Every year I have a number of books that I want to read that year. And each year I find some absolute gems that In today’s episode, I’m breaking down all sorts of routines that you can create, curate, practice, and optimize to set yourself up to be a successful CEO of your very own business.
- Intentionally Cultivating Habits That Work Now + Pivoting When They Stop Working – Episode 003
- Goal-Getter Workshop
- Book a Clarity Call
- DM me on Instagram
- Learn what a routine is and how they can impact your business
- Discover the three specific routines to consider for yourself as the CEO of your own business
- Listen in as I share how I use these routines as the CEO of my business
Rather read than listen? ⬇️
What would you do if an $100K opportunity landed in your lap tomorrow? What if a post of yours went viral and your traffic went from a few hundred a week to millions?
Are you prepared to handle it?
Chances are, you likely aren’t.
Business is a long game. Essentially, you are currently planting seeds for success. All the hard work you are putting in at this point – well, it could be months or even years before you see the full extent of what you are building now. Things take time to blossom and flourish.
The downside: If you are as impatient as I am, that is killer. Even if you aren’t as impatient as I am, without that validation that you are doing something that is actually contributing to the world (and your bank account), it can be hard to stay motivated and maintain momentum.
The upside is that this long game is ultimately a total blessing.
Why? Because you can use this time now when you are small and growing slowly to set up processes and routines and test stuff out to set yourself up to tackle new levels of success and revenue more easily in the future.
You might call it the joys of planting seeds. With slow growth, you have the opportunity to fail small so that later you can win big!
Think about it this way: If you are testing out finding your voice in writing articles or trying to get comfortable on video, would you rather look a bit silly in front of 100 people or 100,000 people. By failing now, you are not only figuring out what works for you and what doesn’t without a worldwide audience but you are honing and developing your ability to fail well.
By the time you are big time, you’ve worked out a lot of the kinks. And honed routines on how to run your business in a way that actually works and works for you.
DISCLAIMER: You will still fail when you are big. It is just part of the process. New level = new devil, right? But if you get comfortable with failing first in front of a smaller audience, you are so comfortable with failing that it won’t sting quite as much. You make failing a habit, a routine, one that you get really good at.
You can use the time you have now to intentionally set yourself up for success in the future.
Now there are plenty of different types of routines that you can work on creating and optimizing. And so in this episode I am breaking down all sorts of routines that you can create, curate, practice, and optimize to set yourself up to be a successful CEO of your own business.
But before I get into the nitty-gritty ideas, let’s talk about why routines are important.
Routines are just a sequence of actions regularly followed. Meaning it’s basically a habit cascade, One habit after another. And habits are powerful, especially for a CEO. In fact I did an entire episode on the power of cultivating intentional habits. If you want to learn more or are just a bit curious, go check out episode 003, which is titled Intentionally Cultivating Habits That Work Now + Pivoting When They Stop Working.
But the power of habits comes from the brilliant aspect of the more that you perform the habit, it gets easier. Which means that the more you practice these CEO routines, the less cognitive bandwidth and decision-making brain power & energy is needed to run the day-to-day aspects of your business which means you have more energy for other things, like reaching for new goals or coming up with new, innovative ideas. It literally makes achieving your goals faster and easier.
So now that it’s pretty clear that routines are the key to you leveraging your limited time and resources, let’s dive into specific routines to consider for you as the CEO of your own business.
As the queen of goals, it should be no surprise that I am choosing to start with this routine. Goal-Setting is what gives the direction and decision-filters necessary for how to decide what to work on every single day and how to prioritize opportunities when they arise. The key to a helpful goal-setting routine is that it is a complete one that doesn’t feel rushed. For big annual goals, I do an audit and vision session every December to begin to forecast my efforts for the next year. Though I’ve done this in a few hours some years, I’ve found that I do best when I have a bit of space to let my imagination wander and soak in the inspirational nature of this practice. This past year, I gave myself a full week to work through this routine and then revisit, review, and realign with goals on a monthly and quarterly basis. If you are unsure how to set goals so that you can actually achieve them, I invite you to check out my Goal-Getter Workshop, my signature framework for setting achievable goals.
That is where this transitions into planning & reviewing routines. Those goal-setting efforts are only as good as what you do with the goals you set from them. By regularly paying attention to your goals, assessing your progress, and being flexible about your pathway to achieve them, you give yourself a much better shot of getting where you want to go faster and easier. These routines are what I call my Review, Realign, Plan, Pivot routines. I have a practice for a quarterly routine, a monthly routine, a weekly planning session, and a daily check-in to realign myself with my goals at least once a day.
You may have heard that if you are not making money, you don’t have a business, you have a hobby. And maybe an expensive one at that. I would be a little kinder with this harsh distinction, because there are lots of legit business owners that don’t make a profit for years and I believe that the mindset you have about your business is more telling as to if you have a business or a hobby than the money it is currently making. But I think the intention behind that statement is true. Chances are you started your business for some freedom. And well, money provides freedom. And as the CEO, you are the steward of your business, finances and all. So creating some effective financial routines will serve you before the business is making major cash and certainly once you are making the money you’ve been dreaming of. A good practice that I implement is doing financial check-ins 1-2 times per week, categorizing receipts once a week, reconciling accounts and creating projections once a month.
