Hello. It’s your girl, Courtney Sanders. Welcome to another episode of the Courtney Sanders Show. Today we’re going to be talking about something that I mentioned in the previous episode, which is basically how to run your business like a CEO.
So in the previous episode, I detailed a lot of the goals that I have and things that I’m working on. And one of them that I mentioned specifically was what I’m calling “Operation CEO”, which is just what it sounds like to run my business like a CEO. This was spurred on by my husband and his project management background and it’s been extremely helpful. It just got me thinking about how many of us don’t approach our businesses like CEOs. We approach our businesses like people who want to make money and there’s a difference.
In the Instagram entrepreneur culture, there’s all this focus on how to get clients or how to get sales, how to get cash in the door and then as soon as the money comes in, it’s like jumping to the next thing or next way you can make money. So I felt like a lot of entrepreneurs kind of live paycheck to paycheck, not in the sense that they get paychecks.
How I used to run the business, was a little bit different, there’s no forecasting, there is no science behind how any of this is happening. It’s just kind of putting my head down and figuring out another way to hustle up another thousand five thousand, ten thousand dollars to keep my business afloat, which honestly can be a very stressful way to live even if you are making a lot of money.
What got me reflecting on this is I celebrated my first anniversary as a mom and is also my son’s birthday. I’m still alive, he’s still alive, it is the best I could do. I was really excited about that, just happy that I made it a year. I can’t believe it. It’s been a lot of work, but of course, it’s been really rewarding. But with that, obviously, there were ups and downs.
This year has really just been different with me learning how to adjust my schedule and how to get things done. And so people always ask me all the time, what’s the biggest change you’ve had since you’ve had your baby and now you’re running your business.
What’s different? Honestly, the biggest difference is I don’t have long stretches to get things done. I can still eat out around six hours a day of work, but it’s not like in one stretch where before and not only did I have more time if I wanted, I could have 16 hours a day work.
So one day I was talking to my husband, I think I was like in the kitchen feeding the baby or something and he was on his way home from work. I commented on needing more time or that I couldn’t wait until the weekend when he could have the baby fully. I call it a Sanders Boys Saturday. Meaning that the Sanders were going to be together all day Saturday and mom was going to do what she’s gotta do for her, not just business, but, taking care of myself, getting my nails done, that kind of thing.
And my husband said something really interesting. Obviously, he tells the truth, but I don’t know what possessed him to be like super frank with me because, to be honest, we’ve had little arguments and kind of little fight. I mean, fight is too strong of a word, but we’ve had a little tiff, so I’ll say that about this because I get really agitated and I feel like I don’t get the support I need and get the help I need. Do you understand that if I had more time, I would just make so much happen? I’m frustrated.
He said that you get us a window of time and you just jump in and do either the first thing that’s on your mind, the first and most pressing thing or just whatever emotionally you decide you need to do that day. You can’t run a business being driven by your emotions, emergencies, or just whatever. You need a system. And he’s like, I wouldn’t be able to do my job if I didn’t have a clear cut path or what I was doing.
And so he went over this whole thing like we were on the phone for like an hour before he got home and it was really good. And then he came home and helped me map this out. But basically, he encouraged me to run my business like a CEO and to think like a CEO.
CEOs make decisions based on data and decisions based on resources.
I find that established women entrepreneurs really know their numbers and make data-driven decisions. But oftentimes new women entrepreneurs, it’s just strictly like, well I feel like this is what I should be doing.
According to my husband, my business is driven by emotions. My business is driven by what makes me feel good, which makes me happy. I did this and got this result back and I want to do more of this. And it’s not really driven by a concrete understanding of where our business is, where we need to go, our numbers, data, that kind of thing.
He is right. He’s like, you want to be on Instagram, hashtagging mom, boss, CEO or whatever. Well, it’s time to start thinking like a CEO. And so he walked me through this process that any executive or any person who’s high up in a corporation basically would be fired if they weren’t able to do this.
Notes from the podcast:
Here are some of the highlights of what my husband taught me about running my business like a CEO:
So if you are a business owner or you’re a new entrepreneur, I’m going to walk you through kind of high level what my husband walked me through and talk about why it was super helpful. So at this point, feel free to get out pen and paper.
What are your revenue streams? I have digital products, speaking engagements, brand deals, memberships, the book I’m working on and events. Those were my six revenue streams.
I had this kind of roughly in my head because I killed a lot of revenue streams that I felt were out of alignment or that I didn’t want to do anymore. So I knew what I was willing to do. You know, I have my more than one club, which I’m really passionate about. Shout out to that you can join it and more than one club.com. I love creating courses, digital workshops, like digital products.
So at my membership, I have digital products, speaking engagements. I love speaking, speaking has been picking up like crazy. I haven’t even been soliciting speaking engagements and people have just been emailing me out of the woodwork. So I think I have like five speaking engagements just this quarter.
How many of those do you really feel that you can produce given the resources that you have?
So I say resources instead of time because even though my time is limited, I do have a team of three VAs. And this alone was super helpful to me because my husband was absolutely right. I was getting, super mad at him, needing more time when half the time I was taking the little snatches of time to do stuff that honestly my team should have been doing for me.
Why am I doing that? Like again, I’m the CEO and it’s so funny. People on Instagram are trying to be bossy or I’m a boss chick, I’m a CEO. Are you really? Are you doing CEO task in your business? Because if you have interns, if you have even part time VA help, you know people that work for you, even like 5, 10, 20 hours a week, there are certain tasks that you should not be doing. Do you even know what those are?
