Is Your CEO Mindset Holding You Back? (10 Thoughts to Eliminate)

12 min read
Sep 24, 2021

What is a surefire way to sabotage your business results without you having to make any bad decisions, or really do anything bad at all?

You as the CEO of your company can slash any chance of success by having a poor mindset.

How does a CEO create a bad mindset?  With the wrong kinds of thoughts.

Whatever is running through a CEO's mind will eventually show up in their business.  Regardless of if they have the best solution in the world, it won't ever come to fruition if they have the wrong mindset.

Successful CEOs know this.  Therefore, they are exceedingly aware of their thoughts, and they constantly monitor them to make sure that they aren’t causing destruction.

Of all the things to hold your business back from reaching its full potential, don't let a poor mindset be one of them!

Negative thoughts undoubtedly result in a bad mindset, which results in bad results.

Not sure if your thoughts are holding you back or not?  Check out these 10 negative thoughts that will surely keep you in your place!  

Then, take a close look at your own mind and see whether or not you are a regular thinker of the thoughts!

Don't let invisible thoughts be the thing that ruins your business!


Why Is a CEO Mindset Important?


The mindset of a company's CEO can literally make or break the company.


A business is in many ways a reflection of its CEO.

Therefore, when a CEO has low-quality thoughts running through their mind, they eventually manifest into poor business results.

Because of this, successful CEOs tend to have high-quality thoughts running through their mind.

While they are prone to negative ones slipping in every now and again, they nonetheless make up the majority of their mind with positive ones!

Regardless of what a business owner's definition of success is, they need to have the right mindset to achieve it!

In one way or another, the CEOs thoughts will reflect in their business results.


What Is a CEO Mindset


How Does a CEO Think Differently Than an Average Person?


Never forget that CEOs are no more or less special than anyone else.

They aren't born ahead of the pack in terms of having the right mindset.

With that said, the biggest difference between the thought process of the average person, or a CEO struggling to get by, and the most successful CEO is that the successful CEO chooses to change their mindset to one that will benefit them the most!

Entrepreneurs know that thoughts can be your best friend or worst enemy.

Therefore, they consciously choose to think the right thoughts, instead of letting their minds run wild with ones that will cause destruction.

Because choosing to think a certain way is possible for everyone, anyone, whether they are current business owners or wish to become one, can adopt a successful CEO mindset!


Here is How Successful CEOs DON’T Think


Is your mindset holding you back from reaching your full potential as a CEO?

Of all the things in the world to let get in the way of your success, thoughts are a stupid one to do it!

Thankfully, everyone has the ability to choose their thoughts, and effectively change their mindset if they wish. 

Much of the time, the root cause of these negative thoughts is the emotion of fear.  And, it is impossible to ever completely eliminate fear from your mind.

Therefore, overcoming these thoughts is much of the time of learning to control fear!

If you want to join the leagues of the world's most successful CEOs, then DON'T let these 10 thoughts overtake your mind!


1. It’s Too Complicated


If an entrepreneur's reason for not doing something is because it's "too complicated", they are destined to fail.

When someone says something is too complicated to do or try, they're not really saying that it is too complex, difficult, or challenging.

What they're actually saying is that they're too afraid to make a risky move or press on in challenging times.  "It's too complicated" translates directly to "I'm afraid".

Here's the thing: Nobody is telling you that you need to build a million dollar empire overnight.

A majority of the world’s most successful business owners have spent years building their empires, failing many times in the process.

The only difference between them and the CEO who doesn't make it is that they persisted!

Not only that, but the truth is that business is actually quite simple!  It's challenging and takes A LOT of effort, but it isn't complicated.

In fact, overcomplicating business processes is one of the most common causes of business problems.

The best CEOs don't look at challenges as being too complicated, because they are not afraid!


2. You Just Need to Work Hard


When are we finally going to stop telling people that all they need to do to be successful is work hard?

The idea is planted inside of us from a young age, and most of us hear it on a regular basis in both the regular world and business world.

Great CEOs know that hard work is not enough.  Every successful CEO works hard, but not every CEO who works hard is successful.

Moreover, hard work is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to success.

You can work as hard as you want, but it will be extremely challenging for you to build a successful business if you:

  1. Are working hard on the wrong thing
  2. Are working hard but are very distracted
  3. Are working hard but are not persistent

High-performing CEOs are the hardest workers in their companies, but they know that they need to do much more than just show up and work a bunch of hours to be successful.


