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IAM133- Founding Partner and Branding Designer Helps Industries Redefine The Urban Landscape

Podcast Interview with Forrest T. Heath III

 

Forrest T. Heath III is the founding partner of Pareto Design, a global design consultancy based in Washington, DC. Pareto works in industries that Forrest believes are building the future and redefining the urban landscape: real estate development, infrastructure, transportation, hospitality, and defense. When not working with Pareto, Forrest can be found:
—Working with veterans to protect endangered species and combat human trafficking.
—Promote the adoption of electric vehicles.
—Build public and private high-speed rail.
— Creating decentralized internet infrastructure in the developing world.

  • CEO Hack: Processing podcasts and audio books to increase their speed so you take in more content. 
  • CEO Nugget: Critically question why you can't do something to change your perspective about something
  • CEO Defined: Being the anchor and helping beyond your organisation. 

Website: https://www.pareto-design.com/forrest-t-heath-iii/

Additional links

Current main project: http://redmedellin.com/


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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 0:26

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Forrest Heath of Pareto Design. Forrest, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Forrest T. Heath III 0:36

Hey, thanks for being. Excited to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:38

No problem. We're excited to have you and what I wanted to do was read a little bit more about Forrest, so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Forrest is the founding partner of Pareto Design, a global design consultancy based in Washington, DC. Pareto works in industries that Forrest believes are building the future and redefining their urban landscape. Those are real estate development, infrastructure, transportation, hospitality, and defense.

When not working with Pareto, Forrest can be found working with veterans to protect endangered species and combat human trafficking. Promoting the adoption of electric vehicles. Building public and private high-speed rails and creating decentralized internet infrastructures in the developing world. Forrest, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”] 

Forrest T. Heath III 1:21

I am. And excited to be here.

Gresham Harkless 1:23

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So the first question I had was just to hear a little bit more about your CEO story and tell us what led you to start your business.

Forrest T. Heath III 1:30

Sure thing. So I've been at this for a few years now, I had a little bit earlier start than a lot of folks. Started a bow tie company making cotton bow ties when I was about 14 years old, and had a collection of local grandma's sewing in their spare time as my production line. Growing that and growing pretty quickly. But alas, the 15-year-old forest eventually got to the point where he was calling factories in Chen Xin and trying to look into building global supply chains for an apparel company. And that was a little bit beyond my experience at the time.

So I decided to pivot and ended up realizing after some kind of soul searching that I was good at design branding and websites and started just pitching those services. And one thing led to another and I like to say we've done everything from a small-town restaurant in North Carolina to branding work for the Chinese foreign ministry. So it's been a pretty broad spectrum of different work we've done over the years.

Gresham Harkless 2:19

Yeah, I'll say that. It kind of sounds like that. And I always love when you hear like that entrepreneurial bug, you have it at a young age, and you kind of just he's still had it, you still do it the same thing, you just probably do it on a bigger scale. But even if is bow ties or as you said doing designs for big, huge companies or organizations, you can still have that bug.

Forrest T. Heath III 2:37

Totally. And that's one of the great things about the work I've been able to do is, for example, one of my big projects right now, this is sort of my primary focus we have started a social venture down in Colombia, building decentralized internet infrastructure. So totally out of left field wouldn't have expected to be doing this six months ago.

But now we are working in one of the poor neighborhoods here in Medellin, Colombia, this place that was kind of the epicenter of violence and drug wars, and all sorts of other crazy stuff less than 15 years ago. And now it's sort of held up as the future of meta gene for innocence, but also kind of what Latin America can become. So we're down here building good internet infrastructure and have the community's help enlisted to do that. This kind of all comes out of bow ties, as crazy as that sounds.

Gresham Harkless 3:23

Exactly, what they say is not how you start. It's how you finish. And it's doing some great things. I haven't seen you continue to do that. So I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper in here, I guess you touch on some of the things that you're doing. Could you tell us I guess everything that you're doing with Pareto?

Forrest T. Heath III 3:36

Yeah, so it's a pretty broad spectrum are two main areas that we focus on in our infrastructure and defense-related stuff. Both of those are kind of loosely defined, which is sort of fun to work in. So for the defense side, we're pretty heavily involved in what we call the asymmetric operations group. And we essentially take retiring Special Forces Veterans, and we keep them at their peak performance.

