CEO HackUncategorized

28 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- Engaging in creative marketing

Photo Credit: Chris Vaughn

The reason we’ve reached our level of success is because we like to deliver experiences along with our products. One of our opening activations was, if a customer spent enough money on alcohol in-app, we sent a bartender out to their home to make drinks for them for an hour. Marketing is the best investment you can make when starting a business, and the more inventive you are with it, you’ll see a customer base come in fast.

Thanks to Chris Vaughn, Saucey!


#2- Checking out the competitor’s websites

Photo Credit: Omid Semino

I have a habit of always checking out the competitor’s websites. I like to do so to see what they’re doing to be successful that our company may be missing. Whether it’s a more user-friendly website or a new social media strategy they’ve implemented, successful CEO’s can always take a tip or two from others in their industry.

Thanks to Omid Semino, Diamond Mansion!


#3- Morning Pages

Photo Credit: John Milinovich

I'd consider myself a productivity junkie and have tried dozens of different techniques (ie, Inbox Zero, Getting Things Done, Eisenhower Decision Matrix, etc.) but few have made as big of a difference in my professional and personal life as Morning Pages. Morning Pages is a technique invented by Julia Cameron Live and described in her book The Artist's Way to help unlock people's creativity. The premise is quite simple: write 3 pages per day, no matter how long it takes, and do this daily. What I've noticed is that not only do some of my most lucid and creative thoughts come out during that time, but I'm also more clear, focused and present for the remainder of the day!

Thanks to John Milinovich, Aesthetic!


#4- The Lean Startup

Photo Credit: The Lean Startup

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries has been key for driving how we organize our operations to fight the market uncertainty of an early-stage startup. Ries gives great advice when it comes to starting your own business. He makes you feel more confident in your decision-making and it's a great guide for any new entrepreneurs
entering the field.

Thanks to William Schumacher, Uprising!


#5- 20-minute rule!

Photo Credit: David Reichmann

For every 20 minutes of work I do, I give myself a short minute or two break. Stretch my legs, grab a snack, read a few pages of a book. This allows me to avoid the mid-afternoon dip in energy that usually comes along with staring at a computer for the entire day. It may not seem like much, but a little goes a long way!

Thanks to David Reichmann, Rawrycat Pet Products!


#6- Teams

Photo Credit: Jim Beard

Teams to collaborate with my employees. Especially while working remote, this software has been the perfect tool to keep our momentum going. We can share files easily, chat instantly, and collaborate on projects effortlessly. I think this software is what has given us continued success and I’d recommend anyone entering the business world to utilize this as much as possible.

Thanks to Jim Beard, Boxgenie!


#7- Jogging

Photo Credit: Nick Chernets

Every morning I wake up very early and go out for a quick jog. It helps me wake up but also collect my thoughts and reflect on the previous day. Over the years I have learnt that self-reflection is necessary for identifying your weak spots and figuring out how to improve them. Since my schedule is rather packed, the only time I can focus on myself is early morning when everybody else is still sleeping and the streets are quiet. Another benefit of jogging in the morning is the energy level I have at work. Working out helps me shake my muscles and prepare myself for a long day at the office. I sometimes spend 12 hours sitting behind a desk which is why I absolutely need my active morning routine.

Thanks to Nick Chernets, Data for SEO!


#8- Delegation

Photo Credit: Kevin Geary

It's actually something that I struggled with for a VERY long time and something that held back my own personal success for almost a decade. I had the classic gung ho and I can do it all mindset and it took me an eternity to realize that my lack of delegation and recruiting was killing the growth of each and every business I started. When I started delegating, I started dominating, so that has to be my #1 CEO hack.

Thanks to Kevin Geary, Digital Gravy!


#9- Single-tasking

Photo Credit: Thierry Tremblay

As a CEO, I find it critical to get the most out of my hours. In the beginning, I used to multitask quite often. I thought that I was saving more time by doing so, but that wasn't the case. After I started doing one task at a time, my focus got better, and so did the job done. I realized that one hour of work dedicated to a single assignment is more valuable than three hours of multitasking. The world we live in is obsessed with getting more things done, and our attention span is getting alarmingly low. With single-tasking, it can be a bit difficult for you to focus on one thing only for a more extended period. However, you will see that it is far less stressful and more productive in the long run.

Thanks to Thierry Tremblay, Kohezion!


#10- Repurposing content

Photo Credit: Paige Arnof-Fenn

For me and my clients I have been successful repurposing content by: Turning a series of articles, blog postings or newsletters into a book or e­book. Turning each chapter of a book/e-book into a series of articles, blog postings or newsletters. Turning every piece of content into a tweet. Share links to the content on all your social media platforms. Finding like-minded groups with a newsletter or website to do a swap and share content with each other¹s audiences. I have also turned articles into infographics and talks that have been videod that I have been able to share over social media and on my site. Once you have a piece you are happy with it makes a lot of sense to get as much mileage out of it as possible.

Thanks to Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls!


