I AM CEO PODCAST

IAM123- Results-Driven Performance Coach and Consultant Helps People Achieve More Happiness, Fulfillment and Success

Podcast Interview with Tracy Kennedy

As a results-driven coach and consultant, Tracy partners with individuals to help them achieve greater levels of happiness, fulfillment, and success – personally and professionally. More specifically, she's a performance coach with a background in leadership and team development, peak performance, personal and professional growth, and helping others discover what’s next for them.

Over the last twenty years, she’s worked in many roles: executive coach, consultant, facilitator, trainer, product development, and leader. She’s had the opportunity to work with thousands of individuals, teams, and organizations across a wide variety of roles and industries. From running education centers for kids to defining and executing business strategies in small businesses to building content, products, and technology that have been implemented and used in Fortune 500 companies.

She's incorporated everything she's learned along the way into an approach that uses a range of techniques, methodologies, and wellness practices – designed to help people figure out their next step and fast-track them to where they want to be. Along with her individual coaching practice, she can also be found advising businesses on their next steps, writing blogs and articles (she's Lifehack's personal development expert), building courses and curriculum (her latest online course is “5 Steps to Discover Your Next”, and running training events in the areas of personal and professional development.

  • CEO Hack: My mastermind group and Instinctive Drive tool
  • CEO Nugget: Know and be true to thyself. Trust your guts
  • CEO Defined: Leadership in your organization and beyond.

Website: https://www.tracykennedy.com/

Linked-In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracykennedy4728/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tracykennedycoaching 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tracykennedycoaching/
Additional Website: https://www.discoveryournext.com/
Lifehack Contributor: https://www.lifehack.org/author/tracy-kennedy


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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 the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:27

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I've Tracy Kennedy of Kennedy Coaching and Consulting. Tracy, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Tracy Kennedy 0:37

Thanks so much for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:38

I'm excited to have you as well. And what I want to do, is read a little bit more about Tracy, so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And as a results-driven coaching consultant, Tracy partners with individuals to help them achieve greater levels of happiness, fulfillment, and success personally and professionally. More specifically, she's a performance coach with a background in leadership and team development, peak performance, personal and professional growth, growth and helping others discover what's next for them. Over the last year she's worked in many roles executive coach, consultant, facilitator, trainer, product development, and leader she has had the opportunity to work with 1000s of individuals, teams, and organizations across a wide variety of roles and industries, from running educational centers for kids to defining and executing business strategy and small businesses to building content products and technology, which has been implemented in use in Fortune 500 companies.

She's incorporated everything she's learned along the way into an approach that uses a range of technologies, methodologies, and wellness practices designed to help people figure out their next steps and fast-track them to where they want to be. Along with her individual coaching practice. She can also be found advising businesses on their next steps and writing blogs and articles. She's life hacks, a personal development expert, building courses and curriculum, her latest online courses, five steps to discovering your next, and running training events in the areas of personal and professional development. Tracy, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Tracy Kennedy 0:39

I'm ready, thank you.

Gresham Harkless 0:54

No problem, no problem. And what I wanted to do was just hear I guess a little bit more about your CEO story and what led you to start your business.

Tracy Kennedy 2:12

Awesome, thank you. So, I spent as you can probably hear from my bio, I've spent the last 20 years working in a bunch of different industries for a bunch of different companies. And every role that I was in, I was really passionate about the mission of the company and the service we were providing. And in most cases, I really enjoyed what I was doing. But I always felt like I was growing somebody else's business. Well, in fact, I was great at somebody else's business in most cases. But the type of person I am, I worked really long hours, I worked really hard. And I lived with the stress as if it was my own business. But in most cases, it wasn't.

And I think that hit me really hard at one point in my career when I was the co-founder of a company. So the consulting company I was working for at the time, had spun off to build a technology business. And I was the co-founder of that technology business. And I remember sitting in a strategy meeting, and there was a big discrepancy between how I thought we should move forward with the strategy of the business and the roles we would all play, and how my partner thought we should move forward. And at the time, he was the majority shareholder and the CEO, and, of course, had more of a guess, say and how that things were gonna move forward. At the time thinking, Okay, it's time for me to move on. It's time for me to move on and move on to build something of my own.

