If you run your own small business there's one thing you can't get away from: you need to make decisions.
An inability to make a decision can lead to business deadlock. That's the "I'm feeling stuck" and "Why isn't my business moving forward?" feeling, that most of us face at one time or another.
The secret to getting unstuck is learning to access your inner CEO.
It's common to think that a CEO is something that belongs to big corporate business.
The truth is -- taking time every day to access your inner CEO is vital to the health of your small business.
The ability to make executive decisions is what drives your business projects forward.
And after all -- the sum of your business is nothing more than a bunch of projects. You may have "Project Social Media," "Project Newsletter," "Project New Course," and so on. Each of these mini projects need to be looked over by the CEO of your company -- which is YOU.
This is particularly true if you're running a solo-business (Yes, the life of a Solopreneur), where you're responsible for pretty much everything.
It's all too common to get wrapped up in the details -- the day-to-day administration and working with clients, that somehow the CEO role gets lost. However, this is the MOST important role to the flourishing of your business.
So how do you access your inner CEO?
First of all you need to recognize its importance, and make time every day for "CEO- time." This can be as short as 15 minutes and as long as a few hours.
Making CEO time can happen in a multitude of ways and via several tools which I'll share with you below:
1. Give yourself active thinking time.
"Thinking time" is under-appreciated and yet it's one of the best ways to access your inner CEO. Set aside time to close off your computer, and all other gadgets. Then, sit quietly with the intention to think.
All you need to do is announce to yourself "Now is my CEO time." By announcing it you claim that you're sliding into the role of CEO, and like any good CEO -- you've closed off all distractions and noise.
Then, decide on which part of your business you want to focus on. It may be a new book you've wanted to start but haven't started yet. Take the time to ask yourself: Why haven't you started the book yet?
Then sit quietly with the question--and pay attention to the thoughts, and ideas that arise. When you close off the noise, your inner CEO has the opportunity to come to life, and will often come up with the clear strategy and execution plan to move your project forward.
If you feel the urge to write out notes, or talk to yourself out loud -- do it. Do whatever it takes to gain clarity around the issue you have chosen to focus your executive time with.
2. Access your inner CEO by going out to nature.
It could be a walk by a lake, ocean, nearby trails, or even your backyard. Go on this walk with the intention that this is your CEO time.
Once again, bring a particular issue up to the forefront. Ask a question about it, let's say you've been debating partnering with someone on a new course, but you've been unable to set up anything concrete yet. Take the time to ask your inner CEO - Is this even a good idea? Why haven't you taken action yet?
As you walk or sit in the natural surroundings, you will likely gain some incredible insights or new ideas which will help clarify how to move forward from this conundrum.
When the clarity hits -- make sure you dare to follow through on the wisdom provided by your inner CEO.
3. Meet with the CEO of your business through exercise.
Before you start exercising have a clear question or area of focus on your mind. Let's say you can't make up your mind if you should host a weekend retreat. Start by activating your inner CEO by laying out the question/problem that you want to focus on and then start exercising.
Instead of trying to figure out the problem, fully immerse yourself in the movement. Focus on your legs that are moving, the rhythm of your breath, and increased heart rate.
By shifting your focus from the problem to the current moment, you quiet down your logical thinking mind, which helps to facilitate creative solutions to arise.
This is one of the best ways to access your inner CEO -- by setting out with the question, and then focusing on the moment. This helps to free up some mental-bandwidth so that newfound perspectives can be discovered by your inner CEO.
And ultimately, since you're the CEO of your business, you may already have a few more innovative ideas and inner tools that you can use to access your inner CEO.
Look -- I'm not against asking other people for advice and counsel. But even if you ask the most successful person on the planet to help you make a decision, at the end of the day YOU still need to call the final shot. You still need to be brave enough to do something different than the so-called expert, mentor, coach or guru suggests you do, if you feel called in a different direction.
Don't ever give your decision-making power away to anybody else.
Sometimes the best reason to ask for advice from another is to help you look at that advice and then decide if your inner CEO agrees.
In order to succeed in business YOU need to take full responsibility of every decision you make. Whether or not you work with a coach, mentor, or are in a training program--the only person who can give you the ultimate answer is you.
And remember, the best way to get the best answers is by taking the time to actively consult with your inner CEO.