The One Massive Mistake I Made As A Small Business CEO And How You Can Avoid It

Nate Anglin
2 min readNov 12, 2021

I became trapped inside my company.

I wanted to execute, and I felt like nobody could do it as well as me. But, damn, was I wrong. Not letting go and being the biggest individual contributor in the company was a sin. My decision slowed the company trajectory for years.

Over time, and thanks to my business mentor, I learned that as the company progresses, my role must progress:

I had to shift from working on the business, not in it. These are the three primary roles of a CEO.

1/ Execute the playbook

As a CEO, your job is to carefully and selectively prioritize the few key strategies and initiatives that optimize the business’s financial performance while simultaneously leveraging the available resources.

Without a North Star guiding the company, teams will do what they feel is important, and everyone will have conflicting objectives — no bueno.

2/ Build the team

Managing relationships is one of the highest leverage activities a CEO can do.

Without people, the company is nothing. You have one job; look at where you’re spending your time and fire yourself from that position. You perform the role, then hire someone better to take it over.

CEOS must find, hire and retain the best talent.

3/ Monitor cash flow

“Cash, though, is to a business as oxygen is to an individual: never thought about when it is present, the only thing in mind when it is absent. When bills come due, only cash is legal tender. Don’t leave home without it.”

— Warren Buffet

Cash is king.

CEOs are responsible for how cash comes in and moves throughout the company. They can raise money, help close big deals, and cut wasteful costs.

Every CEO owns the financial statements, not finance.

As a Small Business founder, you must move from working in the business to working on it.

Or hire someone who can.

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Nate Anglin

Small Biz Investor, CEO, & helping others improve their performance, profit, & potential w/out sacrificing what’s most important.