This vision of how a successful CEO thinks was and is a huge hurdle for myself and many of my clients. Whether you’re neurodivergent in any way or neurotypical as the leader of your business, the skills I believe every single CEO needs are not about changing who you are as a person, but rather sharpening what you already have.
Join me on this episode as I share the 3 key skills every CEO has, and what my beliefs were about how I had to think as the CEO of my business. These thoughts are creating an undercurrent of fear that’s keeping you stuck, so I’m giving you the antidote, and I promise, it’s not something you have to go searching for.
You are listening to episode 105 of The Confident Coaches Podcast, the one where you think like a CEO. Let’s go.
Welcome to The Confident Coaches Podcast, a place for creating the self-confidence you need to do your best work as a life coach. If you want to bring more boldness, more resilience, and more joy to your work, this is the place for you. I’m your host, Amy Latta. Let’s dive in.
Hi, Coach, how are you guys doing today? I hope you’re doing fabulously right now. I hope that literally in this moment you can take a deep breath with me and truly just marvel at what is possible, what we’ve already created, and everything that still lies unearthed inside of us. We’re kind of brilliant, don’t you think?
I’ve just been thinking a lot about this. About we undercut ourselves so much and really are always focusing on what we haven’t created, what we haven’t done, where we failed. And I just think it’s marvelous how we create new things and conceptualize new things.
And everything that you’ve created in your life, it didn’t exist before you went and created it. And I just think this is just brilliant, right? What we are capable of creating when we aren’t telling ourselves how much we suck. So I hope you’re just kind of marveling in yourself this week.
And that kind of long winded introduction, it does lead to the topic of the day. So last week I talked about kind of the neurodivergent CEO. And it wasn’t an in depth conversation on what neurodivergent means or degrees of divergence that we can have in our brain. It was just really accepting the brain that you have. That you are already thinking like a CEO because you are thinking thoughts that any CEO might think.
If you have squirrel brain, if you really struggle to focus, if you have a predisposition and you worry way more than the person sitting next to you, if you are on an autistic scale. There’s so many different diagnoses that we can have. And how you think, how your brain functions, anything’s possible. It doesn’t need to function in a specific way in order for you to have the mind of a CEO.
So if you wake up every single day in a complete panic that the entire floor is going to drop out, and you struggle to focus, and you struggle to get going in the morning. And this is how you’ve just always kind of been, you don’t have to go fix that.
So that’s what we talked about last week. And I’m building on that because some people, we definitely do also talk a lot about you have to think differently in order to create new things. When you are creating– Future you thinks differently, feels differently, and does things differently.
So on one hand you don’t have to think any different, meaning what you wake up thinking before you are coaching, before you are in a mindset kind of mode, that doesn’t have to change in order for you to have a CEO mind. However, there are certain things that CEOs are skilled at doing that makes them think like a CEO would think about things. Versus when I first started out in business and I didn’t consider myself a CEO.
These weren’t characteristics, these weren’t ways of thinking, that I’m going to share with you today, that I was very well practiced at. So to give you an idea, right when I was starting this business, I had the ADD tendencies and I had the anxiety, and I would make that a huge problem. And I would wish and think that that needed to be different in order for me to call myself a CEO.
And then what I’m sharing with you today, these are more skills that allow CEOs to ultimately think differently. And they weren’t skills that I really had very much of, they weren’t skills that were very well practiced. So that’s what we’re diving into today.
How do you think like a CEO, given the fact that you’re going to wake up thinking however you normally do? But how can you shift that mindset into a more CEO way of thinking? What does that really even mean?
So let’s be really clear, a CEO is Chief Executive Operator of any business. And if you are a coach and you work for yourself, you are the CEO of your business. You are the owner of your business, you’re the founder of your business.
So what does it take to be a CEO? That right there ultimately, is just knowing that you are running a business here. That, yes, we love coaching and coaching is amazing, but there’s also the business part of it. And that is, we are here to bring in an income to pay for our ability to keep doing what we love to do. So if this is what you do, you’re a CEO.
