Are you the CEO of your life?

The chief executive officer (CEO) is the top position in any organisation and they are ultimately responsible for its success or failure. This needs to be you in your life. Most people want to improve their lives but don’t know where to start, so in this episode we are going to look at FIVE building blocks of achievement, and how you can develop a CEO mindset. You can learn to successfully manage your life, your goals, your actions and how you turn up each and every day. We will address the behaviours that are holding you back from living the life you want for yourself, your family, your business and your future.

Discover how to take charge of your own destiny, become the person of your dreams and truly improve the quality of your happiness, achievement, personal mastery and success. Don’t leave your fate in the hands of others, it’s time to become the CEO of your life.

In this episode

00:58 – Introduction

02:00 – What is a CEO?

06:21 – First Key Step – The Desire

12:32 – Second Key Step – The Direction

18:05 – Third Key Step – The Discipline

23:22 – Fourth Key Step – The Distraction Detachment

30:44 – Fifth Key Step – The Destructive Self Talk

38:03 – Conclusion

Episode Transcription

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 00:59

In order to find the person of your dreams, you have to become the person of your dreams, live the life of your dreams, you must take accountability for your own life first and that’s what gives us the immense desire to develop greater knowledge, skills, ability, and talents in life so that we feel that total sense of mastery, personal power, achievement and success.

Do you take responsibility for your own life and what happens in your each and every day? Do you successfully manage your life by implementing plans for your future? Are you in charge of your life, your goals, your behaviours and how you turn up every day? If not, why not? What behaviours are holding you back? Why aren’t you the CEO of your life?

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 02:00

The chief executive officer (CEO) is the top position in any organization and is responsible for implementing plans and policies, ensuring the successful management of the business and setting future strategy. The CEO is ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the organization and this needs to be you in your life. You must live your life in charge of your own destiny. You can’t leave your future to others, to fate, or to chance. A CEO doesn’t do that!!!

Some of you may associate this desire of achievement and success from a greed perspective. And this is not what I am talking about here. It’s not for money, wealth, status, fame, or power. It’s about having the desire to embark on a journey to grow into the type of person who deserves all those things. It’s about trying to become a better version of yourself. To be proud of yourself for the actions that you take in your life? To wake up excited every single morning about the day ahead? So ask yourself how are you turning up in life every day? Are you the CEO of your life? If not, do you have what it takes to take charge and become CEO of your life?

Nothing in life is easy and at times to achieve what you want in life, there is going to be struggle, there’s challenge and the hardship of life that are all going to make you a better person. So don’t shy away from the stormy seas and sit at a harbor, watching life go by and think maybe one day it will be your turn. No, it’s time now to set sail to have that desire to reach a new destination a greater and more meaningful life. You can grow into the person who is ready to experience the journey of achieving all those things you desire. It’s time to reach another level of joy, significance, abundance and wealth in your life.

And to desire wealth does not mean greed, it can be a desire for the wealth of health, the wealth of meaningful relationships, the wealth of things such as love, compassion, kindness, connection, and contribution.

People want to improve their lives but don’t know where to start, so in this episode we are going to look at factors that impact your CEO mindset and leave you feeling dissatisfied with your life and with your accomplishments. We’re going to look at the building blocks of achievement, the mindset for success. This means we are going to take a good look at your life, really dig deep, do some soul-searching and go through some of those things that happen in your day that cause you to lose focus and sabbotage your CEO mindset.

I understand that life right now is full of anxiety and stress as every day presents itself with a situation or scenario that creates an unexpected set back. Irrespectively, there are those things you can do to succeed, become the CEO of your life and have all the things you could ever wish for. I challenge you to give yourselves a score out of ten for how you have performed in each of these five key areas over the past few months.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 06:21

First Key Step – The Desire

The very first thing we must have to achieve anything in life is the want and the desire. Life demands that we OURSELVES must decide who we want to be in life, what it is we want in our lives, and what our lives stand for. In other words, we must know for ourselves what are the very things we desire and then, only then can we go after them.

Desire means that you have to want it and want it really badly. You must desire to succeed and to feel fulfilled. There’s no shame in saying that you have to be hungry. You have to have a deep desire for a dream, for a mission, for a cause or for anything that you care so much about, that you will do anything to move the needle forward to achieve it.

