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When we look to entrepreneurial advice, it’s very easy to look to the most successful figures in our field and to take inspiration from their story. There’s nothing wrong with that. Yet it does seem, especially in content aimed at providing ‘motivation and discipline,’ that larger-than-life examples are constantly referred to and considered insightful.

But what does the average person have in common with a big-time CEO, and does their day to day life planning even help you out? After all, you don’t have assistants, a professional in-house legal team, a marketing department, and industry contacts to help you out here.

In some ways, it can feel like this advice is insincere and only generated to capture the ‘feel’ of what it would be like to run a successful company, rather than giving you the chance to. So, in this post we hope to pivot and see what gold we can glean from this advice; and see just how much of it could apply to the humble home business or sincere sole trader. With that in mind, let’s begin:

Solidify That Routine

In many ‘think like a CEO’ posts, it’s not uncommon for them to identify the morning and after-lunch habits of CEOs, be that in reading an entire non-fiction book before breakfast or hitting the gym and running five miles before that morning meeting. While this can seem a little over the top, it’s true that a worthwhile morning routine can help you effectively manage your tasks and enable you to time manage more appropriately. Keeping track of all of this duties with a worthwhile digital calendar can be tremendously worthwhile, too.

Advocacy & Belief

Sure, you might not come into the world with a sense of righteousness and as if success is guaranteed to you (as some of these columns imply you need to be successful), but it’s true that you have to become your biggest business advocate to succeed. This means learning to sell yourself properly and focusing on worthwhile outcomes, rather than letting road bumps get in your way. This means learning presentation skills so you can solidify your idea and the worth your business brings quickly, and in an appealing fashion. It also means investing in yourself and your business, even if that means attending a public speaking seminar from time to time.

Welcoming Failure

It’s true to say that you may not wish to run five businesses into the ground before you find a successful one, as it’s implied all CEO’s do. But you do need to be comfortable with risk and the prospect of making mistakes; even if foresight teaches gently and error teachers brutally. The more you can do this, the more we can learn, pivot, and make sure we take each review as an indication, if not of how well we’re doing, then at least how our customers feel about us. As a CEO might use the best lift company to integrate accessibility after a customer complaint, we may pivot and adjust our services in kind.

With this advice, you can dilute the excess of ‘CEO advice culture,’ and instead use the most worthwhile wisdom to guide your approach. We wish you the best of luck.