Is 40 working hours a week not enough for you? As a business owner, you probably have a lot of things going on in your life other than work. This is why it's so important to get your priorities straight. Need help with that? Try using our Modern CEO Must-Do List Framework.
This framework helps business owners by creating a model of tasks arranged by priority. As business owners, we sometimes have to be able to think four, five, or even six steps ahead of where we are right now. Instead of focusing on what needs to be done in the present, we’re too worried about the future. I refer to that as future tripping.
We're worried about those things, five, six, or seven steps down the road — when what we need to focus on is what will have an impact now.
I often work with business owners who have secure systems in place. They have team members who are taking care of things incredibly well, but sometimes they find themselves saying, “Well, what's my job now?” If all of these things are working well, that means that things come off of your plate, and you have increased capacity. You have room in your day to do other things.
What should you be focusing on now that your responsibilities shift as your business grows and you step further and further into the leadership role? That's what we're going to break down in the Modern CEO Must-Do List Framework.
In this framework, we look at the business based on four levels.
The four levels are:
In our CEO Must-Do List structure, we're going to break down each part of this framework. Eventually, you’ll ask yourself, “Based on where I am in business, what do I need to get intentional about and what do I need to focus on?”
To answer that, we first have to know:
- What stage of business are you at?
- What should your focus be based on your stage of business?
- What are fundamental mindset shifts you need to make considering your stage of business and that stage of leadership you may be in?
- What are the daily must-do list activities you want to start thinking about?
- How can you get some quick wins?
- What does mastery at each of these levels look like?
- What might the next step be for you as you think about these levels?
Start-up to Ramp-up Level
If you’re currently in the Start-up phase, then Ramp-up is next. At the Ramp-up stage, you've sold a few offers and you’ve already identified your market. However, every sale or inquiry feels like a bit of a surprise. You're flying by the seat of your pants to be able to work on your business as well as tasks like marketing, administration, strategizing, and so on.
The next level in our CEO Must-Do List and Maturity Map is the Scale-up level. At this level, you have consistent sales of your offers. You're beginning to realize the limitations of your time, and you may be thinking about maximizing or starting to bring on the team. You may already have a team member, but you may not be optimizing them entirely, or you may want to expand your team so you can continue to scale. You're in a growth phase, you're in a growth season, and you're ready to explode that.
This is our fourth level. You've got a great business and a team you trust to help you run it, but you're starting to question your role in the business. You need to step up as the leader, guide your team, buy into your vision, continue to execute and bring to life all of the reasons you started in the first place.
As business owners and as entrepreneurs, things change anyway, right? But we're in a season where things are kind of changing week to week, day to day right now. This is all going to be relative, and if you're at that CEO-up level, many of us may have found ourselves moving into the Start-up phase.
Going Back and Forth
One of the questions, when I'm speaking with clients and entrepreneurs about this model, is, “Can I ever go back down? If I make my way to Scale-up or CEO-up, can I go back down?” And the answer is an absolute yes.
Think of the levels like they were stairs. I sometimes find myself being at the CEO level in my business, but then I go back down to the Start-up level when we launch a new project. What I did was basically go down the stairs and go right back up.
For instance, I’ve had to freeze my photography business because of physical distancing guidelines. Since it’s not an essential business, we became one of the many companies that did not generate revenue. How did we deal with this? We went into Start-up mode to look at things from a fresh point of view.
I asked myself:
- Do we have any new products that we could offer?
- How can we shift some things around to create some new offers?
Reframing the Framework
What worked before may not necessarily work in the future. This is why you must reconsider what will have the highest impact on your business. By reframing your CEO Must-Do List, you can shift priorities, choose different strategies, and refocus based on the current needs of your business.
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