#11- Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS)

Photo Credit: Chelsey Bode

The biggest game-changer for me was finding a system that I could use to manage the day-to-day of my business and still innovate within it. I was introduced to the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) in EOS Traction by Gino Wickman. It walked through the six main components of high functioning organizations, the philosophy behind them and how to execute on each piece. The suite of books also helped me identify, and lean into, my God given talents instead of getting bogged down in the daily minutiae. It was so impactful, I almost immediately hired an EOS Implementor and rolled it out to our entire organization. Since that roll out, we redefined our goals and mission, restructured our team from the ground up and created clear systems of communication for every member of our organization. The biggest difference personally, is that I've embraced the role of innovator and let go of some of the things I once felt pressure to hold onto.

Thanks to Chelsey Bode, Pearson-Kelly Technology!


#12- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

I always go back to the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. It's a business classic, and even though it was written before the age of smart devices, I love the concept of mapping out long-term goals and planning our weeks and days to fulfill those goals. It's true that you will be most effective if you are a master of your time and priorities. It's also important to remember that success is not only defined by our business profits.

Thanks to Jeff Ward, Coder Kids!


#13- True Open Door Policy

Photo Credit: Jeff Bogensberger

Open Door Policy. They say come see me with any problem you have. But what if you are the problem? What if you are making mistakes? A true open-door policy is one that allows employees to point out your short-comings and when you are being detrimental to the success of the organization. I have always created a culture where everyone feels comfortable to point out when I am wrong, in fact, I encourage it. I would much rather someone tell me when I am about to steer into an iceberg rather than sink to the bottom.

Thanks to Jeff Bogensberger, EduCellar!


#14- Arranging employee getaways

Photo Credit: Robin Brown

My strategy as a CEO is to maintain a balance between hectic workdays & leisure trips. I personally believe this increases employee productivity and motivates them to perform better. Also, the best part about these getaways is that everyone from the highest-ranking employee to lowest ranking individuals is made a part of this. This allows them to interact apart from the work-life and bond with one another. In the long run, this shrinks the employee turnover rate and lowers absenteeism – this is an achievement for me!

Thanks to Robin Brown, Vivipins!


#15- Taking power naps

Photo Credit: Patrick Smith

I would say that my favorite or best hack to be productive throughout the day is taking a power nap during work. Success is directly connected to productivity and naps are among the best ways to ensure productivity. I feel fresh and recharged after a nap of more or less 20 minutes on almost every working day. I am not at all productive when my mind and body is exhausted, and I have found nothing as effective as a nap to refresh and recharge your energy. I would suggest everyone give your brain little rest at work.

Thanks to Patrick Smith, Firesticktricks.com!


#16- I'm always observing!

Photo Credit: Ellen Yin

As a CEO, I don't just read about the latest trends & strategies, I like to experience them from the eyes of the consumer so we can improve our products and content. For example, I'll join someone's membership to observe how the backend user experience is set-up and be inspired to try new ideas for platform navigation, membership features, etc. Or I'll buy someone's product just to go through their whole purchasing process and observe what their sales funnel looks like. Do they try to upsell me? When? If it works, why? I'm looking at what makes me click, buy, feel excited, or feel confused so we can apply what's relevant to improving our own sales pages or process. I also learn so much from the post-buying experience. What kinds of communication do I receive from the company after purchase? How is the product delivered? It's my favorite way to learn quickly and apply what's relevant to our own business – and, as an added bonus, support my fellow small business owners/peers by being their customer. Collaboration over the competition, always.

Thanks to Ellen Yin, Cubicle to CEO!


#17-30-minute morning routine

Photo Credit: Ray Blakney

The one habit that I think makes me more successful is having a fixed morning routine I do when I wake up that excites, motivates, and energizes me. To start the day, I go through my version of The Miracle Morning (by Hal Elrod). I have a 30-minute routine of brushing my teeth, washing my face, journaling, exercise, and meditation I do every weekday to wake up. This morning routine has been key in preparing me to be productive and maximize work output each workday.

Thanks to Ray Blakney, LiveLingua.com!


#18- Having conversations

Photo Credit: Chris Bolz

The habit of having conversations with strangers and almost anyone I meet, it doesn't matter if it's on the street in a cafe at a business event. This goes beyond just simple networking since usually I don't know the person or where's the conversation going to lead. It might be a new business opportunity or finding an unorthodox technique from another industry that I can apply in my own business. The trick to focus on talking to many people, since the play is about volume – the majority of conversations will not yield fruit other than just a pleasant conversation, but you don't know which ones will bring you value, so just talk to people, it's that simple, just make it a habit. By doing this along the way I also have greatly improved my conversational skills, confidence, and charisma.

Thanks to Chris Bolz, Coara.co!


#19- Honeybook

Photo Credit: Chelsea Clarke

As CEOs of service-based businesses, it's important to envision what we want our clients’ experience to look like from start to finish. Honeybook, a client management software (CMS), is one of my favorite resources for client onboarding. It has been an absolute lifesaver. So much so that I don’t know how I ran my business before, without it. The entire process, onboarding, contracts, listings are there to help automate and simplify my service-based business. It reduces what would be a 20 hour week into 4 hours.