So I remember stepping back and I was standing at this crossroads going, what am I going to do next with my life? Am I going to work for another company? Am I going to a leadership position? Am I going to start my own thing, I was sitting there trying to figure out what to do next. Now, at the same time, I'm also the full-time mom to three beautiful girls who are and will always be my number one priority. So in terms of my life, my family, and my kids come first. And I realized at that point, okay, if that's the way I want to live my life, then I'm gonna have to build something for myself.

So I still wanted to be part of a mission-driven company. But I wanted to be more in control of how I spent my time to take some of that pressure off. And when the pressure was on, I was reaping the benefits of that pressure. So about two years ago, I started my own coaching and consulting business, as you mentioned. So that's what I'm doing right now.

Gresham Harkless 4:21

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Obviously sorry to hear how everything happened. But sometimes those things that happen kind of redirect you towards the path, maybe you wanted to go anyways, it just kind of accelerates that path towards that.

Tracy Kennedy 4:33

Absolutely. And we're still great friends. I'm still very close with the company. I'm still very close with the founder. So I'm very close to everyone. It was the right move for everyone at the time.

Gresham Harkless 4:41

Yeah, absolutely. When you get that kind of win, win situation, it's always a great thing to happen. So now I wanted to ask you how exactly you serve the clients. Can you delve a little bit deeper into how you're supporting the clients you're working with?

Tracy Kennedy 4:53

Sure. So as you mentioned, I'm a coach and consultant and a trainer facilitator and my kind of mission is to help people be happier, more successful, and more fulfilled personally and professionally. It's my mission is really about helping people live a life they love. So there are probably three ways I do that. So number one, I have my private coaching practice where I work one-to-one with clients on everything from leadership development, executive coaching, health and wellness, and probably most commonly helping people figure out what they're doing next with their lives. You know, just as I was at that crossroads, I've kind of created the system to help others figure out what they want to do when they're at that crossroads trying to figure out what do I do next. The second way is product and content development.

So I'm a writer, and I like to share the lessons I've learned. Words of wisdom, the positivity as best I can. So as you mentioned, I'm the personal development expert for the life hack website, so I write a lot of articles for them. I also post a lot of content and thoughts. I like Instagram because it's short snippy bites. So I have a lot of content on Instagram on a daily basis where I'm posting thoughts and what have you. And I build courses. So I've spent a lot of my career building courses, training, and development. And I kind of translated that over into my business where I've supported other people to build their courses. But I've also just, as you mentioned, launched my own course, which is about 5 steps to Discover Your Next.

And so I support people online through products and content development. So that's the second way. And the third way is I do leadership and team development consulting work. So I go into organizations to help their leaders understand themselves better, help them understand the culture of the team, how to understand work, communicate, and collaborate more effectively together. So that's kind of the three areas of my private coaching practice my product and content development and the leadership and team development consulting work.

Gresham Harkless 6:35

I love that. And I love it because it has the opportunity to kind of touch on it connect with people in a lot of different ways and resonate with them. So whether it could be somebody who is thinking about what that next step should be, it's going to be you know, you have your courses, you have the content that you're creating, and then you also can go on-site and kind of help out these organizations that actually need professional and personal leadership development.

Tracy Kennedy 6:55

Yeah, thank you. It's interesting, because of the product and content I'm really excited about it because coaching is not cheap, to get a private, you know, an executive coach or a life coach. And so I love this idea that those philosophies and processes and insights can be shared with everybody in a way that's very easily accessible,

Gresham Harkless 7:14

Exactly, reach a lot more people at the same time, which is, of course, definitely important. So now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be what you feel kind of distinguishes you or set you apart.

Tracy Kennedy 7:25

So, it's interesting. I think my secret sauce is probably more about my motivation than it is about what I do. But I can share both. So the drive behind why I do what I do is deep. I don't know if you know the statistics, but it really saddens me. So the latest Gallup poll shows that 85% of people worldwide basically hate their jobs, right? You know, 77% of people, Americans especially experienced regular physical and emotional symptoms of stress, and 40% experienced persistent stress or excessive anxiety.

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So I'm like, What the heck, so many of us are stressed out, overwhelmed, unhappy. And I think probably my USP is more about that drive and motivation to help people get out from under that state to find a better way to learn more about themselves so that they can understand what they need to thrive and be at their best. It is regardless of what role or relationship they're in. And so it's probably more of my drive about why I do what I do. And the fact that because of that, I always start with the individual person, I really believe that self-awareness and a little soul-searching are essential for our success and our happiness.