Bad CEO Mindset


3. It's Important to Wait for the Right Time


There is never going to be a perfect time in life for anything!

One minute you're dealing with one challenge, and the next minute you overcome it.  Then, before you know it, an even greater challenge peaks its head around the corner.  

As they say: New level, new devil.

If you want to start your own business or implement a new idea to take your existing business to the next level, know that there will never be a perfect time to do it.

The longer that you wait around for the right time to do something, the less likely you are to actually do it. 

Saying that there is a right time for everything is like thinking that business is super complicated: It indicates that fear lurks beneath the surface.

If you know that you have a solution that could help solve people's problems, there is never a better time to help them than right now!

Good leaders in business understand that people have problems, and they don't waste any time trying to help them find a solution!

If you wait for the perfect time to come around to move, you will probably never move at all.


4. The Product or Service is The Most Important Part of Business Success


No.  Your product or service is not the most important factor of your business success! 

What's the point of having a business if nobody ever gets your product or service in their hands? 

With that said, having a solid sales process is the most important factor in the success of your business!

Sales processes are dire to business success.  You can have the best solution in the world, but it doesn't mean anything if nobody gets it in their hands.

And, no.  Having sales skills is not the same as having a solid sales process!

Think of the difference between sales skills and sales processes like the difference between having knowledge and knowing how to make use of that knowledge!  There is no point in knowing facts and information if you don't know what to do with it!

In the same way, you can read books, listen to podcasts, and even attend seminars on how to improve your sales skills.  But, those skills don't mean anything unless you can put them into a strategic process.

In short: Master your sales process if you want to master your business.


5. It Has to Be Perfect Before We Put it Out


Not only is there never going to be a perfect time for you to get moving on your business, but also your product or service will never be completely perfect!

There is always something about your product or service that can be improved.  

Therefore, if you tell yourself you need to make your product or service perfect before you sell it, you will eventually come to realize that there is no such thing as perfection!

This is a particularly toxic thought for new CEOs of early-stage companies and startups.

It is far better to get moving and put an imperfect product out there than it is to wait to try and make things perfect.

Not only is perfect impossible, but it isn't a good thing to aspire to.

If Apple made the perfect iPhone right off the bat, they wouldn’t be the legendary company that comes out with newer and better technology every year!

If you have this feeling that you need to make something perfect before you put it out there, it is again most likely a sign of fear.  More specifically, it is a sign of fear of failure.

Fearing failure is the single most common reason why CEOs fail to reach their full potential.  

A good CEO knows that they will never be perfect!  Rather than striving for perfection, they strive for progress.


Limiting CEO Mindset


6. I Can Do it Alone


The whole solopreneur thing can only take one so far.  While it may be a good place to start, eventually teamwork and collaboration is necessary to grow to new heights.

If business growth is your goal, thinking that you and you alone can take your business to the next level will result in failure.

CEOs who think they don't need any help are probably suffering from one of the following two issues:

  1. Fear of criticism
  2. Overconfidence

First off, if a CEO thinks that they don't need any help, odds are that they actually just fear someone telling them that they're wrong or not perfect.

It's cool for a CEO to want to do things in their own way, but it's not cool to think that they don't need any other person's help to reach their fullest potential.

If a CEO thinks they can do it all alone, that's a sign that they're actually just trying to protect themselves from someone's potentially negative feedback.

Second, a CEO who thinks that they can do it all might be overconfident.

Confidence is necessary for success.  Overconfidence is a killer of success.

It's great to see yourself as excellent, but it isn't great to think that you are so excellent that you don't need anyone else's help or input to succeed.

Instead of thinking they can do it all, the best entrepreneurs and business owners do what they know they are good at, and seek out help from the best to make up for what they can't do!


7. Changing Your Mind is Weakness


The best CEOs are lifelong learners!  For them, education doesn't end at school.  

Instead, they make it a point to continuously grow by staying committed to educating themselves.

Even long past his days as the CEO of Microsoft, Bill Gates says that he still reads books and research papers for several hours per day!

With that said, good CEOs change their minds a lot.  While they have strong beliefs, they aren't married to them, meaning that they aren't afraid to change them when faced with evidence against their current thought or belief.

If you think that changing your mind means that you are weak, then you are probably forgetting that successful CEOs are normal human beings.

Specifically, they are perfectly imperfect, normal human beings who mess up and fail on a regular basis.

