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IAM215- Co-founder and Social Media Manager Inspires Children Through Storybooks

Podcast interview with Jodie Cook

Jodie is the owner of JC Social Media, a team of social media managers based in Birmingham, United Kingdom. She co-founded Clever Tykes, a series of children’s storybooks inspiring enterprising behaviour, which are read in every primary school in the UK and have just launched in the USA. She was included in Forbes’ 30 under 30 list in 2017 and won the 2017 Entrepreneurs Champion award at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards. She also competes for Great Britain in powerlifting.

  • CEO Hack: Three books- Essentialism, The One thing,  It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work
  • CEO Nugget: Sometimes trusting so much and being naive can lead to possibilities
  • CEO Defined: Doing the hard things to demonstrate it's the hard things that make a difference

Websitehttps://clevertykes.com/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/jodie.cook_
instagram.com/clevertykes
Twitter: twitter.com/cookiewhirls
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/cookjodie
Amazon: clevertykes.com/amazonUSA


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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 have Jodie Cook of JC Social Media and Clever Tykes. Jodie, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Jodie Cook 0:37

Hey, thanks for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:39

No problem. Super excited to have you on and what I wanted to do was just read a little bit more about Jodie so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Jodie is the owner of JC Social Media, a team of social media managers based in Birmingham, United Kingdom. She co-founded Clever Tykes, a series of children’s storybooks inspiring enterprising behavior, which is read in every primary school in the UK and has just launched in the USA. She was included in Forbes’ 30 under 30 list in 2017 and won the 2017 Entrepreneurs Champion award at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards. She also competes for Great Britain in powerlifting. Jodie, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO Community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Jodie Cook 1:22

Yes, absolutely.

Gresham Harkless 1:22

Awesome. You're definitely a dynamo. So I wanted to hear a lot more about what I call your CEO story. And what led you to start your business?

Jodie Cook 1:29

Cool. Okay. So wow, the Social Media Agency, I started, there wasn't much thinking behind it. I just wanted to write social media posts for different companies. And that was for my level of writing. And I kind of loved social media, when it first started being a thing for companies. So it started off without a business plan, apart from just getting clients. And then once I had one client, I got another one and then got another one. And then it sort of went from there. But there was definitely no kind of five-page business plan saying all my huge plans, it was quite simple. And that's it and as we've like grown the agency that's we've kept to those, like very simple, basic, principles of just make clients happy, they recommend you, then you go.

And sometimes it just doesn't have to be complicated. And so when I was a couple of years into JC Social Media, I started talking to some friends and kinds of people around me, who'd also started businesses and trying to work out why is there such a difference between people who think that starting their own business is something that would be a huge risk and that they could never ever do? Or maybe they'll do it, but like 20 years in the future, and those people who just think, I'll give it a go, how hard can it be like why not, and they don't see it as a risk.

And often you can split the whole kind of business community into those two separate sections. And a lot of the time from research, we found out that a lot of the time, the reason some people just feel like they can go ahead and start their own business is that they've had a role model growing up someone who they've kind of learned from or heard about their story, who has made them think like, yeah, I could do that.

And it has made it accessible to them. And so if you think you're the same if you had a role model growing up Gresh, but it's very common for entrepreneurs, CEOs, and business owners to have one. And so as part of the kind of research around it, we looked into if someone hasn't got like a parent or a family friend that they know, that started their own business who were like business role models in the media say, we just found that business owners were portrayed really horribly in TV shows and in the media. And so you've got people like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons, and then if you know, Matilda, you've got her dodgy car dealer dad. And then in the Lego Movie, you've got Lord Business, who's this horrible character who glues all the Legos together, so no one can play with them, and business people are portrayed in a really horrible way.

And of course, we know that, in reality, it's not like that. And we need people to go and start their own businesses to grow the economy and create jobs and create wealth. And so it was that thinking that led to me and my co-founder writing a series of children's storybooks to write the role models that kids could learn from and so that when they got to that age 16 or so they thought, Okay, what do I want to do next? And starting a business was a viable option for them because they've had that inspiration from quite a young age.