Gresham Harkless 8:01

That makes a lot of times you have the opportunity to kind of go through finding out exactly what role you want to play, you are able to kind of reach back and also help out so many other people. So it kind of sounds like you had that exact same experience.

Tracy Kennedy 8:41

Yeah. And I've been there. So maybe that's part of my Yes, I've been there many times in my career, when I changed jobs or changed roles and gone, what am I going to do now? Where am I? Who am I? What do I want for this next stage in my life?

Gresham Harkless 8:53

Absolutely. And now I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this might be an app or book or a habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Tracy Kennedy 9:03

Okay, can I give you two? Okay, I'm gonna give you two. So one, I would say is kind of my mastermind group. So when I went off on my own a couple of years ago, I hooked up with three other women in varying stages of running businesses and building their own businesses. And we meet weekly to discuss our challenges and coach each other and provide support and encouragement. And I swear that has been such a huge blessing to me. I know my business wouldn't be where it is without the help of those women. And without those times and those calls, I know, they would say likewise.

So I just think this idea of having a support group around you finding your group and it doesn't have to be YPO or some established organization, you can find three people who are at similar stages in their business but have different skills and really leverage the strengths and learn and grow and support each other.

So I would say that's been a huge kind of hack for me that has changed the way I run my business and has really allowed me to move forward, especially as a sole entrepreneur it can get lonely sometimes it's been really helpful. The second one is actually my favorite resource of all time. It's called the Instinctive Drive. It's a profiling tool. So if you've ever taken any assessment tool with your organization, I don't know Gresh, if you've taken you know, Myers Briggs, or disc, or any of those ones, at any point in your career,

Gresham Harkless 10:18

Yeah, took some of those I have not taken. I have not heard of this one, though. So I'm excited.

Tracy Kennedy 10:22

Yeah, it's probably like the I, whenever I'm in front of groups, I'm like, it's the best-known secret and everybody needs to know about it because basically, the instinct of drives instead of talking about your personality, or behavior or your actions, it helps people understand what they need to be at their best. So this idea that we all have a natural way of operating, that when we operate in line with that we're more successful and happy and fulfilled. So you talk, you hear athletes talk about being in the zone, or you talk about hearing people talking about being in the flow. And that really is what this tool identifies.

So it's essentially your personal success code, your blueprint for success. And I use it for myself personally, on a day-to-day basis, when I'm feeling stressed out or overwhelmed or frustrated. It's like, okay, what do I need here? What's missing? I use it to leverage my talents and mitigate kind of my blind spots. Okay, who do I need to hire this out to? Because it's not my strength, or it's really going to pull me off track or stress me out. I use it with all my clients because it accelerates our work together. You know, the minute I know, their Instinctive Drives, which is short for ID, or ID is short for Instinctive Drive, the minute I know that I know, okay, here's what they mean, when they say that, here's what's going to accelerate their development when there's somebody who really needs a plan here, or there's somebody who needs a crystal clear picture before they can move forward. Or there's somebody who's going to be really hard on themselves, how do I help them manage that? Or there's somebody who's going to be averse to risk? How do we mitigate that, so I use it with all my clients. And it's the basis of all the work I do in my leadership and team development. So it's not as well known as it should be. But the insights and strategies it gives people are pretty incredible.

Gresham Harkless 11:55

We'll definitely have one extra person that's going to check that out. Because I'm definitely going to make sure to check that out. Because, like he talked about self-awareness, being able to understand like, what your strengths are, what you do best, and being able to understand yourself first. So you understand like what person like you said, the partner with or to bring onto your team and kind of puts all that in motion, which I kind of have to understand that so first.

Tracy Kennedy 12:14

Yes. And that's the thing, isn't it? That's like from ancient philosophers, and all said, you know, know thyself to thine own self be true. You have Shakespeare, you have Lao Tzu from long ago about knowing yourself is true wisdom. So I do believe that's a huge piece of our success.

Gresham Harkless 12:30

Definitely, definitely. Now, I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this is a word of wisdom or piece of advice. Or if you can happen to be a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Tracy Kennedy 12:40

That's a great one. It's probably exactly what we've been speaking to, that ancient philosophers and, you know, have talked about throughout time is to know thyself, and to be true to yourself, to follow your instinct to trust your gut, to be authentic. So I think as you throughout our careers, we go to training that says, Oh, if you're going to be the best leader, here's the way you should lead. Or if you're going to be better at time management, here's what you should do. Or if you're going to start your business, here's how you should do it.

