Today’s topic is very near and dear to my heart because it’s all about me. Well, not me, specifically, but me, the Founder and CEO. Therefore, if you’re the Founder and CEO of your own company (or a want-to-be), then it’s really all about you.
Everything in your life starts with you.
I’m not trying to give you a bigger head than you already have or to be sarcastic. I’m really not kidding. Life revolves around you completely. From your perspective, you’re the main character in your own movie, and there are 7+ billion movies all playing at once.
Whatever plot or ending you want, everything starts with you. Sure, there are external factors you can’t control, like the rotation of Earth, market conditions, or government regulation. But, there is one thing you can control, and yup, you guessed it – it’s you.
You control how you respond to everything around you.
Now, if you agree with my claim that you’re the leading actor/actress in your own movie, you already know that some movies get more playtime than others. Additional playtime happens only if you know what your character is all about and how to woo the audience and capture its heart.
What this means to us Founders and CEOs is that we all need to know our character. We all need to know what our role is. The good news is that not only are you the main character, you’re also the director, which means you have complete freedom to define who you are.
Unfortunately, most of us have no idea what it truly means to be Founder and CEO.
I was the Founder and CEO of my own company in 2002 at the age of 22. Ultimately, I was accountable for everything at my company. I certainly felt like a CEO, but after 8 years (in 2010), I realized I was not, and I was lost. I was on a soul search that eventually would lead me to understand my true role.
What happened was I joined a CEO peer group of fellow CEOs in my local community. For the first time, I was surrounded by CEOs who had been in the position for a much longer period of time, and who were much more successful, than me. For the sake of reference, this group of CEOs who I learned so much from (and whose names I must keep private), are the heads of companies with annual revenues ranging from $5 to $500 million, and some even are headline news in major business publications.
You see, I started my company when I was young. I didn’t have any business mentors, and it wasn’t until 2010 that I was able to see living examples of real leadership in play. And this changed my perspective about who I thought I was and who I was striving to be.