Gresham Harkless 4:25

Nice. I absolutely love that. And I know you touched on a little bit but I wanted to hear a little bit more about what you're doing with JC Social Media and then also with Clever Tykes

Jodie Cook 4:34

With JC Social Media, the team is based in Birmingham in the UK, and most of our work is in social media management. So where we run various different social media presences for our clients. And then we do quite a lot of training as well training kind of consultancy and training all sorts of like companies and individuals on how they can make best use of social media. And when we started off my kind of background, I guess, was then like health care and social care. So we started off with a lot of clients in that sector. And then we kind of slowly branched out into other sectors. And now it's like restaurants and confessional services and lots of different weird and wonderful clients. So like I guess the more weird, the better because they're the ones that tend to stand out and send out really well online as you'll know yourself.

Gresham Harkless 5:22

Absolutely. What are in Clever Tykes? Just a little bit more about that.

Jodie Cook 5:26

Yeah, sure. So with Clever Tykes, well, it's almost like splitting two ways. So we sell books on the website, and we sell books through Amazon. And that's mainly what it used to be in the UK. And then we launched on Amazon US fairly recently. So reaching kids kind of around the world through storybooks and teaching resources. So we've got things like activity packs, and coloring packs, and our Illustrator is absolutely fantastic. And so he's just helped us create, like a range of resources to go alongside the story books. And so teachers who were going through the story books with their students, can also kind of know which questions to ask.

So we've got like teachers, guys that run alongside them, which say, Well, what's this character doing here? Why is she doing that? What could you do instead, and start to get those discussions going on with their own students, so our main audiences, teachers, parents, and homeschoolers? But then, three years ago, what we realized was that the kids whose lives we can change the most are not the ones whose parents can necessarily buy the books for them.

And so that's when we thought, how do we go about getting these books in the hands of every child in the UK without them necessarily paying for them themselves? And so this is where we decided to get a sponsor on board. And then we got a few of these signed off. And then we realized it's taking so long to get 10 schools signed off, it's going to take us like years and years and years do the whole country. Why don't we just forget all the small stuff? Why don't we just go really big on this? Why don't we find one sponsor to put books in all 24,000 primary schools in the UK, because the sales cycle is probably the same. And we just had it in our heads like there is a person in a room somewhere who can sign this off, who can say yes, all we have to do is find that person, and it'll all be fine. And so that's what we decided to do.

And so pretty much told everyone what we were doing, got people to kind of tell their friends and tell their contacts, and made sure we were at the forefront of people's minds. And then a kind of friend of a friend told a friend and then we had a meeting with a guy called Martin, who was one of the directors at Lloyds Banking Group. And so we told him all about the project. And then to kind of cut a long story short, and he ended up signing off on that project. And then we were able to gift the story books to every primary school in the UK, along with the kind of teaching resources and everything else that went with them so that every kid could have a positive entrepreneurial role model.

Gresham Harkless 7:53

Awesome I absolutely love that. And you might have already touched on this, but what would you say is your secret sauce? Or what do you feel kind of distinguishes you or your organization apart?

Jodie Cook 8:01

I'd say what distinguishes us as the co-founders is that we just don't really give up. And we just kind of don't mind following it that bit extra or going that bit further to get in touch with someone and just we kind of see it as overtaking the people who have given it and that will just get us further. Like if someone's not responded to you like three times how many people give up at that point? What about the fourth or the fifth or the sixth time how many people are actually lying for someone's attention at that point, and it's probably fewer? So just carrying on going often helps you get to where you want to go. But then I think also on the secret sauce type side of things. With the storybooks, we actually welcome like kind of competitors, because, I don't think there's another series of kids' storybooks that do exactly what we do.

