weeks, we're going to talk about stepping into your role of CEO and how you can start to get back the flexibility, the freedom, the control in the income.

But it means that you have to be brave. It means you have to be willing to step out of the comfort zone, out of the fear zone, and into the growth zone. We’re pushing your growth edges. Learning how to be the CEO can be very uncomfortable. It can be very uncomfortable because most of us have never had to be a CEO before.

We all started lower down on the hierarchy here. If we continue to show up in our businesses as the employee or the manager, we’ll never truly create the freedom, the flexibility, the control, and the money that we wanted to create in our business.

Today's episode is really asking you this essential question. Are you the employee, the manager, or the CEO of your business? Now I want to talk about this because I feel like breaking it down to these three umbrellas helps us to truly start to look at our businesses and our role in our businesses from a new perspective.

There is so much hype and glamorization going on in the entrepreneurship space, especially the women's entrepreneurship space. Kelly Diels talks about The Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand and this is the feeling that I think a lot of us have about how we're supposed to show up in our businesses where the boss babes, the boss ladies, we have to be sexy, shiny, and have all the luxury, have the fancy handbags and the red bottom shoes.

All of that looks sexy and shiny on the outside. But if we were to truly look under the hood of everyone's businesses and pay attention to how those people are spending their time and energy, we would see a lot of women entrepreneurs are not truly performing like a CEO. They're not working like a CEO. They're not thinking like a CEO. They're not stepping into that role as CEO. Instead, they're getting pulled back into their comfort zone, and that's what I want to talk about.

Because this is a shift that can really start to move the needle in your business; understanding how and where you're spending your time, your energy, your attention is what will start to create that return on investment for you and give you back the freedom, the flexibility, the control, and the money is the outcome of that.

It's not until you have some sort of framework to really look at how you're spending your time, energy, and attention to see what's actually going on. But now that you're going to have a framework to look through to use to evaluate your business, you're going to start to see the path toward stepping into your role as CEO.

Now the first role that we all have is employee. Now, if you ever had a job, this is what you were, you were an employee, you were responsible for implementing the tasks in your job description. Here are the things that you're going to do, you show up, you punch the clock, and then you get to work. You're doing the things in your job description.

You're doing the things that have been delegated to you or assigned to you according to whatever that role required. Then you get to wrap up your day, clock out, and leave. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. This is what the majority of the workforce does. They show up, they do work that's assigned, and then they leave.

But we want to make sure that as entrepreneurs, as the CEOs of your business, you're not getting stuck in this employee mindset where you're only focused on what's directly in front of you, that day-to-day to-do list. Employees are the implementers. They are not making big-picture decisions. They're not setting the vision for anything. They're not telling people what to do. They're doing what they are told. They are implementing the plan that they were handed down from someone else.

Common things that fall into the employee role of your business are going to be things like managing your inbox, getting people scheduled, sending out all those invoices, making sure that people are paying their bills to you, making sure that the administrative side of your business is running as smoothly as possible.

This could also be looking at the customer service side of your business. Anytime you are onboarding new clients or offboarding clients, that is all customer-service related, answering questions that your clients have, not necessarily about the work that you're doing but more the logistical type of questions, setting up agreements, sending them reminders for your call, collecting data or getting the information you need, getting those clients on the schedule. All of those different pieces of customer service are more of an employee role in your business.

That's just the administrative and the customer service parts. Now depending on your specific business, you might have other roles that need to be handled. You might have other things that need to get done in your business. When we start our businesses, we are wearing all of the hats, we are every single role. Our goal in this conversation is for you to see how you can start firing yourself from these different roles so that you can move from employee to CEO.

As your business grows, if you really start to drill down and think about “What are all the roles I have been covering as the owner-operator of my business,” maybe you've been doing all the graphic design for your business, maybe you've been up on Canva making your social media graphics, your email graphics, and putting together PDFs, maybe you've been doing all the copywriting for your business. You've been writing the newsletter, you've been writing the content on your website.

Maybe you've been responsible for content creation. You're writing blog posts, you're creating social media. Maybe you've been the bookkeeper and the invoicer, the person who's making sure that the money is being collected on time. Maybe you've been handling things like scheduling out all your content, writing the newsletters, and running ads. Maybe you've been pitching yourself for media, interview opportunities, or speaking opportunities.

Maybe you've been the tech support, you're managing all the technical aspects of your business like your website and whatever type of platforms you need to use in your work. This is a lot. You are wearing a lot of hats when you're getting your business up and running.

