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Anyone can be a CEO but not really

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Anyone can be a CEO and all it takes is the easiest approach ever. Watch video version of the story or read it below. If you like it— donate.

 

So I’m talking to this guy and I ask him:

“What do you do for work?”

“Financial advising,” he answers. 

“That’s a very broad area. It can be anything: banking, businesses, consulting, etc…” 

“Not really,” he says. “That’s pretty much narrowed down to what I do. I’m an individual financial advisor.

“Oh, so you’re an accountant,” I conclude.

He takes offense. 

If you add industry after anything, especially if it’s meh, especially if you’re not proud of what you do—in an instant, it sounds cool and legit. Also, if you talk about something with confidence, people willingly agree with you, even if you actually know nothing. And obviously, you are your number one manager and sales person promoting your own genius and expertise. Sometimes all it takes is confidence and constant repetition of a pitch to sell. 

There are so many words that can create a certain image just by using them. They sound cool. They sound serious. They sound expensive. Consulting, contract, management, vice president, entrepreneur, project metrics, CRM, founder and CEO. Oh, the last ones are my favorite. Let me ruin the power of those words.

Imagine you have a pizza joint. And you call it Joe’s pizza. There is no Steve or Mark or David who make pizza. It’s always Joe or John or Jack. Anywho, you open a pizza place and you even register a DBA so you can use the word pizza next to your first name. Done. You can call yourself a founder and CEO. You founded your pizza place? Of course! You execute all the office matters on a chief level? Absolutely! Now, don’t forget to update your Facebook profile with your new job title. CEO and founder of Joe’s pizza. 

There are so many CEOs and founders per square foot these days that it’s unsanitary, especially on LinkedIn.

At some point, it’s kind of like cheating when you’re an accountant but you call yourself a financial advisor. 

“Sir, could you give me financial advice regarding my finances. So, I should have more money than less, right?”

“Correct.” 

“And I should do my taxes every year?”

“Yes.”

“Thank you, sir, for your financial advising. One more question though. What should I invest my money in?”

“Oh, I specialize in financial advising only. To help you with your investments, you need an investment advising specialist.” 

People create a bunch of titles pursuing their main goal: to sell themselves for a higher price. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it sounds ridiculous. Pet lover, mother of three, yoga junkie, Netflix addict, world traveler, art observer, learner, social media follower, water drinker, food eater, air breather. Those are not professions! Every time I see that list of useless words, I’m like, so what is it that you do? 

There’s so much spam in the universe. Words and titles and brands and emails and marketing promotions that are meant to supposedly sell you a feeling of importance, a feeling of happiness, a feeling of content by having certain goods. It lasts about an hour. We own so much shit! And we get caught by the big words such as CEO and entrepreneur and luxury. By using those words, we think we’ll attract the lifestyle that the words represent. No one knows more about expensive cars than those who can never afford them. They discuss brands, criticize and philosophize the lifestyle behind owning the brands, trying to imagine what it’s like. Trying to get one step closer, they take pictures wearing the brands and with famous people, showing everyone that they are “friends,” that they belong to the “club.” Success. 

Nobody is further from success than those who eagerly consume “the truth” at online and offline courses—How to Become President One-oh-One and Get Rich in Sixty Days. Or those who read an autobiography of a successful leader. It all creates the illusion of the path, copying someone else’s life, someone else’s success, because they can’t even imagine their own. They think they’re just missing something. So they fork over truckloads of money trying to get to that one little nugget that will help them move forward. They spend hundreds of thousands on that. People are willing to pay for knowledge, especially for the “secret” that suddenly opens the financial flows to please the material needs, so they can finally drink their fresh juice with a disposable diamond straw. 

Consumers of the “secret” imagine that suddenly, a wonderful antelope will strike gold coins by hooves, like in an Indian fairy tale. So much gold that it could be reforged into a toilet. Precious metals have a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract—antelope hunters are convinced. The secret knowledge, generously shared at trainings, is nothing but words, air, zilch.

The truth is same brands can’t unite. Same ideas can. 

It is very easy to distinguish rich from poor. A rich man diligently pretends that he has less money than in reality. A poor man pretends that he has more.


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