CEO of small businessCould you give yourself permission to think like a CEO for your small business? Even if you are a sole proprietor, could you? This may be the single most important action you could do for your small business.

Take a moment to think about what a CEO does for an organization:

1. Sets the vision and tone of what “X Company” is all about

2. Designs and explains the strategy of how the business will develop and grow over time

3. Seeks out the talent to make the above happen

4. Keeps everyone accountable to the stated business goals

5. Makes sure that revenues (and even profits) are healthy

So, why is it so hard to think of oneself as CEO? This comes up a lot in my coaching with small business owners. Perhaps it’s got something to do with our images of CEO’s in large corporations. What comes to mind for you? What if I told you that’s a red herring? Size doesn’t matter. It’s about the mindset. It boils down to giving yourself permission to treat your business seriously. But I am serious, you say? Take a look at your vision for your business. Does it involve you becoming an industry leader, serving a national or even global market, or allowing you to move to your dream home? This can be scary stuff. It scares me sometimes too when I look at what I want to do with my business. We talk ourselves out of even attempting to realize our potential. It brings up stuff we learned as kids about thinking grander thoughts and upsetting the status quo. So, it’s safer to spend our time on the small, everyday tasks serving our current clients and the administrative to-do list. But safer is an illusion.

But really…is it okay to go for what we desire most? You can’t get there from here without giving yourself permission to be the leader.  I asked one of my clients to write down her vision for her small business as coaching homework. As I encouraged her to write down the details of what she wants, even to be ridiculously, over the top in her description, I could hear her laughing nervously. Another client gets fidgety when we talk about how important it is to be more consistent and clear with changing policies to support the new direction of his business. Sure, if you aren’t taking care of the big picture, your small business will lack focus and be less effective.  But there is more at stake here. If you aren’t giving yourself permission to think like a CEO, how will you make your dreams an everyday reality? What would you feel like if nothing changes and you never achieve your goals?

Would it be acceptable to deny yourself permission to have a CEO mindset? Can you live with that?