And so if you’re not clear on what your revenue streams are and how many of them you can realistically produce, then you’re not going to be clear on what exactly you should be working on. So I thought about my resources. So part of my resources is my time in realistically I only have about 25 hours a week to work on my business, like 30 max and that’s if I pool strings and get extra childcare and all that stuff. I don’t think I’m going to get 40 hours a week to work on my business until my kid is like in school or like full-time childcare. So I know I can average around 25 hours a week pretty easily.
But I also have a team of two VAs who does 20 hours a week and another US-based assistant, that does anywhere from 10 to 15 hours. I have a team that can do 35 hours and then I can do 25 hours. So that’s 60 hours a week that I have in terms of resources to get things done. So, based on that, I have a total of 60 hours a week.
So for me, to create a digital product, I have to brainstorm the idea and then outline the content, draft or draw up what I wanted the worksheets to look like. And then I have to send that to my graphic designer, and then do things on the backend with my automation for my podcast. I have to brainstorm the show outlined, the show record.
So if you’re truly a solo CEO and you’re the only person that works for your company, then all the tasks are going to be mapped to you in your constrained by how much time you have. So if you only have 20 hours a week because you work a full-time job, then you need to map out 20 hours a week. How long would it really take me to get a digital product off the ground?
Let’s say one of your revenue streams are events and it takes an average of 40 hours for you to plan and execute the event, but you only have 20 hours a week. Well, even if you did nothing else, if you have 20 hours a week, that’s 80 hours a month, that means you can only at maximum do two events every single month. And that’s if you did nothing else.
There are still other tasks that you have to do in your business. So in addition to the revenue streams, my husband also hit me to this idea of the overhead task. So often we think of overhead as strictly about expenses. You have your overhead, your domain that you pay every year. Maybe you have overhead for your email marketing software. Again, those VAs and assistant, these are different expenses that you have that help you run your business but aren’t tied specifically to products that you’re producing or make money.
So we understand overhead from an expense standpoint, but I didn’t understand overhead from a time standpoint. So me with a team of three assistants, I have 60 hours available when I include my time and my assistant’s time. If you’re a solo entrepreneur and you only have 25 hours a week, then your resources are going to be 25 hours.
So if you have staffs like I do, map out who does what. I have one VA who’s really good with tech stuff and my website and WordPress. So those are the two main platforms that I use in my business. And I have a VA that is pretty tech-savvy and she’s, I actually have two VA’s that are tech-savvy, but one has a lot of experience in this.
And so any task related to my website or my shopping cart, I mapped that to her. Any task related to graphic design. I mapped that to my graphic designer and any task related to getting on the phone with someone or I’m speaking like actually speaking and writing with US English speaking customers, I map that to my assistant who’s based here in the US. So now I’ve outlined all, outlined all of my overhead and I’ve mapped it to my resources and myself.
And again, if you’re a solo person, you’re just going to map everything to yourself.
A lot of people don’t know what their resources are. Again, this is what it means to be a CEO. They’re not making decisions based on data. They’re making decisions based on the gut, which is not always good. So now that you have data and you know realistically how many of your revenue streams you can actually execute during the year, you can forecast a revenue goal. This is so important. I was coming up with just on a random figure out of my butt before. Like, oh, I want to make seven figures just because I thought it would be cool.
That number was not based in any reality. It wasn’t based on my resources. It wasn’t based on my revenue streams. Honestly, it was based on my ego.
Once you know what all your resources are and how you’re going to be using the monitor to execute on your revenue streams based on the time you have available, now you know what you realistically can do.
So if you know you can only do four events this year, write two books and launched three digital products will now you need to put a price tag on those things and say this is how much money I can make.
If you look at your data, the resources you have available, you work a full-time job, you can only launch four products a year. What are you doing charging $50 like if you could only launch four products a year and you have a small audience, you don’t have thousands of people following you?
You are not going to be able to quit your job because the math just doesn’t work out. And so when you do this process, this will help you determine what you need to charge. You need to charge whatever or make your prices based on how many things you’re launching, how much time you have, and how much money you’re looking to make.
Other people have more resources than you, have a greater audience than you so they can get away with charging lower prices. Stop comparing yourself, stop looking around and what other people are doing and be the CEO of your own business.
Understand your own numbers, get to the core of your own data and say, based on my data, the time that I have available, the hours I’m going to have to put into this and the revenue goal that I need to make.
This needs to be balanced with calling, Don’t go into money chasing mode where you have this amount in your head that you need to hit and you try to do some unrelated thing or come up with some offering that I’m really not that good at, not really not called to do and not aligned with just because you know it will make more money.
Get whatever resources you need to then be able to scale the revenue offerings that you have.
This was the whole point of what my husband was trying to get me to the place up. So now you know what you need to be working on and if any given point, if you know that you’re launching 10 products this year and that it takes 10 hours a week for you to do your overhead stuff.
Now when you have an hour window during your lunch break, you know exactly what you need to be working on because you know exactly how many hours are required for you to launch things. And so this has been a game-changer for me.
So that’s what it means to be a CEO in your business and to know your numbers and it’s just been really game-changing.
I actually know what my time’s worth, it is worth a lot more. So I need to have my assistant answer this email even if it’s going to take her a few hours. Because a lot of times it’s like I can answer this email because I could just answer it right away. I don’t do that anymore because I know it’s going to cost me too much time. My time costs too much. It needs to be put towards something else that only I can do.
I hope this has opened your eyes to get you thinking differently about being the CEO of your own business.
So cheers to being an actual businesswoman. Cheers to being an actual CEO and not just people who say they have a business but are really running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to make money. Okay. Peace out. See you guys next time. Bye. Bye.