You are the CEO of your own life

I have a proposal, that we are actually all CEOs.

You life is the company. Your subordinates (usually named as VPs) are working under you, they are Finance, Communications, Business Development, Sales, Research & Development, Creatives, IT, Audit, Human Resources, and Logistics.

They each hold an important role, they overlap each other, and without each other, they cannot function properly.

Here are the roles and responsibilities each role holds.

Finance

In charge of all things money related. This includes day to day expenses, budgeting, accounting of finances (accounts receivable and accounts payable), reconciliation, assets, investments, and insurance.

Person must be comfortable with manipulation of numbers and understand the core principles of budgeting in order to not go bust. Highlight to management when in the red, allow flexibility when there’s surplus.

What it translates to real life: Manage all the money that you have. You should know how much money you have, where is the money going, are you spending money on where it’s due, if not, why?

What happens if this guy does well: You will feel good that you are spending your money wisely, that all the money is going to the proper channels. This may entail automation of fixed bill payments, variable bill payments will be taken care of during the reconciliation stage. Money should be used for the correct things, such as day to day expenses to live a frugal life, big ticket expenses should be justified against your priorities, investing in education, investing in building an image which open doors, investing in areas which will improve your quality of life and remove obstacles. There is no wastage and charting of all your money is going up. You will be able to spend money without guilt.

What happens if this guy fucks up: You will be constantly stressing out about money. You will have no freedom to develop new opportunities because you are spending all your time trying to figure out what went wrong. A lot of people fail at this stage because they are not conscious of where the money is going. It could mean that there’s enough money, but money is going to all the wrong places.

Communications

In charge of any communications to the outside world between your company to any client or customer. This includes management of your real life branding and keeping up with updating your social media accounts in order to portray the image you want.

What it translates to real life: You can talk to anyone, virtually and literally anyone. And when you talk to them, you can relate to them. You understand them and at the same time they understand you. There is no communication breakdown.

What happens if this guy does well: You have awesome relationships with everyone, your family members/friends/co-workers/mentors/strangers/etc. Your branding will be excellent. People respect you. People want to work with you, people want to talk to you, people want to be around you, all because you is awesome and excellent as both ways communication.

What happens if this guy fucks up: You will have bad relationships. You will feel lonely. You will feel like no one understands you, and you don’t understand them either. You image sucks. People despise your presence. They avoid you like plague. They talk about you behind your back.

Business Development

In charge of building new networks. This includes talking to the correct people and building a bridge between your company and theirs.

Person must be a people person, humble, jack of all trades, expert conversationalist, giver or matcher but not a taker. Knowing how to play golf is a bonus.

What it translates to real life: You are able to identify who you need to talk to in order to get to where you want to be without sounding like a taker. You can reach out to people and build connections. You know what people want and you are able to be of service to them, you are able to provide value in their lives.

What happens if this guy does well: You will have opportunities that you have never dreamt of.

What happens if this guy fucks up: You will have no new connections. You will need to do everything by yourself. You cannot or won’t help other people. Nobody can or will help you.

Sales

In charge of all things selling. There is only one job for this role, to sell.

Person must be an expert negotiator, full of hustling skills in his arsenal, feeling dejected when rejected simply does not exist.

What it translates to real life: Selling your skills, selling the value you can provide, selling yourself.

What happens if this guy does well: People know who you are, people know what you can provide, people are able to use you effectively because you have successfully communicated what value you can provide and how you can remove their obstacles.

What happens if this guy fucks up: People have no idea what value you can provide. The byproduct of this is having no income coming in, simple as that. And having no money makes every stressed up.

Research & Development

In charge of deep research and development of new products. This includes breakthrough information, experimentation, and development of new products or services.

Person must be organised and has a scientific background.

What it translates to real life: The scientist in us. Researching on topics that we need to know. Finding out information that relates to what we are pursuing. Going to the library to read up and gather information. Googling to find out more. The product here is your knowledge, your opinions, your identity.

What happens if this guy does well: You learn things. You develop new ideas, new ways of thinking, and your perspectives is broadened. You are constantly improving and growing.

What happens if this guy fucks up: There will be no growth. There will be no new ideas, no new activities, nothing new. Everyday will be like factory work, clock in, clock out, rinse and repeat. Then come one day the reality will smack you right in the face knocking the wind out of you. And when you get back up, you will realise that everyone is so far ahead of you and starting to disappear into the mist. You get up, suddenly the road changes, it starts to elevate, becoming an upward hill. A dude ran past you, the only thing you noticed is the shiny watch on his wrist. Someone walk towards you, carrying a load so heavy that you can never imagine carrying yourself says: ‘Hey dude, seems like reality hit you in the face. See this load? This load contains all my old ideas, I believe they are worth gold. If I can get to the other side to sell them..’ Suddenly, it dawn on you that if you don’t drop that old bag of ideas, you will be walking an upward hill carrying it. Dropping it will make the upward climb easier. And you tell yourself ‘Keep up with the times.’

Creatives

In charge of creating. Anything that the company needs to showcase to the outside world will go through this department. Examples include new services, PR release, artworks, essays, etc.

Person must be an artist. He is able to create on a consistent basis.

What it translates to real life: Coming up and creating new ideas without any restrictions. Thinking out of the box. Doing things that they have never done before, because of the crazy ideas they came up with. Translating new thoughts from you have in your mind into something tangible in a wide variety of mediums such as writing, talking, or even dancing, etc.

