CEO Hack

21 Entrepreneurs Explain the CEO Hack That Makes Them Successful

As an entrepreneur, you have that gadget, habit, app or a book that makes your work easier, motivates you to do more and that’s what we refer to as a CEO Hack. It helps you achieve maximum productivity and stick to your goals regardless of the hurdles we face as entrepreneurs. For instance, it could be a pro tip on managing employees to make the workplace a conducive environment for everyone. Maybe it’s an app that you have which helps you plan and execute tasks on time. It could also be a book that you read and it brings ideas your way on how to scale your business. The list goes on. You can check our CEO Hacks and different entrepreneurs’ CEO Hacks below where we have insightful responses.

#1- Transmutation

Photo Credit: Josiah Mann

The idea of “transmutation” is probably the single most important idea I’ve come across in my entrepreneurial journey. Having the worldview that all challenges can be transmuted into opportunities if viewed in the right light has helped me maintain a positive and creative attitude when facing the inevitable challenges that come with growing a business.

Thanks to Josiah Mann, Investor Deal Room!


#2- Headspace

Photo Credit: Nancy Baker

Running a business is not a walk in the park, it’s hard and you can go insane if you don’t manage yourself well. One of my favorite resources for success is “Headspace”. Headspace is a mental health app that helps me meditate as well as keep my stress levels in check. With Headspace I can juggle being a Mom as well as a CEO without going crazy.

Thanks to Nancy Baker, ChildMode!


#3- Video speed functionality

Photo Credit: Stacy Caprio

One of my favorite CEO hacks is taking advantage of the built-in YouTube video speed functionality, or installing the Chrome fast-forward video extension so you can speed up non-YouTube videos as well. The reason using a speed increasing function while watching videos is such a big CEO hack, is it cuts down the time you’re spending watching a business tutorial video, or listening to your favorite podcast in the background as you work. Speeding up video playback means you can watch videos much faster and still get all the information without feeling like you’re wasting time doing so.

Thanks to Stacy Caprio, Accelerated Growth Marketing!


#4- Taking 100% responsibility for the business

Photo Credit: Ashley Monk

This mindset hack comes into play for every component in business. From investment decisions, new hires, delegation, development, software, and more – the rise and fall of the organization falls on one person – YOU. As the CEO, take full ownership of both the good and the bad, and leave the rest at the door. As you adjust and scale knowing you are responsible for every element, you’ll continue to make wise decisions. Just make sure that when you take 100% responsibility for YOUR part, you let your team, employees, and colleagues take 100% of their part too – without taking it on.

Thanks to Ashley Monk, It Media!


#5- Asana

Photo Credit: Gabriella Braddock

This free project management app has allowed me to streamline my workflow and become crystal clear on the targets that my team and I need to hit in order to make our quarterly and annual goals. The ability to integrate Asana with Gmail means that I can send tasks to Asana that link to the email I need to be able to reference to. An extra hack I have is another website and app called Harvest. This time tracking tool is one of the best free websites I have seen yet. I am able to track my time on several projects, send invoices, and understand where my time is going. If you do not use Harvest for yourself or your team, you are seriously missing out!

Thanks to Gabriella Braddock, The Vault Music Studio!


#6- Goal setting

Photo Credit: Aaron Spatz

Goal setting is one of the top three most important habits that I believe has contributed to my overall success. Without a clear understanding of where you want to be, how do you know when you get there? I set goals every year and set monthly and weekly goals that directly affect the overall plan that year. It is extremely powerful. I strive to live a well-balanced life but you must determine your definition of success, what that entails, and go for it! Thoughtful goal-setting and consistent review, refinement, and adjustment is a powerful tool for anyone in any stage of their life.

Thanks to Aaron Spatz, Bold Media!


#7- Todoist

Photo Credit: Ozgur Taskaya

My hack is a simple but powerful one. I use to-do lists to make sure no task goes unchecked. As a CEO, you have a lot of agenda on a typical day and many decisions to give. When you work with to-do lists, organized in a simple manner for each day, you will find yourself more productive and left with no excuse to postpone important decisions. I use an app called todoist which helps me organize my work and life much more effectively.

Thanks to Ozgur Taskaya, Fenomio!