And there's a lot of shoulds. And while the processes and systems I think are really helpful, there's a piece about knowing yourself and being true to that self that I find when we go off track from that people aren't as successful. So I think for all entrepreneurs and business owners, it's really getting a clear sense of self, what are your strengths that you can leverage? What are your vulnerabilities and pitfalls where as you said, partner, bring somebody else in?

And being true to yourself within that, because what I've seen over working with so many clients in my career is that the more people get off track with who they are, the more stressed out they become, and they're not more effective. And the more they understand themselves and are in line with that, the more productive they are.

So I'd say be true to you. But also, follow your instinct, trust your gut, there's going to be times in your career where everyone's gonna say, go left, and you're just like, Oh, I just know I should go right. And I can't explain it. But I think those are the times I can't tell you how many people I've spoken to including myself that have said, I wish I had listened to my instincts on that. I wish I had listened to my gut.

Gresham Harkless 14:09

Exactly, the whole entire time. So just stay true to that. Definitely a good reminder for me as well. So now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different, quote-unquote, CEOs on this show. But I wanted to ask you, Tracy, what does being a CEO means to you?

Tracy Kennedy 14:24

Wow. So to me, it's about service. So it's about service, leadership, and people and making a difference in the world. So I think as a CEO, it's the responsibility to know your goals and your mission and your underlying values and purpose and philosophies and stay true to those to achieve the goals of both the organization and helping as many people along the way as possible. So it's really to me about leadership, but not just within an organization but how that impacts, further out the ripple effect.

Gresham Harkless 14:51

Absolutely. Tracy, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule. What I want to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you want to add readers and our listeners know how they can find your latest course. And then also how best they can get a hold of you.

Tracy Kennedy 15:04

Awesome. So absolutely. So in terms of finding out anything else that we've talked about, whether it be the Instinctive Drive, or my 5 steps course, www.tracykennedy.com. So pretty simple. Just go to my website, and you'll be able to find all that information. You can also go to discoveryournext.com. And that has a free workbook that you can actually download with the 5 steps to Discover Your Next.

So if you're not sure you want to dive into a course but you're at some crossroads in your life, and you're kind of trying to figure out what's the next step personally or professionally, this guide is awesome. It walks you through the 5 steps that I've learned, I've really helped people along the way to discover their next step, so you can get your free guide there. The instinctive drives is awesome, you can reach out to me personally, if you'd like to take that I can actually get that out. Gresh, I'll get you one too. But yeah, tracykennedy.com, or discoveryournext.com. I would love for people to check out my course. It's pretty fantastic. I'm excited about it.

Gresham Harkless 15:57

Yeah, definitely, definitely. We'll have those links in the show notes just so that anybody can follow along with you. But Tracy, thank you so much for all the awesome things that you're doing and staying true to yourself and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Tracy Kennedy 16:08

Thank you so much. Thank you for having me. And I hope this is helpful for people to know that there's a better way we can all we don't have to be so stressed and overwhelmed. You know taking a step back and just figuring out where we want to go next can be really the first step forward for many of us.

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Outro 16:23

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.

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 the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:27

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I've Tracy Kennedy of Kennedy Coaching and Consulting. Tracy, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Tracy Kennedy 0:37

Thanks so much for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:38

I'm excited to have you as well. And what I want to do, which is read a little bit more about Tracy, so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And as a results driven coaching consultant Tracy partners with individuals to help them achieve greater levels of happiness, fulfillment and success personally and professionally. More specifically, she's a performance coach with a background in leadership and team development, peak performance, personal and professional growth, growth and helping others discover what's next for them. Over the last one a year she's worked in many roles executive coach, consultant, facilitator, trainer, product development and leader she has had the opportunity to work with 1000s of individuals, teams and organizations across a wide variety of roles and industries, from running educational centers for kids to defining and executing business strategy and small businesses to building content products and technology, which has been implemented in use in Fortune 500 companies. She's incorporated everything she's learned along the way into an approach that uses a range of technologies, methodologies, and wellness practices designed to help people figure out their next steps and fast track them to where they want to be. Along with her individual coaching practice. She can also be found advising businesses on their next steps, writing blogs and articles. She's life hacks, personal development expert, building courses and curriculum, her latest online courses, five steps to discover your next and running training events in the areas of personal and professional development. Tracy, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Tracy Kennedy 0:39

I'm ready, thank you.