Now how can we adapt more skills in thinking more along the lines of what people think of as a CEO? So I know like right off the top of my head, when I was first starting out as a new coach and I was thinking, oh, time management. A CEO brain, the way a CEO thinks, the skills that a CEO need, definitely they need time management. They need to be able to plan their time and show up and do the work that they plan to do in that time.
And be very disciplined with their time and their skills and making sure that they are only working on what they said they were going to. They don’t get distracted, they have five different things that can pop up and get in their way. They have a very straightforward way of thinking so that they can dive in and do their work, they’re not distracted.
And you got to be kind of serious, right? Serious about how you think and how you approach things, because this is business after all, right? And this is business and in business we’re professional, right? Professional, we come dressed in dress clothes. Not only are we not distracted by five different things in our work, we’re very professional and we’re not distracted.
Many of us coaches working at home, we’re not distracted by our children, and we’re not distracted by our dog, we’re not distracted by our family, or the mailman. Very focused on the task at hand, not jumping around to multiple things. That is 100% how I used to think of CEOs. These are the skills that I was going to need.
When I would think about what it meant to think like a CEO very disciplined, very focused, you can be a fun person, but when we’re working on business it’s very duh, duh, duh, duh. And there was a very vibe to it, a very 1980s working girl vibe to what a woman CEO looked like. You know, dressed a certain way, acted a certain way, thought about their day and their time a certain way.
I hope I’ve foreshadowed enough that I was wrong about all of that. And so many clients that come into this Confident Coaches Mastermind, this is one of their biggest hurdles is really like, here’s the vision of what a successful business owner looks like and I don’t match that vision. This is a problem, I need to match that vision if I can ever be taken seriously as a business owner.
That was 100% me, since I didn’t have those skills, my brain doesn’t work that way, again, see last week’s episode. I made this a giant problem. Not only did I add more stress, I would then go, “Well, okay, who’s around me that’s emulating that, that I can also adopt? Oh, this person plans out their calendar and sticks to that calendar 100% no matter what and they are successful? I guess I better do that. Oh, this person dresses this way or they decorate their office this way, then I should probably do that too.”
Now you can already see, not only are we arguing with how our brain functions and who we are, we are also trying to look like something that we’re not. So we’re not only beating ourselves up for the things that we have that we think we shouldn’t, we’re beating ourselves up for the things that we don’t have that we think we should.
That I should look a certain way, dress a certain way, show up a certain way. Definitely don’t cuss, I remember being told that one multiple times. Professional in my language, professional in my appearance, and in that traditional definition of what we would call professional business owner.
And so, of course, I was terrified to actually make a ton of offers and meet a bunch of people and tell them all of the time how much I can help them. Because there’s this underlying, it’s like an undercurrent of fear that so many times when I think about an undercurrent of fear, it’s unconscious thinking. It’s not something that we’re actually thinking about.
But in the back of my brain, I’m terrified to tell people that I can help them because there’s this long term worry that if I get too big, if I make too much money, that solidifies that I am my business’s owner and I am the CEO of the business. And I don’t match that vision. I don’t match that picture of what success looks like.
So not only do I operate in a way that’s against it, there’s all kinds of things that I don’t have. I got to be fancy and I got to be super professional, and that’s not me. Or so many other things, maybe you love being over the top fancy, but there’s just that visual of what you think of as a successful CEO. And you will hesitate, you will question yourself just trying to get your next few clients because you have this long term fear, this long term doubt about not being CEO enough.
And we just aren’t going to do that anymore. If you do, I want this to be the podcast episode that you stick a pin in, that you say, that you come back to anytime you think, anytime you notice, “Yeah, but then I might be successful.”
So many of us think that we have a fear of failure, that that is our– That’s the surface level fear that we have. But under the surface, that undercurrent is frequently fear of success. Because success looks a certain way, that’s not me and that’s a problem.
Now, I do want to notice, if you’re super disciplined with your time, if you are very professional in how you dress, if you’re very good at focusing, if you are a more serious person, that doesn’t mean that there’s a problem. I’m just saying you don’t have to have that. So if that is you, if you do have some of those kinds of more traditional CEO characteristics, fabulous. That’s amazing. Use those to your advantage.
So there’s nothing wrong with being very traditional and very neurotypical. And there’s nothing wrong with being kind of your own individual, out of the box way of thinking kind of person. Both of them have a room at the table.