As your business grows, you'll gradually start to bring in team members who start to take those roles on. Usually, the first team members we bring on are going to be administrative, they're going to be customer support. They're going to be bookkeeping and invoicing. Then we start to pass off the technical things, we start to pass off maybe the marketing and the sales aspects of our businesses.

Eventually, we get to the point where we actually start bringing in team members who are working directly with our clients. For example, in my business, I have a team of mentors inside of The CEO Collective who work directly with our clients. Each client has a dedicated mentor who helps them to create, to review, to stay accountable to their 90-day plan.

That's somebody who's working directly with my clients. By now having these mentors, it means I am able to be even more in my role as CEO. I'm not the only person supporting my clients. It dramatically increases the capacity of how many people I can serve because it all doesn't fall on me.

I have a client who is a chiropractor, who in the last few years has gone from being a solo chiropractor practice to now she has hired two other chiropractors and a massage therapist and we're looking at bringing on another chiropractor. Those are all people who can work directly with her clients, reducing her client load, and starting to shift her time more towards CEO.

I have another client who is a therapist, and she has built out a team of eight other therapists who can serve her clients. As you start to bring on more team members to implement inside of your business who are doing the day-to-day work inside of your business, what you probably start to realize is you became an accidental manager.

You didn't intend for it to happen. But each time you brought someone else into your business to help you implement, to help you move faster, you might have experienced this where suddenly you feel like you're getting pulled back into the weeds because everyone needs you to answer the things and help them figure out what they're doing.

When this is the accidental manager role, it can become quite a challenge. It can become really, really frustrating. It holds you back from being the true CEO of your business. Let's shift from accidental manager to intentional manager. A manager is someone who is keeping all the trains running on time in your business.

Their job is to make sure everyone is moving in the same direction to stay on track with specific projects and goals, helping them to hit their benchmarks, helping them to hit their deadlines, to make sure that pass-offs between team members are as smooth as possible, that everyone on the team has what they need in order to do their job. They're assigning out things.

In your business, your manager is the person who is the bridge between you, the CEO, and all of your employees on the team. I'm using the word employees by the way here, it could be independent contractors. That is a whole different conversation but for simplicity's sake, I just want to say employees.

Your manager is that person between you, the CEO, and the rest of the team. They are taking the big-picture vision that you have of where your business is going to go in the next year, three years, or five years, then they help you reverse engineer it, break it down into step by step so that now all of the action items can be assigned out.

They can put deadlines on things, they can create benchmarks for things, they can determine whether we are on or off track, they can put in place the key performance indicators to make sure that the business is moving forward.

To recap, employees are implementers, managers are the ones telling the employees what they're implementing. The managers are keeping the train running on time. As your business grows, you will find yourself implementing less and less of the day-to-day and more and more managing the people on your team.

But here's the next growth challenge: as your business grows and your team grows, you will hit capacity. You'll start to realize you're no longer able to be the manager of your team, that you being the manager of the team is slowing down the business and might actually be stagnating the business. The business is going to hit a plateau here.

Usually, this happens once you have about five to eight people reporting to you. At that point, you'll start to feel like you're constantly being interrupted. You feel like everybody needs you all the time. You're getting Slack messages all the time, the emails, the phone calls all the time from people on the team because they need you to answer everything.

They need you to put out a fire. They need to ask a question. They need something else from you. You will feel squeezed to find the time for the big-picture CEO-level work that you need to do in your business.

Who has time for CEO-level work, for the big picture work when you're responsible for still working with some clients and now trying to manage a team? You've got too many jobs. These first two roles are where I see a lot of people spending most of their time and energy.

If I were to ask you to track your time for an entire week, I would probably guess that you're spending a few hours a day in your inbox trying to follow up back and forth with people, following up back and forth with your clients, following up back and forth with your team, trying to answer everybody's questions, trying to keep all the invoices paid, trying to remember to send out the invoices, trying to get people on your calendar, all the back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

You may also be spending a lot of time trying to make everything work. You might be trying to work on getting the technology in place, connecting the email provider to the website, or trying to make sure that this gets delivered to your clients. Probably still spending a lot of time trying to find time to write the content, to do the marketing, or to do the visibility activities. All of this leads you to hoping and praying that you're remembering all the things that need to happen in order to keep moving your business forward.

It already sounds overwhelming to me. It probably is overwhelming you right now if you're like, “Oh my god, yes. I feel like I am juggling so many balls. Things are dropping. I don't feel in control of my business. I don't feel like I have freedom because there's too much going on that I am responsible for. That means I can't unplug from my business. I have to be available all the time for my team and for my clients. I don't have the flexibility I wanted because there's no way I can take time off. I can't take time just for myself when there's too much chaos.”