Don’t be one of those people who say that they simply don’t have any vision or desire for their lives because this is the worst headspace to be in. Usually when we arrive at that place in life, we can spiral into a place of suffering from things like depression or loneliness. It’s where we can start to have those terrible, negative thoughts of throwing the towel in on life and lose the desire to get up each morning. The sad thing is that some people who have no desire can often become a victim of this lack of desire. They blame everyone else for how they feel. it’s as though it’s the fault of the world and nobody gave them the desire for anything and their behaviour reflects this. This is such a terrible way to live and it’s just not going to get you anywhere, except stuck in the place in life where you are at right now!

The reality is that you are never going to have any vision for your life unless you’ve never seen the world outside of your front gate. It’s hard to have a vision for yourself if you don’t step out of the security of your white picket fence. You have to get outside of your house, You have to get away from the computer, the phone and the television. In life you have to experience a heap of different things to know what you really care for and to sample different things to discover what it is you desire. No one wakes up in the morning magically knowing what they desire of life. Desire is built on experience, desire is built on exposure to things, so go explore the world, read books, ask people what they do, see what’s out there, but whatever that looks like for you, we must all have the want and the desire before we can take charge of our lives. If that sounds too overwhelming, you can go seek other people who have found desire in their lives and ask or observe what they’re doing. Surely you must know at least one person who has a vision for themselves.

The three biggest decisions we make in life are how we think about ourselves, who we give our love to and what we do for money. They are the biggest decisions you are ever going to make. To take charge of your life, you must focus on the ambition or the desire that you have, then go and develop the competency that you need to earn it and achieve it. People achieve through intention and hard work. For me I don’t worry about the goal or the desire being realistic or not. To me, if you have a goal and your heart is in it and your mind is in it, you can do anything in life.

So don’t let anyone tell you what is realistic and achievable or not. If anyone tells you that you can’t do something, you must run as fast as you can in the opposite direction from them. You can’t let the people you share your goals with, tell you what is realistic. If was the case, I would never have become a professional singer. I would never have attended my first audition that led to my job performing as the lead singer of a professional band at the age of 15. I got the whole “who do you think you are” from close family members, including my parents. You’re just a kid. Can you imagine when I was in my 50’s and I told people that I was going to do a PhD? Can you imagine when I told people that following my phD I wanted to write an academic text book? When I told people that I was after a publishing deal? When I told people last year that I was going to start my own podcast?

No one believed that I could do any of these things! I proved them all wrong!!! Whether it was defiance or not, I still did it!!I let my results speak for themselves. If someone tells me that I can’t do something that multiplies my desire by a 1000 fold. I will do everything I can to prove someone wrong!! I have always worked at what I desire. I have clarity about what I want and I have always set about developing the skills and the knowledge I need to achieve my goals.

To become CEO of your life, learn to stay true to what it is that you desire, set the intention and go. Determination will only come if you have the desire. You must desire something. You must want it. You must get excited about it. If you have a deep desire, you won’t second guess yourself, you won’t quit, you won’t delay, and you won’t get distracted.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 12:32

Second Key Step – The Direction

I believe the second element of empowerment and becoming CEO of your life is direction. You may have discovered your desire, whether it’s a big ticket item or a small one, you may even have set an intention around it but then it’s like, now what?

Some may desire to lose weight or to quit smoking, or to learn a new skill or have a desire to build a business or to make a load of money, but whatever their desire is or that ultimate ambition, purpose, goal or mission, no whatever you want to call it, it’s not enough, you have to have a plan to back it up. People fail because they have absolutely no direction, plan or an inclining of where to start. They don’t know how to arrive at their destination, they have no idea of the hard work that demands, and they are not even keen on learning to stretch their competency.

You need to have direction and if you don’t know where to start, work backwards. Write down your ultimate desire and identify the skills and the tools that you need to achieve a successful outcome. Go and find a class you can take. Is there a book you can read? Is there a webinar you can attend? Is there a course you can take online? Is there somebody who can mentor you? Is there somebody who’s achieved this that you can go read their biography?

When I set the desire to start this podcast, I did not have direction so I went and did all those things. I started by listening to other podcasts for at least 12 months, I attended free webinars on podcasting till I found a training program that was the right fit me, taught by a successful podcaster. I attended online training or what I called pod school for a number of months, that taught me all the basic skills I needed to launch a podcast. I read articles, I joined forums, I did three day live training events with the most successful influencers globally and all the while I had engaged a high performance coach to keep me accountable. That is a lot right? Hey what did I know about podcasting? So by doing all those things, it gave me direction. I had never started a podcast before and there is so so much involved and there was no way I was ever going to fail. I am way too proud for that! If that’s too much for you, you can start by simply chasing down other people who have done what you want to achieve. You can use their model, you can mimic their steps, and the strategies they followed.