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But there are some approaching exactly the same problem in a different way. And I see that as a really good thing because it's validating the market. It's not like the question doesn't become, should I buy my kids a set of this kind of storybooks, it becomes Which series of children's storybooks should I buy my kids, and that's great because we want it to be something that everyone just decides to do and say, Well, we really welcome like other people in the space. And we do a fair bit of work actually promoting other companies that are in the enterprise education space because we want to validate it as an industry like we want to make sure it's important is at the forefront of education, and that everyone kind of knows about it and the benefits that it brings.

Gresham Harkless 9:31

Absolutely, yeah, that makes perfect sense. If at the end of the day, there are young kids out there that are learning that it's okay and learning how to be entrepreneurs and business owners at the end of the day. That's the ultimate goal. And that's helping out in any way, shape, or form. So I appreciate you again for doing that. 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.

Jodie Cook 9:52

Okay, I was thinking about this earlier and I think overall it's books. I was trying to think which ones have added the most. And I think there are kind of three that I wanted to mention that are all part of the same kind of theme. One of them is Essentialism by Greg McKeon. One of them is called One Thing by Gary Keller. And the final one, which I've actually just finished reading is, it doesn't have to be crazy at work, which was written by the Basecamp founders.

And so they're all along a very similar theme, which is focus and avoiding distraction. And that's something that is definitely important to me and has been along my journey so far, that unless I'm absolutely clear on my vision, what I want to do and who it's benefiting, and the reason behind everything, it is so easy to get distracted, and you could end up wasting years of your career, just fulfilling pointless obligations doing what other people want you to do, and not really actually achieving anything.

So the books that have really spoken the most to me are the ones that are on that theme. And the ones that really make you think, no, I'm not going to say yes to that, because yes, it would help that other person, but maybe I can help them a different way that actually doesn't take away from the one thing that I really want to achieve, which for me at the moment is getting my storybooks into every primary school in the world. So having that at the forefront of everything means it's easier to avoid getting distracted, especially reading books like that, and finding just little kind of tips and tricks and things to say that help you along that journey.

And so I think it doesn't have to be crazy at workbook, but they talk about how can you have an autoresponder that goes back to people that help signpost where they can find their answer without you being changed your email all the time. Or how can you just be more efficient in some of your processes? And how can you just eliminate some things that there's no point automating or delegating something that you can just not do?

Gresham Harkless 11:43

No, I absolutely love that. It's funny you say that those two are my two absolute favorite books, the one thing and Essentialism, I have not read the base camp book. But I will now add that to my list and it keeps everything in line. If it's the easiest thing that you could do by doing it, everything else is easier or unnecessary. I tell myself that all the time because you try to focus and laser focus. So I love those CEO hacks. And now I want 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?

Jodie Cook 12:14

If I look back at my former business self, I was so unbelievably naive. And I think on the one hand I probably could have got to places faster than I did do if I hadn't been as naive. But on another hand, I think maybe it was actually better. And maybe I wouldn't change anything because it was probably part of my story. But at first when I was starting out with my Social Media Agency, if someone said to me, like, oh, I want to talk to you about social media, I'd be like, okay, and then I'd basically keep calling them until they told me and I didn't even comprehend that someone might have just been saying that's a bit of a lie. Do you want to talk about it? Let's talk about it. I think I was just so naive to think that anyone wouldn't mean what they say. So I always treated everyone at face value. And I guess maybe sometimes that's not been the best thing for me to do. Because it means that you might give out trust too quickly. So that's probably my kind of what I'd say to my younger self, like don't verify before you trust. But then, on the other hand, it's like, Would you rather be overly trusting? And Would you rather be overly cynical, I think I'd pick overly trusting each time. Nevertheless.

Gresham Harkless 13:19

Yeah, it's funny you say that. Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And sometimes they say, being naive, can be a bad thing because you're doing something you don't know. But sometimes that's when you break down barriers and do things that other people say can't be possible, because you are not even you don't realize that it's difficult. You trust that somebody's going to do business with you. They've never done business with anybody, but you just keep calling them to call them because that's what they said. And then all of a sudden, they're your clients. So I love that kind of edge perspective.