Gresham Harkless 0:54

No problem, no problem. And what I wanted to do was just hear I guess a little bit more about your CEO story and what led you to start your business?

Tracy Kennedy 2:12

Awesome, thank you. So, I spent as you can probably hear from my bio, I've spent the last 20 years working in a bunch of different industries for a bunch of different companies. And every role that I was in, I was really passionate about the mission of the company and the service we were providing. And in most cases, I really enjoyed what I was doing. But I always felt like I was growing somebody else's business. Well, in fact, I was great at somebody else's business in most cases. But the type of person I am, I worked really long hours, I worked really hard. And I lived with the stress as if it was my own business. But in most cases it wasn't. And I think that hit me really hard at one point in my career where I was the co-founder of a company. So the consulting company I was working for at the time, we had spun off into build a technology business. And I was the co-founder of that technology business. And I remember sitting in a strategy meeting, and there was a big discrepancy between how I thought we should move forward with the strategy of the business and that the roles we would all play, and how my partner thought we should move forward. And at the time, he was the majority shareholder and the CEO, and, of course had more of a guess, say and how that things were gonna move forward. At the time thinking, Okay, it's time for me to move on. It's time for me to move on and move on to build something of my own. So I remember stepping back and I was standing at this crossroads going, what am I going to do next with my life? Am I going to work for another company? Am I going to a leadership position. Am I going to start my own thing, and I was sitting there trying to figure out what to do next. Now, in the same time, I'm also the full time mom to three beautiful girls who are and will always be my number one priority. So in terms of my life, my family, and my kids come first. And I realized at that point, okay, if that's the way I want to live my life, then I'm gonna have to build something for myself. So I still wanted to be part of a mission driven company. But I wanted to be more in control of how I spent my time to take some of that pressure off. And when the pressure was on, I was reaping the benefits of that pressure. So about two years ago, I started my own coaching and consulting business, as you mentioned. So that's what I'm doing right now.

Gresham Harkless 4:21

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Obviously sorry to hear how everything happened. But sometimes those things that happen kind of redirect you towards the path, maybe you wanted to go anyways, it just kind of accelerates that path towards that.

Tracy Kennedy 4:33

Absolutely. And we're still great friends. I'm still very close with the company. I'm still very close with the founder. So I'm very close with everyone. It was the right move for everyone at the time.

Gresham Harkless 4:41

Yeah, absolutely. When you get those kind of win, win situations, it's always a great thing to happen. So now I wanted to ask you for how exactly you serve the clients. Can you delve a little bit deeper on how you're supporting the clients you're working with?

Tracy Kennedy 4:53

Sure. So as you mentioned, I'm a coach and consultant and a trainer facilitator and my kind of mission is to help people be happier, more successful and more fulfilled personally and professionally. It's my mission is really about helping people live a life they love. So there's probably three ways I do that. So number one, I have my private coaching practice where I work one to one with clients on everything from leadership development, executive coaching, health and wellness, and probably most commonly helping people figure out what they're doing next with their lives. You know, just as I was at that crossroads, I've kind of created the system to help others figure out what they want to do when they're at that crossroads trying to figure out what do I do next. The second way is product and content development. So I'm a writer, I like to share the lessons I've learned. Words of wisdom, the positivity as best I can. So as you mentioned, I'm the personal development expert for life hack website, so I write a lot of articles for them. I also post a lot of content and thoughts. I like Instagram, because it's short snippy bites. So I have a lot of content on Instagram on a daily basis where I'm posting thoughts and what have you. And I build courses. So I've spent a lot of my career building courses, training and development. And I kind of translated that over into my business where I've supported other people to build their courses. But I've also just, as you mentioned, launched my own course, which is about 5 steps to Discover Your Next. And so I support people online through products and content development. So that's the second way. And the third way is I do leadership and team development consulting work. So I go into organizations help their leaders understand themselves better, help them understand the culture of the team, how to understand work, communicate, collaborate more effectively together. So that's kind of the three areas my private coaching practice my product and content development and the leadership and team development consulting work.

Gresham Harkless 6:35

I love that. And I love because it has the opportunity to kind of touch on it connect with people in a lot of different ways and resonate with them. So whether it could be somebody who is thinking about what that next step should be, it's going to be you know, you have your courses, you have your content that you're creating, and then you also can go on site and kind of help out these organizations that actually need professional and personal leadership development.

