The Crucial Difference Between Founder and CEO

May 2, 2022


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Nothing bad happens when women make more money. You hear that? There’s nothing wrong with a woman building a business that scales her income and impact, despite what society makes us feel about wealth and earning more money than our male counterparts. Suneera Madhani shouts it from the rooftops to remind women that aspirations as female founders are valid and absolutely possible.

We don’t often feature repeat guests on the Goal Digger Podcast, but when we do, you know it’s because these guests brought so much value the first time around that it would be a disservice if we didn’t welcome them back to the show for you! Suneera is back and we’re digging into one of my favorite acronyms… CEO. 

What’s the difference between a business owner or a founder and a CEO? How can you up-level your business and make more money, catapulting you into the 2% club with a million dollars in revenue? How can you overcome your fears of stepping into the leadership role you deserve to claim? We’re covering all of this and more with Suneera Madhani. 

The Founder Stage

Every entrepreneur starts in the founder stage of their business. “When you start your business, you are so passionate about the problem that you’re solving, the product that you’re building, the service that you’re offering,” Suneera continued, “And that is exactly what it takes to actually found a business, to be a founder, to create that product, to create that service, and to build something.”

As a founder, you are likely doing everything in the business yourself because that is what the business requires. It’s not a bad thing, that’s how your product or service gets better and evolves. Suneera explained that the founder stage is, “that stage of the entrepreneurship journey that we are getting started and we are validating that we actually have a business.”

The CEO Stage

“There comes a point where you have a business and you are wearing many hats and you’re looking to scale to the next to the next level,” Suneera continued, “You have to put your CEO hat on.”

This transition from founder to CEO is largely a mentality shift, Suneera told me. “As CEO, your job is now to sit on top of the organization to delegate, to be the visionary and to lead your team to do all the things so that your business can scale to the next level, because if you’re working in your business, then you cannot work on your business.”

“That journey of pulling yourself out of the business is actually going from founder to CEO,” Suneera explained.

Tired of the Gatekeeping

As Suneera transitioned from founder to CEO herself, she realized that the other CEOs around her were mostly old white men. She obsessed over a stat that said less than 2% of female founders ever break a million dollars in revenue. 

Suneera was tired of the gatekeeping that happened in her industry and with entrepreneurship in general, so she started CEO School to share what she’d learned from growing a business to a massive valuation and size.

The driving force for starting CEO School came from her own needs as she went from founder to CEO. She said, “Women need to be learning from other women, and I need to cultivate a group of women around me and bring in all my amazing friends.” That’s exactly what she did with CEO school.

Suneera walked me through the inception and evolution of CEO School. “I launched CEO school, the podcast, in 2020 during the pandemic. I had this amazing community of entrepreneurs and I was constantly answering business questions so I decided to turn my Instagram Lives into a podcast and it turned into this beautiful community.”

Introducing the CEO School Course

Over the last two years, the CEO School community has reached thousands of members learning from each other, no matter their phase of business. Now, CEO School the course launches in May!

“I invite everyone to this experience and I’m just so excited for it because this is 10 years of entrepreneurship and all the systems. It’s based on a six part formula. It starts with power. It starts with a pitch. It starts with people, it starts with process and profit, and just everything that the entrepreneur needs to actually hit the scale button.”

Want to learn more about the CEO School course and jump into more learning with Suneera and a massive community of women founders and CEOs? Join right now at

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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life).  One of my favorite places to be is here, sharing what I'm learning with you. I'm glad you're here!



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