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CEO Advisor® Newsletter
August 2013

Invest in Yourself!

As a business owner and CEO, you selectively make investments in your business on an on-going basis - meaning you invest in yourself!  Yes, investing in yourself may generate the largest return on any investment you can make anywhere on this planet.  Investing in yourself and your business enables you to dictate your future and your success.  Investing in yourself and your business enables you to increase sales, profits and the value of your business toward that exit and the largest payday of all.
More than investing in real estate, bonds or equities, investing in your business is the key to your success provided you have the proper roadmap to achieve your goals.  Here are 6 steps you can take right now that will pay tremendous dividends:
  1. Strategic Direction - You set the direction of your business.  Now is the time to re-assess, strategize and review the year-to-date progress and make adjustments for the balance of the year.  Growing 5 - 10% year after year is not a gauge of success, and certainly will not increase the value of your business.  Don't let the balance of the year pass without a productive plan and the highest and best use of your time.
  2. Focus - If you are not sure where you're going, you will never get there.  Focus on the highest priorities and document what needs to be accomplished, who will accomplish them and when these priorities must be accomplished by.  Focus on what meets prospects and customers' needs, drives sales and profits, and builds value in your company.
  3. Time Management - Use your calendar beyond setting meetings.  Proactively plan at least 6 hours of every day - a week (up to a month) in advance on Friday evenings - to enable you to stay focused on priorities and make for the highest and best use of your time.  Minimize the interruptions throughout the day, and explain to your management team and your staff to funnel live questions to you a half hour prior to lunch and at the end of the day after 5:00 in order for everyone to have more focused, productive time.  You need to move the needle on your business weekly and this will help you to do so.
  4. Review the Numbers - Create key metrics for your business that will clearly tell you if you are on track to achieve results.  Review your financials regularly and make sure to understand them thoroughly so you can inquire on specific numbers and make needed decisions based on the financials. Track these key metrics at least monthly (in real-time if possible) as a critical step in the health, growth and success of your business.   Defining and tracking these key metrics will substantially increase sales and profits, enabling you to make faster and improved decisions.
  5. Set Your Goals - Establish clear near-term and long-term goals for your business.  Then, create and prioritize tasks and deadlines around what is needed to accomplish these goals.  This can be one of the best investments you can make.
  6. Invest in the Needed Advice - The business issues above are just some of the more critical issues that you must tackle every day. The impact on your business, your life, your bottom line and your cash flow is tremendous.  A trusted, seasoned business consultant can be the difference in your business success and achieving your life's dreams. 

Contact the business consulting firm CEO Advisor today for a no cost, no obligation meeting at your office to discuss your key business issues.  Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor, Inc. at (949) 629-2520 or email

No Leader is the Master of Everything

CEOs and business owners often find themselves in situations where they are expected to do things they have little knowledge of or experience with. With the multitude of things that can occur in business, it is unreasonable to assume anyone can be well prepared for every situation.
The Pressure to Perform
Leading a company requires many skills, business experience, specific management skills, education and strong emotional intelligence; it is not for the faint of heart.  You invest your blood, sweat and tears into your business and employees day after day only to be challenged with a never-ending stream of new situations and circumstances.
CEOs and business owners find themselves in situations where they are regularly asked to make choices based on experience and knowledge, and expected to execute those decisions with confidence and strength. All too often CEOs and business leaders will avoid the necessary due diligence and make bad decisions simply because they are unwilling or unable to say they just don't know. This is when the real danger is at its peak - when the greatest damage can occur.
Once a poor decision has been made, it is much more difficult to correct the mistake. Rather, they will continue to make poor decisions that often make a bad situation worse. Gaining outside expertise can add tremendous value to you and your company through hands-on advice, experience and deep expertise.  Here are three simple steps to help you ensure success.
Be Proactive, Seek Advice
Step 1. You must understand and believe that no mere mortal has all the wisdom and intelligence to solve every problem on his/her own.  Part of leadership is knowing when you don't have an answer and finding ways to get the information you need to make an intelligent decision.
Step 2. Talk to a business consultant and ask for advice on your specific needs and challenges. Allowing others to participate in critical conversations is a sign of strength, not weakness. As the leader of your company, asking for input from a seasoned business professional will enhance your ability to make profitable decisions. A strong business consultant typically has tackled what you are dealing with multiple times in varying industries and circumstances. A hands-on, seasoned business advisor has gone through many problems you are going through and are dedicated professionals in helping CEOs and business owners.
Step 3. As a leader, you must recognize that there is no such thing as perfection, and mistakes will be made by you and your staff.  When the stakes get higher, it is time to eliminate emotion from your thoughts and rely on facts, logic and outside expertise - things that often escape us when we are acting under pressure.
CEO Advisor has successfully helped CEOs and business owners of small and mid-size companies for a decade.  Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, CEO of CEO Advisor Inc. today for a no cost, no obligation initial consultation at (949) 629-2520 or email

Client Testimonial  
"I can't believe how much money I was leaving on the table before CEO Advisor. They showed me how to capture a lot more profit without expending more man-hours and capital. The most exciting part is that I now have a very specific plan and forecast of my company's future. It looks very bright indeed.
Thank you, CEO Advisor!"

CEO, Web Services Company

Words of Wisdom
"Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile."
Vince Lombardi
Pro Football Coach

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