Jodie Cook 13:42

I think if you're going to accept that other people will be more experienced and will be more hardened to it and almost not take their advice. Because if you've got this big dream, and you know that you can make it happen. Yeah, sure, there might be an element of naivety. But the last thing you want to hear is someone going on, I don't think that'll work. Oh, well. I know for one that tried to do that. And they failed because it's the whole way that leads me through it.

Gresham Harkless 14:06

Exactly, exactly. So, I love that perspective. And I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote-unquote, CEOs on the show, but I want to ask you Jodie, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Jodie Cook 14:18

Being a CEO means doing the hard things and not the easy things. And the easy things are it's easy to hide behind email, it's easy to hide behind AdWords, it's easy to not confront someone it's easy to kind of just say our deal with it another time. And it's hard to do the stuff that will actually make the difference like being honest with people like confronting like asking for the sale, like public speaking putting yourself out there. I think I feel like a CEO's responsibility especially is doing the hard thing in order to demonstrate to their kind of followers or their team or their tribe or whoever it is that the hard things are the things that make the difference to kind of inspire them to do it as well.

Gresham Harkless 14:57

Absolutely, absolutely. And those are the things that move Benito, so you have to make sure that you do that. And as a CEO, you're kind of charged and in terms of doing that, and that's kind of like your role and responsibility. So a wonderful definition. And I truly appreciate you for taking some time out. But I want to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you want to let our readers and our listeners know. And then of course, how they can get a hold of you to get a copy of your books and all of the awesome things that you're working on.

Jodie Cook 15:21

Okay, well, the main place you can find out about me is jodycook.com. And then from that is linked my agency and then also clevertykes.com, which are their children's story books that I have at the moment, one thing that I'm putting together is a book on how we can raise entrepreneurial kids. And what I love hearing about is how people were raised to be entrepreneurial. And so if there's anyone listening, who's got any stories of when they were younger, my parents, they did this particular exercise with me, or they talked to me about a certain thing, which really made the difference. I would love to hear about that because those examples are just so inspiring for parents, teachers, and homeschoolers to carry out with the kids that are under their care.

Gresham Harkless 16:03

Absolutely, absolutely. Well, again, I truly appreciate you and we'll have all those links in the show notes just so that everybody can follow up with you and let you know if they had some really great entrepreneurial stories as well as children so that you can add them to your book. But again, I appreciate all the work that you're doing and all the awesome things that you're doing. I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Jodie Cook 16:19

Thanks so much. Thanks for having me.

Outro 16:21

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

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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 have Jodie Cook of JC Social Media and Clever Tykes. Jodie, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Jodie Cook 0:37

Hey, thanks for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:39

No problem. Super excited to have you on and what I wanted to do was just read a little bit more about Jodie so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Jodie is the owner of JC Social Media, a team of social media managers based in Birmingham, United Kingdom. She co-founded Clever Tykes, a series of children’s storybooks inspiring enterprising behaviour, which are read in every primary school in the UK and have just launched in the USA. She was included in Forbes’ 30 under 30 list in 2017 and won the 2017 Entrepreneurs Champion award at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards. She also competes for Great Britain in powerlifting. Jodie, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO Community?

Jodie Cook 1:22

Yes,absolutely.

Gresham Harkless 1:22

Awesome. You're definitely a dynamo. So I wanted to hear a lot more about what I call your CEO story. And what led you to start your business?