Your business will evolve and change. It is part of a healthy business. But because of that you’ll need to be aware of how your evolution compares to where you’ve been and make changes where needed. So one routine you’ll need to implement is auditing your marketing and website messaging and positioning. You don’t have to revisit website copy every week or even every month. But I would recommend finding a regular rhythm of auditing your marketing efforts, completing marketing research, and ensuring that your brand is an accurate representation.
Another routine important for evolution and growth is how to consistently create. Your routine to be ultimately creative is imperative as you continue to serve your customers & clients, create new offers, and continue to up-level in your business. Not only does having a regular routine to be creative in the day-to-day of your business, but I also highly recommend finding a way to incorporate creative work retreats as part of your routine as well, as a way to give yourself time and space to generate new and novel ideas and flesh them out.
Chances are that you create blogs, vlogs, social media posts, FB Live or IGTV scripts, or you might even be writing a book. It can be difficult to get in the flow and rid yourself of distractions but if you intentionally think through the different aspects and plan for it, your chances of cranking out 2500 words in the next two hours just went way up!
Content creation is a really imperative part of running a successful online business and spreading ideas with your thought leadership. This routine can include practices like researching, bundling, batching, engaging, building relationships, etc.
Decision-Making & Planning Routines
As the CEO of your business, you have to get really good at making decisions and then executing them. By practicing and honing that routine now, you’ll save yourself time, money, and lose out on opportunities later. The best way I know to build up that decision-making muscle is to create a prioritization routine that allows you to compare lots of different next steps and ideas to know what is best for you and your business based on both logic and empirical data as well as your gut intuition. I actually teach my version of this in Next-Level CEO.
Another part of that is running experiments in your business. Business is an experiment, and you get to be the one who figures out what works for you. Harness your uniqueness, how you think, how you work, how you innately show up as a strength that you can work with to still plan how you’re going to get to your goals faster and easier. It allows you to make smart, strategic decisions, pivot effectively when you need to, and maintain momentum. By making it part of your routine, you can gather data, analyze it, and make really good decisions. All part of other CEO routines you can cultivate.
Now, the routines I’ve been sharing are largely “professional”. But those aren’t the only routines that you need to consider as CEO. You are not a professional robot so routines in other aspects of your life also make a huge difference in how you are best able to show up and run your company.
One well-traveled topic is morning routines and evening routines, or what you do immediately upon waking and right before you go to sleep. Intentional morning routines help you start the day in a way that leads to you feeling and acting exactly as you desire each day and well-designed evening routines can help you feel fulfilled and grateful, wind down even after the most hectic day, and prepare you to get better quality sleep, all things that can greatly improve your ability to literally and figuratively show up. If you are looking for a little guidance when it comes to creating a morning routine you’ll actually stick to, check out World-Class Wake Up, a digital guide to help you create a custom morning routine that will lead to you starting your day with peace & productivity.
Another popular topic is physical routines and wellness routines. Sure, you may have heard all sorts of memes and inspirational posts boasting self-care and how you can’t pour from an empty cup, but it goes far beyond bubble baths, pedicures, and hot stone massages. Regularly taking care of your health gives you the best chance to be able to focus on and spend your energy on things that will help you move the needle and maintain momentum. These routines include regular appointments, daily step counts, regular movement and exercises, water intake, nutrition, and mental health activities as well. And please, do include some fun in this category as well.
The final routine category I’ll talk about today is personal connection, or your relationships with those around you. I’m assuming you aren’t building an empire to enjoy it alone. There are people in your life that you love and want to spend time with, whether that includes your spouse or partner, any kids, family, friends— anyone who is important to you. But you can’t neglect those relationships now and hope that they’ll be around once you’ve “made it” and can spend the time you want to. Spend that time now. Whether that looks like weekly date nights or an annual girls’ trip, these are the routines that remind us of why we are building an empire to begin with. I plan monthly Mommy-and-Me dates with my daughter and it is so fun to have intentional fun time set aside to experience adventures together.
Now this may feel like a lot but remember this whole being a successful CEO thing is a practice, not a destination, so take your time and create routines that work for you.
Here are my top tips to decide where to start with your CEO routines.
- Get clear on what really matters TO YOU. No, really. Go make a list.
- Don’t make yourself a martyr. Make sure you are on your priority list.
- Plan ahead
- Create an ideal schedule. How many hours a week can/do you want to work? What are the hours you need for your kids? (Hint – don’t schedule every hour of the day. Leave some white space.)
- Plan for your family time — maybe you have dinner together every night, or pancakes on Sunday morning without phones or TV, or Friday night game night.
- Don’t neglect your relationship. If you need to schedule IT, schedule it.
- Finally, make sure you take time for yourself. And that means making time to exercise, read, practice self-care and scheduling it.
- Stuff is going to come up and things are not always going to go as planned. Normalize that. Embrace the pivot. Be flexible
- Give yourself some grace. Don’t be too hard on yourself when things don’t go right or you fumble a bit.
I always like to end each episode with an action step that you can take right now to help you move forward and begin to implement immediately. Here is your action step for this episode: Which routine category excites you the most? Pick one and write out what you’d like that routine to look like. Then take a week to start implementing and testing it out.