As an entrepreneur I can’t lie it seems like we have a lot of perks. We think that it’s great because we make our own schedules, we don’t have to answer to anybody and we can set our own fees but let’s be realistic here. The truth is we have none of those things. We do answer to someone, they are called clients and they determine if we will be around to answer to anyone else. We don’t make our own schedules, while we may have the flexibility to rearrange them as necessary our clients dictate for the most part where we are and how often they need to see us. We set fees dictated by the market, when the market says sell high we sell high. When it says sell low, we sell low. So knowing all of this, can we work for ourselves and our clients?
You have to have a schedule
I remember before I was an entrepreneur I use to think, no one is so busy that they only have 15 minutes to meet with someone. As I grew my business, I realized that 15 minutes is being very generous. As a CEO you have a host of demands on your time and you have to marry those demands with the expectations of contract requirements. Now for those of us that work outside of government contracting, it’s a bit more relaxed but the basic expectation is still there. Keep a schedule and qualify every meeting set with the question ‘will this help me get to the next step?’
Get a great assistant
As time wears on, the excuse ‘I know that I need one, but I can’t afford one’ doesn’t hold its weight. When you have a large client that is requiring large amounts of your time, a great assistant is worth their weight in gold. They will keep you on target, run interference on time wasters and will provide you with the facts enabling you to make strategic decisions.
Embrace the word NO
The best lesson I learned a long time ago was that saying no is a valuable business tool. You have to be able to defend a meeting or an agreement to yourself. Take on the role of prosecutor, how does this task, meeting or interview help you reach your goal?
Unlike everyone else in your business your time is the most precious commodity. Learning how to work and operate your business and most importantly yourself more efficiently, makes you not only a better CEO but a better business.