You need to have that road map to your destination. You don’t just jump in your car and start driving to someplace you have never been to before without setting up your sat nav or or at the very least looking up the directions on your google maps and planning how far it is, how much time it’s going to take to get there and have you enough fuel in the tank to arrive at your destination without running out of petrol? You cannot arrive at your destination as CEO in your life without knowledge, information or wisdom gathering.

Once you have set your desire, your goals, step back and plan how you are going to achieve them by working backwards. If the goal is too big, work in step ups. By stepping up it means to start with a really small goal. So if your vision is too big, just break it down to smaller more achievable chunks, so that you are not setting yourself up for failure. Work from the end goal and think about working out your five major moves with deadlines, yes you must give them an “I must achieve this by this date”. Break these down these five moves into steps, tasks, activities and deadlines. Make each components movable and once that goal is achieved step up to the next level of difficulty, then continue to step up until you arrive at your destination.

Remember when you set that bigger goal, don’t think you have to take the bull by horns and step up all at once. Work at those smaller steps, one at a time, stick with it and go for it.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 18:05

Third Key Step – The Discipline

Once you have identified what it is that you want, and you have mapped out your direction, you then need to have that third component of all achievement which is discipline, you’re going to have to work, and you’re going to be more consistent than you ever imagined possible. You must be disciplined if you’re going to make your ultimate desires come true.

It is so easy not to be disciplined, but when you decide to knock on that door of opportunity, it is going to take work, you need a high level of discipline each and every single day, you need to set up repeated habits and practices in your life that you do over and over and over again to move you towards your desire.

We need to make sure that you have cultivated a real discipline mindset that will move your needle forward. People who want to get fit, they have to be disciplined to work out every day or every other day. It’s vital for them. It’s a real discipline. If you want mastery in any area of your life, you want to be CEO of your life, you need to work at it consistently. Doing things once in a while, is not good enough. Not only do you risk becoming someone who faffs around in life, but you are absolutely ensuring your inability to accomplish mastery, long term growth, success and achievement.

I hate to say but discipline is a must. You don’t see any high level achieving person in any profession, who does not have an extraordinary amount of self- discipline. They are absolutely committed to their habits and practices that positively support them on their path to their desires. So sit down tonight and identify what disciplines you need to set in your life, the ones that you need to do consistently every day in order to achieve that greatness you so desire.

That’s where a lot of achievement comes from. It may seem easy and you might look at others who are successful and think to yourself, they’re so lucky. I don’t believe in luck. Life doesn’t work like that. You make your own way in life and there is a price to be paid for that. What people don’t realise is that successful people continue working at their dreams, goals, aspirations every day. They are students of life and work on self-improvement. We don’t see their failures.

This sounds a lot but don’t let it put you off, and think of discipline as a negative thing. The way I look at discipline is that it’s the joyful habit of pursuing your dreams and that’s why I’ve gotten good at the things that I care about and I desire of life, and that is the same things in my personal life. I have had to learn to become more present at home, at work in my relationships. I have to set alarm triggers throughout the day as a reminder. It’s a constant challenge and discipline for me to remind myself to be present, to be engaged, to be connected, to be in the moment. It is a discipline to be a good human being, to have good discipline to be kind to yourself before you can be kind to others, so even in that realm of human relationships, and you have to have discipline.

To become CEO of your life, you may also need to increase your discipline to have competency and you have to go all in with your learning. Education is knowledge and knowledge is power. When I decided to develop a property portfolio, I began attending property seminars, listened to webinars and read publications about investing in property. I didn’t just go out without knowing what I was doing and having a plan. When I wrote my book, I went all in with my learning in order to create content. If you have a big goal, you need to put the chips into learning. You don’t need to put all your money into starting up and learning, but your commitment and discipline to learning must shift entirely to you being able to consume this information. All your focus and mental power needs to go into the learning department for achieving this goal.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 23:22

Fourth Key Step – The Distraction Detachment

You have to say No to distractions, and detach yourself from every opportunity that comes up that is not aligned with your heart and your goals? If you get easily distracted, you say yes to everyone and everything, it’s time for you to drown in your sorrow of over commitment and the negative thoughts of overwhelm this creates.