Jodie Cook 1:29

Cool. Okay. So wow, the Social Media Agency, I started, there wasn't much thinking behind it. I just wanted to write social media posts for different companies. And that was for my level of writing. And I kind of love social media, when it first started being a thing for companies. So it started off without a business plan, apart from just get clients. And then once I had one client, I got another one, and then got another one. And then it sort of went from there. But there was definitely no kind of five page business plan saying all my huge plans, it was quite simple. And that's it and as we've like grown the agency that's we've kept to those, like very simple, basic, principles of just make clients happy, they recommend you, then you go. And sometimes it just doesn't have to be complicated. And so when I was a couple of years into JC Social Media, I started talking to some friends and kind of people around me, who'd also started businesses and trying to work out why is there such a difference between people who think that starting their own business is something that would be a huge risk, and that they could never ever do? Or maybe they'll do it, but like 20 years in the future, and those people who just think, I'll give it a go, how hard can it be like why not, and they don't see it as a risk. And often you can split like the whole kind of business community into those two separate sections. And a lot of the time from research, we found out that a lot of the time, the reason some people just feel like they can go ahead and start their own business is because they've had a role model growing up someone who they've kind of learned from or heard about their story, who has made them think like, yeah, I could do that. And it has made it accessible to them. And so if you think you're the same if you had a role model growing up Gresh, but it's very common for entrepreneurs, CEOs, business owners to had one. And so as part of the kind of research around it, we looked into if someone hasn't got like a parent or a family friend that they know, that started their own business who were like business role models in the media say, we just found that business owners were portrayed really horribly in TV shows and in the media. And so you've got people like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons, and then if you know, Matilda, you've got her dodgy car dealer dad. And then in in the Lego Movie, you've got Lord Business, who's this horrible character who glues all the Lego together, so no one can play with it and, and business people are portrayed in a really meeting greedy, horrible way. And of course, we know that, in reality, it's not like that. And we need people to go and start their own businesses to grow the economy and create jobs and create wealth. And so it was that thinking that led to me and my co founder writing a series of children's storybooks to write the role models that kids could learn from and so that when they got to that an age 16 or so they thought, Okay, what do I want to do next? And starting a business was a viable option for them because they've had that inspiration from quite a young age.

Gresham Harkless 4:25

Nice. I absolutely love that. And I know you touched on a little bit but I wanted to hear a little bit more about what you're doing with JC Social Media and then also with Clever Tykes

Jodie Cook 4:34

With JC Social Media, the team is based in Birmingham in the UK, and most of our work is social media management. So where we run various different social media presences for our clients. And then we do quite a lot of training as well training kind of consultancy and training all sorts of like companies and individuals on how they can make best use of social media. And when we started off my kind of background, I guess, was then like health care and social care. So we started off with a lot of clients in that sector. And then we kind of slowly branched out into other sectors. And now it's like restaurants and confessional services and lots of different weird and wonderful clients. So like I guess the more weird, the better, because they're the ones that tend to stand out and send out really well online as you'll know yourself.

Gresham Harkless 5:22

Absolutely. What are in Clever Tykes? Just a little bit more about that.

Jodie Cook 5:26

Yeah, sure. So with Clever Tykes, well, it's almost like split two ways. So we sell books on the website, we sell books through Amazon. And that's mainly what it used to be the UK. And then we launched on Amazon US fairly recently. So reaching kids kind of around the world through the storybooks and the teaching resources. So we've got things like activity packs, and coloring packs, and our Illustrator is absolutely fantastic. And so he's just helped us create, like a range of resources to go alongside the story books. And so teachers who were going through the story books with their students, they can also kind of know which questions to ask. So we've got like teachers, guys that run alongside them, which say, Well, what's this character doing here? Why is she doing that? What could you do instead, and start to get those discussions going on with their own students, so our main audiences, teachers, parents, and homeschoolers. But then, three years ago, what we realized was that the kids whose lives we can change the most are not the ones whose parents can necessarily buy the books for them. And so that's when we thought, how do we go about getting these books in the hands of every child in the UK without them necessarily paying for them themselves? And so this is where we decided to get a sponsor on board. And then we got a few of these signed off. And then we realized it's taking so long to get 10 schools signed off, it's going to take us like years and years and years do the whole country. Why don't we just forget all the small stuff? Why don't we just go really big on this? Why don't we find one sponsor to put books in all 24,000 primary schools in the UK, because the sales cycle is probably the same. And we just had it in our heads like there is a person in a room somewhere who can sign this off, who can say yes, all we have to do is find that person, and it'll all be fine. And so that's what we decided to do. And so pretty much told everyone what we were doing, got people to kind of tell their friends and tell their contacts and made sure we were at the forefront of people's minds. And then a kind of friend of a friend told a friend and then we had a meeting with a guy called Martin, who was one of the directors at Lloyds Banking Group. And so we told him all about the project. And then to kind of cut a long story short, and he ended up signing off that project. And then we were able to gift the story books to every primary school in the UK, along with the kind of teaching resources and everything else that went with them so that every kid could have a positive entrepreneurial role model.

