From the top down: five proven practices for CEOs who want to inspire confidence and incite action

Over the course of running five companies, two of which hit in excess of $15 million in sales and Inc. 500/5000 status, you learn a few things. The following are five things I have learned that inspire confidence and incite action.
TIP #1.   You are either succeeding or you are learning. There is no failing. Go about business with the attitude that you cannot fail. Some things work, and some things don’t. Focus on what works, and learn from what doesn’t.
TIP #2.   Surround yourself with winners. Choose mentors for you and your team who have obtained the kind of success you want to achieve. Before I had even made my money, I gave stock in my company to people who I knew would guide me and lead my team. Hire people who are smarter than you.
I attribute the No. 1 reason for my success to the fact that I accept that I don’t know everything. I also work hard in not hiring people who are just like me. I use DiSC® personality tests to understand my employees and learn what makes them tick. I’m a “big picture guy” so I’m not good at details. Because of that, it’s important that I surround myself with analytical people who can balance my weaknesses with their strengths.
TIP #3.  Retain top talent. Turnover is costly in a business. Hire the best people you can and then figure out how to keep them. Studies show that money is not the No. 1 factor that keeps people at a job. How employees feel about the value of their contributions and how they are treated by their boss matters more.
Find out what motivates each individual person on your team and use that to drive them toward success. Stock programs or phantom stock programs are great ways to keep key talent. Bonus programs that spread payments out over time (and expire if you quit) can also keep people from making rash decisions to leave your company.
TIP #4.  Create a Company of Owners. Inspire an ownership mentality within your entire team.   Everyone should be focused on the same outcome as you. Profits. Goals. When you win, your entire team wins.
TIP #5.   Create a Culture of Fun. I host multiple five-day boot camps which my employees attend annually. It is fun because the entire team, including management, has an opportunity to connect outside of the office. Half of the seminar focuses on personal development, while the other half focuses on the company’s goals. During these events we focus on fulfilling six human needs:

  • Certainty. We develop a sense of purpose of our company.
  • Uncertainty. The event is always full of fun surprises.
  • Significance. We find ways to recognize each one of our team members for their individual accomplishments.
  • Connection. We bring the team together through unique experiences, and we all bond.
  • Growth.A major component of the seminar is focused on personal development. Contribution. Everyone teaches the rest of the team something they are good at.

These tips have helped me grow multiple multi-million dollar businesses, and they can help you too. A well balanced team provides you with employees who can take action and push the company forward and others who have the ability to make sure all the details are handled.
Charles Horton was a self-made millionaire by the age of 30, the CEO and founder of FastBucks® oversees more than 50 retail financial outlets across the country. His company has been recognized twice by Inc. 500/5000 as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in American. Establishing a second business in 2014, SecureVital is his latest venture, focused in cybersecurity. He also has another unique passion, teaching people to move beyond fears and obstacles through firewalking, as one of only nine Certified Master Firewalk Instructors in the world. 
Charles Horton’s first book Ignite the Secret: 19 Lessons for Business and Life  can be purchased here: For information on Charles Horton, visit For more information on Charles Horton’s Firewalking Institute of Research and Eduction (F.I.R.E.), please visit: