What does a day in the life of a CEO actually look like?

To help business professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs understand what it takes to be a CEO, we asked small business founders and CEOs this question for a peek into their daily lives. From days filled with creative problem solving to continually learning new skills, there are several CEOs whose schedules may help you optimize your own day for years to come. 

Here are 9 CEOs sharing a day in their lives:

  • Work for It 24/7
  • Build Strong Relationships
  • Present Creative Solutions
  • Block Off Your Time
  • Focus on Growth and Strategy
  • Create a Routine
  • Keep a Work-Life Balance
  • Make Time to Learn New Skills
  • Do One Thing at a Time

Work for It 24/7 

I think of myself as a very dedicated and disciplined person. My day starts as soon as the sun is up, and I always begin with a killer workout to help get my body and mind ready for the day. Like anyone else, the rest of the day is spent in my office alongside my colleagues, handling the day-to-day operations, creating content for our social media channels, and coordinating with our vendors. Unlike the typical employee, my weeks do not stop when my timer hits 40 hours. Being a business owner is a full-time, 24/7 type of role. So if you want the title, you better be ready to work for it!

Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional

Build Strong Relationships

A CEO’s job or day is never done. Usually filled with endless meetings, much of a CEO’s time is spent building relationships. Like our predictive text and grammar correcting software, the more interactions we have as a company, the better we are able to understand and meet the needs of our customers and partners. Similarly, the more you use our innovative Lightkey predictive text software, the more it has the ability to detect complicated relationships across a text. In this way, both abstract and actual relationships are essential to how we function as a brand and a business.

Guy Katabi, Lightkey

Present Creative Solutions

Running a fast-growth small business requires creative problem-solving. Listening, understanding issues, and presenting solutions is the majority of my day-to-day. I do a lot of listening to prospective customers, key external partners, and leaders on our team. Each conversation has an unmet issue that requires a solution to move forward. With prospective customers, the solution is often the service we sell. But in other instances, it’s making a decision based on our company core values and the information at hand so that the team can move forward and do good work.   

Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

Block Off Your Time 

My day starts early with getting the kids off to school and my commute into the office. Every morning I show up to a leadership huddle to focus on the high-level priorities. I have to block off time on my schedule for everything: family time, administrative tasks, workouts, and deep work time to make significant headway on large tasks. After the workday is over, I hang out with the family, coach my kids’ soccer team, or carve out some quiet time for reading and learning. 

Rob Bellenfant, TechnologyAdvice

Focus on Growth and Strategy 

My team and I have been focused on business growth and getting our product in different retailers. Since our founding in 2020, our business goal was to invest in brand awareness amidst the booming competitive marketing in healthy alternatives to soda. Our company brings the ancient Mexican beverage tepache to the United States. Most of my days are spent working with the creative team on marketing strategies and presentations for our investors. I also check in with our production facilities regularly. I love working with a team in which I am able to be creative. 

Danielle Calabrese, De La Calle

Create a Routine 

Being the CEO and Founder of my own company has kept me very busy during the pandemic. During the day, I market my blog posts and podcasts and create new content for my blog. I also find new speaking engagements as a motivational speaker and continue being an Autism Advocate. Before I start work, I like to start my day on the right foot by working out. While I get ready in the morning, I like to listen to AC/DC music to get me pumped up for the day. For lunch, I like Shakeology because it is quick and easy and does not leave a huge mess to clean up. At the end of the day, I have set up blocking tools to give me that work-life balance, so I am not always working. Everyone needs a break after work. Even though I love my job as a motivational speaker and Autism Advocate, I would be doing myself and everyone around me a disservice because it’s not healthy to work all the time 24/7.

Jimmy Clare, CrazyFitnessGuy

Keep a Work-Life Balance

While CEOs carry a great deal of responsibility, it’s important for us not to overwork ourselves and to delegate responsibility. The CEO needs to be as refreshed and alert as possible because he or she is the one going into meetings with business contacts to represent the company. We engage in many conversations around business growth, and we have to make defining decisions on behalf of the company. On top of that, we also manage the everyday operations of the company. There are many different aspects to the job, but it’s especially rewarding if you’re passionate about the company and serving as its leader.

Ben Teicher, Healthy Directions

Make Time to Learn New Skills

I will start at 0500 Hrs with reading a book. Before the pandemic, I would commute to work, but currently, I prefer to put that one hour into exercising and start my job at seven in the morning. My working day starts with reading emails and sorting them out according to urgency. I follow that with a virtual meeting with various heads of departments to reports on ongoing work in their departments. Also, I dedicate an extra half an hour to get briefed on new projects. If there are any starting on the same day, I will have a meeting with the team handling it. The remaining part of the day will include attending virtual conferences, responding to emails and calls, and crafting or approving/rejecting proposals. I’m always looking to improve my proposal writing and negotiation skills. This practice has an hour dedicated to each every three days a week. My day ends as it started with reports from different departments. After that, I check my emails again and then do some journaling.

Harriet Chan, CocoFinder

Do One Thing at a Time 

I’m fortunate to love what I do and this means that I spend a lot of time on tasks that are work-related. I wake up extremely early in the morning since the quietness of the early day is conducive to reading and work. I also follow a schedule where I have time blocks dedicated to specific jobs. And during that time, I focus on a single task and nothing else. I spend my day on calls, brainstorming, reading, and tracking data to come up with new ideas. I also do note-taking activities and network with people to keep learning new things. 

Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

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