This is common. This is so common. We all start here in some way. I think the biggest thing is now we need to have awareness of it. Now that we're bringing awareness to this, we're shining a big ol’ light on what's happening in your business, I want you to really think how much time are you spending a week in employee mode where you're implementing, how much time per week are you spending in manager mode where you are managing the team, coordinating all the plans, making sure the deadlines are being hit, then finally, how much time do you actually get to spend in CEO mode?

Think about that for a second. If you've never done time tracking before or you've never broken this down, I highly encourage jumping into the Fired Up & Focused Challenge. It's absolutely free. It's five days to learn how to embrace that CEO mindset and focus on CEO-level work.

The role of the CEO is focusing on the big picture. It's looking ahead of where the team is right now. If they're implementing for today, this week, this month, this quarter, your job is to be looking ahead, at the road ahead so that you know where you're going next.

What are you creating that's going to have a bigger impact in the world? What is the business going to be doing to serve clients on a new level? What are you going to be doing that will help you reach and serve more people? How does your business need to shift and evolve in order to achieve that vision?

What systems need to be put in place so that it becomes more scalable? Scalable simply honestly just means it takes less effort to get the same or better results. How are you putting systems in place that make it dramatically easier to run and to grow your business?

Now, I want you to really, really think about this for yourself and think about what percentage of your week are you in the day-to-day, again, employee role, what percentage of the week are you managing people, whether it's employees, contractors, or freelancers? How much time are you managing all those different people who are doing work for your business? Then how much time do you really get to do CEO-level work?

CEO-level work is what is going to give you more freedom. It's what's going to give you more flexibility. It's what is going to help you create more control in your business. Because instead of being reactive all the time, putting out fires, and winging it because you can't see more than a month, two, or three ahead in your business, being a CEO means you are looking far into the future.

You are creating the vision, you are seeing where you want to go, and that means you can be more proactive. That means you can plan instead of winging it. That means you can see what infrastructure your business needs. You can see what roles you need to hire next. You can see more clearly what truly is happening in your business.

The result of having that clarity is more freedom and more flexibility. A lot of people ask about how I've achieved that in my business as if I have a magic wand and I just wished this into existence. I did not. It was all very intentionally designed, systematized, and structured this way. I take two weeks off in December. I take another two weeks off right at the end of July and beginning of August.

I generally work four days a week, 25 hours a week. My days are four to five hours depending on how I feel because I do have chronic illnesses that include chronic fatigue and chronic pain. All of that is built into how this business is run. I have built in the flexibility I need to manage my chronic health problems. I have built in the flexibility I need if I'm having a really bad day, I can tag someone else in the business and they can move things around for me and it is not a problem.

This really came to the forefront for me a few years ago when my mom started needing more and more help. She went from being more independent to needing full-time nursing care. I remember this so clearly because I was on coaching day, it was a Tuesday which is a coaching day for me, and I was getting ready for another call. I have my call set up very strategically, this should surprise no one, I do my coaching days on Tuesdays, there's a 9:00 call, a 10:30 call, a 12:00 call, and a 1:30 call.

I have a half hour between each call and it happened to be a Tuesday where my son Alex was at the office with me. I had done my first two calls in the morning and I was on a break. I got a message from one of my mom's nurses saying, “Your mom fell. She's in the hospital. Can you come?”

Literally, I was 15 minutes from the next call. But because of everything I put in place in my business, knowing that I am a caregiver, that I am responsible for my mom's care, I was able to text back, “No problem.” I was able to fire off a text to my assistant. I was able to fire off a text to my director of operations and say, “Hey, family emergency. Jumping in the car right now to get to the hospital. Please reach out to my clients and reschedule the next two sessions on my calendar.”

All of that happened within like a five-minute span. My clients had the heads up. This is not something that happens often, but what was amazing is after I had to deal with that whole thing, which of course, I mean, anytime you get a call like that, it's stressful, but I remember the next call that I had with that client, they said to me, “We were so impressed that when you discovered you had to drop everything and run to the hospital, we got the information we needed as quickly as possible. We got rescheduled as quickly as possible. We realized we don't have anything, any support like that in our business that would make it possible for us to literally shift things on a dime.”

That is so hard for so many businesses and it makes it so much harder than it needs to be. I want you to think about how can you shift more into your role as CEO of your business. This does not happen by accident. No one is going to come down and anoint you CEO of your business, you have to claim it. You have to step into it.

