CBNationI AM CEO PODCAST

IAM017 – Real Estate Investor and Serial Entrepreneur Juggles Multiple Interests & Ventures

CEO Chat Podcast Excerpt Interview with Lisa Song Sutton of Sin City Cupcakes, Ship Las Vegas & Miss Nevada 2014

Lisa Song Sutton, J.D., is a real estate investor and entrepreneur, holding ownership interests in several companies in the real estate, tech, retail and food & beverage industries, including Las Vegas' #1 alcohol-infused cupcake company: Sin City Cupcakes.

Lisa currently writes about entrepreneurship and business. Her work has been seen in Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Fast Company and other business publications. She is the youngest Asian-American affiliate owner of a Christie's International Real Estate brokerage. Lisa also sits on the executive boards for several companies including Gleaux Inc., formally BioGlow Tech, which has created the world’s first light emitting plant, and Youngry, an entrepreneurship media company.

In addition to her professional careers, Lisa is actively involved in her community as a former Miss Las Vegas (2013), Miss Nevada (2014) and serves on the executive board of the Asian Community Development Council. Lisa was named a 2017 Top 10 Social Entrepreneur to Watch by Inc. Magazine and selected as a Las Vegas hub Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum.

This is an excerpt from a full CEO Chat episode.

  • CEO Hack: Know your location and leverage relationships
  • CEO Nugget: Sense of confidence, there's never a good time
  • CEO ReDefined: A leader and helping to guide people

Website: www.lisasongsutton.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LisaSongSutton/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lisasongsutton
Instagram: http://instagram.com/lisasongsutton
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisasongsutton/

TRANSCRIPTION:

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Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:26

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast. And I have a very special guest on the show today and Lisa Song Sutton she is an American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and published author, and Lisa is involved in numerous ventures and numerous brands and numerous businesses specifically, she's known for Sin City Cupcakes. She's also involved in ship Las Vegas. And finally, she was Miss Nevada 2014. So this is going to be a little bit of a different type of podcast because this is going to be an excerpt from a longer interview that's going to publish later on our CEO chat podcast. But anyways, Lisa provided a tremendous amount of content, a tremendous amount of information. So enjoy this excerpt from our CEO chat podcast, and now going live on our I AM CEO podcast with Lisa Song Sutton.

Lisa Song Sutton 1:17

Hi, yes, I am

Gresham Harkless 1:19

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, I truly appreciate you taking some time out of your schedule to kind of speak with us. Tell us a little bit about you and your CEO story and your background. The first thing that I wanted to do was just kind of ask you, could you introduce yourself to us and tell us a little bit about yourself, and your background? And what led you to start all the different ventures that you have?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Lisa Song Sutton 1:36

Absolutely. So I have a bit of an unconventional background. I started out in the legal world, and I pursued degrees in political science and law. And so I didn't go you know, I guess a more traditional route of either just jumping right into business after high school, or, you know, studying entrepreneurship and business and marketing and all that stuff. I got a chance to really learn on the job. I modeled all during college and grad school. And so that was really the best hands-on way for me to learn about marketing and how to build a brand and represent a brand. And then fast forward, I moved to Las Vegas after graduation, I started working at a law firm, and really enjoyed my job. I worked with really great, fantastic smart people. And on a whim, one of my girlfriends, Danielle, who's my co-founder with Sin City Cupcakes, she and I were chatting on the phone and 2011 Hey, what do you be up to? And she told me she had been making these alcoholic cupcakes. And I was like, That is such a good idea. If I can find a way to bankroll this, would you be willing to move from Florida to Las Vegas, and she was like, I don't know. And then she moved. And she took a leap of faith and moved. And we started the company in 2012. And it's just been a blessing ever since.

Gresham Harkless 2:52

Awesome, awesome, awesome. You can't see me, but I'm licking my chops right now thinking about the cupcakes. But that sounds amazing. So did you find that it was easy or difficult to kind of transition from being an attorney to you know, having and starting these ventures?

