Tradie to CEO | When is it the right time to get off the tools?

Tradie to CEO - When is the right time to get off the tools

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Tradie to CEO, are you ready for the transition? As a tradie business owner do you feel the harder you work the less profit you make and less time you have?

Getting off the tools to go from tradie to CEO of a company, allows you to drive innovation while creating more wealth for yourself and others. Several tradesmen have innate talent that they can effectively hone in order to become leaders in their organization but they never grow to that level. 

This article will show you why you should make changes to your business so you can move from tradie to CEO.

Get Off The Tools

If you like the work that you do, you can get caught up in individual projects, instead of doing the work necessary to help your business grow. If you find that you never have enough time to assess the direction in which your business is going and develop a strategy for expansion, you may be spending too much time working in the business instead of on it.

If you’re a tradie who has an apprentice to help you but you want to grow to another level, you can do it. Likewise, if you’re a tradie who is currently working in someone else’s business and you want to move up to the CEO role in that business, you can do it if you execute the right strategy.

Going from tradie to CEO means looking at your current mindset and working on a strategy to get there.

Transitioning To The CEO Mindset

To become a successful CEO, a tradie must sometimes change some aspects of the way they think about themselves. A highly skilled carpenter may sometimes just want to work on building great projects for his/her clients, but as a CEO, she has to do all the hard work of running a business, including overseeing the process of acquiring new customers. The problem is that being a carpenter is really hard physically. How long do you realistically think you can maintain that level of hard laborious work? Your back, knees or some other body part will eventually wear out. So you really need a plan to get off the tools.

Creating a strategy and steps to go from tradie to CEO will require a shift in tasks and responsibilities for your role. Some of those responsibilities can be a real challenge but you will have to take them on and do them well. 

As the CEO, your job is to steer your company in the direction in which it should grow. You should not personally take on the responsibility of completing every task. Hire qualified people who can ensure that the business acquires new customers, instead of trying to take on all the work of gaining new customers on your own.

You’ll have to always think of ways in which you can get off the tools and move to working on your business. When you’re on the tools, your time gets completely consumed by a number of activities that you don’t personally have to do. Learn to hire people who can do the work well or even outsource some of the tasks when necessary.

Sprint Ahead By Working On, Not In The Business

Many people think that you need to have an MBA in order to become a CEO but several studies have shown this is not so. Many of the men and women who go from tradie to CEO role in less than 24 years from their first job, do it by making solid career moves that push them to the top. Those career moves are often viewed more positively than qualifications such as MBAs, among people who pushed themselves to reach the top. These top CEO’s exhibited these characteristics:

These CEO’s usually follow one or more of the these strategies, which boosted their journey to the top:

First steps to go from Tradie to CEO

Taking Small Steps To Go Big

A tradie who wants to grow in the CEO role may sometimes have to move sideways in order to move ahead. They can start a new product or a new division in their company. They may also lead their team in taking on smaller jobs of a slightly different kind in order to take on new responsibilities and develop new skills. In every case, their aim is to build something from the ground up and make a huge impact.

Cautiously Making A Big Jump

Going from Tradie to CEO is taking a huge jump, after weighing the pros and cons of that leap, can carry you forward quickly. It’s better to do this early in your career as a carpenter or welder. However, you can still make your own luck if you decide to grow from tradie to CEO role after you’ve been working in the business for a while.

The key is to enthusiastically embrace challenges. Even if you’re not ready for the responsibilities, work hard to grow into them. Always say yes to greater possibilities, even if you’re not ready. Every new possibility gives you the opportunity to gain insight on a fresh set of functions and helps you to understand how to thrive in an uncertain environment.

Take on any opportunities that you are given and look for ways to open your own doors. You cannot wait on others to open doors for you and you’ll make more progress if your attitude is one of relying on your own skills and abilities to capitalize on opportunities. Lead your business in new projects that demonstrate and grow your skills.

Transforming Something That's in a Mess

If something that’s a big mess lands right in your lap, it’s an opportunity for you. You can prove your strength with a project that’s gone awry or a major client who is thinking of leaving your company. When your business has a major crisis or problem that has to be fixed fast, it’s your opportunity to get off the tools and lead the team through it.

Demonstrate your ability to calmly work on the business by assessing the crisis objectively and making excellent decisions under pressure. You should show that you can take calculated risks and rally others around you. You should also be able to persevere in the face of adversity, since no one wants a CEO who buckles at the first sign of trouble.


You can take your business to the next level. If you are ready to get started in the transition from tradie to CEO, we can help you get started.  If you’re interested in getting off the tools so that you can lead your business, you can start shifting your mindset today. Working on your business instead of in it will allow you to stop doing all the routine tasks yourself, making them into tasks that others can do, so you can grow in your leadership role.

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