Gresham Harkless 7:53

Awesome I absolutely love that. And you might have already touched on this, but what would you say is like your secret sauce? Or what do you feel kind of distinguishes you or your organization apart?

Jodie Cook 8:01

I'd say what distinguishes us as the co founders is that we just don't really give up. And we just kind of don't mind following it that bit extra or going that bit further to get in touch with someone and just we kind of see it as overtaking the people who have given it and that will just get us further. Like if someone's not responded to you like three times how many people give up at that point? What about the fourth or the fifth or the sixth time how many people are actually lying for someone's attention at that point, and it's probably fewer. So just carrying on going often helps you get to where you want to go. But then I think also on the secret sauce type like side of things. We with the storybooks, we actually welcome like kind of competitors, because, I don't think there's another series of kind of kids storybooks that do exactly what we do. But there are ones approaching exactly the same problem in a different way. And I see that as a really good thing because it's validating the market. It's not like the question doesn't become, should I buy my kids a set of these kind of storybooks, it becomes which series of children's story books should I buy my kids, and that's great, because we want it to be something that everyone just decides to do and say, Well, we really welcome like other people in the space. And we do a fair bit of work actually promoting other companies that are in the enterprise education space, because we want to validate it as an industry, like we want to make sure it's important is at the forefront of education, and that everyone kind of knows about it and the benefits that it brings.

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Gresham Harkless 9:31

Absolutely, yeah, that makes perfect sense. If at the end of the day, there's young kids out there that are learning that it's okay and learning how to be entrepreneurs and business owners at the end of the day. That's the ultimate goal. And that's helping out in any way, shape or form. So I appreciate you again for doing that. 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.

Jodie Cook 9:52

Okay, I was thinking about this earlier and I think overall it's books. I was trying to think which ones have added the most. And I think there are kind of three that I wanted to mention that are all part of the same kind of theme. One of them is Essentialism by Greg McKeon. One of them is called One Thing by Gary Keller. And the final one, which I've actually just finished reading is, it doesn't have to be crazy at work, which was written by the Basecamp founders. And so they're all along a very similar theme, which is focus and avoiding distraction. And that's something that is definitely important to me and has been along my journey so far, that unless I'm absolutely clear on my vision, and what I want to do and who it's benefiting, and the reason behind everything, it is so easy to get distracted, and you could end up wasting years of your career, just fulfilling pointless obligations doing what other people want you to do, and not really actually achieving anything. So the books that have really spoken the most to me are the ones that are on that theme. And the ones that really makes you think, no, I'm not going to say yes to that, because yes, it would help that other person, but maybe I can help them a different way that actually doesn't take away from the one thing that I really want to achieve, which for me at the moment is getting my storybooks into every primary school in the world. So having that at the forefront of everything means it's easier to avoid getting distracted, and especially reading books like that, and finding just little kind of tips and tricks and things to say that help you along that journey. And so I think it doesn't have to be crazy at work book, but they talk about how can you have like an auto responder that goes back to people that help signpost where they can find their answer without you being changed your email all the time? Or how can you just be more efficient in some of your processes? And how can you just eliminate some things that there's no point automating or delegating something that you can just not do?

Gresham Harkless 11:43

No, I absolutely love that. It's funny you say that those two are my two absolute favorite books, the one thing and essentialism, I have not read the base camp book. But I will now add that to my list and it keeps everything in line. If it's the easiest thing that you could do that by doing it, everything else is easier or unnecessary. I tell myself that all the time, because you try to focus and laser focus. So I love those CEO hacks. And now I want 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?

