When I started raising money, and it was just me and my cofounders, I had business cards that I gave to prospective investors and employees. My title was CEO.
No one looked at me funny.
No one pointed at me and laughed.
And no one thought I was nuts.
Here in the United States, the leader is called the CEO regardless of the size of your company.
It’s actually a really simple question when you think about calling yourself the CEO. You’re the leader of the company, aren’t you?
I’ve seen CEOs get in trouble when they are afraid to call themselves the CEO because they are afraid to upset their other cofounders. Don’t be.
For example, maybe you’ve heard something like, “We’re a team of equals. We don’t have a CEO.” Good luck with that one.
Your team is expecting you to take control.
Every team needs a leader. You will have problems with your team if you don’t take control. Now, I’m not suggesting that you become some sort of crazed egomaniac.
I am suggesting that you assume the role of the leader. And part of assuming the leadership role is calling yourself the CEO.
You will find your fears about looking foolish will go away over time.
You are the CEO! What else would you call yourself but CEO?
Any other title is going to make you look weak. The more you act like a CEO, talk like a CEO, and tell people you are the CEO, the easier and more comfortable you will become with being CEO.
Never feel guilty or ashamed that you are the CEO of a small company. Every successful founder CEO started out that way.
This story originally appeared on Quora.