be your own CEO


I recently had a one on one with a senior vice president at my company. The topic of conversation was how I felt about some changes happening with my product team.   realized that most of my colleagues probably approach him with a very different attitude about their work life. This realization is the basis of this post.

Making Changes

I truly believe that you can work with a lot of great people and still hate what you do every day. The reverse is also possible. I have worked in both of these scenarios professionally. For years, I would become discouraged and simply not offer my best work each day. Upon acknowledging this fact 5 years ago, I decided to adopt a few personal principles to help me exercise more control over my worklife:

  • Focus on Being a Leader Daily.
  • Invest in 1 Activity Weekly to Better Yourself.
  • Participate in Forums and Groups.
  • Foster Great Professional Relationships.
  • Make the Most of Every Opportunity


It is important to understand that many of the tasks I take on to help me achieve these principles are not huge under takings. However, I drive myself to do them each day to meet my own standards. Here are a few of the activities:

  • I listen to at least 1 professional, financial, or political podcast a day..
  • I volunteer for a non-profit at least quarterly.
  • I maintain a blog to keep my writing skills sharp.
  • I actively participate in conversations daily on Quora, The Academy, StackOverflow, and Linkedin.
  • I routinely talk to personal and professional mentors to receive feedback.
  • I take on additional projects at work that fall outside of my role.


By implementing these 5 principles, I am able to enjoy my day to day work. Even more importantly, my new and improved attitude and enjoyment of my work has led to numerous opportunities. In under 2 years, I have almost doubled my salary, picked up additional income sources from consulting, and been asked to lead major development endeavors with prominent non-profit organizations. This success is not a matter of “luck.” This success stems from my decision to be the CEO of my life. 

B Pagels-Minor

B. loves product development and improving the processes of developing successful products. B. has worked with small (100,000+) companies to increase product adoption, improve the product experience and design, and evolve the product vision. From Mississippi to Chicago to Silicon Valley, B. has built their career around building great products for amazing brands while also working to enrich their community around them. B. is a trans nonbinary lesbian whose pronouns are they/them/their.


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