Last week two of my friends and I were chatting about how ‘CEO’ gets tossed around a lot in our online business world – almost as if it’s an arbitrary title you can use on a whim.
But really, it’s a full-on role just like any other ‘job’. Which means you have to actually carry out the job functions and responsibilities of a CEO if you want to wear the title.
I don’t say that to sound harsh or judgmental. In fact, I’m saying it because I’m working on stepping more into the role myself (rather than using the title without embodying the position and causing the business to stagnate as a result).
It’s not easy to be lead writer / designer / maker / coach / consultant / strategist / business manager / stylist / organizer / [insert your primary role here] – and be CEO – but that’s certainly not a new revelation for small business owners. We do a lot on a weekly basis.
Which is further rationale for why it’s so important to nail down the CEO functions that your business requires and ensure you’re putting your CEO hat on regularly—or delegating it to someone else who can do it for you. (But I’ll assume you prefer the latter!)
Which brings me to ‘goal-setting’—another largely debated topic with a lot of wordsmithing how to refer to them (i.e. rituals, vision, plans, habits, etc.), adding acronyms like SMART, and some people even arguing they’re irrelevant.
But I like to keep it classic & straightforward.
To me, a goal is simply a declaration of a direction, outcome, or result you desire.
And I, for one, have a hard time moving in any direction until I’ve established what’s working, what’s not, and what reality I wish to create.
Then I can figure out how to get more specific, add in micro-goals, behaviors, and habits, and ultimately work backward to chart the path of how to arrive there.
So goals I will set, a goal-setter I am. (That just made me feel very Dr. Seuss.)
That being said, just because you set a goal and write it down, doesn’t always mean it’s going to happen. This is why, as CEO, you have to tend to, review, and analyze your goals regularly. You have to choose which are worth scrapping, which you need to double-down on, and which are on track or even already achieved. And that’s where the specifics come to play.
It’s hard to know if you achieved a goal if you say “Be better at running.” Versus saying, “Run 3 miles comfortably, 1x/week.”
As CEO of your life & business, you can come in and clearly evaluate whether the latter is or isn’t happening.
A CEO can also partner with a COO – or any other high-level team member – to plot out how you arrive at running 3 miles comfortably, 1x/week – (just for an easy example).
i.e. Are you in a run club? Are you doing interval training with a buddy 2x/week? Are you buying a Peloton? How is this happening!?
To cut myself off from the rabbit hole of preaching about goals, I’ve got something better!
A simple vision & goal-setting template you can use as a baseline to break down your goals for each facet of your life, get as specific as you want/need, and then assess your progress throughout the year.
I’ve completed this exact same document for myself, and have it printed out and on my desk where I can see it.
Our out-of-office lives and personal leadership are inextricable from our leadership as business owners. I think we don’t always want or believe that to be the case, but it’s true.
So I hope this helps give you the space to get your goals written out and organized, as it does for me.
Make a copy of the template and make it your own. Add or delete rows and columns, add or delete entire sections – you get the idea…
Inside the free template you’ll find:
- A comprehensive vision & goals template (Google Doc)
- A link to a vision board template (Canva)