The Most Important Growth “Strategy” Nobody is Talking About - Rick Mulready

rick mulready

The Most Important Growth “Strategy” Nobody is Talking About

July 8, 2022

The growth strategy we are talking about in this episode is what I like to call “CEO time”. It’s all about taking time away from the nitty-gritty of your business. While it may seem counterproductive, it is actually incredibly beneficial to your business growth and should be part of your work as the CEO.


When you take time away from the pressure of work, that’s when you’ll get some of your very best ideas for your business. You’ll come up with ideas and solutions that you wouldn’t have thought of if you hadn’t taken a step back.


It is so important to schedule this “CEO time” with intention. You block time out on your calendar to do nothing but think about your business or do the highest leverage activities that you can do as the CEO. 


We often think that we can’t take time like this, but this is when we make the most progress and develop the best plans. Carve out the time in your calendar, protect that time, and give it a try. It may just change the trajectory of your business. 


In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why taking time for yourself is important
  • How to create CEO time in your business
  • What to do during your CEO time
  • Why leverage is so important 
  • Questions to ask yourself during CEO time
  • How CEO time can impact your business growth


Links & Resources:


*Disclosure: I only recommend products I use and love and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.


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Hey my friend, welcome to the Art of Online Business Podcast. My name is Rick Mulwray and I’m an online business coach. I’m an ad’s expert, and most importantly, I’m a dad. And this show is where we help established online course creators and coaches create more profit, more impact with less hustle. All right, let’s get into it. All right. Welcome to episode number 615 here on the Art of Online Business Podcast. Rick, I’m already here. Thank you as always, my friend, for tuning in today and coming to hang out with me. So today I want to talk about a growth strategy. I like to think that this is the most important growth strategy, and I’m going to put growth strategy in air quotes here. If you’re watching me on video right now on the YouTube channel, I am using air quotes right now that nobody talks about. All right. So and I want to start off with a with a story here. So here in San Diego, shortly after my wife, Amy, and I moved down to San Diego from LA, I used to go work at this coffee shop over in Pacific Beach. I remember walking into the coffee shop one morning and it was like a Tuesday, I don’t know, 10:00 in the morning or something like that. And I was waiting in line to order a coffee and it’s a small coffee shop and there’s, you know, there’s tables there. And I look over and I see this person sitting at a table. 

With coffee in hand. And they were reading a book like Crazy Concept, right? And I thought to myself, wow, like. And like, that is so cool that that person gets to do that. Or, you know, a Tuesday morning at 11, at 10:00 or whatever time it was, this person was sitting there reading in a coffee shop, which is one of my favorite things to do. I love coffee shops and I love to work in coffee shops, even though I have not worked in a coffee shop in forever. And so I started thinking to myself, how cool would that be to be able to do that? And then I sort of stepped back and I said, Well, wait a minute. I totally I think my voice is cracked. Wait a minute. I could totally do that. I am here with my laptop getting ready to do some work, but I totally could just whip out a book and start reading my book without the laptop on the table. And I realized later, as I thought more about this, that actually making time to do those sorts of things where you are away from your business or away from, I should say, your every day, wherever it is that you work. Right? Taking that time away and just being and doing whatever it is that that lights you up is part of the work is the is part of the work as the CEO of your business, taking that time for yourself and when you take that time for yourself, this is often the time when when you will get some of the best ideas that you’ll have when it comes to your business or how to handle a situation or whatever it might be. 

These are the times and opportunities where these ideas come from, but you have to be willing to take that time. And I used to feel guilty for like, No, I want to sit in the coffee shop and read a book or whatever. And when it was that sort of small mental shift, if you will, where I realized that’s part of the work of being a CEO, that I was like, Oh, everything just changed. And so I share that story with you because it’s sort of aligns with what I’m about to share with you right now. And I really refer to this as the most important growth strategy. And frankly, this is something that that most people do not talk about, and that is creating what I call this CEO time in your business. What this is, is this is simply time in your calendar where you have nothing scheduled but to think about your business. Right. You’re blocking off with intention. You’re blocking off time on your calendar to. Either think or do the highest leverage activities that you can be doing as the CEO. I’m always looking for leverage in my business. This is what we coach our accelerator members on all the time. 

Where is the leverage? And this is when you have outside set of eyes on your business. We can identify it really quickly as opposed to it’s harder when we are so close to our own business, it’s harder to find those leverage points, right? So we’re always looking for leverage. This is an example of a high leverage activity. So a couple of years ago, what I decided to do was I decided to designate a two hour block of time on Friday morning as my CEO time, and then I would take the rest and I take the rest of the day off on on Friday. And again, this time, this CEO time could be used on big picture thinking or mapping out a strategy or thinking about how to handle a certain situation that’s going on in the business or whatever it might be, or just giving yourself some quiet time and seeing what comes up for you. And again, this is leveraged time because we often think that. We can’t take time to not be doing something right. But yet, when we create that space for ourselves, this is where some of the best ideas come from. Just like that example I share with you in the coffee shop. Now, obviously, you can you can spend this time on whatever it is that’s most useful and helpful, helpful for you at that time. But a lot of the time during my CEO time, I like to my I like to ask myself a question or a few questions.

