by Diane Cunningham
As the business owner/CEO, sometimes we forget we’re the CEO. On April 20, 2005, I stood up in a crowded room and gave myself the title of CEO and President of NACWE. I claimed it and owned it. It had always felt too large, too scary. Back then I felt unworthy, and at that time, there was no national association. That day changed my life and my business. As an entrepreneur, you need to have strategic thinking for your business. Here are some tips to do that:
- Vision-casting. Get a vision for your business. Make it big. No, make it impossible! Habakkuk 2:2 (ESV) says, “And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.” Write down that big vision and then make it happen with God’s help.
- Believe. NACWE was born because I listened to God and dreamed – and then took action fast. Sometimes all we have initially is an idea and a prayer. But you have to believe in it first. When you first begin, you’re scared to death. Do it anyway. Act fast. Make a decision in 5 minutes; don’t think about something for five days. Be brave, and don’t ever give up. (Galatians 6:9) Believe in the power of your dream.
- Claim it. It wasn’t until I stood up in that room and claimed my title of CEO and President of NACWE that NACWE took off. I had to own it. I had to see myself as the CEO. Sometimes you have to actually ask yourself the question, “What would the CEO do? What would a strategic-thinking, business-minded woman do?” And then the answer comes. What can you do today to claim your own CEO title?
- Walk into it. We can have a vision, and then not ever act on it. Think about your goal, then take bold, quick ACTION. Be out and about for God. Others won’t find you, so you have to get out there. You are helping others with their pain. You are making a difference. Share resources, join the Chamber of Commerce or other groups, create your own group, get ongoing relationships. And remember if you don’t offer, no one will purchase! Make sure people know what you do. God has given you a business and your gifts to use for His kingdom.
As women entrepreneurs, we must think strategically about our businesses. These four tips will help you to begin viewing things differently with a CEO mindset and, most importantly, to BECOME a successful CEO/entrepreneur.