The ability to change your mind when faced with new evidence about how you can improve is a strength that doesn't get enough attention!

For example, a good CEO is confident in their business strategy, but isn't afraid to see it differently if they are faced with evidence that says they could do better!

If you want to be a strong CEO, don't be afraid of changing your mind if it means that your business will improve!


8. My Personal Brand Doesn’t Affect My Business


As much as we don't want to believe it, how people see us as individuals reflects how they see our business.

Moreover, your personal brand does impact how people see your business.

There is a reason why Steve Jobs only wore jeans and a black turtleneck to work every day while being at Apple!

With that said, people will see your business how they see you.  

While that is a triggering thought for some, it only adds another layer of opportunity for you as the CEO to build on your company's position in the market.

The best CEOs use their personal brand as a way to influence stakeholders and prospect new customers.  They try to reflect in themselves the vision of their business.  That reflection makes the vision of their business more realistic in the eyes of others!

Think about other successful CEOs like Elon Musk... do you really think that he makes somewhat controversial statements for no reason?  Or, do you think that he does it to grow his personal brand and effectively his business? 

Therefore, be conscious of how you portray your own personal brand.  Consider your social media accounts, particularly LinkedIn, and whether or not what you are putting out you want reflected in your business.

Like it or not, people will judge you as a CEO, and will use those judgements to further judge your business.  

Use this fact to your advantage by curating a cohesive personal and business brand!


Improve Your CEO Mindset


9. Being Motivated by Money is Selfish


Your business should enable you to create the lifestyle that you want.  If you don't get the lifestyle you want, your business is more like a 9 to 5 job.

Moreover, as a CEO, you should be able to make the kind of money you want to live the lifestyle that you want!

Just like many of us grow up hearing the phrase, "all you need to do is work hard", many of us also grew up hearing that "money is evil" or "money makes you corrupt".

Anyone who goes to work everyday and thinks that money isn't a big deal is lying to themselves.

Straight up: Business is about a relationship between a business and customer, and in that relationship both parties get something of equal value out of it.  The customer gets a solution to their problem, and the business gets money.

What's wrong with that?

Absolutely nothing!

Every CEO should have at least some level of motivation for money.  Having that motivation to make money enables not only them to be their best selves, but their entire team!

Think that being motivated by money is selfish?  Try forgoing your salary for a month and see how happy you are!


10. It’s Important to be Patient


The best CEOs understand that creating successful businesses is a process.  

They understand that ups and downs are most likely going to happen, and that it will take time for them to get their business to where they want it to be.

At the same time, the best CEOs do not believe that it is important to be patient.

Patience implies that your mind is focused on the future instead of the current task at hand in the present moment.  And, few things are more toxic to a CEOs mind than not being present in the moment. 

Instead of being patient, top CEOs:

  1. Are focused on the present moment
  2. Aggressively working towards what they want in the present
  3. Enjoying the process

Instead of patiently thinking about the future, successful CEOs are busy creating the future.  Their minds are too occupied to think about anything other than the now.

Most of the time, success doesn't happen overnight.  But, that doesn't mean it can't happen.  Don't believe me?... just ask the founder of Zoom the day after the pandemic lockdowns began!


How Do (Successful) CEOs Think?


There are dozens of positive thoughts that run through the minds of the most successful CEOs

Almost all of them are rooted in the emotion opposite of fear.

That emotion is confidence.

Successful CEOs are confident in themselves, their team, and their vision.

Having confidence manifests in countless positive thoughts, such as:

  1. The belief that they will achieve success
  2. Thinking that they need to be assertive to be successful
  3. The belief in establishing positive relationships with their clients

These positive thoughts then get reflected in their business results!  Because, don't forget that a business is in many ways a reflection of it's CEO!

While they inevitably experience fear throughout their leadership journey, CEOs know how to put it in the back of their mind and replace it with confidence.

If you want to manifest the most positive and beneficial CEO mindset, focus on building up confidence!  Confidence will bring about the right thoughts, which will bring about the ideal mindset.


Final Thoughts On What a CEO Mindset Is & What Thoughts to Eliminate


The best CEOs don't just have the right mindset, but they also use their mindset to power themselves forward towards success.

On the same token, CEOs with the wrong mindset caused by the wrong thoughts can equally power themselves backwards towards failure.

What kinds of thoughts are you going to let circulate in your mind?  Whatever kind of thoughts you choose will eventually determine your level of success!

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