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Freelancer vs. CEO: Ready to Make the Shift?

Here’s a question you might not have considered before: Do you consider yourself a freelancer or the CEO of your company?

Take a minute to think on that.

Whichever way you answered, why is that? Just something to chew on.

 

Freelancer vs CEO: What’s the difference?

I want to preface this by saying that if you consider yourself a freelancer and you’re happy where you are, that’s awesome! Your business goals are your business, so if you’re living the freelancer dream and wouldn’t trade it for the world, rock on.

However, if you want to step into CEO-hood but feel like something’s holding you back, listen up.

You’re not a CEO if you’re doing all the work.

CEOs don’t handle the day-to-day business tasks. They focus on what only they can do and let their support team and systems keep the business humming.

Way too many business owners stay in the freelancer stage for far too long. They want to do bigger things, reach more people, make more money, and reach their potential as business owners, but they just can’t seem to make that leap.

For the aspiring CEO who is stuck in the freelancer stage, a lot of higher-level activities are being neglected.

Does this sound familiar?

  • You’re still doing all the little things yourself or assigning tasks to a VA and monitoring them.
  • Most of your time is spent on behind the scenes client support.
  • Tasks keep falling through the cracks.
  • You’re putting off investing or hiring a team because you insist you’re handling it, or because you’re afraid to delegate or spend the money.
  • Your own business tasks feel half-assed, or they’re just not getting done at all.
  • Your list hasn’t heard from you in months.
  • You aren’t blogging regularly.
  • Your social media posts are sporadic and you have no strategy.
  • You have a good number of projects and tasks on the back burner that you never have the time or energy to get to.
  • Your income is stagnant.

As an OBM, let me tell you, it’s painful to see other business owners who are struggling along, trying to do it all, leaving money on the table and dimming their own brilliance. It’s easy to fall into this trap and not even realize it, let alone climb your way out.

The simple truth is…

You’re not an entrepreneur if you’re doing all the work. You’re a freelancer.

You’re not an entrepreneur if you’re doing all the work. You’re a freelancer. Click To Tweet

Why it’s necessary to grow out of the freelancer stage

You’re not free.

One of the greatest “whys” for starting our own business is because we want freedom. If you’re still in the freelancer stage and your business can’t do anything without you, you’re not really free, and you’re definitely not growing like you could be.

You’re depriving your audience.

In case you think this is only affecting you, let me ask you this: Who’s not getting the help and value you could be providing?

Who’s not getting the help and value you could be providing? Click To Tweet

Who are you not serving because you’re trying to do everything yourself?

If you don’t get your work out in the world because you’re allowing yourself to stay stuck, someone else is suffering. Someone out there needs your knowledge and will only be able to hear it the way you can say it.

Think about big-name entrepreneurs who are doing amazing things in the world because they have support and they have invested in themselves. Marie Forleo, Bob Burg, Amy Porterfield, and Gary Vaynerchuk come to mind, just to name a few.

Do you think they do it all themselves? Nope. Not even close.

They are able to do all the incredible things they do (and make the money they make) because they have a team to support them. You can bet they have automated systems out the wazoo.

They have people who work on the stuff they’re best at so the CEO can do what THEY’RE best at.

 

Good News!

You don’t have to be a big name already to create this kind of success! If they did it, so can you!!*

They didn’t get where they are and then add all of the support teams and systems, they did it along the way.

Your time isn’t best spent on the details. Focusing on the bigger stuff and accepting/investing in support will position you to grow.

*I feel it is necessary to insert a caveat here. This is true provided you are creating a proven business model with a product or service that people are willing to pay for.

 

How to make the leap from freelancer to CEO

You know what I’m going to say, right? I’ve said it a bunch already in this article.

CEOs don’t do it all themselves. They get people and systems to do it for them.

This means you need to automate, invest, and hire out.

Ask yourself, what are you staying busy with? What takes up time you could be spending on growing your business? Those are the tasks you want to hire out or automate.

What tasks could you automate? What free or paid systems could do that for you? (And don’t get cheap here. If a free system would work, great. If not, invest and figure out how to make that money back!)

What regular business and marketing tasks aren’t getting done? Crazy as it seems, research shows that marketing tasks are one of the first things to fall through the cracks. Obviously, you need to market because if you don’t have clients, you don’t have a business.

Make a list. You might think of things like writing blog posts, turning a webinar series into a course or eBook, starting a podcast, email marketing, social media marketing, updating your website, and creating scalable income. List the things you want to get done, the things you spend your time doing, and which tasks from both lists you could automate or outsource.

Then take Nike’s advice and Just Do It!

I know it’s scary to invest, but trust me, you get out what you put into your business. If you invest wisely, you’ll get that money back several times over.

Need help figuring out your next steps? Let’s talk.

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Teresa Cleveland

Online Business Manager at The Entrepreneur's Toolbox
Teresa Cleveland is a Certified Online Business Manager and CEO at The Entrepreneur's Toolbox.

Click here to check out her post, "What are the Leaks in Your Business?" and download the workbook to help you become more productive and profitable.

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Teresa Cleveland
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