The Intentional CEO: It begins with the real you and then your business

by Foyeke Omole (Sisi M’Foye)

Growth doesn’t just happen.
Life is in session.
Are you present?”
-John Maxwell

Now that January is over, we can officially conclude that the year is no longer new. Having said that, I have taken it as my sacred duty to share with you productivity tips and mind reorientation hacks that will not only help you but also help me achieve exceptional success in 2018 – the year that is rapidly moving along which is why the first thing I’d like to share with you is the power of intentionality.

Do you wake up every morning ready to face the day? Are you generally happy? Do you feel engaged and excited to live your life? I do, of course. I wasn’t always like that; the reverse was the common case with me until I read a book titled The Law of Happiness by Dr. Henry Cloud where I learnt that my happiness lies within me and that it takes my conscious effort to find that tiny thing to be happy about and bring it to the surface. My life isn’t by any chance close to perfect and yet, now I can say my life is great! My day doesn’t always go the way I want, but I learnt the hard way last year (a year filled with several episodes of sad and depressing moments) that getting my way isn’t the secret to loving life. The secret is living intentionally.

Now, every day I practice living an intentional life I experience happiness, engagement, and excitement just to wake up and greet the day and this gives me more energy and confidence to seek a good day every day.

So what does it mean to be intentional?

It means purposefulness in word and action. It means living a life that is meaningful and fulfilling. It means living a life on thoughtful decisions because as you will soon find out, years of small daily actions will add up to create a massive impact; which means small daily actions create substantial change over time. If the actions are constructive, they will produce fantastic results when the collective impact is tallied and if otherwise, you know what!

Being intentional means you actively interact and engage with your life. You wake up every day and ask yourself, “How am I going to make this day great?” You act instead of react. You love instead of fear. You embrace instead of expect. You accept instead of resist.

Being intentional comes in many forms, shapes and sizes; and has incredibly large benefits. It’s a concept that can be applied to every aspect of our personal lives and our business. In fact, a quick Google search will return many results around being intentional in all different aspects of our lives, however, while there are many examples of applying the concept of being intentional to improve our mental health and happiness meter, we’re going to take a closer look at how the concept of being intentional can also be highly relevant and rewarding when applied to achieving our business goals as well.

So, in the next few weeks, let’s take a look at intentional living as an entrepreneur. It begins with you. Cheers.

The Intentional CEO (Part 1): Let the real you live intentionally

‘How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.’ It is an excellent reminder that every day is a thread that weaves the fabric of our lives. Each thread is just as important as the next in creating the life we imagined. As mentioned earlier, small daily actions can work for us, or against us. It’s up to us to choose which.

How do I let the real me live intentionally?

  1. Consider an ideal day. If you were able to visualize and design your perfect day from beginning to end, what would it look like? Imagine a work-life balanced day.  A day spent working on projects, spending time with loved ones and friends, etc. Take note of the things that are included and more importantly, what wasn’t included. People hardly mention spending time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. during their ideal day, yet I see them on Facebook.
  2. Create a foundation of small daily actions. Once you have some ideas for your ideal day, create some quick and easy actions that reflect that ideal. While it may sound counter-intuitive, the smaller the action, the better. Whether it is one minute of meditation, slow breathing, power naps, one push-up, or reading a few pages of a book, consistent action is more important than immediate results.
  3. Express gratitude every day. Gratitude can never be over emphasized; a grateful person is a happy person. Whether it’s writing down three things you’re grateful for in your notebook, sending a text to a friend, or a letter to a family member, expressing gratitude simply makes us happier. By acting on it daily, you begin to establish an attitude of abundance and gratitude.
  4. Make the bed every morning (Yes you read me clear!). While it might seem a bit strange, making the bed every morning can lead to more success throughout the day. This is traditionally known as a keystone habit, done fist thing in the morning and can trigger other successful habits to come after it. By making the bed every day after waking up, you establish an early ‘win’ and a pattern of success.
  5. Pause and breathe. Before every action you take, there is a moment. In that moment, you have the opportunity to pause and process whether the action you’re about to take aligns well with your ideals. Whether you want to respond or react to the situation at hand. A two-second pause can be the difference between living in alignment or bouncing from impulse to impulse.

Each day is just as important as the next in creating the life we imagined for ourselves. While each day may seem small, years later you’ll find that progress was made one small day at a time. After all, how we spend our days is how we spend our lives.


Plan to live intentionally starting from now!

Join me next week as move on to the Part 2: Running your business intentionally

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