Go from Freelancer to CEO in three easy steps

Tom Peters said it best when he said I want to be the CEO of Me Inc. Who else could possibly do me better than I can?

Working with a client on her launch recently I had the misfortune of installing software to the wrong folder of her live website. Not a big deal. I deleted the installation and reinstalled to the correct folder. No harm done… right?


It was a big deal. By installing it to the wrong place I’d wiped out her live website while she was running Facebook ads to the tune of hundreds of dollars a day. As I’m sure you can imagine, she was understandably not impressed.

Here’s the kicker. I’m on her tech team. I’m the one she calls in to fix this kind of stuff, so I was the last person she expected to cause this kind of problem.

Her response to the whole thing however taught me something important. Bearing in mind that until she spoke to me, she wasn’t aware what had caused the issue.

She called me and explained the problem. I realised my error and apologised. She asked how long it would take to fix, if there was anything she could do to remedy the issue faster and asked that I schedule installations with her in the future and avoid installing software during times when her site would be experiencing heavy traffic.

No harm, no foul.

Just in case you missed that… She identified the problem, asked that I fix it, asked how she could help, gave feedback and moved on.

Her response to the whole thing reminded me of the approach of the One Minute Manager. As you can imagine, I won’t be making that mistake again, and I will be following her advice (which in hindsight was just plain common sense).

When you run a lifestyle business, things pretty much depend on you and your team. The life of a CEO CAN be summarised in three easy steps.

1. Embrace failure

Fail small, fail fast, learn faster. Understand that if it can wrong, at some point it probably will. Be prepared to deal with the unexpected. It’s just part of running a business.

2. Learn from it

Pilot everything. Expect the first draft to be bad. It’s research into what could go wrong, and a chance for you to learn how to do it right or better the next time around. Understand that perfection is unrealistic.

3. Move on

The faster you learn, the faster you become better. Experience is a wonderful teacher. Take the ‘failure’ as a lesson and put solutions in place to avoid it happening again or to minimise the disruption to your business if it were to happen again.

What thing have you failed at recently, and what did you learn from the experience? Please share in the comments below.


Is it too late to start again

In knitting when something goes wrong, knitters have three options…
Start again, Frog it, or ignore it.

How the knitter decides to proceed once they’ve discovered the problem depends on three factors:

  1. How far they are into the project
  2. Who the project is for
  3. How bad the error is

I knit. I also build websites. Bear with me, it’ll all make sense in a minute.

Let’s say you’ve built something for yourself. A website.

You’ve invested time, money, and a ridiculous number of Google searches into it and it feels like the site just doesn’t reflect the effort you put into it. There are broken links,  pictures are showing in the wrong places and no one seems to be able to figure how to contact you.

In other words, it doesn’t do what it says on the tin.

When that happens, it’s important to remember – you can only learn what you don’t like or what doesn’t work by trying it first.

Take time out to reflect on what exactly you’re not happy about. Then rather than throw the baby out with the bath water, make a list of all the things you do love, and another of the things you don’t love about your website. Then make a bucket list of everything you want your website to be.

THEN figure out the purpose of the website for you and for your target audience. Maybe you’re trying to generate money (or sales) from your site or generate enquiries for offline sales (i.e. publicising a book you’ve published)?

The direction you take with your website depends on what your number one aim is. Once you’ve figured out what you want, figure out how you can help your visitor to benefit from whatever you are selling – be it advice, a physical product or a service.

Once you’ve figured out exactly what you want, and you’ve completed your bucket list, set some BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) for your site.

Visualise that destination and start the journey – but – and here’s the important part – take one step at a time so you can see what is working.

If you’re in the middle of rethinking your website, set yourself the challenge of completing one task a day (try and keep each task to between 10 and 30 minutes in time so it doesn’t feel overwhelming). You’d be surprised at how different your website will be within a month.

In other words, unless you’ve decided to do something completely unrelated to what you were doing before now, Frog it, and most importantly, START NOW!!!

Let me know in the comments what you’re frogging today. I’ll mostly likely be able to help.