Lisa Song Sutton 3:06

I was really lucky to work in a great firm that did business litigation, commercial real estate, wills and trusts, and business bankruptcy. And during that time here in Nevada from 2010 through 2013, which is when I was with the firm, that was a time that those industries those areas of law were booming, specifically business litigation and business bankruptcy because it was you know, ending up the recession was the back end of the recession. So it was a great place for me to basically build a do not do list, right? Because you've had so many really smart clients walking through the door. And you know, when you go to a law firm, it's just something's wrong, right? There's an issue that has to be fixed or addressed. And I discovered we had these really smart, capable people walking through the door. And I was just like, how did they get here? And you know, that's also when I realized this is the bankruptcy as a tool. It's a business tactic that's utilized as well. You know, just going through that experience, being kind of on the other side of the table of learning from them was one of the best things I could have done for the business.

Gresham Harkless 4:09

Yeah, that makes perfect sense to you know, it's funny, I don't feel like a lot of people will talk a lot about that. But even though you know, you don't want to say that sometimes. But a lot of times you've learned by seeing sometimes some of the mistakes that people make, so you can kind of avoid them and try to figure out exactly, you know what got them there. So you can kind of reverse engineer yourself so that, you know, I don't want to take those exact same steps so I don't end up in the same place.

Lisa Song Sutton 4:31

Exactly. Right.

Gresham Harkless 4:32

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So I guess could you tell us a little bit more about you know, Sin City cupcakes and any other ventures that you might have going on?

Lisa Song Sutton 4:39

Sure. Well, certainly, you know, with the cupcakes like I said, we started in 2012. And it's just been such a blessing to see it grow and how people enjoy our product. We get a chance to be part of people's special occasions and events. So whether it's birthday parties, bachelorette parties, special events, weddings, or anything in between, we get a chance to be part of that we just enjoy that so much. And then after we started Sin City Cupcakes, I just kind of got bit by the bug and realized there's just so much business opportunity here in Nevada here in Las Vegas, this is such a great place for business, we have no state income tax, no corporate tax, the state statutes are really strong and protective of business owners. And so it was just a no-brainer for me to go ahead and realize that I could partner up with other strong individuals and strong operational partners and start more companies.

Gresham Harkless 5:26

Awesome, awesome. And did you find so that it wasn't something where you were like, Okay, I want to start, you know, 10 different companies, it was the started out when you saw one opportunity, and then it just kind of you leverage that? And then you blossomed out to other different ventures?

Lisa Song Sutton 5:39

Yes, you know, so but the real estate, even, for example, was just simply realizing that we would have some law clients that would have real estate needs, and we were just referring that business out. And then I realized, you know, why do I have to refer it out, maybe there's a way that I could take this on myself, but also partner up with people who are full-time realtors full time in the industry, and then we could build a business from there. And so that's how that got started.

Gresham Harkless 6:07

Awesome, awesome, awesome. He seemed to like you've done a really great job with that. And being able to kind of identify partnerships are people that you can both kinds of have like a win-win situation, and you can both win and kind of build upon each other's probably strengths and weaknesses. So that you guys, you guys can both reach success.

Lisa Song Sutton 6:24

Yes, exactly. And that's, that's really key. You want to surround yourself with people who have more experience in whatever respective business that you're going into, and also just have more knowledge than you do.

Gresham Harkless 6:34

Right, right. That makes perfect sense. So I know you have you know, different things that you work on. But could you I guess, kind of maybe take us through, like, I guess an average way that you kind of help out your clients from maybe beginning to end and it could be, you know, the Sin City Cupcakes, or it might be the ship Las Vegas that I know, you're just watching as well.

Lisa Song Sutton 6:51

Yes, I we're so excited about ship Las Vegas. It's a mailbox rental pack and ship store based here in Las Vegas, you can find us at shiplasvegas.com. And yet, we literally just stopped opening that this week. So it's just it's been a whirlwind. But it's been so much fun.

Gresham Harkless 7:06

Congratulations.

