Tag Archives: clarity

Get it out of your head

What is it about journaling that scares so many Founder & CEOs I speak with?

The positive impact of journaling on your leadership journey From Founder To CEO is fairly well-documented.

So, why don’t we do it?

Here are some objections you have shared with me over the past 10 years:

  • I don’t have time.
  • I don’t know what to write about.
  • What good does it do?
  • I do better talking with someone else.
  • My time is better spent elsewhere.

I agree. These are valid objections. But, they still don’t negate the one thing that journaling helps you with on your journey From Founder To CEO.


As you travel From Founder To CEO, clarity of mind becomes one of the hardest things to achieve and one of the most important things to achieve.

So, instead of getting caught up on things like:

  • Digital versus paper
  • Which app to use
  • Which guru’s paper journal book to use
  • Structure versus free form

You may want to just simplify the entire prospect of journaling. Here is what works for me.

  • I use a simple, lined Moleskine notebook
  • I dedicate just 20 minutes, once a week
  • I write whatever comes to my mind about only these four questions:

1 – What am I feeling grateful about?

2 – What am I feeling optimistic about?

3 – What am I still wondering about?

4 – What am I feeling discouraged about?

The end result is much more clarity and the freedom to start the new week with a focused mind.

Try it and let me know if it works for you.


10 Top Founders Reveal Their Secrets to Scaling Up

Did you know that fewer than 25% of Founding CEOs have led their companies to initial public offerings?

Download the PDF today!

You’ll also receive our ezine full of podcast updates and tips and tricks from Todd.

What can you peel off today, that will get you closer to being CEO tomorrow?

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 10.28.24 PMMy colleague recently recommended that I watch the movie, “The Intern.” I must admit that I don’t have much time for movies. But, Amy mentioned that the movie has a plot line that speaks to the challenges of Founders growing into the CEO role. So, naturally I was interested.

It’s a nice movie. Jules, the main character played by Anne Hathaway, founded a fast growing clothing company in an old Brooklyn warehouse. Her husband quit his job to help support her success and raise their daughter. Her older intern played by Robert Dinero, is looking to find meaning and purpose after a successful career and becoming a widower.

Ben (Robert Dinero) serves as a wise mentor during a challenging time in Jules’ life and stage of company growth. She is being pressured by investors to consider hiring a CEO. They seem to question her capabilities to navigate the growth and increased complexities of the company. For Founding CEOs who have investors, this is a familiar dilemma.

While the dilemma to stay or go is an important issue I will more further cover at a later time, the small steps that get you closer to becoming the CEO of your company are well in hand.

In the movie, Jules certainly understood the need for an executive assistant. She had a smart, capable assistant who was eager to help. She also had a team of very talented people who seemed to be great assets and play a big part in the company’s success.

Ben adds a dimension of selfless service and helps Jules with the one thing she really needs…clarity. After watching the movie, I believe she became more clear as she was goaded, influenced, mentored and convinced of peeling away tasks, duties, and responsibilities and generally focusing on higher level issues. She started to trust others to important work, even Ben.

It’s difficult for you to make big decisions like staying as the CEO of the company you founded if you are distracted by small tasks, inconsequential endeavors, and generally preoccupied with busy work that is best suited for others. I guess that’s why Jules’ husband was eager for her to find a CEO to replace her. He wanted her to have more time with their family.

If you have decided to stay on as CEO of the company you founded, it’s sometimes a process of peeling off responsibilities over the course of time. Of course, the speed of this process often depends on the growth of your company, the quality of your hiring, and your willingness to let go.

Some questions to ask yourself

Here are some questions that may help you on your way:

  1. What are those things that provide you less joy and seem arduous?
  2. What big issues, decisions, or planning are you avoiding because you are overwhelmed with things that prevent you from moving the company forward?
  3. Who on your team would benefit from the development opportunity of performing the tasks and managing the projects that you have already mastered?
  4. During the movie there was a messy table of junk that served to cause stress and anxiety to Jules. Are there distracting messy situations or projects that keep pulling you away that others can handle?
  5. Does your team have some suggestions about what they think you should delegate? I’m sure they will have some ideas they would love to share with you. 🙂

Clarity of mind is a one of the most important things you can do to enhance your success as a Founding CEO. Now, close your computer or turn off your phone and take a walk…and use your new found clarity to think big about the future of your company. You’ll be glad you did.


10 Top Founders Reveal Their Secrets to Scaling Up

Did you know that fewer than 25% of Founding CEOs have led their companies to initial public offerings?

Download the PDF today!

You’ll also receive our ezine full of podcast updates and tips and tricks from Todd.