CEO Vs Employee Mindset Part 1 

a business woman works on her laptop in an outdoor seating area

A lot of our stories started the same. We were employees in a job that we knew wasn’t our calling and made the courageous move to leave it all behind in pursuit of something more. It is only once we do this do we realised how conditioned we all are to be employees. Having a boss, for most of us, was or is a very normal and standard part of life that we all expect. I not only know this from my own experience but also as I help other women in the same position that it isn’t so easily unlearned. Learning to step into your new role as a self-employed small business owner is no easy feat. I mean if it was, everyone would be doing it, right?

A few characteristics required to make it as an entrepreneur are perseverance, determination, adaptability and the knowledge that no matter what the obstacle is, you’ll figure it out and make it work.   Now from the title of this article, you might think that I am implying that there is something wrong with being a freelancer. Actually, I think freelancing is a perfect stepping stone on your way to running a successful business. It allows us to get our feet wet and navigate working for ourselves. However, as we usually are freelancing at the beginning of our entrepreneurship journey, we are often still carrying the mentality of an employee. This can lead to taking on clients who aren’t right for us and putting up with things that we would usually accept when working for someone else.

A few other downsides to working as a freelancer is that it can, a lot of the time, be unpredictable and you may not have a long term strategy in place to grow. Rather than focus on freelancer pros and cons, I want to dive into some main areas which we should be focusing on to scale our businesses.   We must adopt a CEO mindset which allows us to step into a leadership role. We ARE our businesses, there is no one looking over our shoulder making sure the job is done. It’s up to us to make that happen.  

Get your CEO hat on….. let’s go!  

AFFILIATE INCOME

a solopreneur sits at a home office and writes in a notepad. There are flowers and and incense on the table

It’s a common misconception that affiliate marketing is only for “influencers”. Gosh, I hate that word. You don’t need to have over 10K followers to take advantage of this. Affiliate income is a great way to monetise a blog ( why not make money, if you’re already putting the hard work in with your content?) and also to have a passive income stream. You could literally be making money while you sleep. If that isn’t the dream, I don’t know what is. You can earn money through affiliate marketing by referring your clients, customers, friends, family and network to a wide variety of programmes you already use and stand behind. 

That’s the thing, as solopreneurs who do everything themselves, we know our fair share of tools, apps and systems. We are really the best judge of what is good and what ain’t so good. So, if you felt a little bit sleazy or icky about adding affiliate links to your content, don’t! You are really just recommending something you believe in, to others.

 Here are 5 affiliate programmes you aren’t making use of right now: (Some of them I have my own affiliate link!)
Dubsado Flodesk  Zoom  Planoly  Amazon⠀⠀⠀⠀

OUTSOURCING

a woman sits at her table working on a laptap. She is surrounded by her breakfast and a notepad

Outsourcing when you first started your business may have sounded like a million miles away. It comes around a lot quicker than you think! 

Outsourcing means that you are growing and is a sign of being business and successful, right? Then why is it often accompanied by stress, overwhelm, confusion and a feeling of being stuck?⠀⠀⠀

Although our whole business revolves around convincing others that outsourcing is the right thing to do, when it comes to hiring someone ourselves, we feel all the same feelings our clients do! It can be hard to make the financial investment when we feel that we are capable of doing everything ourselves. I am going to squash these thoughts RIGHT NOW. Yes, you can do the tasks yourself. However, where does that leave you? You will experience burnout very quickly and your work and relationships with your clients will inevitably take the hit. I get it. Your business is your baby but you CAN trust another person to help you. 

I would encourage you all to write down all the tasks that you do in a day. Divide them into three lists: 

  1. Which tasks do you not enjoy?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Outsource them first. You’ll find this easier because you’ll be glad to see them go.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  1. Which tasks are you not an expert in?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Be honest with yourself: do you know anything about websites? If not, outsource it. They can probably do it better.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

  1. Which tasks are most time-consuming?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

You want to free up as much time as possible. Maybe you find yourself spending 5 hours on Canva graphics that you know could have been done in 30 minutes. You might enjoy it, but if outsourcing graphic creation will save you HEAPS of time, do it! 

You want to ensure you are spending your time on tasks that are going to help you grow your business.

RETAINING CLIENTS  

a woman works from a macbook laptop she is wearing a pink top and jeans

It is common to be especially focused on getting new clients. Don’t let yourself get so fixated on generating new business that you stop appreciating the one you already have. 

Do you know what’s easier than finding brand new clients? Growing into bigger packages with your current clients and receiving referrals. It is so important, I mean VITAL, to nurture your client relationships. You want to be the one you client is talking about and recommending to their business friends. Our best marketing tool is ourselves, our social proof and our testimonials.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

It really is one of the biggest mistakes I see in the online space which can cause you to miss out on opportunities for easy growth. I’ve put together a retention checklist that is super helpful and can be used for each and every client to ensure that they are satisfied with your service and receiving the attention they deserve. 

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CLIENT RETENTION CHECKLIST⠀⠀⠀⠀

✅ Are you asking for feedback from your current clients?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

✅ Do your current clients know all the ways in which you could help them?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

✅ Do you offer a referral scheme to your clients if they recommend you?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

✅ If the project is a one-off, do you try to up-sell them to another product?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

✅ Do you follow up in the weeks/months after finishing a product to see if you can help them with anything else? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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You don’t need to always be looking for greener grass, make sure you water the grass where you are!⠀⠀⠀

Jemma Broadstock sits on the floor surrounded by balloons

This is just part one of my two-part series on all the different things that you can be doing to really step into your CEO position. Stay tuned!

Have you tried affiliate marketing before?