What happens if this guy does well: There is a variety of new activities happening, new things, new ways of doing things, novelty.

What happens if this guy fucks up: Nothing new ever happens, life seems boring. Or, life is nothing but everything in the comfort zone.

IT

In charge of all things digital. Social media accounts, maintenance of website, backing up files, IT security, and software management. Basically everything that passes through a computer, this guy knows how to do it.

What it translates to real life: Computing skills, both hardware and software. Hardware includes: desktops, laptops, mobile devices, routers, fridge, washing machines, etc. Software includes: internet, social media, notes, documents, email account and domain, etc.

What happens if this guy does well: Getting around IT stuff is not a problem. Creating documents, research using the internet, and organising (saving, filing, archiving) items can be done with ease. Information is retrieved with ease.

What happens if this guy fucks up: Crippled with the inability to make full use of the opportunity that technology has to offer. Many acts will be completed at a much slower speed, such as writing, drawing, researching, etc.

Audit

In charge of auditing all processes and systems to ensure quality.

Person must be Systems oriented.

What it translates to real life: Systems, just how the production chain in a factory, there is a process on how to get it done. To everything that has an outcome, a system will facilitate the flow of things. Multiple that by 1000, say, each day we have a thousand things to do. We know the outcome. To get the outcome, step 1, 2, 3, and so fourth needs to happen. The steps is the system, the process of making sure the outcome is replicated over and over again.

What happens if this guy does well: Systems in your life run your day to day life. There is trust in the system. If there isn’t, the system needs to be tweaked. Ultimately leading to a system which stays out of the way yet powerful enough to manage the complexities of life.

What happens if this guy fucks up: Everything is out of control. Emails don’t get replied nor read or acted on, you don’t turn up for events because somehow you missed out writing it down or scheduling it into your calendar to remind you, tasks don’t get done because sometimes you don’t even know there was one to begin with, sometimes you double book, most times you are late, you do the wrong things at the wrong time. In a nutshell, everything is out of control because there is no system in place.

Human Resources

In charge of all welfare.

What it translates to real life: Taking care of yourself. Areas include social self care, emotional self care, physical self care, practical self care, spiritual self care, and mental self care. Examples include sleeping enough (some people need 7hrs, some lesser or more, but it hovers around this number), working out, thanking your friends, spending alone time, cleaning up your room, reading spiritual books, or even playing a quick game online (keep it to 5mins max). And of course, one of the most important skill, you know how to deal with stress.

In a very broad and abstract term, taking care of yourself.

What happens if this guy does well: You feel good about yourself. Growth instead of Fixed mindset. Abundance instead of Scarcity mindset. Promotion instead of Prevention mindset. Life is not all rainbows and sunshine, but when the skies is gloomy or you are in the middle of a storm, you know the important of keeping your sanity in check by practicing self care to tide you through the tough period.

What happens if this guy fucks up: Constantly stressed out. Emotionally unavailable or detached. Depressed. Unhealthy habits such as binge eating, unfit, or lack of sleep.

Logistics

In charge of everyday operations.

What it translates to real life: Administrative tasks such as getting groceries, cooking, cleaning up the room, paying bills, managing calendar, managing todos, showering, choosing and ironing clothes, paying for transport. Basically all the mundane little stuffs that you do in order to make sure everything runs like clockwork.

Good habits fall under this section. Bad habits fall under this section as well.

What happens if this guy does well: Just like how audit does the auditing of systems, this guy ensures the whole system is being ran well. Once the system is ran well, everything happens smoothly. Sometimes it runs even when you are in zombie mode. Whatever that is stated in the system, this guy runs it like clockwork.

What happens if this guy fucks up: Procrastination. Despite the argument of ‘good procrastination’, this will be the bane of your life. Imagine not having clean crisp ironed clothes to wear, imagine being slapped with a late payment on your credit card bills because you forgot to pay it when you have the money. Why? Because either procrastination got the better of the day or simply because the logistic dude forget to show up to work.

CEO

In charge of pushing the vision and mission down the line. Ensuring each and everyone does their job well, using them in their correct roles and responsibilities, giving them a hard time if they fucked up. Getting all the different people to work well with each other. Remove obstacles if it is hindering the progress. Spend more time on each department if it’s not doing well. In a nutshell, making sure every single department is getting their shit right by managing all of them at once.

What it translates to real life: Constant battle in getting all the different departments to work together. Knowing when to use which hat (credit to Edward De Bono on 6 thinking hats.) The point is to not prioritised one over another, the point is the use the correct hat at the right circumstances.

The idea here draws on using different hats in different circumstances. Sometimes the hats overlaps. For example, if the bill payment is late, then something is wrong with the system, it needs to be reviewed (audit) and revised, so the next coming month the bill can be paid (logistic) promptly.

It is not to say that these are the only areas, I’m drawing on the corporate organisational structure and interleaving it into our own lives to show that in fact, we are the CEO of our own lives. And what does the CEO do? He manages every key person in the company and makes them do what they do best. If there’s obstacles, he will remove it so as to ensure the ship is moving in the right direction. Just like how the ship works, there are the striker, gunner, cabin boy, carpenter, quartermaster, etc. The CEO is the captain. At the end of Invictus, William Ernest wrote:

I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.

Captain, are you doing a good job?

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