So usually what happens is, these guys are super high-level operators, they are used to going at a million miles an hour, and then they retire from active duty, and they kind of just fall off the wagon and their health suffers, their mental state suffers. And frankly, they're just not being put to the best years, they have this amazing skill set that's being underutilized.

So what we do is we work to keep these guys at their peak performance so that they don't have this just fall-off point the second they retire from active duty. So we kind of sequentially step them down to a more manageable long-term level. And then a pretty significant portion of them, we end up rebuilding to go do anti-human trafficking, anti-poaching, sort of all these thorny problems that you see in the globe right now that NGOs and Governments are trying to solve that could use this human touch.

So we send those guys in and they go and network with the tribal leaders in a certain part of Africa to find they are infiltrating in networks that are kind of doing stuff like human trafficking and poaching and figure out a way to effectively attack those problems from the inside. So that's pretty awesome work.

Gresham Harkless 4:59

Yeah. I definitely would say that and definitely, and I imagine fulfilling work as well.

Forrest T. Heath III 5:03

Totally, because it's this awesome intersection between doing a lot of good in the world on really tough problems and having these guys that are just heroes through and through and giving them kind of a new take on life and letting their skills be super useful.

So that's an awesome thing, kind of a total left turn on the infrastructure stuff, we have a project now in North Carolina that's trying to take sort of different models from around the world and apply them to building a privately operated high-speed rail line connecting the two larger metropolitan regions in North Carolina, Charlotte, and Raleigh. And all of this would be done from the private sector side.

So essentially, we're building a multibillion-dollar rail line, and if it works properly, that finances are coming from actual investors who are motivated. So instead of having this massive outlay for doing a government project for transit, we have found a way to sustainably funded from the actual users of themselves. So that's kind of awesome.

Gresham Harkless 5:58

Yeah. I mean, I always believe, like when you have that opportunity to find that kind of intersection where there's a win, win, win, it sounds like that's always like that sweet spot everybody wants to be because everybody kind of benefits from it?

Forrest T. Heath III 6:10

Well, this is the thing I found a lot in my work is, it's how do you create a situation where you're inherently different than everything else around you? Right? Like a lot of circumstances, a lot of people working in entrepreneurship are trying to copy this next guy, but the true value comes out of how you find what you're uniquely good at. And double down on that and sort of find that Venn diagram spot where what you're good at what you like doing and what the world values kind of come together in a super novel way. It's just sort of doubling down on that.

Gresham Harkless 6:39

Absolutely. It's like that, as they say, that zone of genius where you can play where nobody else can play as you can play in is definitely what everybody is looking for. And you might have touched already on it a little bit. And I want to ask you for that middle piece in that Venn diagram, what I call your secret sauce, what do you feel kind of distinguishes you and your organization?

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Forrest T. Heath III 6:57

Yeah, so for me and my organization, I think it's how we tell compelling stories around really complex ideas. So something like a massive infrastructure project or like blockchain power, decentralized internet, or helping Special Forces guys go do counter networking operations to the word poachers, like, those are complex concepts. But like, at the end of the day, it's what connects people so that they can have a thriving economy, or let's go build a better way for people to get around the state that they call home, or let's go and find a novel solution to protect endangered species. So it's like how do you kind of build down complexity into an easily digestible story?

Gresham Harkless 7:39

I love that. And it's kind of like, to me, that's always a good sign of intelligence to be able to take what is the complex and to be able to make it simple, as you said rather than all the kind of complexities that everybody may not necessarily understand or be able to kind of digest, so to speak, you're able to kind of make it a lot simpler. So you can get people behind you behind the mission that you have.

Forrest T. Heath III 7:58

Truthfully, brevity is a lost art. I forget who said this quote, exactly. But it was something to the extent of my letter, and so long, because I didn't have time to make it shorter. There's this art form distilling down their core message. And, frankly, your core ideals on what you care about to a point where you can meet somebody in an elevator, and they can come away with knowing what you're about and what you care about, kind of what motivates you.

