CEO vs. Worker Bee: The Two Modes of Productivity

Figuring out what you should be spending your time on is a lot of work. Then there is the whole “doing the work” part.

The distinction between these two modes, dubbed CEO and Worker Bee by our very own Chase Reeves, is an important mental barrier to create, especially for a solo bootstrapping founder.

In this video Chase details the difference between the two modes and how to integrate them into your day-to-day work schedule.

(If you don’t see the video above, you can view it on YouTube.)


Note from Caleb: We’ll be doing more video posts here at Fizzle. They’ll be short clips on things we use as a team or mention a bunch on the podcast, insights we hear from our longer Founder Stories inside Fizzle, and whatever else we find that will help support you by doing meaningful independent work.


A tension will be there between the two modes, but you need to turn pro in each of them. Spend the next year noticing the friction between the two modes.

Once you recognize these two modes you can know thyself.

  • Are you a morning person or a night person?
  • When is your brain really flowing?
  • When are you ready to tackle big ambitious issues?
  • When would you rather just have a list of things to do and screw caps on bottles?

Homework: Open up your calendar, look at your day tomorrow, and plan it according to these two modes: Planning Mode & Doing Mode.


Online entrepreneurs have two modes: CEO and Worker Bee. Both are essential to bring an idea to execution.
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One of the most common questions we hear from entrepreneurs: how do I get more stuff done? Why do I keep procrastinating!?

Productivity is about more than just how you organize your sticky notes (though, let’s be honest, that is pretty important) and in this Fizzle course Chase shares the essentials of productivity specifically for online business builders.

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What do you do during your day or week to separate your time spent planning and time spent cranking widgets?

Let us know in the comments below this post.

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  • http://www.kevinbradberry.net/ Kevin Bradberry

    Heads up! The “START THIS TWO-HOUR COURSE…” button links to the top of this page.

    • Caleb Wojcik

      Hey Kevin, looks like the link works on my end. Perhaps a refresh of the page on your end will fix the issue.

  • Preston Lee

    Great video and it’s fun to hear you guys talking about the “growth phase” that you’re entering now to get more people to try out Fizzle. This non-sleazy content marketing seems like a great way to do it. Good luck!

  • Doug Neill

    Love this concept. I added one more level – I separated Worker Bee from a new mode I’m calling Builder. Worker Bee hustles to keep to the publishing schedule. Builder is making the big things (that will ultimately provide income). I separated the two because sometimes I get caught up making the daily things and forget to make daily progress on the big things. Now I’m tracking my time, and making sure to get into Builder mode for an hour or two a day.

    • Caleb Wojcik

      Love that. Keeping the lights on vs….. installing more lights? ;)

  • http://www.successwithfocus.com/about/ Jeff Jones

    I feel the tension constantly. The problem that I have is when my plan requires more planning during execution which brings me to a grinding halt nearly always. Thanks for making this distinction. I wrote a post a little while back about confusing tasks with goals which speaks to the same premise. http://www.successwithfocus.com/confusing-tasks-with-goals/

  • http://100mba.net Omar Zenhom

    I can testify. Took the course and it single handedly improved my productivity by at least 300%. This course and its concepts are the most influencial work if seen online (and I been around online long enough to still call things like this a message board). Besides that, being a part of the Fizzle community has been a blast. Met some really great people doing amazing things. Got lots of love for Fizzle and the guys behind it.

    These guys make me proud.

    P.S. Very nice re-edit.

  • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

    The thing that has helped me is working in uninterrupted blocks of time. I like to plan things out the night before and focus the next day on what’s important.

  • http://unretrofied.com/ Chris Gonzales

    Why does it matter? Everything is a remix right?

  • Chase Reeves

    I wouldn’t assume this is a brand new concept. Doesn’t mean it ain’t fresh, though :)

Up Next:

How To Find Next Year’s Plan in Last Year’s Review (FS034)

In this episode we’ve got resources and tips for conducting an annual review and creating solid plans for next year. We’re all learning on our feet in this one and you get to hear us conduct some of our own annual review right in this episode.

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