Business Owner or CEO?

A CEO and team member talk business.

Are you a business owner or CEO? Here Are the 3 Things That Business Owners and CEOs Do Differently on their journey.

As a business coach, I get the opportunity to speak with many business owners in various industries. The best part of my job is when I get to sit down with business owners and find out about their dream outcomes and those pain points that limit opportunities. I love to hear how they have grown thus far, and what their triumphs and challenges have been. I also really enjoy hearing their story and how they came to be a business owner because those stories are always inspiring and stimulating to me. You inherited the business from your family, you had an idea and built the business from the ground up, or maybe you purchased an existing business and built it into something bigger and better. Whatever the story, it helps me get a feel for how that person came to be a leader and allows me to approach from a point of empathy and support to gauge what problems and skills they may need to work on in the future.

Because for many of us, the transition from business owner to CEO is not always smooth. Or you haven’t reached that threshold yet and are planning to. Whatever the motivation, we want to share with you some ‘hacks’ as to how to make the transition from business owner to CEO, with the view that you may even enjoy the ride while it happens!

1. A CEO LearnS to Look at the Big Picture. 

Business owners manage the day-to-day operations of their businesses and with this comes pressure. They keep the lights on, the bills paid, and the cash flowing. They hire and fire employees. Skilled CEOs give themselves permission to step back, come up for air and looks at the big picture. They look at their business and plan for the future. They look at the market, its trends, its opportunities, and its threats to best address the market’s needs and wants. They decide whom not to sell to. They look at what products and services are most profitable and sustainable and make the tough decisions to cut products or services that aren’t good for the future of the business. They decide what they want their company culture to be and support that culture. The list goes on and on. A CEO asks the ‘big’ questions, and they aren’t afraid of the answers they might reveal because this is the meaningful information needed to improve a business and its people.

2. A CEO LearnS to Plan. 

CEOs plan over a quarter, with a view to a year and beyond. This planning cadence allows leaders to consider what has happened over the past 12 weeks (positives/negatives/surprises) and then considering their position, they can forecast and put in place actions for the upcoming 12 weeks.

If the COVID pandemic has taught us one thing, it is that we need to adapt and change our planning according to the landscape that has the potential to change quickly. So do our businesses!

A CEO has clear priorities, goals for their business, and lays out the steps needed to get to the next level. They are always looking ahead to put their business in a place of growth and prosperity for their organisation. And they teach their key team members to do the same for their areas of responsibility while supporting them along the way. 

3. A CEO LearnS to Hold Their Teams Accountable. 

Keeping the main thing, the main thing!

A business owner will keep hiring more team members in the hopes that they can keep up with demand and grow. A CEO understands that there is a finite level of talent, money, and resources that a business has and will learn to prioritize and focus those resources on the things that will make the most difference in their business.

This can be done through planning, but also through accountability. Keeping your team focused and accountable for the items and tasks that make the most sense for your business will make an enormous difference in your business’s growth trajectory. 

If you aren’t at the CEO level yet, I challenge you to start working toward it. Change the way you think and look at your business, and with deliberate practice, you will start to see the difference.

We can guarantee it!

Email me at and I will make time for a catch-up. I would love to hear your story.

Keep on Scaling Up,

Nick & The Next Practice Team

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