How to Have a “CEO Mentality” as an Independent Contractor


In 2004, entrepreneurial superstar, Ryan Wuerch trademarked the phrase “CEO Mentality”. Since then, the University of Washington Business School has created a certificate program which is based on the founding principles behind Wuerch’s leadership theory in collaboration with Dr. Sandeep Krishnamurthy. So what does a “CEO Mentality” mean and why is it important to have one as an independent contractor? Wuerch defines this principle as not so much a title, “but rather the ownership mindset an individual has in life.” I love his thinking about an individual owning one’s destiny. It isn’t about succeeding because of luck, family wealth, philosophy or temperament. Rather, Wuerch claims it is “the result of consciously developing the core competencies and key attributes of leadership coupled with a mindset of success.”

Developing the Right Perspective in Your Business

What is your perspective on having the right mentality in your business? If you don’t have the right perspective, your business mentality is going to be off and you’ll have a harder time finding success. As an independent contractor, you are in business for yourself and you are your own boss. Now, if you are in the “can’t” mentality then you’re going to have more difficulties succeeding. If you’re in the “can do” mentality, then success is a sure thing. 

Steps I’ve learned to take on my journey as an independent contractor:

  1. Cultivate an innate desire to continually develop yourself as a person.
  2. Make every effort to fill your mind with positive and encouraging philosophies.
  3. Don’t get drawn in to the grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side misconception.
  4. You are the master of your own domain and own your behavioural responses.

Lessons Learned From Successful Entrepreneurs

I recently read an encouraging article from Shaklee Presidential Master Coordinator, Gary Burke. He definitely has the right mentality when it comes to a business perspective that has lead toward success. Obviously, he has seen and experienced success. He is at the top of his game in his field. He’s reached certain pinnacles of success because he had the right mentality as he climbed the ladder. If you want something bad enough, you need to go out and get it. Of course, not stealing it from someone, but earning it with hard work, discipline and perseverance—continually acting with the right mentality.

Here are some lessons learned from Gary Burke’s journey toward success:

  1. When you’re an independent contractor, you get all the glory, but you also have to have the guts first to get to the glory.
  2. You need to see yourself as a CEO, not simply a contractor. Remember the right business mentality—you are in business for yourself and need to do what it takes to get the job done.
  3. You must maintain the right mentality and learn to be your own good steward and manage your time wisely.
  4. If you want success in your business, you’re going to have to make it happen yourself. That takes work but the rewards are beyond-belief-phenomenal.

Back to our original example of entrepreneur, Ryan Wuerch, here is more of his story. He graduated from high school at the age of 16 and then became a college dropout. He said he’d “rather be learning by doing, than in the classroom.” He has been involved in many entrepreneurial projects. His newest project is called solavei which is a social commerce network where consumers can save money on products and services they use every day.

Here are some lessons learned from Ryan’s experiences:

  1. Success and failure are both inevitable.
  2. Our reactions to circumstances define us.
  3. We need to continually learn from our mistakes.
  4. Work with people that we “like, love and trust.”
  5. Do something with the potential to benefit millions of people.  

What mentality do you hold on to? If you want to maintain the “CEO Mentality” as an independent contractor, you first need to develop the right perspective in your business. Do you have the guts to get the glory? You need to be open to learning from positive examples of entrepreneurs who have become successful like Gary Burke and Ryan Wuerch.