Lisa Song Sutton 7:07

Thank you.

Gresham Harkless 7:09

So um, I guess what has been some of your biggest successes and some of your big wins as well, too, that you're most proud of?

Lisa Song Sutton 7:16

I think just the fact that you know, like I said, even with Sin City Cupcakes, you know, luckily, the feedback that we hear is that we've become a little bit of a household name. And people associate us with their good time that they have in Vegas. So when they're traveling to Vegas, they're coming for some sort of occasion, right? it's someone's birthday party, bachelorette party, special event, wedding, even a spur of the moment trip. That's a reason that people are coming to Vegas. And we're just so lucky that we get to be part of their special occasions. So for example, even this week, we're catering for the Derek Jeter's golf tournament up at shadow Creek, which is Stevens private golf course. They've been a client of ours for years. And prior to that when it was Michael Jordan's tournament, that's how we got started with them. And so it's just a wonder that people associate our brand with enjoying themselves and having a great time with friends and family.

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Gresham Harkless 8:01

Yeah, yeah. And then it seems like the perfect state in place to kind of do that to, to kind of launch something like that, where a lot of people go there, like you mentioned, you know, where they're celebrating something, or they're going there to kind of have a good time. And you're just kind of building upon that.

Lisa Song Sutton 8:14

Yes, exactly right. Because they're already coming, right? So I always tell people to, you know, if you're thinking about any sort of product or service that caters to tourists in any way, think about launching it in Las Vegas, because this is your perfect test market, right? People are already coming here. It's not like we started Sin City Cupcakes, you know, in the middle of some Midwest town, right? We don't have to convince you to come to Vegas, because you're already coming, all we have to do is get our product in front of you.

Gresham Harkless 8:41

Right, right. And it's funny, a lot of you know, entrepreneurs and business owners don't think about things like that. But I'm on the other side, I'm in the Washington, DC area. But it's funny because you get a lot of certain tourists that come here for a very specific reason, which is usually sicc all the museums and things like that. But when you're building a business, and you build it in and around that aspect of you know exactly why in the psychology of the people that are coming to where you're going, it can, you know, be a leg up as far as you be successful.

Lisa Song Sutton 9:08

Absolutely. And I think it's important to really identify different ways that you can help share knowledge and experience that you've encountered and that you've had to help others to.

Gresham Harkless 9:19

That makes perfect sense. Now, I know you mentioned obviously you've been very big on being able to identify people that have been you know, really great partners and people that you want to collaborate with what has been, you know, in who are some of the good partners that you're looking for and what have been kind of some of the maybe characteristics or things that you look for to say, hey, that person would be a good partner. How do you get to go through that? That thought process?

Lisa Song Sutton 9:44

Generally one of the first things I look for, obviously is the amount of knowledge and experience they have in whatever given industry that it is based certainly it has to be more than me. And then I also look at industry and kind of city reputation as well. Is this someone who's respected within the community as someone who is highly sought after to work together and collaborate within the community, and then you know, certainly the most important thing, of course, is whether this is someone that you personally want to work with, right as, as someone who you deem, subjectively obviously, as a, as a good person, someone who you know, puts family first and is going to be a hard worker and is willing to bring that work ethic to the table, and we'll be able to handle the types of stress that come in with owning and running a business because anything can happen.

Gresham Harkless 10:31

Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah, especially without stressful, you know, running a business can be to kind of understand, you know, how that person reacts to that certain stress, because some people might not be able to take or they may not take it well, whereas others were able to kind of blossom and kind of, you know, build upon that stress and thrive during that stressful situations.

Lisa Song Sutton 10:48

Yes, exactly. It's just just taking stock of right like, how do they handle stress? Are they someone who freezes and you know, the kind of like spirals down into like this, like negative energy, like, oh, everything's going wrong, and then there's no action plan to fix it? For me, when I encountered difficult situations, of course, like, does it make me nervous? Does it give me anxiety Like all those things? You know, it's all yes. But for me, I found that when I encounter a difficult situation, the first thing that my brain does is like, kind of reverse engineer it right. And you start looking at okay, like, what, how did this happen? And what can I do to fix it?