And you can see how thinking you’re too much of one thing or not enough of another prevents you from even telling this person on the other end of the phone, of the internet, of your Facebook post, the other end of just the conversation, it will prevent you from saying, “Hey, I can help you.” Because you do have this like, “When I make $100,000 I got to completely change who I am, and how I function, and how my brain thinks, and how I look.” Oh, confidence killer.
But here is, since I know there’s a part of your brain that’s like, “But surely my brain is going to need to be a little bit different.” These are the skills I do believe every CEO needs to have. And these are the skills, here’s the beautiful thing, it’s not what you are or you aren’t. And none of what I’m getting ready to share with you fundamentally changes who you are as a person, your personality, your spunk, your fervor.
These are just skills that you already have in you, that I am going to invite you to sharpen. That the difference between the thinking of a CEO, where you are now and where you want to be at 100K, because this is your path to 100K. These are the skills that are already in you that I suggest you focus growing and getting more adept at.
All right, so this is how you think like a CEO. Number one is being curious. Curiosity is so interesting because I think about as kids, we are naturally curious. And some people are able to maintain that childlike curiosity. Some of us, some of us got curiosity squashed.
When I think about being curious, and thinking about being inquisitive, being questioning. Questioning how things work, how things are, why are they that way? Just because everybody’s always done it that way, does that mean I should do it that way? Just because other people do it that way and a lot of people do, then maybe that means I should be doing it also. This other idea that’s noodling in the back of my head, I really think that I want to explore it more.
Now I list all of that out and I can tell you that this was something that was not encouraged for me. So many children are so encouraged and we foster that. And then so many of us lose it along the way. My curiosity, my inquisitiveness, from how I grew up, it was not appreciated.
There was no questioning in my household. And when I went to school I was not questioning and inquisitive with the teachers. It was just very much tell me what I need to learn and let me memorize it so that I can do good on the test and I can get your approval.
Curiosity, inquisitiveness, your willingness to ask yourself why. Why is this important? This thing I see over here, we’ve always done it this way. Would I keep doing it this way if I had a choice to change? What would I change?
CEOs are always looking at things that most of us look at head on, but they’re going to come at it from a side. And not just from one side, but from this side and from this side, with curiosity. Not tearing things apart, but kind of deconstructing things and thinking about what more could I do here? How could I make this simpler?
I really see curiosity as your willingness to ask yourself, “What am I not asking that I could be?” Your willingness to ask others, “What am I not asking that I could be?” Your willingness to question, to push, to think about different ways of doing things. Because this is what’s going to set you apart, this is what’s going to grow efficiencies in your business, all kinds of things that CEOs would be focused on.
Now in Confident Coaches Mastermind, I’m a big believer in nurturing these three skills in the mastermind because this is your path to 100K. I teach my clients not only future you work, who do you want to be, the people that you admire most, the superpowers that you already bring to the table. I also teach them audacious self-concept.
And I teach you Gigi thinking. Gigi thinking, I’ve had a couple of different mentors teach it just a little bit differently, you might have heard of super thinking or intentional thought creation. My Gigi thinking is a way to get very curious, very inquisitive about what you already know, what you’re already sure of. Gigi thinking is your answer to the I don’t knows.
So curiosity, inquisitiveness, and questioning. And how I teach that in the mastermind is through future you work, is through getting to know your future you. knowing the people you admire most your values and working on your Gigi thinking.
So the second way that you can foster thinking like a CEO, so I want you to think about daring. Becoming more daring. Daring, courage, bravery, my grandma would call it chutzpah, gumption. Actually right now she would probably call it gumption.
Courageousness and daring, I am always asking my students to challenge how they think about things and be willing to say the thing that requires them to be courageous, that requires them to pull on their big girl panties. How can we make our offers more daring? How can you make your coaching more daring?
Bravery. Now I know that there are some people who, you know, bravery in the face of true danger. And CEOs aren’t likely facing true danger. When you think about bravery along those lines. We’re not talking about Braveheart here.
