No, you’re not the CEO

N

You’re not the CEO of your single-person LLC that generates revenue less than $500k (if it generates revenues at all); even then you’d barely fit the label CEO. Owner is better.

You’re not the CEO of the chair you rent out at a salon. This one baffles me.

You’re not the CEO of your one-person photography studio. Your assets are probably worth more than your revenues, anyway.

You’re not the CEO of the project you’re working on with your buddies at night.

When you instantly label yourself as CEO, it smells as if you’re trying to skip past all the hustle, grit and grind the rest of us founders were forced endure on our journey.

It begs to ask, though: What specifically are these founders the chief executive of? Or maybe we should be asking what’s the baseline definition where it’s acceptable to have a CEO?

Shamefully, it’s millennials who are the most frequent offenders.

I know many founders who have companies with revenues in excess of $5MM and they still refer to themselves as just another founder; their hubris is titillating.

I’ve asked a few of these CEOs what they’re the CEO of, and they’ll say “MyCompany, LLC”; “oh, I didn’t realize you guys were that big. You guys must be doing millions in revenues, that’s nuts. How did you get there? How many employees do you have? That’s incredible!”

Deer sees headlights. Deer runs into headlights. Deer dies on the inside.

I’m totally for supporting aspirations and hopes and dreams, and I will never be a dream assassin. But when you call yourself a CEO — whether that’s on your business card, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or in the signature of your email — and you’re not the CEO of shit, you instantly put a bad taste in the mouths of those who know better, so stop trying to get laid, or whatever you’re trying to compensate for, in favor of growing and building something.

By Josh