#8- CEO Insights

Photo credit: Liam Gill

The biggest hack that I have as a CEO is continuing to ensure that you have insights into new technologies and trends that can affect your business. The easiest way to do this is to ask a member of each department (finance, legal, tech, etc) to prepare a short 15-20 brief of everything in their area of expertise that could change the future of the business. If they prepare this monthy, you stagger their submissions so that you get one per week. Set aside a couple hours every Monday morning (or whatever day best suits you) and try to gain a basic understanding of those developments. That way if you need to adapt or evolve, you aren’t learning about a problem, solution and implementation all at once while panicking. You are educated, prepared and ready for whatever comes.

Thanks to Liam Gill, Swiff!


#9- Pomotodo app

Photo Credit: Mark Kay

Focused productivity is an essential habit to run a successful business. As a business manager or owner, we have to wear multiple hats from project planning, managing human resources, to increase client satisfaction. This takes up time and attention. Knowing your business priorities and then handling those tasks in a most productive manner is key to move business forward. I find the focused productivity to be key. You can use several techniques for focused productivity but I like the Pomodore technique where you set a time blocking in chunks and stick to the goal. Keep your distractions such as email notifications, and social media turn off during the work time. I use an app called Pomotodo, that allows me to combine two different productivity techniques: Pomodoro and Getting Things Done. It allows me to capture all to-dos and then prioritize and organize them into categories. Using this focused productivity hack, I am able to get projects completed in a timely manner quickly and efficiently. I am also sharing this technique with our team so they can provide fast and satisfactory service to our client.

Thanks to Mark Kay, GearTrench!


#10- Waking up at 4:30 AM every morning

Photo Credit: Amira Irfan, Esq

Waking up that early allows me to get a head start on my day without stressing out. If I sleep in until 6:30 or even 7:00 AM, I feel like I’m scrambling the rest of the day to get things done. When I start my day early, I’m able to reflect on what I need to get done that day and the action steps I’m going to take to make the most out of my day. Plus, I’m able to meditate or listen to a podcast to start my day off right. If I woke up later, I wouldn’t have time to do that. Finally, I’m able to get a head start on my day without any distractions. No one in my house is awake when I wake up, and I’m able to use that quiet time to focus on myself and achieving my goals. This one habit alone has been the secret to my business success!

Thanks to Amira Irfan, Esq, A Self Guru!


#11- Building relationships

Photo Credit: Paige Arnof-Fenn

Disconnect from technology periodically and focus on cultivating human, face to face relationships while social distancing. Meeting for coffee or lunch even virtually can accomplish so much more than e-mail exchanges, social media posts, etc. and it is a great way to get to know people better, their interests, hobbies, and dreams. I have found that building relationships is what drives my business and technology supports them once they are solidified. Technology helps advance the conversation but it will never replace the human interaction that builds trust over time.

Thanks to Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls!


#12- Keeping finances in view

Photo Credit: Kokab Rahman

As a small business owner, you may find yourself thrown off by sudden cash outflow needs. For an inexperienced business owner, this happens more times than one would think, and it can put you in a sticky situation and can even end your business altogether. I’ve been surprised by sudden cash needs for payments that needed to be made on a regular basis. After so many years, I should have known when my websites needed to be renewed and when other repeating payments would occur.. So what’s the solution? I now keep a schedule of every month’s cash outflow needs in my business journal from the start of the year, and make sure I am aware of what payments are due each month and have the cash on hand. Another tip: make payments in advance and don’t wait for the last moment.

Thanks to Kokab Rahman, Radeya Global Talent Development!


#13- The book Leaders Eat Last

Photo Credit: Shivbhadrasinh Gohil

My inspiration to behave the way I do as a CEO at Meetanshi is the book by Simon Sinek, an unshakable optimist, the Leaders Eat Last. This book has taught me how Meetanshi, as a company can adopt a supportive mentality where our employees can be motivated to take bigger risks because they’s know their CEO and the company would back them up in any case. The book has been, by far, my go-to guide for being a better CEO each day!

Thanks to Shivbhadrasinh Gohil, Meetanshi!