But in this world, where most of us are generally safe, bravery often looks like very different conceptualizations than our grandparents or our great grandparents would. It can be considered brave to say the thing that’s going to rock boats, that’s going to make you stick out, that is new, that is different. That sometimes is the most brave thing that we can do day in and day out, is just being ourselves in front of other people.
Fostering bravery and courage because once you get inquisitive, you’re going to see how these three skills build on one another. Once you get inquisitive, once you start answering some of those questions from questioning, you’ll start making decisions, “I’m going to go do this.”
And then it’s in that moment of impact. It’s in that moment of this. where you have to take that actual first step. You’ve done all the questioning, and curiosity, and the conceptualizing, now we’re actually moving into action. Maybe even if that action is just making that post, sending that email, doing that thing.
And in those moments, that’s when you want to think about being daring. When you’re creating the post, when you’re creating the email, being more daring in your writing. Sometimes taking the worry and the buffering and the hedging your bets kind of feeling of like making sure, softening your message so that it doesn’t stir the part too much.
Removing that, being more daring in the way that you speak and the way that you put yourself out there. And then actually being daring and brave to actually hit the button and do the thing, that takes chutzpah, that takes courage.
And in the mastermind, what I teach my students is first you have to have the belief, and then the belief in alignment with the feeling. So I teach you how to unbelieve, which we’ve talked about so much on this podcast. I teach you how to unbelieve that crap that’s getting in the way and blocking your bravery. And teach you how to believe something new how to believe in your bones that you are this brave, courageous person.
And then I teach you emotional strength training. Because even when we work on the thoughts that you need to think that foster courageousness and daring and bravery, there’s still going to be discomfort. You’re still going to feel a little nauseous, you’re still going to feel a little anxious. The worry is going to come along for the ride. That’s just a normal part of being human, not necessarily a sign of something going wrong.
So emotional strength training teaches you how to experience that actual feeling of fear in the moment of being courageous and daring. And just teaching your body, “Oh, here’s that sensation that we are so familiar with, that we have learned that doesn’t actually kill us.” So that combination of unbelieving, believing, and emotional strength training will help foster your courageousness and your daring.
And the third, and the last skill that I really see as being important to thinking like a CEO is resilience and adaptability. Your ability to be flexible and resilient, to learn that you survive doing these brave, courageous things because you got so inquisitive and curious. Teaching your brain that you don’t die doing those things. And when you do make a mistake, fall on your face, or something that doesn’t work, building the resilience that you need in order to keep going.
And notice that resilience is not creating a hard outer shell, okay. Resilience doesn’t mean that we toughen up your skin. Resilience means that you learn that your skin is capable of protecting you, even when it’s wounded in the moment. That you still can keep going.
Adaptability, your willingness to see what worked, what didn’t work, and what you can do differently next time. And even in the face of lots of what’s not working, what didn’t work. By continually growing and continually learning what will work and trying new things you will build that resilience and determination.
Adaptability, flexibility, resilience, these are the skills that keep you going. That’s actually one of the five steps of Confident Coaches, is how to keep going. Not only keep going, but also have your back. So learning how to have your back, love yourself even when you do things you wish you hadn’t. Even when you’re not feeling very lovable and likable. And also learning how to evaluate so you can see how are you going to tweak this experiment?
These are the skills that we teach in the mastermind because these are the skills that we need to think like a CEO. They’re not difficult. Did you notice that? They really aren’t. We’re talking about being curious, courageous, so that we can become resilient and keep going.
And these are really the only things that I think the most successful CEOs really understand, that it’s their curiosity, their courageousness, and their resilience that has them thinking like a CEO. That has them creating something different and new that no one else can get anywhere but with you.
This is how you’re going to build your path to 100K. And from building those skills that have you thinking like a CEO, how much more powerful your decisions will become and how much faster you’ll be at a path to 100K.
So think like a CEO, build your curiosity, your courage and your resilience. That is how a CEO thinks, with those skills by their side. And with that, you can answer any question that comes your way. You can solve any problem that lands on your desk, because I guarantee you CEOs don’t succeed because nothing ever goes wrong. CEOs succeed because things go wrong all the time and they use their curiosity, their courage, and their resilience to figure out how to make it work.
All right, my friends, you have this. And until next week, let’s go fuck some shit up.
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