Jodie Cook 12:14

If I look back at my former business self, I was so unbelievably naive. And I think on one hand I probably could have got to places faster than I did do if I hadn't been as naive. But on another hand, I think maybe it was actually better. And maybe I wouldn't change anything because it was probably part of my story. But at first when I was starting out with my Social Media Agency, if someone said to me, like, oh, I want to talk to you about social media, I'd be like, okay, and then I'd basically keep calling them until they told me and I didn't ever comprehend that someone might have just been saying that's a bit of a lie. Do you want to talk about it? Let's talk about it. I think I was just so naive to think that anyone wouldn't mean what they say. So I always treated everyone at face value. And I guess maybe sometimes that's not been the best thing for me to do. Because it means that you might give out trust too quickly. So that's probably my kind of what I'd say to my younger self, like don't verify before you trust. But then on the other hand, it's like, Would you rather be overly trusting? And would you rather be overly cynical, and I think I'd pick overly trusting each time. Nevertheless.

Gresham Harkless 13:19

Yeah, it's funny you say that? Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And sometimes they saying, being naive, it can be a bad thing, because you're doing something you don't know. But sometimes that's when you break down barriers and do things that other people say can't be possible, because you are not even you don't realize that it's difficult. You trust that somebody's going to do business with you. They've never done business with anybody, but you just keep calling them to call them because that's what they said. And then all of a sudden, they're your clients. So I love that kind of to edge perspective.

Jodie Cook 13:42

I think if you're going to accept that other people will be more experienced and will be more hardened to it and almost not take their advice. Because if you've got this big dream, and you know that you can make it happen. Yeah, sure, there might be an element of naivety. But the last thing you want to hear is someone going on, I don't think that'll work. Oh, well. I know for one that tried to do that. And they failed, because it's the whole way leads me through it.

Gresham Harkless 14:06

Exactly, exactly. So, I love that perspective. And I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote unquote, CEOs on the show, but I want to ask you Jodie, what does being a CEO mean to you.

Jodie Cook 14:18

Being a CEO means doing the hard things and not the easy things. And the easy things are it's easy to hide behind email, it's easy to hide behind AdWords, it's easy to not confront someone it's easy to kind of just say our deal with it another time. And it's hard to do the stuff that will actually make the difference like being honest with people like confronting like asking for the sale, like public speaking putting yourself out there. I think I feel like a CEOs responsibility especially is doing the hard thing in order to demonstrate to their kind of followers or their team or their tribe or whoever it is that the hard things are the things that make the difference to kind of inspire them to do it as well.

Gresham Harkless 14:57

Absolutely, absolutely. And those are the things that move Benito, so you have to make sure that you do that. And as a CEO, you're kind of charged and in terms of doing that, and that's kind of like your role and responsibility. So wonderful definition. And I truly appreciate you for taking some time out. But I want to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you want to let our readers and our listeners know. And then of course, how they can get an hold of you get a copy of your books and all of the awesome things that you're working on.

Jodie Cook 15:21

Okay, well, the main place you can find out about me is jodycook.com. And then from that is linked my agency and then also clevertykes.com, which are their children's story books that I have at the moment, one thing that I'm putting together is a book on how we can raise entrepreneurial kids. And what I love hearing about is how people were raised themselves to be entrepreneurial. And so if there's anyone listening, who's got any stories of when they were younger, my parents, they did this particular exercise with me, or they talked to me about a certain thing, which is really made the difference. I would love to hear about that, because those examples are just so inspiring for parents, teachers and homeschoolers to carry out with the kids that are under their care.

Gresham Harkless 16:03

Absolutely, absolutely. Well, again, I truly appreciate you and we'll have all those links in the show notes just so that everybody can follow up with you and let you know if they had some really great entrepreneurial stories as well as children so that you can add to your book. But again, I appreciate all the work that you're doing and all the awesome things that you're doing. I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Jodie Cook 16:19

Thanks so much. Thanks for having me.

Outro 16:21

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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