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Lead Your Team Personal Growth

8 CEOs Reveal What They Love (And Hate) About Their Jobs

8 CEOs Reveal What They Love (And Hate) About Their Jobs
Credit: Roobcio/Shutterstock

Ever wonder what it's really like to be the CEO of a company?

It may seem like getting to call yourself "chief executive officer" comes with all perks and no problems, but the truth is, being a CEO is just like any other job — the only difference is, you're responsible for an entire company. But like in any other position, there are rewarding moments, and there are challenges to face.

Business News Daily asked eight CEOs what they love and hate most about their jobs. Here's what they had to say.

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Keyes: My name is Whitney Keyes and I’m the CEO and founder of WK Productions. [It's] a strategic communications consulting firm based in Seattle, WA.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Keyes: After spending many years working in the corporate world of Microsoft, a government agency and a few places in between, I love the freedom I have as the CEO of my own company. I set my own schedule, define the strategies for the business, choose the types of clients and projects, etc. As a result, I’ve been able to do everything from jumping on opportunities like traveling to Africa and Asia to support the U.S. State Department in helping social entrepreneurs, to publishing my first book.

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Keyes: What I dislike most about my job — OK, actually hate! — are the day-to-day technology-related issues that need to be managed. For example, the company’s Web and email server recently crashed because the service provider's servers were hacked. My business doesn't have a dedicated IT manager or CIO/CTO at this time, so this wasted time and resources and tanked productivity for a bit. Just staying on top of emails, even with the help of an assistant, is tough. Some days I receive hundreds of daily emails. It goes against my core values to not instantly reply to everyone, but as CEO I've had to shift my priorities and some of my values as the company has grown.

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Wasserstrum: I'm the CEO of TheSquareFoot, which is a tech-fueled commercial real estate brokerage and listing aggregator based in NYC.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Wasserstrum: I love that, as CEO, I get to be involved in almost every aspect of the business, and at the same time I'm in charge of our big picture goals. Building out a company is a rewarding process, and I love seeing our growth and plans for the future. I love that I get to map out the trajectory of the company and look ahead to tomorrow's successes.

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Wasserstrum: Even though having the "CEO" title makes it sound like you're in charge, you're really in charge of trying to please everyone. As CEO I have to make sure we're all on the same page, our opinions are aligned, and we're moving in the same direction. It can be tough trying to get everyone to agree, and sometimes we have to give up our egos and personal beliefs to yield to what's best for all of us and the company. Of course, being a CEO is stressful. With a never-ending to-do list, I have to be always on and I'm never able to check out. There's no such thing as a real vacation, because even when I’m away, my phone is glued to my hand. [Going on Vacation? 5 Ways to Make a Clean Break ]

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Montgomery: My company is Three Girls Media Inc. We're a public relations and social media management agency that provides cost-effective solutions for small businesses. I'm the CEO-Chief Publicist and oversee our publicity team and all aspects of day-to-day operations of the company. 

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Montgomery: I love helping my clients grow and spread the word about their businesses. It's so rewarding to see other small companies take off due to the work we do. I also love mentoring my team of publicists. When I was coming up in my career I didn't have someone to look up to and teach me; I learned largely through trial and error. Now that I've run a successful company for 10 years I love being able to share my hard-earned wisdom with my staff. 

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Montgomery: I hate HR duties. Since we're a very small company we don't have a dedicated HR manager and responsibilities fall on me. I'm not a fan of the paperwork, hiring and firing, and other duties that typically fall under an HR manager's plate. I'm a very right brain, creative person and I find those tasks boring and tedious. 

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Mahadevan: As CEO of Punchh, I am responsible for overseeing all aspects of business operations and leading my team to success by driving deliverables, motivating staff and ensuring we are all on the same track towards our goals.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Mahadevan: The thing I love about my job is the team that I work with and being able to witness the dedication of our team to building a great product together. It is inspiring to be able to come in and see the passion and teamwork in fulfilling our customers' needs and helping them achieve their goals in the business by using what we've put our blood, sweat and tears into creating and perfecting." 