Tracy Kennedy 6:55

Yeah, thank you. It's interesting, because the product and content I'm really excited about because coaching is not cheap, to get a private, you know, an executive coach or a life coach. And so I love this idea that those philosophies and processes and insights can be shared to everybody in a way that's very easily accessible,

Gresham Harkless 7:14

Exactly, reach a lot more people at the same time, which is, of course, definitely important. So now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this is could be what you feel kind of distinguishes you or set you apart.

Tracy Kennedy 7:25

So, it's interesting. I think my secret sauce is probably more about my motivation than it is what I do. But I can share both. So the drive behind why I do what it do it deeply. I don't know if you know the statistics, but it really saddens me. So the latest Gallup poll shows that 85% of people worldwide basically hate their jobs, right? You know, 77% of people, Americans especially experienced regular physical and emotional symptoms of stress, and 40% experienced persistent stress or excessive anxiety. So I'm like, What the heck, so many of us are stressed out, overwhelmed, unhappy. And I think probably my USP is more about that drive and motivation to help people get out from under that state to find a better way to learn more about themselves so that they can understand what they need to thrive and be at their best. It regardless of what role or relationship they're in. And so it's probably more of my drive about why I do what I do. And the fact that because of that, I always start with the individual person, I really believe that self awareness and a little soul searching are essential for our success and our happiness.

Gresham Harkless 8:01

That makes a lot of times you have opportunity to kind of go through finding out exactly what role you want to play, you are able to kind of reach back and also help out so many other people. So it kind of sounds like you had that exact same experience.

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Tracy Kennedy 8:41

Yeah. And I've been there. So maybe that's part of my Yes, I've been there many times in my career, when I changed jobs or changed roles and gone, what am I going to do now? Where am I? Who am I? What do I want for this next stage in my life?

Gresham Harkless 8:53

Absolutely. And now I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this might be an app or book or a habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Tracy Kennedy 9:03

Okay, can I give you two? Okay, I'm gonna give you two. So one, I would say is kind of my mastermind group. So when I went off on my own a couple years ago, I hooked up with three other women varying stages of running their businesses and building their own businesses. And we meet weekly to discuss our challenges and coach each other and provide support and encouragement. And I swear, that has been such a huge blessing to me. I know my business wouldn't be where it is without the help of those women. And without those times and those calls, and I know, they would say likewise. So I just think this idea of having a support group around you finding your group and it doesn't have to be YPO or some established organization, you can find three people who are at similar stages in their business but have different skills and really leverage the strengths and learn and grow and support each other. So I would say that's been a huge kind of hack for me that has changed the way I run my business and has really allowed me to move forward especially as a sole entrepreneur or it can get lonely sometimes it's been really helpful. The second one is actually my favorite resource of all time. It's called the Instinctive Drives. It's a profiling tool. So if you've ever taken any assessment tool with your organization, I don't know Gresh, if you've taken you know, Myers Briggs, or disc, or any of those ones, at any point in your career,

Gresham Harkless 10:18

Yeah, took some of those I have not taken. I have not heard of this one, though. So I'm excited.

Tracy Kennedy 10:22

Yeah, it's probably like the I, whenever I'm in front of groups, I'm like, it's the best known secret and everybody needs to know about because basically, the instinct of drives instead of talking about your personality, or behavior or your actions, it helps people understand what they need to be at their best. So this idea that we all have a natural way of operating, that when we operate in line with that we're more successful and happy and fulfilled. So you talk, you hear athletes talk about being in the zone, or you talk about hear people talking about being in the flow. And that really is what this tool identifies. So it's essentially your personal success code, your blueprint for success. And I use it for myself personally, on a day to day basis, when I'm feeling stressed out or overwhelmed or frustrated. It's like, okay, what do I need here? What's missing? I use it to leverage my talents and to mitigate kind of my blind spots. Okay, who do I need to hire this out to? Because it's not my strength, or it's really going to pull me off track or stress me out. I use it with all my clients, because it accelerates our work together. You know, the minute I know, their Instinctive Drives, which is short for ID, or ID is short for Instinctive Drive, the minute I know that I know, okay, here's what they mean, when they say that, here's what's going to accelerate their development when there's somebody who really needs a plan here, or there's somebody who needs a crystal clear picture before they can move forward. Or there's somebody who's going to be really hard on themselves, how do I help them manage that? Or there's somebody who's going to be averse to risk? How do we mitigate that, so I use it with all my clients. And it's the basis of all the work I do in my leadership and team development. So it's not as well known as it should be. But the insights and strategies it gives people are pretty incredible.