This one is so simple but is absolutely powerful. You must have a distraction detachment. You must be diligent about managing distraction because everything and everyone will get in your way of what desire, other people will give you their agendas, their emergencies, and their needs. The world is going to throw 300 new emails at you and 1000 new social media posts a week. There’s so much that can distract you and your job is to have that desire, that discipline, know that direction of how to get there and work towards it.

So much of commitment today requires minimizing and removing distractions, get rid of all those television shows you watch. Did you know the average American watches four hours of television a day, four hours of television a day over the course of the average adult American life span, that’s somewhere around 13 years of their life. Does that sound like you? Think about that. You may have lost over a decade of your life. I mean at an average salary, you’ve just lost nearly a million dollars of potential, earning power, but even if it’s not about money, think about the reality of the last 13 years of life of exploring new places, learning new languages, talents and skills of giving, of creating, of being with loved ones and serving others. So stop watching Netflix and random YouTube videos, only consume instructional videos. Stop reading random fiction books, only read books related to what you want to accomplish. Do you really need all these things in your life. All for what? It’s ok, I promise that you’re not going to suffer a horrible withdrawal.

Then there are the distractions caused by your inability to say no to others? Let’s start with people pleasers – hands up!!! You might not think this is you but by saying yes to everyone, you are allowing others to take charge of your life. Please, it is time for you to start saying no more often.

So if you find that you are busy all the time, doing all the things that others put on your to do pile, and you have no time left for the things that are important to you, it is time to stop saying yes and stop playing victim. Why do you do this? You must learn to say no and take charge of your life. CEO’s are discerning. They don’t say yes to everyone. The more you agree to take on, the more people will think you are a push over and they will keep dumping stuff on you.

Like all of us, I receive emails all the time from people asking me to action something, and what I have realised is that usually when someone sends me an email that is urgent, its’ because they are disorganised and have left something to the last minute. So why should I have to pay the price for someone else being a shambles. It’s time to start saying no and put yourself first so you don’t experience the agony of prioritizing someone’s needs and desires before yours. So next time someone asks you to do something that is not aligned with your purpose, just say no thank you.

You may feel this is brazen and takes audacity, but the message here is if you want people to stack more and more on your plates keep saying yes. I have been that person that was at everybody’s else’s beck and call and I didn’t have time for those things that mattered to me. I was raised to be a people pleaser because in the Italian culture, it is inbred to worry about what others think about you. You don’t want people to think badly about you and you don’t want people saying that you are unkind or a nasty piece of work because you say no. It’s in our culture to live our lives to live to the standard of others and it was hard for me to let go of that mindset, but I couldn’t live my life that way. I felt that people were not being respectful of my time.

By pleasing everybody, you are simply living your life being reactive. You are in defence and never in offence and you can’t focus on what matters to you. You must deliver what you promise to yourself, your loved ones and your community with excellence,. Don’t compromise your energy, your relationships, your work, your heart and you soul. You need to establish strict boundaries in your life like any other CEO.

Demanding people are no longer my priority. I will not allow my own happiness to suffer just to please someone else. Learning to say now has allowed me to attract only good things to my life. Learn to say good riddens! You cannot please all of the people all of the time. It is up to you to teach others how to treat you and respect is something that is earned. So don’t blame everybody else. You must take charge of your own life and stop

floating around doing everything that everyone asks of you. It’s time for you to focus on your own purpose and passion.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 30:44

Fifth Key Step – The Destructive Self Talk

Are you guilty of destructive self-talk? How do you speak to yourself? Are you self- sabotaging your CEO future life by the way you speak to yourself? We can spend so much time telling ourselves that we’re not good enough, smart enough, talented enough, thin enough, pretty enough. We may even tell ourselves that good things will never happen to us, they only happen to other people because we are not deserving. But Guess what? Our thoughts are not always the truth, they are the stories we make up in our minds. Some of us are so good at telling ourselves all these untruths , that we become pathological liars and our brains don’t know any different but we can change our thought patterns so we don’t destroy our potential in life.

Researchers estimate that we think about 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day and that about 80% of those thoughts are negative. Wow! That is a ridiculous amount of negative self-talk. Much of that self-talk comes from our past and stops us from moving forward in life. And that self talk will impact on your blood pressure, muscle tension, temperature, breathing rate, heart rate, even how much your hands sweat. Those are some pretty significant physical reactions to our thoughts!

