Four Signs That Your CEO Hat is Getting Crushed

CEO pressure stress
Title on your card

Does the title on your card say CEO even though you are really wearing all the hats? All small business owners share this journey, especially when in start-up mode, but the only way for a business to mature and be able to handle substantial growth is to make sure the real CEO role is being carried out effectively.

Time to shift priorities

As CEO, it is important to plan and execute in all areas. Operations are the core of the business, but it will be in chaos without a way to keep the financials healthy and a good strategy and proper planning that feed and nurture lead generation, sales and customer service. Have you been neglecting this role? Here are some signs that it may be time to shift priorities and get a bit more support.

  1. You spend all your time on operations.
    1. In practitioner mode, you are delivering all products and services.
    2. You are dealing with all the issues that pop up and are handling all crisis situations.
    3. It’s hard to focus on other areas of the business.
  2. You have no plan for the future.
    1. Putting together a strategy and a plan is not an option.
    2. Growth is ad-hoc, not planned or calculated. There are no resources on stand-by.
  3. You feel stuck or overwhelmed by all the responsibility.
    1. It seems like every day there is a new crisis that requires unplanned time and attention.
    2. There is always too much to do and not enough time to get it all done.
    3. Everything seems like a priority.
    4. It feels like you can barely keep your head above water.
  4. No clarity of thought.
    1. Can’t remember the last time a new idea was implemented.
    2. You feel like a machine doing the same tasks over and over, day by day
    3. You are working a lot, but you feel like your wheels are spinning and progress eludes you.
Put support in place

If your CEO hat is getting completely crushed, then maybe it’s time to consider putting some support in place to help ease the stress and infuse some new ideas.

Big businesses run with a CEO who is in charge of everything in the business overall at the executive level. The COO is responsible just for the operations of the business, and a CFO takes care of the financials. There can be other officers as well depending on what the business needs.

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Consider adding these different roles to your company. While a business owner is supposed to be in charge of everything as CEO, having two other people help you out means those segments are off your plate. You can focus on strategy and be making sure your marketing and sales are flowing.

Sharing the load is not a failure. It’s a sign of success when you need to hire more people to help you out. Because it means that you’re growing and doing well. That’s how big businesses operate. They bring in the right skill set to perform the right roles.

Lighten your load

But sometimes it’s hard to give up the reins. I understand why founders get really upset because they feel like their company is being taken away from them.

So if you choose not to break the role up into three positions, you can always divide your day into time blocks that let you be the CEO, work on operations and work on financials.

Here are 3 ways to lighten your load so that you can be the CEO you were always meant to be:

  1. Outsource to a virtual assistant or hire an employee to help manage your email,
  2. Get support to create/sell your products or deliver your services (hire an employee or schedule, and other admin tasks that suck up a lot of your time. Outsource via temp company etc).
  3. Invest in yourself by hiring a consultant to help you strategize, plan, implement new ideas and revitalize your CEO role.
Let your baby grow

Most small business owners get into business to pursue a passion. You want to provide a product or service, and the company becomes your baby. Eventually, you get in over your head because you don’t know how to run a business.

To be successful, you have to let your baby grow up. Part of that is letting go, and letting your baby learn and grow on its own. Let it interact with other people. Even when you nurture your baby to the furthest point you can with your skill set and let it learn from other people, it doesn’t mean you stop being a parent. It will always need you.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed in your role as CEO?

Karen Que headshot for MNCThis post was written by Karen Que. Karen Que is a lifelong entrepreneur, business woman, wife, and mother who is on a mission to make her family a priority while enjoying immense business success on her own terms. Karen loves to break the mold by helping small business owners create an explosion of growth without losing their sanity. As the Founder and CEO of Q infusion LLC, she works together with small business owners to build their CEO skills, implement systems that create stability, and infuse big business thinking and strategy into their growth plans. To find out more please or be social @qinfusion  You can connect with Karen on Twitter and Facebook.

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