Gresham Harkless 11:23

Right? And that makes sense. And do you find like, I find, like, that's definitely one of those, I guess, CEO or entrepreneurial type of traits, where I guess generally speaking, you know, most, you know, CEOs and entrepreneurs, because you deal with maybe so much stress that you're able to kind of say that, okay, well, I don't have time to really wallow in self pity, or, or, you know, cry over spilled milk, so to speak, I have to figure out how to solve this problem.

Lisa Song Sutton 11:46

Correct. Exactly. Right.

Gresham Harkless 11:48

Now, another thing that we kind of asked is kind of like a CEO kind of golden nugget, so to speak. And I know that you have anybody that might be following you on social media and might see that you're always providing kind of tips and information on how to be a better entrepreneur or business owner. So I guess, could you give us maybe, you know, three or four, maybe things that you have seen that you feel are your kind of keys to be successful?

Lisa Song Sutton 12:10

Oh, wow. One of the main things that I see among other successful entrepreneurs is that they have this really wonderful innate sense of competence. And they wholeheartedly and 100% believe in whatever it is that they're working on. It's, it's wonderful to see because through that, like self love and self exploration, come self growth. And really, that's the only way that we're going to be able to, like grow in our businesses to is by advancing and growing ourselves as individuals. So having that sense of self competence, and just really believing that you have the capabilities to not only get the job done, but you also have the capabilities to seek out the information that you're going to need, right, like not all of us know, 100% of one of everything, and you don't know what you don't know, right? So we all possess the ability to seek out information and learn about what it is that we don't know. And so I think having that competence and knowing that about yourself is is the most important thing you can have.

Gresham Harkless 13:07

Yeah, I mean, I definitely would agree with that, you know, it makes sense, especially because if you're kind of like a voracious curious person, so to speak. I'm a voracious reader and a curious person, you're always going to be looking for more and more information, but in order to have the confidence in that, you to also know what lane that you stay in, what your strengths are, and maybe how to, like you've mentioned, and you've been able to do very, very well is understand like how other people can kind of complement what it is that you're doing. Not necessarily threatened, but build so that you guys want to reach a goal.

Lisa Song Sutton 13:36

Exactly. Right. I mean, and without that, you know, I think it's really hard because that's part of why people don't, you know, take on, take on this new venture or start a business or whatever it is, because there's always an excuse, right? There's always it's not enough. It's not a good time. I don't have enough money. I don't have the right people, you know, most importantly, always just hear like, it's not the right timing. It's not the right timing, but it's never gonna be perfect timing.

Gresham Harkless 14:00

Right. And it's never a good time to really start a business. But it's funny when I when I looked at a lot of the I was doing some research, like I graduated during the economic crisis, which was interesting, but I read a lot, you know, financially, and I saw that it was funny enough, a lot of the most successful fortune 500 companies were actually started during the economic crisis. So it's, it's funny that, you know, a lot of people say it's not the right time, but often some of the most successful businesses or people actually started during what are quote unquote, bad times. So what I wanted to ask for you very specifically, what do you think that being a CEO means to you? How would you define that?

Lisa Song Sutton 14:35

For me being a CEO means that you're a leader and that you are helping lead and guide a team of people because it can't be done with just me. I'm definitely not a one woman show. I have amazing partners. I have amazing operational staff that works hand in hand with me, and I absolutely would not be where I am today without all those other individuals. Collectively we make a team So if someone has a role that includes you know, cleaning up, you have to be willing to do that if it's necessary, and just lead by example.

Gresham Harkless 15:08

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, you know, I truly appreciate you again, for taking time out of your schedule, you said and given us so many great words of wisdom. What I wanted to do was just kind of asked you if there's anything additional, you want to let our readers and our listeners know. And then on the second part is if people want to get a hold of you, what's the best way for them to do that?