And really let my brain get to work. So and this this usually works best when you can separate yourself from your everyday place that you work. So, for example, for me, I have an office in our house and so this is where I work each day, right? So maybe I would go to a park or a coffee shop or whatever. It might go to the beach, whatever it might be. That is for you. So just as an example, one example for a question that I might ask myself is, okay, profit margin. This is just less hypothetical here. All right. Profit margin has decreased for year over year now. The important thing, number one, is that is not the problem. That’s the symptom of a problem. So profit margin decreasing is not the problem. Something is causing that. So the profit margin decreasing year over year, that’s the symptom of a problem. So the question is that I could pose to myself and get let my brain work on it is so what? What is the problem or what are the problems? Or A better question to ask myself is what do I think the problem is or problems are? And then I would let my brain get to work on that. Right? I love to write on my iPad. I have one of those I forget what you call it, paper light. 

I think paper like paper, light, paper, I don’t know, something like that. The screen protector on my iPad, that makes it feel like paper. I love to write. It’s very satisfying. So I would start making notes like just brain dumping what comes up for my in my brain based on that question. Here’s another example of a great question, and this comes from a very good, albeit terribly named book called The Road Less Stupid, and it’s written by Keith Cunningham. And they have some key, some great questions to ask yourself as the CEO in that book, by the way. And so this question that I really like is how would I run my business if 100% of my future customers were strictly by referral only? How would I run my business if 100% of my future customers were by referral only? And so like, that’s an amazing question and one like you hopefully you really want to sit down and think about so you could write that question down on your notebook or whatever and just let your brain go to work on on that and just start getting it out and writing it down. This is highly leveraged time. These are the types of things that you can be doing during the CEO time, during your CEO time. And so notice how these two example questions that I’ve just shared, these are big picture thinking about your business. You know, this is not like what email you should send out or what Instagram post should I put up today? Giving your space, giving yourself space and time to get quiet and think about your business is where again, some of your best ideas can come from that can greatly impact the future. 

Of your business or help you fix a situation that is going on. I know plenty of when you know, when we coach this in accelerator, I hear from so many people, they’re like, I had this just this huge light bulb go off and they had this realization and they go implement it and it it drastically changes the trajectory of their business in a good way. But it’s because it starts with being intentional about setting time aside on your calendar for this sort of thinking. Or you could be doing. Meaning the highest leverage activities as a CEO. Right? So what are the biggest revenue producing activities? I’d love to see you spend this time talking about you thinking, asking yourself a question, posing yourself a question each time you take this time for yourself and just letting your brain get to work on it. So that’s really what I want to invite you for an action item for you for today’s episode. Carve out some time on your calendar depending on when you’re listening to this, this week or next week or whatever. For your CEO time, you don’t have to start out with a big chunk of time. If you don’t have it, just start with maybe 30 minutes or maybe if it’s even 20 minutes and then schedule that time again the next week and and start increasing that amount of time that you give yourself each week by allowing this time to be among the first things that you schedule into your calendar. 

You know, if you do time blocking, that’s what I do on my calendar. I recommend having this be among the first time blocks that you put into your calendar for the week. And if you want to split it up, maybe you’re like, Oh, I can’t take, you know, a full hour during the week, which I would challenge you on. So. Okay, no problem. Do you know two sessions of 30 minutes? Right. I know some people who take like an entire day every single week to devote to this sort of big picture thinking and this CEO time, whatever works for you. I really want to encourage you to start creating this time in your calendar to give yourself the space, an opportunity to just think about your business. This is the whole, you know, working on your business work rather than in your business. This is a great opportunity 

to be doing that and a very, very highly leveraged use of your time as the CEO. So there you have it, my friend. This is absolutely one of the most important growth, quote unquote, strategies that you can be doing in your business. And unfortunately, so few people actually do it. 

And and by the way, lastly here, when you put this in your calendar, protect that time, right? Be integral with yourself that you’re going to stick to your you’re going to once you schedule that, stick to it. Right. Because it can be very easy to be like, Oh, that’s just thinking time. I need to schedule this other thing in there. Really try to stick to that. This can offer you huge breakthroughs in your business, and that is what I want for you, my friend. All right, my friend, thank you so much for listening today, as always. I’ve been mentioning accelerator, you hear me? Talk about it a lot. If you’re an established online course creator, coach, maybe you have a membership program and you are looking to scale your business and your impact while working no more than a 25 hour work week. Then I want to encourage you to check out my accelerator coaching program. This is one on one coaching, group coaching and a mastermind experience. If you want my eyes on your business, you want my teams eyes on your business. We’d love to help. So go over to Rick Multi-car Forward Slash Accelerator. You can click that button right there, learn more about the program. Also, just shoot me an email. Rick at Rick We can start a conversation right there. All right, as always, thank you for listening, my friend. Until next time, be well. I’ll talk to you soon.

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