Thanks to Chelsea Clarke, HerPaperRoute!


#20- Clocify

Photo Credit: Akram Assaf

Resources for time management are crucially important for us. I use various remote tools to manage my time and activities so I'm 100% dedicated to the right thing. Clocify is a great tool to use, but you can also use your collaboration apps for the best results. If you're often on the run, make sure your smartwatch/phone is always there to remind you of important tasks. Remember to also take notes all the time.

Thanks to Akram Assaf, Bayt.com!


#21- Two hacks

Photo credit: Avinash Chandra

My CEO hack is my habit of direct communication. Chain of command takes time and does not always reap desirable results. Having free-flowing communication channels throughout the company at every level brings in the best results. The other habit that I promote amongst my employees is to have a to-do list. Having the work of the day charted outcomes in handy and ensures productivity. A precise to-do list sets achievable targets and gives greater job satisfaction.

Thanks to Avinash Chandra, BrandLoom.com!


#22- Thinking in my downtime

Photo Credit: Matt Bertram

I have to solve lots of complex problems in my line of work. Sometimes the solution is not obvious when I’m sitting at my desk. I find that I do my best thinking when I’m away from the office. So when I’m walking my dog or going for a jog in the park, I allow my thoughts to come to me naturally. I carry a little notepad and pen with me at all times so if I have a great idea I can jot it down.

Thanks to Matt Bertram, EWR Digital!


#23- Blinkist

Photo Credit: Kuba Koziej

Reading books has always been a part of my growing as an entrepreneur, but while getting busy building a company I started looking at a growing pile of books on my desk with longing. And then Blinkist came to the rescue. Blinkist is an app that delivers 15-minute-read summaries of the best non-fiction books out there. As an entrepreneur, you get a wide choice of books on productivity and time management, motivation and inspiration, leadership, money and investments, psychology, or work-life balance. So I get the essence of brilliant books within just minutes of reading or listening to audiobooks. Well done, Blinkist.

Thanks to Kuba Koziej, Zety!


#24- Watching YouTube videos

Photo credit: Shaun Taylor

I know that doesn't sound right, but during the lockdown, I found so many inspirational people from actors to leaders in business to spiritual leaders and people within my industry. My feed now is full of videos I derive much-needed inspiration and ideas from. These people have been through so many different things and listening to them and gaining wisdom has been such an inspiration for me. I have videos playing in the background all day while I work now and I have never been more positive.

Thanks to Shaun Taylor, Moriti Private Safaris!


#25- Journalling

Photo Credit: Caroline Lee

As a CEO, you have to deal with a lot of things. You have a team to manage; there are a lot of people who work under you. Every day I face a lot of challenges and opportunities. Suddenly everything becomes overwhelming. The habit of Journaling has proved to be a gold mine. I wake and pen down every thought on my mind and assess the areas I have to work on and what has to be de-cluttered. The habit of time management with Journaling is the best hack to make the best out of the day. You'll be surprised how much it helps, especially during challenging times like this.

Thanks to Caroline Lee, CocoSign!


#26- The Speed of TrustL by Stephen Covey

Photo Credit: Chris Muktar

Before I became a successful CEO, there is just one book that really inspired and pushed me to become one successful businessman. This book is entitled “The Speed of TrustL The One That Changes Everything” by Stephen Covey. What I love about this book is that it tells us that speed is everything for any business. It is understood that you should build your company at full speed without vomiting any major mistakes. However, everything becomes so much easier with trust.

Thanks to Chris Muktar, WikiJob.co.uk!


#27- Listening to podcasts while walking

Photo Credit: Mike Dragan

The combination between audio and physical light activity makes the information stick better and gives me an extra boost of energy. I listen to entrepreneurship, marketing and tech podcasts and I noticed an improvement in my decisions and mental health. It's a good practice to schedule 10-15 mins listen walks in-between work sessions. When you're managing a team there is no shortage of meetings and decision-making. It helps to have a clear mind while in the process.

Thanks to Mike Dragan, Streams.live!


#28- +15% hack

Photo Credit: Andrew Cunningham

The first business hack I learned is something I still use to this day. It’s called the +15% hack. Whatever you are doing, be it marketing, customer acquisition quota, or even customer communication – implement the +15%. If you are marketing to a certain demographic or age group – expand it by 15% what you feel is applicable. If you have a goal of 10 new clientele contracts per month, don’t stop at 10, add an extra 15% or acquire 2 extra clients. If a customer has even the slightest issue with a service you offered, resolve it first – and then offer them a 15% voucher on their next service! I live and die by this rule, and whenever I set a business standard to the market average, I implement my +15% hack with haste and without delay.

Thanks to Andrew Cunningham, DailyPest!


What's your favorite CEO hack/resource that makes you successful? Tell us in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community.

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Mercy - CBNation

This is a post from a CBNation writer. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue 16 Media.

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