Lisa Song Sutton 15:27

Absolutely. Well, first, thank you so much for having me. Very much. Appreciate it. And yeah, I just want to encourage everyone to, you know, just give it a try, just do it. And you'll be shocked at the outcome because that's the very, very first step in anything is action, right? And you can find me on my website, at lisasongsutton.com, And also on all the social channels, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @lisasongsutton

Gresham Harkless 15:54

Awesome, awesome, awesome, well, thank you again, Lisa. And we'll make sure to have all those links in the show notes just in case anybody wants to click through and follow you or, or see all the great things that you're doing. But again, you know, appreciate you appreciate all the great things you're doing.

Lisa Song Sutton 16:07

Thank you so much. Have a wonderful day.

Outro 16:10

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless thank you for listening

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Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:26

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast. And I have very special guests on the show today and Lisa Song Sutton and she is an American entrepreneur, philanthropist and a published author and Lisa is involved in numerous ventures and numerous brands and numerous businesses and specifically, she's known for Sin City Cupcakes. She's also involved in ship Las Vegas. And finally, she was Miss Nevada 2014. So this is going to be a little bit of a different type of podcast because this is going to be an excerpt from a longer interview that's going to publish later on on our CEO chat podcast. But anyways, Lisa provided a tremendous amount of content, tremendous amount of information. So enjoy this excerpt from our CEO chat podcast, and now is going live on our I am co podcast with Lisa Song Sutton.

Lisa Song Sutton 1:17

Hi, yes, I am

Gresham Harkless 1:19

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, I truly appreciate you taking some time out of your schedule to kind of speak with us. Tell us a little bit about you and your CEO story and your background. The first thing that I wanted to do was just kind of ask you, could you introduce yourself to us tell us a little bit about you, your background? And what led you to start all the different ventures that you have?

Lisa Song Sutton 1:36

Absolutely. So I have a bit of an unconventional background. I started out in the legal world, and I pursued degrees in political science and in law. And so I didn't go you know, I guess a more traditional route of either just jumping right into business after high school, or, you know, studying entrepreneurship and business and marketing and all that stuff. I got a chance to really learn on the job. I modeled all during college and grad school. And so that was really the best hands on way for me to learn about marketing and how to build a brand and represent a brand. And then fast forward, I moved to Las Vegas after graduation, I started working at a law firm, and really enjoyed my job. I worked with really great, fantastic smart people. And on a whim, one of my girlfriends, and I Danielle, who's my co founder with Sin City Cupcakes, she and I were chatting on the phone and a 2011 Hey, what do you been up to? And she told me she had been making these alcohol cupcakes. And I was like, That is such a good idea. If I can find a way to bankroll this, would you be willing to move from Florida to Las Vegas, and she was like, I don't know. And then she moved. And she took a leap of faith and moved. And we started the company in 2012. And it's just been a blessing ever since.

Gresham Harkless 2:52

Awesome, awesome, awesome. You can't see me, but I'm licking my chops right now thinking about the cupcakes. But that sounds amazing. So did you find that it was easy or difficult to kind of transition from being an attorney to you know, having and starting these ventures.

Lisa Song Sutton 3:06

I was really lucky to work in a great firm that did business litigation, commercial real estate, wills and trusts and business bankruptcy. And during that time here in Nevada from 2010 through 2013, which is when I was with the firm, that was a time that those industries those areas of law were booming, specifically business litigation and business bankruptcy because it was you know, ending up the recession was the back end of the recession. So it was a great place for me to basically build a do not do list, right? Because you've had so many really smart clients walking through the door. And you know, when you go to a law firm, it's just something's wrong, right? There's an issue that has to be fixed or addressed. And I discovered we had these really smart, capable people walking through the door. And I was just like, how did they get here? And you know, that's also when I realized this is bankruptcy as a tool. It's a business tactic that's utilized as well. You know, just going through that experience, being kind of on the other side of the table of learning from them was one of the best things I could have done for business.

