"What One Woman Experienced as a Start-up CEO"Being a leader, founder and CEO of a tech company with a non tech background has been an amazing journey. My startup company, PhotoPad for Business, challenges me through multiple roles, leading the tech team, making tough decisions, and always moving forward.

Keeping team focus is a main goal. Staying on top of deadlines, and making last minute difficult decisions, brings balance within the team. As a CEO, you make decisions that are not always favorable and the stress you feel from this and running your business requires the delicate balance of leading and motivating. Empowering your team and being beside them all the way is at the core of launching your startup!

What I have found in my role as CEO of PhotoPad for Business,

  • First and foremost, you are the visionary of your startup. You have the vision and idea, so it is you who will make it fail or succeed. Lead and keep the vision clear and on course by empowering the team to execute your plan.
  • As CEO of your Startup, you are the leader and have to make a decision, whether right or wrong. The decisions are uncomfortable but necessary for your next challenge. Failure or success is part of the decision making process. The more you accept this, the more you will grow. Move forward and review after.

A mentor once told me,

“You will learn from your decisions and that will give you new tools in your toolbox.”

  • Entrepreneurs can be perfectionists. Every decision may not have the outcome you expected.

Three things you need as a CEO startup of your business:

  1. A mentor that has been there. This mentor knows the experience and can help you navigate your own growth as a CEO and can appreciate your startup. This mentor is excited to see you grow, meet with you and wants to provide you with their experience and education. They initiate connections and introductions you need and will be present not only during tough times, but celebrate with you during the smallest milestones. Favorite quote by a mentor, “A death of an entrepreneur is isolation. Therefore, it is important to surround yourself with groups of colleagues and friends who can be supportive.”
  2. Join a CEO group. Share common ideas and visions as well as talk about issues that arise.
  3. Make your failures and fears your opportunity for growth. The most important quality you need as a CEO of your start up business is that you must laugh at yourself.

The book I recommend for every startup CEO to read is: ‘Jesus CEO –Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership’, by Laurie Beth Jones; ‘The 21 Refutable Laws of leadership’ by John C. Maxwell and Steven R. Covey and ‘Leading So People Will Follow’ by Erika Andersen

Diane Najm is an Entrepreneur CEO/Founder PhotoPad, Serves in the start-up community as a  Director of Founder Institute, Seattle, Mentor /Adviser .Through her work both as a Social Worker and entrepreneur, her  focus has been  to  elevate women and pave openings. She serves on various women  technology boards and is on the  Board of trustee Olive Crest. Diane’s compassion is advocating for the children of abuse. In 2012 she received the Ambassador to the Children Award –Community and 2012 Mom In Business Award.

You can find out about her company by visiting her website: www.photopad.co