BusinessI AM CEO PODCAST

IAM235- Marketing Consultant Helps Clients Understand and Implement the StoryBrand Framework

Podcast interview with Wes Gay

 

Wes believes clarity is king. With it, organizations reaches more customers, grow their sales, and align teams around the mission. He’s a writer, marketing consultant, TEDx speaker, and slightly pretentious coffee drinker. Wes has helped dozens of clients understand and implement the StoryBrand Framework in their own business. As a result, they get the clarity they need to achieve their goals. He lives with his wife, two young sons, and their overprotective dog in Suwanee, GA.

  • CEO Hack: (1) Habit- Bullet journal Method by Ryder Carroll (2) Delegating tasks to people or machines (3) Offline calendar for the day
  • CEO Nugget: Be patient, keep at it and think long-term
  • CEO Defined: Stable character who helps people get to their version of success

Website: https://wesgay.com/

Twitter: @wesgay
Instagram: @wesgay
LinkedIn: Wes Gay

Full Interview


Check out one of our favorite CEO Hack’s Audible. Get your free audiobook and check out more of our favorite CEO Hacks HERE.

Transcription:

The full transcription is only available to CBNation Library Members. Sign up today!

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 Gresham from the I AM CEO Podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Wes Gay of wesgay.com. Wes, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Wes Gay 0:34

Thanks for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:36

No problem. No problem I appreciate having you on. And what I wanted to do was just read a little bit more about Wes so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Wes believes clarity is king. With it, organizations reach more customers, grow their sales, and align teams around the mission. He’s a writer, marketing consultant, TEDx speaker, and slightly pretentious coffee drinker. Wes has helped dozens of clients understand and implement the StoryBrand Framework in their own businesses. As a result, they get the clarity they need to achieve their goals. He lives with his wife, two young sons, and their overprotective dog and Suwanee, Georgia.

Wes Gay 1:11

SWANA.

Gresham Harkless 1:11

Georgia. I knew I was gonna butcher that. Wes it's awesome to have you on the show. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Wes Gay 1:17

I am

Gresham Harkless 1:18

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So the first question I had was to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story and how did you start your business?

Wes Gay 1:23
Yeah, totally by accident purely by circumstance. So 2016, I found myself without a job, I had been working in profit organizations and went through about a six-month stretch, I didn't have anything in the middle of that I actually became one of the paid contributors over forbes.com, which is a crazy experience. Very interesting. But as a result of that, I was starting to get a little bit of work as a kind of freelance writer, you know, copywriter, just small projects here, there. And some of your audience may be familiar with what's called the story brand framework based on a book called Building a StoryBrand by a guy named Donald Miller.

Well, in 2016, they offered a copywriter certification because they've had a few 1000 businesses go through the framework, but nobody really felt comfortable writing copy for websites or emails, email campaigns, etc, using this formula. So it was $5,000. For this certification, I didn't have jobs on my money, but I had a credit card. And I thought, let me put this on the credit card and just see what happened. We've got two little kids, our youngest was six months old at the time, and our oldest was just turned two.

And it was like this is kind of a make or break thing, I'm just going to venture out on my own. The original plan was I want to do this for a while until a regular job works out. So I did it and got home a week later, I had my first client and that contract was equivalent to almost a single month's salary of any job I've ever had previously. And I thought this is not a bad deal. So I quickly gained about a half dozen clients doing copywriting projects. And within about three months, I was actually more of starting to move into more marketing strategy and more of a consultant from a messaging standpoint.

And then in 2017, I became certified as what the store brand calls their guides. So like, essentially a marketing consultant has been able to help companies with overall messaging strategy and high level but also distill that down at different marketing sales channels. So I guess it was by accident, I thought I'm just gonna do this for a season until a real job works out. Turns out, this is my real job. And in late 2018, I transitioned to become one of the store brands, certified agencies.

So now I actually run an agency called Wayfinder, you can find this over at hirewayfinder.com where we help organizations understand and implement this framework in marketing sales and in their customer success. So that's a little bit I was totally by accident. Now I find myself actually running a team. It's completely virtual, mostly in the US with folks over in Europe too.

Gresham Harkless 3:32

Awesome, awesome, awesome. It's funny to kind of hear and see how, you know, taking one leap of faith kind of rolls into all that and you're just like, I'm just gonna try this out for a little bit. And next thing you know, as you said, it becomes your job.

Wes Gay 3:42

Exactly. I you know, like a lot of folks probably early 20s. In my career. First, in my career, I thought, I want to work really hard. And I would love to become a consultancy speaker type one day, but I gotta go get ten, fifteen, or twenty years of experience in an industry or in a niche to be able to be considered an authority. But what ended up happening was because I went and got certified, I actually got to experience what I call the benefit of delegated authority. Because I had that certification, I get to benefit from the authority of those who are doing great work, and I get to be associated with it, which really helped to accelerate my ability to work with some really big and really incredible brands.