Gresham Harkless 4:09

Yeah, that makes perfect sense to you know, it's funny, I don't feel like a lot of people will talk a lot about that. But even though you know, you don't want to say that sometimes. But a lot of times you've learned by seeing sometimes some of the mistakes that people make, so you can kind of avoid them and try to figure out exactly, you know what, got them there. So you can kind of reverse engineer yourself so that, you know, I don't want to take those exact same steps so I don't end up in the same place.

Lisa Song Sutton 4:31

Exactly. Right.

Gresham Harkless 4:32

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So I guess could you tell us a little bit more about you know, Sin City cupcakes and any other ventures that you might have going on?

Lisa Song Sutton 4:39

Sure. Well, certainly, you know, with the cupcakes like I said, we started in 2012. And it's just been such a blessing to see it grow and how people enjoy our product. We get a chance to be part of people's special occasions and events. So whether it's birthday parties, bachelorette parties, special events, weddings, anything in between, we get a chance to be part of that we just enjoy that so much. And then after we started Sin City cupcakes cupcakes, I just kind of got bit by the bug and realized there's just so much business opportunity here in Nevada here in Las Vegas, this is such a great place for business, we have no state income tax, no corporate tax, the state statutes are really strong and protective of business owners. And so it was just a no brainer for me to to go ahead and realize that I could partner up with other strong individuals and strong operational partners and start more companies.

Gresham Harkless 5:26

Awesome, awesome. And did you find so that it wasn't something where you were like, Okay, I want to start, you know, 10 different companies, it was the started out when you saw one opportunity, and then it just kind of you leverage that. And then you blossomed out to other different ventures?

Lisa Song Sutton 5:39

Yes, you know, so but the real estate, even, for example, that was just simply realizing that we would have some law clients that would have real estate needs, and we were just referring that business out. And then I realized, you know, why do I have to refer it out, maybe there's a way that I could take this on myself, but also partner up with people who are full time realtors full time in the industry, and then we could build a business from there. And so that's how, that's how that got started.

Gresham Harkless 6:07

Awesome, awesome, awesome. He seemed like you've done a really great job with that. And being able to kind of identify partnerships are people that you can both kind of have like a win win situation, and you can both win and kind of build upon each other's probably strengths and weaknesses. So that you guys, you guys can both reach success.

Lisa Song Sutton 6:24

Yes, exactly. And that's, that's really key. You want to surround yourself with people who have more experience in whatever respective business that you're going into, and also just have more knowledge than you do.

Gresham Harkless 6:34

Right, right. That makes perfect sense. So I know you have you know, different things that you work on. But could you I guess, kind of maybe take us through, like, I guess an average way that you kind of help out your clients from maybe beginning to end and it could be, you know, the Sin City Cupcakes, or it might be the ship Las Vegas that I know, you're just watching as well.

Lisa Song Sutton 6:51

Yes, I we're so excited about ship Las Vegas. It's a mailbox rental pack and ship store based here in Las Vegas, you can find us at shiplasvegas.com. And yet, we literally just stopped open that this week. So it's just it's been a whirlwind. But it's been so much fun.

Gresham Harkless 7:06

Congratulations.

Lisa Song Sutton 7:07

Thank you.

Gresham Harkless 7:09

So um, I guess what have been some of the your your biggest successes and some of your big wins as well, too, that you're most proud of?

Lisa Song Sutton 7:16

I think just the fact that you know, like I said, even with Sin City Cupcakes, you know, luckily, the feedback that we hear is that we've become a little bit of a household name. And people associate us with their good time that they have in Vegas. So when they're traveling to Vegas, they're coming for some sort of occasion, right? it's someone's birthday party, bachelorette party, special event, wedding, even a spur of the moment trip. That's a reason that people are coming to Vegas. And we're just so lucky that we get to be part of their special occasions. So for example, even this week, we're catering for the Derek Jeter's golf tournament up at shadow Creek, which is Stevens private golf course. They've been a client of ours for years. And prior to that when it was Michael Jordan's tournament, that's how we got started with them. And so it's just a wonderful that that people associate our brand with enjoying themselves and having a great time with friends and family.