#14- Meditation for better productivity

Photo Credit: Tim Denman

Being a busy entrepreneur is not actually a good thing. When you are bombarded with various tasks daily, you may often feel overwhelmed, stressed, and exhausted physically and mentally, so it’s important to find stress release outlets. For me, it’s meditation. As I don’t have much time for long meditation sessions and attending a class, I use the Simple Habit app. It offers audio meditations as short as five minutes. I have this app on my phone and can take a short break to relax and calm my mind anywhere. Meditation helps me recharge, improve focus, and mindfulness. I can enjoy better sleep, stay more productive, and better manage my business and my family.

Thanks to Tim Denman, ServGrow!


#15- Automated routine

Photo Credit: Jacob Wedderburn-Day

Staying productive, especially when you manage so many moving parts, is critical to being a good CEO. Over the years, I’ve automated more and more of my routine. My calendar and my emails sync to my todo-list – I’ll blast through emails first thing, starred ones land in my todos, and then I’ll prioritise when to do things around my calendar events. My todolist becomes my single source of truth for everything that needs to happen. As a CEO, you also face a lot of interruptions and requests, so the rule there is if something takes less than 5 minutes – or it’s absolutely urgent -I’ll do it there and then. Otherwise, it goes on the todo-list.

Thanks to Jacob Wedderburn-Day, Stasher!


#16- Gratitude

Photo Credit: Rachael Reed

As a business owner of several businesses one habit that makes me successful in my business and as well in my personal life is gratitude. Expressing gratitude is a must to open new doors you are seeking to open in every aspect of your life. You have to also be able to express gratitude for things you previously did not understand, even things such as heartache, mistakes, and things that didn’t work out, etc. These are things that led you along your path to your divine purpose, built your strength, gave you wisdom and made you exactly who you are. Whether you name things, situations or people you are grateful for out loud or write them down in a journal as I do this is a sure way to invite success & happiness.

Thanks to Rachael Reed


#18- Morning individual brainstorming

Photo Credit: Baruch Silvermann

I begin every day with 30 minutes of brainstorming. This is the time where there are no emails, no notifications, or anything that could be a distraction.  This is a time to think, review the tasks of the day and prioritize them. It is also an ideal time to consider new methods of approach, things that are missing, and the best allocation of tasks for the team. At the end of this brainstorming session, I have a clear “to do” list, so I can track my tasks during the day and stay on course, providing a buffer for further tasks that will be added throughout the day.

Thanks to Baruch Silvermann, The Smart Investor!


#19- Planning using a two-step prioritization system

Photo Credit: Chao He

As a CEO, you already have an effective organizational system for planning your workload, because without one you wouldn’t have come this far. However, the more successful your business is, the more directions you’re going to be pulled in, and even the best organizational system will become overwhelmed. I use a two-step prioritization system to combat this challenge. First, determine your own minimum amount of time that you can context switch to a new task, and still stay productive… for some, it could be as short as a few minutes, for others, it’s closer to an hour or two. Second, at the moment you receive a new priority, determine whether or not you can address that issue in less than your minimum time. If so, then take care of it immediately – otherwise, it will naturally go on a backlog that will just grow and grow and become more stressful to clear up than just resolving smaller items as they come up.

Thanks to Chao He, Swenson He!


#20- Defining my vision

Photo Credit: Naheed Mir

As a CEO, I always have to make sure that my organization has a clear goal/objective and guarantee that all the key stakeholders (workers, financial specialists, clients) understand and have confidence in that vision. This implies that defining a reasonable, convincing, and achievable plan for the organization so that everybody realizes where they’re heading and can concentrate on their jobs, realizing that they’re contributing to that more significant objective. Aimless organizations get lost exceptionally quickly.

Thanks to Naheed Mir, RugKnots!


#21- Focusing on a single task

Photo Credit: Shawn Lockery

As CEO of a company, I always try to do one task at a time because it helps me to focus on that task. When you are doing multitasks at a time, it doesn’t mean that you are doing more work. Sometime when we try to do more tasks at the time we might feel like we’re getting more done, but according to the research, we actually lose our concentration and make more mistakes. I believe that one hour of focussed work on a single task is more valuable than three hours of multitasking. When you’re working on one thing, put everything away except the one thing you’re focussed on. I Focus on a single task at a time, it boosts my performance, and I finish the task in
less than expected time.

Thanks to Shawn Lockery, InVivo Biosystems!


What’s your favorite CEO hack/resource (app, book or habit) that makes you successful? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community

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