Gresham Harkless 4:17

Can you tell us a little bit more about the store brand and exactly what that is?

Wes Gay 4:19

Sure. So most people, especially in today's modern marketing area, most people waste an enormous amount of money on marketing, because they're chasing all the wrong things. They're running after Facebook ads, which aren't necessarily bad. They're running after better websites, which also aren't bad. My team does both of those things. But the real issue is you need to have clarity in what you're saying to your audience before you figure out how you need to go out and say it because if you know what your audience is experiencing and the problems they have, you're better positioning your brand to be able to win more customers.

So the story brand framework takes a seven-part formula of storytelling, and it's a formula that you can use for everything from The Hunger Games to Mary Poppins to Star Wars to Tommy Boy, I mean you name it You can, it all works in this framework. It's a formula that stores that screenwriters for movies were just finished off the Oscars. They all use this formula because the story is something that people naturally understand.

So by using this formula, you're able to create messaging that better resonates with your audience, and therefore it gets them it's going to drive more business simply because you're speaking a language they understand. And you're showing how you solve their problems. Now, one example we love to use is there's a lady who went through this about two years ago, she was a quarter of a million dollars in the hole that year in business she makes like a cauliflower pizza crust, obviously, it's a health trend.

People love it, it's great for you. But she's a Quartermaine on the whole, she goes through this workshop fires her marketing agency takes all the marketing house and in her first year does $7 million. And it's not because she hired some gurus, it's not because she had some grand wizards or something or other. It's not because she had somebody, you know, the guy on the mountaintop telling us how to do everything. What she did is she said, I'm going to figure out what my audience cares about, I'm going to figure out the problems they experience. And I'm going to talk about that. And then I'm going to make it really easy for them to buy from me.

So you're one she was 7 million, I think in revenue year two, she's on track to do over 20 million in revenue simply because she got her messaging, right, by using a formula of story that's worked for 1000s of years.

Gresham Harkless 6:13

Yeah, absolutely. That's huge. And especially because, you know, you mentioned those two parts where you know, you have to be able to solve whatever those issues, well, probably three, you have to be able to identify what the issues are, be able to solve them. And then you have to be able to communicate how you can do that. And do that in a way that's kind of palatable to people, which is like through stories, as you mentioned, you know, is definitely a huge part to be able to do that. I want to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. So you might have already touched on this. But do you have a secret sauce? Or what do you feel kind of distinguishes you? Either you or your organization?

Wes Gay 6:38

Yeah, so I think what distinguishes me, particularly marketing world is, I want to figure out your problems before I tell you what to do next because what I want to do is understand kind of my felt my guiding principles and marketing are the story brand framework, because, for me, I know I can develop every piece of marketing collateral that you need. But what I want to do is come in and say, and I guess the best way to distill down to the secret sauce is am I always providing value at every point of the conversation am I going in to provide value because I learned early on if you provide value, you'll always be valuable. And there is a price tag for being valuable when it comes to business.

So if I can come in and provide value by understanding by trying to like Stephen Covey said, seek to understand before trying to be understood, if I can come in with that posture. This morning, I had a sales presentation, and I didn't prepare a single thing for the presentation, nothing. I walked in and opened my notebook and I asked questions for the first half hour. And then I transitioned it started showing how I can help them based on what I knew. But I thought I can't provide value yet until I understand what their problems are, and where the opportunities to provide value are. So for me, it's always trying to lead with how I provide value. And then how do I create clarity for them so they can go out and grow their own business?

Gresham Harkless 7:48

Absolutely. I love that. It's kind of like, you know, you go to the doctor's office, and the doctor says before they even talk to you, you take this pill, this pill, this pill, this will make you all better. But I don't even know what's wrong with you. I don't know if your knee hurts, your head hurts. So I'm just gonna give you whatever I think because this is what I have.

Wes Gay 8:01

I want to put you on this plan, like in marketing, you know, this marketing agency word, we're going to put you on this very specific plan, because this is just the one thing that we do. I gotta diagnose your problem first. And I can't I'm not valuable to you until I diagnose and tell you what's wrong.

See also  IAM236- Marketing Consultant and Founder Provides Digital Marketing Services to Service-based Business

Gresham Harkless 8:13

No, I absolutely love that. And what I want to do is switch gears a little bit.

Wes Gay 8:17

Sure

Gresham Harkless 8:17

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.

Wes Gay 8:24

Yeah, I got a lot of I love to read. There are a lot of books, but I would say that I would say there's a book that is tied into a habit. And the book is The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll. And I mean, it's the bullet journal thing that has been popular. Don't look at it on Pinterest, because you're gonna see a lot of people who are very artistic doing it. I'm not for me, it's points and dashes. But the greatest thing about the bullet journal is in today's world, I feel like there are so many places where I have tasks coming from like I have, using Basecamp.