Gresham Harkless 8:20

There you go. Yeah, I agree with that 110%. And 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 habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Forrest T. Heath III 8:33

Sure thing I have one that comes to mind that I tried to share with most people. I am an avid listener of audiobooks and podcasts. And that is a good starting one. But I think you can take it a step further. So what I ended up doing, was would use to drive between DC and North Carolina a couple of times a week. So in the car for hours and hours.

And I finally got very curious about the neuroscience of how we process audio and turns out, you process words of somewhere around 200 words per minute, which is about sorry, that's what normal speech is. And your upper limit of processing is two to three times that.

So if you do it sequentially, you can end up doubling if not tripling the playback speed of an audiobook or podcast and comprehending everything, but you are able to double if not triple your amount of information and take. So a trip singular trip to DC you could be reading an entire book. So it's a lot of me and a very hectic schedule to be able to have time to consistently ordered and sort of sharpen the knife as I go along. So the thing I like to share with people is not only just audiobooks and podcasts when you're doing mundane stuff but try to push yourself to sort of sequentially increase the speed so you can get the most out of it.

Gresham Harkless 9:43

I love that. I love that. It's like a hack within a hack within a hack. It sounds like where you're able to kind of maximize not just listen to these audiobooks because you're on the go because you're doing so many things, but you're able to take in more content than sometimes you might even think that you could because you're listening to it at an accelerated speed.

Forrest T. Heath III 9:58

Totally.

Gresham Harkless 9:59

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

Forrest T. Heath III 10:09

Oh, this is a fun one. I think in a nutshell, the thing that I've learned and refined over the years is, is the ability to critically question why you can't do something. I know this sounds kind of cliched, and we get back to it a lot. But there are very, very few things in the world that are truly undoable, or that you have to go about the exact way that everyone else does.

And if you can find a shortcut or a novel way approach to it, it's how do you approach this from a different angle than everyone else, so that you not only stand above the crowd, but you're also cutting through a lot of the sort of not valuable aspects of doing a lot of things is getting to the heart of it. So it's like, how do you approach problems in a, for lack of a better word asymmetric way?

So you're just coming at it from such a radically different perspective and approach that almost by achieving what you're doing just simply being on the path, you succeed.

Gresham Harkless 11:00

Absolutely. Yeah, I love that. And I love it's all about to me, like at the heart of it when you're an entrepreneur or business owner, you're solving problems, finding a way to do that. But often those words like impossible always come around. But if you're able to kind of change your perspective, and probably even change your actions in alignment with that new perspective, you can solve some of the problems that people call quote-unquote, unpossible.

Forrest T. Heath III 11:19

Totally. And it's also this concept of like if you have a bunch of competition for what you're doing, you're probably not doing it well. You don't want to be in a situation where you are trying to pretend like you're more competitive than you are. And when in reality, what you kind of want is a monopoly on what you're seemingly useful and good at?

Gresham Harkless 11:36

Absolutely. How have you found, I guess the best way is to be able to do that is like niching, down.

Forrest T. Heath III 11:40

So niching is a huge one. And then the other big one that just comes to me is just literally if everyone else is approaching a problem with X solution, necessarily always say you should do Y, but give y a chance, and maybe go for Z and a couple of other ones after that as well.

So really critically question, quote, the best practices of doing stuff or the ways that everyone else is going about it and see if there's a way that you can come at it from such a radically different approach that you just by doing that approach, or therefore winning.

Gresham Harkless 12:07

There you go, it makes you a trailblazer. And you're ahead of the competition. So I love that CEO nugget. And I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of being a CEO, and we're hoping to have different, quote-unquote, CEOs on the show. So, Forrest, I wanted to ask you, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Forrest T. Heath III 12:22

You know, man, I think what it comes down to is being the person that all of the people that rely on you can come back to and look to you for guidance, support, sort of that anchor for, whether it'd be your customers, your team, your friends and family, just being that person that can go and effectively help not only your organization, but other organizations solve problems.

Gresham Harkless 12:43

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Yeah, I love that definition. And it's a great reminder. Forrest, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule and doing some awesome things. And I appreciate you for taking some time out to kind of speak with us. But I wanted to do is pass you the mic just to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers or listeners know and how best people can get in touch with you.

