Many people aspire to be CEOs. They want to call the shots, be in the important meetings, and, let’s be honest, have a large salary. Unfortunately, becoming a CEO isn’t always a direct path, and some people make it to the top of the mountain differently than others. Here are three steps you should take to get to the corner office.

Get a Degree or Consider Graduate School

You don’t have to have a degree to become a CEO, but getting a relevant degree, such as a business degree, can help you learn the ins and outs of a business. While there are people who believe you can learn just as much from online courses and articles as a traditional degree, a traditional degree allows students to become well-rounded and teaches on many different subjects within and outside of a major.

If you already have a business administration degree, then you might consider applying to graduate school to level up with a master’s degree in economics, management, etc. Traditional schooling can also lead to valuable connections with people you could become business partners with in the future.

A traditional degree might not seem like the quickest way to climb the executive ladder, but it gifts you with the skills, knowledge, and connections you need to become a CEO.

Take Care of Your Mental Health  

The entrepreneurial and hustle culture tells aspiring so-and-so’s to work double-digit hours seven days a week and to never have fun on the weekends. While discipline is important and you need a plan to stay on track, non-stop work is the fastest path to burnout.

Believe it or not, mental health is important and it’s an area that’s been neglected for far too long. Not everyone can work 10 or more hours a day. Some people can without reaching burnout, but not everyone, just like some people prefer cold showers in the morning and others can’t stand them.

If you’re stressed or burned out in the Big Apple, then we encourage you to see an anxiety therapist in NYC. Dumping more work and guilt on your problems isn’t going to lead to success. Receiving proper treatment is the answer, as is coming up with a sustainable plan that you can do for a long time. After all, beating yourself up overtaking a day off is only going to cause more stress and it could lead to worse production and quality.

It’s not uncommon for an entrepreneur to work 10 hours one day and not be able to work the next day because of depleted energy levels. The problem isn’t necessarily not being able to work the next day—it’s that combined with beating yourself up for not being able to work.

CEOs are known as hard-working people who don’t quit, but taking care of your mental health is an invaluable step along this rewarding journey.

Look for skill-building opportunities

Skill-building opportunities can crop up in high school, college, and beyond. These opportunities can be internships that give you on-job experience, study abroad programs, or getting involved in student government during high school.

Learning the skills of a CEO, such as decision-making, communication, and leadership skills, is non-negotiable if you know you want to become a CEO. Luckily, there are many opportunities that can help strengthen you in these areas and many others.

If you want to someday run a business, then you have to learn how to do so. These opportunities come in many forms—take the leap, leave your comfort zone, and expand your knowledge.

Becoming a CEO isn’t easy, but the three steps above can help you level up.