Mindset

Building Your CEO Brain

My inner project for this summer is building more trust in myself.

Sounds absurd coming from someone with a career in giving advice to business owners. But it’s just so different when it comes to ourselves.

We can have the smartest brain in the world and still carry the conditioning of crowdsourcing advice for our own lives.

I’m calling this inner project “Mission: Build My CEO Brain”.

When you think of a CEO—let’s say Whitney Wolfe—you don’t picture her on a free webinar learning the “Three Tactics EVERY Boss Babe Needs to Scale Her Business”. She’s setting her own vision, connecting with her own inner truth, and building her own unique strategy that aligns with the value she wants to bring into the world and the strengths that naturally come to her.

An employee, on the other hand, is someone who’s great at following the plan, executing action steps, and driving results. Complying to authority is a built-in requirement.

Clearly, both brains are necessary. One is not more important than the other. However, we didn’t get 18 years of school tailored for developing our CEO brains. We stepped into the professional world with only half the equation—an employee brain.

For the “good girls”, the honour roll students, the corporate professionals—this dismantling of authoritative compliance will be our life’s greatest work.

I have quite literally been entrenched in the personal development industry for almost a decade and I’m still dismantling this wiring in my brain—finding new layers with each level of growth. It’s not about racing to get rid of it or waiting to start until after it’s all gone. It’s more like lifting the lid off the box you’re in, expanding your power, and then continuously lifting the lid again and again. 

The most recent lid I had to push open for myself was sharing my thoughts online and undoing years of conditioning to “not speak without being called upon”.

Who else has a lifetime of memories being moved to a corner for speaking without permission? I wonder if decades from now we’ll look back on our schooling and wonder how the hell we thought it was okay to keep children closed off in rooms for hours each day without speaking or moving?

I’ve been excitedly expanding into a version of myself who shows up on LinkedIn without anyone’s invitation. Who builds a personal website without anyone’s invitation. Who starts a newsletter without anyone’s invitation.

We are not meant to be silent statues.

Whatever helps you break out of that compliance, do more of it.

Next up for me: building a business without crowdsourcing the “how” of it all. To take action and come to my own conclusions. To try an experiment and only then ask for targeted feedback.

I joined a mastermind recently and one of my favourite things about it is that you can’t crowdsource your answers. If you need advice, you have to first propose your own thought process and solution to the problem, why and how you decided on it, and only then ask for specific guidance on that approach. Any post that starts with “What should I do…?” or “What do you think…?” is lovingly deleted.

For the first few weeks I felt somewhat claustrophobic. It made me realize just how strong our culture is with crowdsourcing advice, which keeps us paralyzed from taking action unless the teacher tells us the “right” answer.

I’m practicing a new belief this summer: the same brain that asks a question can be the same brain that comes up with the solution. You can be the student and your own teacher.

When I find myself making bullshit excuses like “I don’t know what to do” or “I feel stuck” or “I need to read a book on this topic”, I remind myself that if my brain had the awareness to notice the problem, then my brain also has the intelligence to come up with the solution.

There’s a new-found freedom with that belief. A freedom that only comes as you grow into an independent authority over your life.

I can’t help but see the effects of being born into a communist-occupied country and then growing up as it reclaimed its independence. Perhaps, it’s why I have this raging fire within me to help every professional reclaim power over their lives—starting with their career and wealth.

It’s not so you can grow your Instagram following.

It’s so you can become a god damn sovereign of your full existence.

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