Forrest T. Heath III 13:00

Well, it's been a pleasure being here. I appreciate the time. If the best way to get in touch with me, it would just be to Google Forrest Heath or Forrest Heath III, I should come up with a couple of different places. And then if you want to check out our main project down here in Columbia, it's redmedellin.com. So just give that a Google and we look forward to hearing from y'all.

Gresham Harkless 13:18

Awesome. Sounds good. And what we'll do is we'll have those links in the show notes. Forrest thank you so much again, I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Forrest T. Heath III 13:24

Thank you.

Outro 13:25

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

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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 0:26

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Forrest Heath of Pareto Design. Forrest it's awesome to have you on the show.

Forrest T. Heath III 0:36

Hey, thanks for being. Really excited to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:38

No problem. We're really excited to have you and what I wanted to do was read a little bit more about Forrest, so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Forrest is the founding partner of Pareto Design, a global design consultancy based in Washington, DC. Pareto works in industries that Forrest believes are building the future and redefining their urban landscape. Those are real estate development, infrastructure, transportation, hospitality and defense. When not working with Pareto, Forrest can be found working with veterans to protect endangered species and combat human trafficking. Promoting the adoption of electric vehicles. Building public and private high speed rails and creating decentralized internet infrastructures in the developing world. Forrest are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Forrest T. Heath III 1:21

I am. And excited to be here.

Gresham Harkless 1:23

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So the first question I had was just to hear a little bit more about your CEO story and tell us what led you to start your business?

Forrest T. Heath III 1:30

Sure thing. So I've been at this for a few years now, I had a little bit earlier start than a lot of folks. Started a bow tie company making cotton bow ties when I was about 14 years old, and had a collection of local grandma's sewing in their spare time was my production line. Growing that and growing pretty quickly. But alas, 15 year old forest eventually got to the point where he was calling factories in Chen Xin and trying to look into building global supply chains for an apparel company. And that was a little bit beyond my experience at the time. So I decided to pivot and ended up realizing after some kind of soul searching that I was really good at design branding and websites and started just pitching those services. And one thing led to another and I like to say we've done everything from a small town restaurant in North Carolina to branding work for the Chinese foreign ministry. So it's been a pretty broad spectrum of different work we've done over the years.

Gresham Harkless 2:19

Yeah, I'll definitely say that. Definitely kind of sounds like that. And I always love when you hear like that entrepreneurial bug, you have it at a young age, and you kind of just he's still have it, you still do it the same thing, you just probably do it on a bigger scale. But even if is bow ties or like you said is doing designs for big, huge companies or organizations, you can still have that bug.

Forrest T. Heath III 2:37

Totally, totally. And that's one of the great things about the work I've been able to do is, for example, one of my big projects right now, this is sort of the my primary focus is we have started a social venture down in Colombia, building decentralized internet infrastructure. So totally out of left field wouldn't have expected to be doing this six months ago. But now we are working in one of the poor neighborhoods here in Medellin, Colombia, this place that was kind of the epicenter of violence and drug wars, and all sorts of other crazy stuff less than 15 years ago. And now it's sort of held up as the future of meta gene for innocence, but also kind of what Latin America can become. So we're down here building really, really good internet infrastructure, and have the community's help enlisted to do that. This is kind of all come out of bow ties, as crazy as that sounds.

Gresham Harkless 3:23

Exactly, is what they say is not how you start. It's how you finish. And it's definitely doing some great things. I haven't seen you continue to do that. So I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper in here, I guess you touch on some of the things that you're doing. Could you tell us I guess everything that you're doing with Pareto.

Forrest T. Heath III 3:36

Yeah, so it's a pretty broad spectrum are two main areas that we focus in our infrastructure and defense related stuff. Both of those are kind of loosely defined, which is sort of fun to work in. So for the defense side, we're pretty heavily involved in that we call it the asymmetric operations group. And we essentially take retiring Special Forces Veterans, and we keep them at their peak performance. So usually what happens is, these guys are super high level operators, they are really used to going at a million miles an hour, and then they retire from active duty, and they kind of just fall off the wagon and their health suffers, their mental state suffers. And frankly, they're just not being put to the best years, they have this amazing skill set that's being underutilized. So what we do is we a work to keep these guys at their peak performance so that they don't have this just fall off point the second they retire from active duty. So we kind of sequentially step them down to a more manageable long term level. And then a pretty significant portion of them, we actually end up rebuilding to go do anti human trafficking, anti poaching, sort of all these thorny problems that you see in the globe right now that NGOs and Governments are trying to solve that could really use this human touch. So we send those guys in and they go and network with the tribal leaders in certain part of Africa to find their infiltrating in networks that are kind of doing stuff like human trafficking and poaching and figure out a way to really effectively attack those problems from the inside. So that's pretty awesome work.

