The Things I Hate About Being CEO

Being the boss is often romanticised as the pinnacle of success, the zenith of one's career. Yet, peel away the curtains of prestige, and you'll find a set of challenges that few discuss openly.

Part of the Slow & Steady idea is to also talk about those aspects. So here's an unfiltered look at the less glamorous side of being at the helm and why I hate them.

1. Decision Fatigue: Imagine making tons of decisions every day, each one carrying the weight of uncertainty. As a CEO, the responsibility to steer the ship often falls on your shoulders. The truth is, no matter how experienced or seasoned you are, you can never be certain if a decision is the right one until time unfolds its consequences.

2. Shit Always Rolls Uphill: Most people think the opposite, but every CEO can tell you that all critical problems roll uphill and stop with them. Every issue, every crisis, sooner or later, becomes the CEO's problem to solve. The higher the frequency of those issues, the more exhausting it becomes.

3. The "Off" Switch Is Hard To Find: The business is always on your mind, and there is no large chunk of time where you aren't thinking about its intricacies. This is why I'm so intrigued by hobbies that force me to turn my focus elsewhere.

While riding my motorcycle on a twisty road or flying a small plane thousands of feet up in the air, thinking about anything else can have fatal consequences. It sounds weird, but to me, this is almost a meditative state where my mind can get some respite and work on a completely different "problem.”

4. Repeating Myself...A LOT: Repetition is seldom enjoyable, but for a CEO, it's a significant part of the job. Aligning a diverse team requires consistent communication, saying the same things over and over again until the message resonates with everyone throughout the company. This is as true for a team of 500 as it is for a team of five.

5. Pressure: Regardless of how seasoned or composed a CEO appears, the pressure is an ever-present companion. The weight of decisions, the responsibility for the team's livelihoods, and the company's success can take a toll, even on the most resilient leaders.

6. Lost Days: Ask someone what a CEO does, and they won't be able to give you a clear answer. The role is often nebulous, and there are days when I have no idea what I’ve actually accomplished. Nobody says “I CEO.” It’s just a weird job sometimes.

7. It’s Lonely At The Top: Even with a fantastic team around you, it often feels like you’re the one who needs to step back and look at the bigger picture more than everyone else. The decisions and burdens that come with leadership can create a sense of isolation faster than you realize.

Does that mean I hate all of the above at all times?
Of course not.

The truth is, it's a privilege to lead and shape the future of a company. But I'd be lying if I said it was all good all the time. There are moments when throwing in the towel feels tempting.

It took me a while to see those struggles for what they are: an integral part of the journey and one of the reasons why this path is not for everybody. It’s the price you must pay for building a company your way instead of working a regular job.

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