Stepping into the role of CEO means getting out of the comfort zone. It means getting through the fear zone, because it does bring up a lot of stuff. It brings up all of your Gremlins and your mindset challenges. Getting into the growth zone where you're willing to make mistakes, you're willing to mess up, and accept failure as it comes, finally getting into the growth zone where you now start to see you're getting more control over your business, you're getting more freedom in your business, you're having more flexibility in your business, the outcome of all of it is that your business now is primed for growth.

As your business grows, this does not happen by accident. If you do not proactively step into the role as CEO, you will constantly be pulled back into the role of manager and then into the role of employee because it feels like you have more control there. It feels like you have more control because you had to do all those things to get your business to the point where it is.

But the greatest advice I ever got for my business, and I credit my dad who has been a business owner since way before I was born, I mean he has had his existing insurance agency business since the 80s, he told me the most important thing to learn how to do is to fire yourself from every job in the business except for being the CEO. Fire yourself as quickly as possible so that you can stay focused on being the CEO.

This is hard. It is hard. This takes a lot of work. It's a lot of leveling up your own personal leadership. By being focused on your role as CEO, you are taking the bigger picture view, the longer view of your business. You're not just thinking about what needs to happen today, this week, this month, or even this quarter. You're already thinking ahead to what's going to happen next year, what's going to happen three years or five years from now.

That timeline lengthens the more competent you are in your role as CEO. The more clarity you get in your role as CEO, the further out you can see. Once you get that bigger-picture view, you start to see more opportunities for your business. This could be new business development. You start to see opportunities for a new program, a new product, or a new service. You get to see the relationships you need to make in order to open the door for strategic partnerships for other people to champion you and your business, for people who are going to open the door for other opportunities.

Those relationships are invaluable. You won't have time to develop and cultivate those relationships if you're stuck in the weeds of your business. But I'm here to tell you that business truly grows at the speed of relationships. I have experienced this over and over and over again. Every major opportunity I've had in my business has come not just because of the work I'm doing but because of the people who are championing me, who are opening doors for me, and making introductions for me.

You have to be able to step into the role of CEO and make those connections. It also means having the time to get out of this myopic view of just what's happening in your specific business and get a more big-picture macro view of what's happening in your industry as a whole. What's happening in the world as a whole? How are all of these different changes impacting your business?

Being able to look up and really start to pay attention to the bigger world that we're operating in will help you to be ahead of the curve for any big changes that are coming your way. As you start to do this, if you're ahead of the curve because you can see what is starting to change in your industry, what is starting to change in the world, or what is starting to change with your client base, you'll be ahead of it. You'll be able to be more proactive, more in control instead of suddenly things shift and you're sitting here scrambling trying to figure out what to do next.

It's so interesting because even something like COVID, when COVID hit, I had a client, and I still have this client all these years later, she's still working with me, Nichole Forsline of The Solid Bow and she manufactures and sells hair bows for children, but one of her manufacturing partners is a small factory based in China. Because of her being in this manufacturing world, she actually started hearing from her manufacturer months before we ever heard about COVID really in the United States.

Because I was working with her and I'm paying attention to the trends and things happening in her space—because this is what I do for my clients, I'm paying attention to things that are going to impact them not today but three, six months, or a year from now—we were able to adapt and adjust really, really quickly.

We already had a heads-up that, “Hey, something's coming. We don't know exactly what it is or how it's going to impact us. But we could pivot a lot faster,” because we had been paying attention to the bigger picture.

As you start to see the bigger picture of what's happening in the world, what's happening in your industry, what's happening with your clients, you are more clearly able to cast a vision, to create a vision for your business.

In Alice in Wonderland, I think it was Cheshire Cat who says, “If you don't know where you're going, it doesn't matter what path you pick. Anywhere will get you there.” That, to me, is the opposite of getting the freedom, the flexibility, and the control that you want in your business.

You can't have freedom, flexibility, and control in your business if you're winging it. It just doesn't work like that. Because then you're always, always being reactive. You're always putting out fires. You're always struggling to keep up instead of having that clear view of what's ahead.

Here's the most important part about being CEO: When you truly step into this role, you are responsible for casting that vision, articulating that vision, and articulating your values to your team so that they can be more self-directed, so that they can be more proactive, and so that they can become a self-managing team.

This is one of the cornerstone components of our 90 Day CEO Operating System. It is the vision and the values. You need to have the vision and the values crystal clear. The vision is where you're going, where you're headed, where this business is going to go in the next year, next three years, next five years depending on where you are in your business. The more control you have over your business, the more systematized your business is, the further the view is for your vision.