Gresham Harkless 4:59

Yeah. I definitely would say that and definitely, I imagine fulfilling work as well.

Forrest T. Heath III 5:03

Totally totally, because it's this awesome intersection between doing a lot of good in the world on a really tough problems and having these guys that are just heroes through and through and giving them kind of a new take on life and letting their skills be super useful. So that's an awesome thing, kind of a total left turn on the infrastructure stuff, we have a project now in North Carolina that's trying to take sort of different models from around the world and apply them to building a privately operated high speed rail line connecting the two larger metropolitan regions in North Carolina, Charlotte, and Raleigh. And all of this would be done from the private sector side. So essentially, we're building a multibillion dollar rail line and it if it works properly, that finances are coming from actual investors who are motivated. So instead of having this massive outlay for doing a government project for transit, we have found a way to sustainably funded from the actual users of themselves. So that's kind of awesome.

Gresham Harkless 5:58

Yeah, definitely. I mean, I always believe, like when you have that opportunity to find that kind of intersection where there's a win, win, win, it sounds like that's always like that sweet spot everybody wants to be because everybody kind of benefits from it?

Forrest T. Heath III 6:10

Well, this is the thing I found a lot in my own work is, it's how do you create a situation where you're inherently different than everything else around you? Right? Like a lot of circumstances, a lot of people working in entrepreneurship are trying to copy this next guy, but the true value comes out of how do you find what you're uniquely really good at. And double down on that and sort of find that Venn diagram spot where what you're really good at what you like doing and what the world values are kind of come together in a super novel way. It's just sort of doubling down on that.

Gresham Harkless 6:39

Absolutely. It's like that, as they say, that zone of genius that where you can play where nobody else can play like you can play in is definitely every what everybody is looking for. And you might have touched already on it a little bit. And I want to ask you for that middle piece in that Venn diagram, what I call your secret sauce, what do you feel kind of distinguishes you and your organization?

Forrest T. Heath III 6:57

Yeah, so for me and my organization, personally, I think it's how do we tell really compelling stories around really complex ideas. So something like a massive infrastructure project or like blockchain power, decentralized internet, or helping Special Forces guys go do counter networking operations to the word poachers, like, those are really complex concepts. But like, at the end of the day, it's what's connects people so that they can have a thriving economy, or let's go build a better way for people to get around the state that they call home, or let's go and find a novel solution to protect endangered species. So it's like how do you kind of build down complexity into a really easily digestible story.

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Gresham Harkless 7:39

I love that. And it's kind of like, to me, that's always a good sign of intelligence to be able to take what is the complex and to be able to make it simple, like you said rather than all the kind of complexities that everybody may not necessarily understand or be able to kind of digest, so to speak, you're able to kind of make it a lot simpler. So you can get people behind you behind the mission that you have.

Forrest T. Heath III 7:58

Truthfully, brevity is a lost art. I forget who said this quote, exactly. But it was something to the extents of my letter, and so long, because I didn't have time to make it shorter. There's this art form and distilling down their core message. And, frankly, your core ideals on what you really care about to a point where you can meet somebody in an elevator, and they can come away with knowing what you're about and what you care about, kind of what motivates you.

Gresham Harkless 8:20

There you go. Yeah, I agree with that 110%. And 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 habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Forrest T. Heath III 8:33

Sure thing, actually, I have one that really clearly comes to mind that I tried to share with most people. I am an avid listener of audiobooks and podcasts. And that is a good starting one. But I think you can take it a step further. So what I actually ended up doing, I would used to drive between DC and North Carolina a couple of times a week. So in the car for hours and hours. And I finally gotten very curious into the neuroscience of how we process audio and turns out, you process words of somewhere around 200 words per minute, which is about sorry, that's what normal speech is. And your upper limit of processing is two to three times that. So if you do it sequentially, you can actually end up doubling if not tripling the playback speed of an audio book or podcast and totally comprehend everything, but you are able to double if not triple your amount of information and take. So a trip singular trip to DC you could be reading an entire book. So it's a lot of me and a very hectic schedule to be able to have time to really consistently ordered and sort of sharpening the knife as I go along. So the thing I like to share with people is not only just audiobooks and podcasts when you're doing mundane stuff, but really try to push yourself to sort of sequentially increase the speed so you can get the most out of it.