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Mahadevan: The one thing I dislike about being a CEO is the scheduling. Because of my position, my schedule is incredibly tight and busy and it is hard to make time in the day-to-day to bond with my team. This is why we have team-building and after-work events!"

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Zaikis: I'm the CEO of Sundara, an organization that runs soap recycling initiatives in India, Myanmar and Uganda. 

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Zaikis: I love knowing that I am creating something that didn't exist — and might not exist without me. It's a ton of pressure, but it keeps me motivated day in and day out. I love knowing that I am responsible for adding jobs and hiring new people [and] for giving people opportunities to support themselves and their families. It's such a rewarding feeling knowing that there are people on the payroll because you fought to get them there. 

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Zaikis: I hate that you can't ever leave your work at home. My job requires me to be available any time, especially since we work in three different time zones. Even when I'm on vacation, I have to check emails multiple times a day, so I can't ever turn my work mind off. [I also] hate that there's no one to complain to. In past jobs I've complained about my bosses for making unfair rules or poor business decisions. Now I can't be mad at anyone - just myself! 

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Ratliff: My name is Sarah Ratliff and I am the CEO of Coquí Content Marketing, LLC, a full service content marketing agency. We are a team of freelancers — not like herding cats, despite the reputation freelancers have earned — spread out all over the world.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Ratliff: I'm naturally a social person, which runs counter to being a freelancer and so interacting with my team members feeds my need for socialization. I spent over 20 years in corporate America. I loved the work, but I hated the politics. Being at the helm means I get to take all that I loved about corporate America and leave behind what I detested — office politics [and] drinking the corporate Kool-Aid in exchange for giving up my nights and weekends.

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Ratliff: Nobody will ever care about your company the way you do. It's just not possible. I have two people, maybe three (out of 23) who care deeply, but ultimately it all rests on me. I never had any illusions that I would be playing golf while my team runs the show — I hate golf, anyway — but I never imagined I'd work harder than I did when someone paid me a salary.  The flipside of that is I care deeply about all aspects of being a CEO. When we have slow times, it kills me that I can't give my team the same amount of work as when things are insane. 

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Miller: I'm the CEO of Peggy Jean's Pies. We bake pies and are on course to "world pie domination." I'm an attorney turned business owner and I'm simply in love with what I do now.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Miller: I never attend pointless meetings or waste a ton of time on projects that will never be finished or goals that will never be attained. If the things on my to-do list don't happen, I'm the one at fault for that. I know where I want this company to be, and I love that I am the one charting our course. I focus on what it means for my small company to grow and expand and I'm building a brand and an image, and that means something significant to me. 

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Miller: With all that comes the inability to step away from it all. Whether on vacation or at home or waiting on customers or whatever I'm doing, I'm never NOT thinking about [my company]. There is always the feeling I can do more and that is exhausting on occasion.

Business News Daily: What do you do?

Ortiz: I am the founder and CEO of the digital marketing company Geek Powered Studios in Austin, Texas. [We] help clients generate leads through SEO, PPC, improved website usability and conversion optimization.

BND: What do you love most about your job, and why?

Ortiz: In past jobs, I felt powerless to solve many problems that the organization was facing because I simply didn't have the authority. Now as CEO I have the ability to dedicate my heart, mind, and skills to whatever task I feel is the most important to the company.

BND: What do you hate most about your job, and why?

Ortiz: What I don't enjoy about [being a] CEO is the enormous amount of multitasking involved. You may be writing an important email and get pulled away to a situation that quickly needs your input. I also dislike that despite your efforts, anything that goes wrong will be your fault ultimately. 

Brittney Helmrich

Brittney M. Helmrich graduated from Drew University in 2012 with a B.A. in History and Creative Writing. She joined the Business News Daily team in 2014 after working as the editor-in-chief of an online college life and advice publication for two years. Follow Brittney on Twitter at @brittneyplz, or contact her by email.