Gresham Harkless 8:01

Yeah, yeah. And then it seems like the perfect state in place to kind of do that to, to kind of launch something like that, where a lot of people go there, like you mentioned, you know, where they're celebrating something, or they're going there to kind of have a good time. And you're just kind of building upon that.

Lisa Song Sutton 8:14

Yes, exactly right. Because they're already coming, right. So I always tell people to, you know, if you're thinking about any sort of product or service that caters to tourists in any way, think about launching it in Las Vegas, because this is your perfect test market, right? People are already coming here. It's not like we started Sin City Cupcakes, you know, in the middle of some Midwest town, right? We don't have to convince you to come to Vegas, because you're already coming, all we have to do is get our product in front of you.

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Gresham Harkless 8:41

Right, right. And it's funny, a lot of you know, entrepreneurs and business owners don't think about things like that. But I'm on the other side, I'm in the Washington, DC area. But it's funny because you get a lot of certain tourists that come here for a very specific reason, which is usually sicc all the museums and things like that. But when you're building a business, and you build it in and around that aspect of you know exactly why in the psychology of the people that are coming to where you're going, it can, you know, be a leg up as far as you be successful.

Lisa Song Sutton 9:08

Absolutely. And I think it's important to really identify different ways that you can help share knowledge and experience that you've encountered and that you've had to help others to

Gresham Harkless 9:19

That makes perfect sense. It makes perfect sense. Now, I know you mentioned obviously you've been very big on being able to identify people that have been you know, really great partners and people that you want to collaborate with what have been, you know, in who are some of the good partners that you're looking for and what have been kind of some of the maybe characteristics or things that you look for to say, hey, that person would be a good partner. How do you got to go through that? That thought process?

Lisa Song Sutton 9:44

I generally the one of the first things I look for, obviously is the amount of knowledge and experience they have in whatever given industry that it is based certainly it has to be more than me. And then I also look at industry and kind of city reputation as well. Is this someone who's respected within the community as as someone who is highly sought after to work together and collaborate with in the community, and then you know, certainly the the most important thing, of course, is whether this is someone that you personally want to work with, right as, as someone who you deem, subjectively obviously, as a, as a good person, someone who you know, puts family first and is going to be a hard worker and is willing to bring that work ethic to the table, and we'll be able to handle the types of stress that come in with owning and running a business because anything can happen.

Gresham Harkless 10:31

Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah, especially without stressful, you know, running a business can be to kind of understand, you know, how that person reacts to that certain stress, because some people might not be able to take or they may not take it well, whereas others were able to kind of blossom and kind of, you know, build upon that stress and thrive during that stressful situations.

Lisa Song Sutton 10:48

Yes, exactly. It's just just taking stock of right like, how do they handle stress? Are they someone who freezes and you know, the kind of like spirals down into like this, like negative energy, like, oh, everything's going wrong, and then there's no action plan to fix it. For me, when I encountered difficult situations, of course, like, does it make me nervous? Does it give me anxiety Like all those things? You know, it's all yes. But for me, I found that when I encounter a difficult situation, the first thing that my brain does is like, kind of reverse engineer it right. And you start looking at okay, like, what, how did this happen? And what can I do to fix it?

Gresham Harkless 11:23

Right? And that makes sense. And do you find like, I find, like, that's definitely one of those, I guess, CEO or entrepreneurial type of traits, where I guess generally speaking, you know, most, you know, CEOs and entrepreneurs, because you deal with maybe so much stress that you're able to kind of say that, okay, well, I don't have time to really wallow in self pity, or, or, you know, cry over spilled milk, so to speak, I have to figure out how to solve this problem.

Lisa Song Sutton 11:46

Correct. Exactly. Right.