Gresham Harkless 9:43

I love that. I love that. It's like a hack within a hack within a hack. It sounds like where you're able to kind of maximize not just listen to these audiobooks because you're on the go because you're doing so many things, but you're able to take in more content than sometimes you might even think that you could because you're listening to it at an accelerated speed.

Forrest T. Heath III 9:58

Totally.

Gresham Harkless 9:59

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

Forrest T. Heath III 10:09

Oh, this is a fun one. I think in a nutshell, the thing that I've learned and refined over the years is, is ability to critically question why you can't do something. I know, this sounds kind of cliched, and we get back to it a lot. But there's very, very few things in the world that are truly undoable, or that you have to go about the exact way that everyone else does. And if you can find a shortcut or a novel way approach to it, it's how do you approach this from a different angle than everyone else, so that you not only stand above the crowd, but you're also cutting through a lot of the sort of not really valuable aspects of doing a lot of things is really getting to the heart of it. So it's like, how do you approach problems in a, for lack of a better word asymmetric way? So you're just coming at it from such a radically different perspective and approach that almost by achieving what you're doing just simply being on the path, you succeed.

Gresham Harkless 11:00

Absolutely. Yeah, I love that. And I love it's all about to me, like at the heart of it when you're entrepreneur or business owner, you're solving problems, finding a way to do that. But often those words like impossible always come around. But if you're able to kind of change your perspective, and probably even change your actions in alignment with that new perspective, you can solve some of the problems that people call quote-unquote, unpossible.

Forrest T. Heath III 11:19

Totally. And it's also this concept of like, if you have a bunch of competition for what you're doing, you're probably not doing it well. You don't want to be in a situation where you are trying to pretend like you're more competitive than you are. And when in reality, what you kind of want is a monopoly on what you're seemingly useful and good at?

Gresham Harkless 11:36

Absolutely. How have you found, I guess the best way is to be able to do that is it like niching, down.

Forrest T. Heath III 11:40

So niching is a huge one. And then the other big one that just come to me is just literally if everyone else is approaching a problem with X solution, necessarily always say you should do Y, but give y a chance, and maybe go for Z and a couple other ones after that as well. So really critically question, quote, the best practices of doing stuff or the ways that everyone else is going about it and see if there's a way that you can come at it from such a radically different approach that you just by doing that approach, or therefore winning.

Gresham Harkless 12:07

There you go, it makes you a trailblazer. And you're ahead of the competition. So I love that CEO nugget. And I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition for being a CEO, and we're hoping to have different, quote-unquote, CEOs on the show. So Forrest, I wanted to ask you, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Forrest T. Heath III 12:22

You know, man, I think what it really comes down to is being the person that all of the people that rely on you can come back to and look to you for guidance, support, sort of that that anchor for, whether it'd be your customers, your team, your friends and family, just being that person that can go and effectively help not only your organization, but other organizations solve problems.

Gresham Harkless 12:43

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Yeah, I love that definition. And it's a great reminder. Forrest, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule, doing some awesome things. And I appreciate you for taking some time out to kind of speak with us. But I wanted to do is pass you the mic just to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers or listeners know and how best people can get in touch with you.

Forrest T. Heath III 13:00

Well, it's been a pleasure being here. I really appreciate the time. If the best way to get in touch with me, it would actually just be to Google Forrest Heath or Forrest Heath III, I should come up on a couple different places. And then if you want to check out our main project down here in Columbia, it's redmedellin.com. So just give that a Google and we look forward to hearing from y'all.

Gresham Harkless 13:18

Awesome. Sounds good. And what we'll do is we'll have those links in the show notes. Forrest thank you so much again, I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Forrest T. Heath III 13:24

Thank you.

Outro 13:25

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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