It’s a vicious cycle. It’s a shame really because our negative self-talk affects us in so many powerful ways. If we think something is possible, we’re more likely to make the effort to go for it. However, If we think something is impossible, we don’t even bother trying. If we think we are a good person who deserves to live the best life we can, we will create that life. But, if we think we are undeserving or not capable enough, we will sabotage our own efforts without even realizing we’re doing that. So firstly we have to stop taking badly about ourselves to ourselves and stop doubting ourselves to ourselves.

You must stop and catch yourself out in the moments of the day because this self-talk will manifest as negativity and will follow you everywhere. It will filter into your energy, your routines and your relationships and will drag you down by filling you with self-doubt and resentment. That is not a good thing. I have met some amazing people in my life who are incredibly talented, but they are broke, alone, miserable and just not winning at life and they wonder why. The problem is that no one wants to be around their bad energy. They are constantly complaining because all they see is the bad in their world and they spread this negativity in every conversation they engage with everyone in their lives. They have a woe is me mentality and they over share their negative self talk. I am sure there are people you know that bemoan life exactly like that.

Remember to beware that self-talk is a reflection of who you want to become in the future. What you say to yourself will manifest. So when you speak negatively about yourself whether it’s to yourself or to others, negativity attracts more negativity so be careful what you wish for. You will attract all those things that you are speaking about.

Wow this is something that I had to learn the hard way. As a young girl growing up, all I got from my family was that I was not good enough, smart enough, that I was useless and lazy, so talking badly about myself came easy. I didn’t know any better and it took a number of traumatic experiences coupled with therapy for me to realise my true self-worth. I had to learn to turn my negative self talk into positive self talk. One example of that is when my husband and I lost everything, including our family home about 12 years ago, I realised that negative self talk was not going to serve me in that moment in time. It was not going to help us get out of one of the most difficult situations we had ever faced. This realisation triggered something in me that completely turned my thought process around and instead of thinking “I am not deserving”, I started to tell myself that “I am better than this”.

It’s such a shame that it took loss, including the loss of loved ones for me to realise that I was deserving of a better life and my new positive self-talk completely changed my life around. I know that I am capable of anything and everything I put my mind to. My mind is so powerful and nothing is unachievable. If I don’t know how to achieve something, I know I can go and learn how to do it.

The lesson here is that it is hard to accomplish good things in your life with a negative mindset. Say something kind to yourself and about yourself and see how life changing this can be. We are the person we talk to most throughout the day, so it is important to not let that voice play in the background like a bad radio station. That inner dialogue must be kind and we must learn to treat ourselves better in life. Those thoughts inform what you believe to be true and will directly influence your levels of success. It’s time for you to treat yourself as your best friend, not your worst enemy!

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith 38:03


It is time for you to go become CEO of your life, Take charge, be remarkable. Become that someone who is redefining their lives, who’s empowering other people, and spreading positivity. You can start today by finding what you truly desire. You need to stop getting distracted and develop purposeful habits to grow your mind, to refine your motivation, to keep yourself on the path you desire in life, choose to stay disciplined on your path of accomplishing your CEO life and not to be distracted by anyone or anything other than what is going to support you on your journey to success. This is your moment to become the CEO of your life.

Hey, I hope you enjoyed this episode have a voice and beyond. Now is an important time for all of us to spread positivity and empowerment in our singing voice community. It’s time for you to invest in your own self care, personal growth and education. use every day as an opportunity to learn and to grow. So you can show up for your students feeling energised, empowered, and ready to deliver your best. Be the best role model and mentor you can possibly be and watch your students thrive as you do. Thank you so much for listening to this episode. If you enjoyed it, please make sure to share it with a friend or a colleague who you think will be inspired by this, copy and paste the link and share it with the people you think will enjoy listening to this show. Please share it on social media and use the hashtag a voice and beyond. If you would like to help me please rate and review this podcast and cheer me on by clicking the subscribe button on Apple podcasts right now. I would love to know what it is you enjoyed the most about this episode. And what was the biggest takeaway for you? I promise you there are many episodes to follow as I’m committed to bringing you more inspiration and conversations just like this one. I’d like to finish up with my final thoughts. Remember that to sing is more than just learning how to use the voice as singers. Our whole body is the instrument and our bodies echo what we feel physically mentally and emotionally. So singing is not just about the voice. It’s about a voice and beyond. Please take care of yourself and I look forward to your company next time.