If you're just getting started trying to get out of the weeds, you might not be able to see more than a year out, and that's okay, we all start there. But your vision is where you're going and your values are the rules of the road for how you're going to get there.

Once you have your vision and your values, then you and your manager can reverse engineer your 90-day plan, you can start implementing the systems to scale that you can start rinsing and repeating to build momentum where you're working less because the systems actually create leverage for your business, the systems help you to market your business more effectively and efficiently, help you to consistently be visible in your business, help you to consistently make sales, and continue to deliver to more and more clients without the value of service going down, the level of service going down.

As all these things start to come into play, literally, this is The 90 Day CEO Operating System, if you haven't taken the training I've created on the website, I highly recommend digging into it, but as all these things start to happen, then your team starts to be a self-managing team. They can handle things without you needing to micromanage. You don't need to be like the helicopter CEO checking in on everybody because they know exactly what is happening.

When they know what is happening, when they know what the vision is, they know the values, they know what the current priorities are because you have your 90-day plan, the systems are very, very clear and easy for them to implement and run again and again and again, rinse and repeat, your team becomes more efficient.

They don't come to you all the time to make decisions because now you've given them the filter for decision-making. They use the vision and values to make decisions. They know what the 90-day plan is so they know what the priorities are, they can make better decisions on your behalf. They don't have to keep coming to you, because it's clear what needs to happen.

Without the vision and values, which only you the CEO can create, you're going to find that shiny objects become a massive, massive expensive distraction in your business. What will often happen, and I hear this again and again, is the business owner will get a new exciting idea.

We love the new, it's like that dopamine rush, we get excited, we want to start doing all the things, and then we're saying to our team, “Hey, I had this new great idea. Stop everything. Change direction. We're doing this,” and your team is exhausted. They're frustrated. They're feeling like you're always changing course.

They never know when you're going to throw something new at them. It makes it really confusing because now you've thrown something new into the mix and they don't know what the priorities are anymore. Does that mean they're supposed to stop these other things? Are we not doing this? Are we doing this instead? It just causes chaos in your business.

Without the vision and values, we can hear, this is like step one being the CEO, you're winging it in your business. If you don't have clarity on your business strategy, there's not a clear plan and pace, there are no clear systems that create the leverage your business needs to get better results with less effort, your business is always starting from scratch, and it just continues to create chaos in your business.

This month, we are doing a deep dive into stepping into your role as CEO. This is one of the most important things you can focus on. It is not hard, but it's not easy. It's going to push you out of your comfort zone. In the coming episodes, we're going to talk about defining your role as CEO. We're going to talk about boundaries as a CEO. We're going to talk about the skills you need to embrace to work smarter, not harder as a CEO.

I'm also going to recommend two key resources to help you to start making this shift. First is the Fired Up & Focused Challenge. You may have taken this before. We have updated it, we have streamlined it, we have really wrapped this entire Fired Up & Focused Challenge around how to help you step into your role as CEO, how to embrace CEO mindset, how to work like a CEO, how to structure your days and your week like a CEO so I recommend heading over to and going through that five-day challenge. I promise you, you will not regret it. It will be incredibly eye-opening if you have never gone through the Fired Up & Focused Challenge with me.

The second thing I want to encourage you to make time for this month is the masterclass, the advanced training I did on the website about The 90 Day CEO Operating System. I went through it on a very high level at the end of today's episode, but this advanced training is a deep dive into each of those five core elements of what we call our 90 Day CEO Operating System that help your business to become more efficient, that help it to run smoother.

When those things start getting put in place over the course of three months, six months, a year, you start to see that your business is less chaotic, you're more in control. When you're more in control, because you have the right strategy, systems, and support in place, you can reclaim that freedom and that flexibility. You're doing all of this while your business is growing without you working harder, which means you're going to continue to make more money and start to pay yourself like a CEO.

I'm really excited to bring all this together into this series to help you step into your role as CEO. If you love this episode, come on over to Instagram, tag me @racheal.cook, and let me know your thoughts, and even more, again, I'm challenging you, what percentage of your week are you spending in that employee role where you're implementing things versus the manager role where you're trying to herd all the cats and keep everybody on track and your business versus the CEO role where you're really starting to look at the bigger picture of your business?

Let me know because it's only when we press pause and get radically honest with ourselves that we can start to make shifts. We cannot have the results we're looking for if we're not willing to strip it all back and be just incredibly vulnerable with ourselves about what's actually happening in our businesses.

If you love this episode and you're looking forward to the next ones, make sure you're subscribed to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, all the different podcast places. I will see you next week for the second installment of this series.