Gresham Harkless 11:48

Now, another thing that we kind of asked is kind of like a CEO kind of golden nugget, so to speak. And I know that you have anybody that might be following you on social media might see that you're always providing kind of tips and information on how to be like a better entrepreneur or business owner. So I guess, could you give us maybe, you know, three or four, maybe things that you have seen that you feel like are your kind of keys to be successful?

Lisa Song Sutton 12:10

Oh, wow. One of the main things that I see among other successful entrepreneurs is that they have this really wonderful innate sense of competence. And they wholeheartedly 100% believe in whatever it is that they're working on. It's, it's wonderful to see because through that, like self love and self exploration, come self growth. And really, that's the only way that we're going to be able to, like grow in our businesses to is by advancing and growing ourselves as individuals. So having that sense of self competence, and just really believing that you have the capabilities to not only get the job done, but you also have the capabilities to seek out the information that you're going to need, right, like not all of us know, 100% of one of everything, and you don't know what you don't know, right? So we all possess the ability to seek out information and learn about what it is that we don't know. And so I think having that competence and knowing that about yourself is is the most important thing you can have.

Gresham Harkless 13:07

Yeah, I mean, I definitely would agree with that, you know, it makes sense, especially because if you're kind of like a voracious curious person, so to speak. I'm a voracious reader and a curious person, you're always going to be looking for more and more information, but in order to have the confidence in that, you to also know what lane that you stay in, what your strengths are, and maybe how to, like you've mentioned, and you've been able to do very, very well is understand like how other people can kind of complement what it is that you're doing. Not necessarily threatened, but build so that you guys want to reach a goal.

Lisa Song Sutton 13:36

Exactly. Right. I mean, and without that, you know, I think it's really hard because that's part of why people don't, you know, take on, take on this new venture or start a business or whatever it is, because there's always an excuse, right? There's always it's not enough. It's not a good time. I don't have enough money. I don't have the right people, you know, most importantly, always just hear like, it's not the right timing. It's not the right timing, but it's never gonna be perfect timing.

Gresham Harkless 14:00

Right. And it's never a good time to really start a business. But it's funny when I when I looked at a lot of the I was doing some research, like I graduated during the economic crisis, which was interesting, but I read a lot, you know, financially, and I saw that it was funny enough, a lot of the most successful fortune 500 companies were actually started during the economic crisis. So it's, it's funny that, you know, a lot of people say it's not the right time, but often some of the most successful businesses or people actually started during what are quote unquote, bad times. So what I wanted to ask for you very specifically, what do you think that being a CEO means to you? How would you define that?

Lisa Song Sutton 14:35

For me being a CEO means that you're a leader and that you are helping lead and guide a team of people because it can't be done with just me. I'm definitely not a one woman show. I have amazing partners. I have amazing operational staff that works hand in hand with me, and I absolutely would not be where I am today without all those other individuals. Collectively we make a team So if someone has a role that includes you know, cleaning up, you have to be willing to do that if it's necessary, and just lead lead by example.

Gresham Harkless 15:08

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, you know, I truly appreciate you again, for taking time out of your schedule, you said and given us so many great words of wisdom. What I wanted to do was just kind of asked you if there's anything additional, you want to let our readers and our listeners know. And then on the second part is if people want to get a hold of you, what's the best way for them to do that?

Lisa Song Sutton 15:27

Absolutely. Well, first, thank you so much for having me. Very much. Appreciate it. And yeah, I just want to encourage everyone to, you know, just give it a try, just do it. And you'll be shocked at the outcome because that's the very, very first step in anything is is action, right? And you can find me on my website, at lisasongsutton.com And also on all the social channels, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @lisasongsutton

Gresham Harkless 15:54

Awesome, awesome, awesome, well, thank you again, Lisa. And we'll make sure to have all those links in the show notes just in case anybody wants to click through and follow you or, or see all the great things that you're doing. But again, you know, appreciate you appreciate all the great things you're doing.

Lisa Song Sutton 16:07

Thank you so much. Have a wonderful day.

Outro 16:10

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless thank you for listening

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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