Gresham Harkless 11:55

We'll definitely have one extra person that's going to check that out. Because I'm definitely going to make sure to check that out. Because, like he talked about self awareness, being able to understand like, what your strengths are, what you do best and being able to understand yourself first. So you understand like what person like you said, the partner with or to bring onto your team and kind of puts all that in motion, which I kind of have to understand that so first.

Tracy Kennedy 12:14

Yes. And that's the thing, isn't it? That's like from ancient philosophers, and all said, you know, know thyself to thine own self be true. You have Shakespeare, you have Lao Tzu from long ago about knowing yourself is true wisdom. So I do believe that's a huge piece of our success.

Gresham Harkless 12:30

Definitely, definitely. Now, I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this is a word of wisdom or piece of advice. Or if you can happen to a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Tracy Kennedy 12:40

That's a great one. It's probably exactly what we've been speaking to, that ancient philosophers and, you know, have talked about throughout time is to know thyself, and to be true to yourself, to follow your instinct to trust your gut, to be authentic. So I think as you throughout our careers we go to training that says, Oh, if you're going to be the best leader, here's the way you should lead. Or if you're going to be better at time management, here's what you should do. Or if you're going to start your business, here's how you should do it. And there's a lot of shoulds. And while the processes and systems I think are really helpful, there's a piece about knowing yourself, and being true to that self that I find when we go off track from that people aren't as successful. So I think for all entrepreneurs and business owners, it's really getting a clear sense of self, what are your strengths that you can leverage? What are your vulnerabilities and pitfalls where like you said, partner, bring somebody else in. And being true to yourself within that, because what I've seen over working with so many clients in my career is that the more people get off track with who they are, the more stressed out they become, and they're not more effective. And the more they understand themselves, and are in line with that, the more productive they are. So I'd say be true to you. But also, follow your instinct, trust your gut, there's going to be times in your career where everyone's gonna say, go left, and you're just like, Oh, I just know I should go right. And I can't explain it. But I think those are the times I can't tell you how many people I've spoken to including myself that have said, I wish I had listened to my instincts on that. I wish I had listened to my gut.

Gresham Harkless 14:09

Exactly, the whole entire time. So just stay true to that. Definitely a good reminder for myself as well. So now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition for what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different, quote-unquote, CEOs on this show. But I wanted to ask you, Tracy, what does being a CEO means to you?

Tracy Kennedy 14:24

Wow. So to me, it's about service. So it's about service, leadership and people and making a difference in the world. So I think as a CEO, it's the responsibility to know your goals and your mission and your underlying values and purpose and philosophies and staying true to those to achieve the goals of both the organization and helping as many people along the way as possible. So it's really to me about leadership, but not just within an organization but how that impacts, further out the ripple effect.

Gresham Harkless 14:51

Absolutely. Tracy, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule. What I want to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you want to add readers and our listeners know how they can find your latest course. And then also how best they can get a hold of you.

Tracy Kennedy 15:04

Awesome. So absolutely. So in terms of finding out anything else that we've talked about, whether it be the Instinctive Drive, or my 5 steps course, www.tracykennedy.com. So pretty simple. Just go to my website, you'll be able to find all that information. You can also go to discoveryournext.com. And that has a free workbook that you can actually download with the 5 steps to Discover Your Next. So if you're not sure you want to dive into a course but you're at some crossroads in your life, and you're kind of trying to figure out what's the next step personally or professionally, this guide is awesome. It walks you through my 5 steps that I've learned, I've really helped people along the way to discover their next step, so you can get your free guide there. The instinctive drives is awesome, you can reach out to me personally, if you'd like to take that I can actually get that out. Gresh I'll get you one too. But yeah, tracykennedy.com, or discoveryournext.com. I would love for people to check out my course. It's pretty fantastic. I'm excited about it.

Gresham Harkless 15:57

Yeah, definitely, definitely. We'll have those links in the show notes just so that anybody can follow along with you. But Tracy, thank you so much for all the awesome things that you're doing and staying true to yourself and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Tracy Kennedy 16:08

Thank you so much. Thank you for having me. And I hope this is helpful for people know that there's a better way we can all we don't all have to be so stressed and overwhelmed. You know taking a step back and just figuring out where we want to go next can be really the first step forward for many of us.

Outro 16:23

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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Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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