So I have Basecamp for our team, and I have my own personal list. I mean, I've got lists everywhere. But the biggest I think hack for me in the bullet journal world, kind of the way I personalize it is by doing a weekly review. So on Sunday night or Monday, on the left side of a two-page spread in my moleskin notebook, I'll put my calendar so I'll do Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday and list all of my appointments. On the right side, I'll list here the project priorities or main tasks I need to accomplish this week to stay on target, here are the people I need to contact and hear my personal goals for the week.

So then with my calendar in place, I'll take my tasks as big project and move those to these days, never putting more than two on the same day two is a lot in two priorities a day is a big task anyway to really get done effectively to still leave margin for the unknown and the interruptions. And then from there, what it allows me to do is really take an honest look at and go okay, I filled up but I've got all these things I got to do. What should I start delegating more of to my team to get more things off my plate?

And so by asking myself that each week, now I'm able to be able to set my priorities ahead of time. So each day I literally sit down as I did this morning, and I write down my calendar for the day. So I always have an offline version of my calendar for the day. I'll write down my priorities and then just the way we go with the day so that's been the bullet journal of things but then my take on the bullet journal is the biggest help for me is just getting it all centralized and being able to delegate more effectively to my team.

Gresham Harkless 10:04

Yeah, no, I absolutely love that. And just understanding kind of like, what you're able to accomplish how many hours you have in the day because you understand these are two tasks, I'm gonna have to get done, anything else is left on this, I guess the left side would be something that you have to delegate that you if you want it to be accomplished, you're going to have to find a way to do it. And often that is, you know, finding somebody or delegating that to somebody.

Wes Gay 10:23

Or delegate it to a machine. You can delegate via automation, which is great.

Gresham Harkless 10:28

Absolutely, absolutely. And 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?

Wes Gay 10:37

I'll start with the younger self, the younger self, I would say, be patient, because Lord willing, from the time, you know, a lot of us, was ready to just take on the world in our early 20s, right? And we think if we haven't made an under-30 list, by the time we're 30, then we failed. But the reality is when you feel say you start your career at 22, if you do traditional college, you're gonna start at 22 or 23. As long as your health is good, you legitimately have 50 years potentially of a career, that's enough to have two 25-year careers, right?

So when you start so you could have two careers that are longer than they're longer in terms of years and the time you've been alive. When you started your first career. You have a long time, right? I'm not saying these had to be lazy. I'm just saying. And this is what I realized in my late 20s. And I would probably say this to everybody be patient, keep at it. But realize you actually have a long time to think more long term in terms of decades. Instead of days, I had a guy when I was writing for Forbes, I was in the under 30 channel, which is the millennials deal. And people just assumed I voted on the 30 under 30 lists.

I had no power I had no say I knew zero about that little thing work. But I had a guy DM me who had three or 400,000 Twitter followers. He's a pretty big influencer in his particular space, CMO of a startup, you know, he was like an ambassador for NASA at one point, like super cool, but he's a guy that's really cool stuff. And he asked me about the 30 under 30 things. And I'm like, I don't know, I can ask. So I did. And he just didn't make the list. He was like, man, I've been trying my whole career for this. I'm like you're 25 if your career started three years ago, like a three-year-old is just being potty trained now, you know, it doesn't matter if you've not made it to 30 under 30 list or not just be patient and think in terms of decades, not days.

And I think you'll be amazed at the potential impact. In the end, you'll be amazed at how much more you can accomplish. So that's, that's my advice for the younger crowd. It's just man, just sit down and be patient and just go to work every day knowing you've got 40 years ahead of you.

Gresham Harkless 12:40

And now 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. So, Wes, I wanted to ask you what does being a CEO means to you.

Wes Gay 12:50

For me being a CEO means it's my responsibility to be the guide for everybody underneath me. And that means I need to be that stable character saying a story that is that understands where everybody else is, and is trying to help people get to their version of success. So that means with my team, I need to maybe remove blockers for them or to help them think through challenges or to help figure out how can I help them win in their own stories for my clients.

How do I how do we facilitate and make it to where our clients can win in their own stories, that means the CEO, I've always got to be a little further ahead than everybody else is, which means I'm constantly to be stretched and pushed, and think differently, put myself in different situations in order to force myself to grow beyond my current capacity so that I can be a little bit ahead of my team and show them the way otherwise, I'm going to be outpaced by the organization or I'm gonna be outpaced by clients, I'm gonna be outpaced by other people. But it's my responsibility to help people win in their own stories, and make sure that I can facilitate that and get out of the way.

So they're able to go out and win because when they were like, Oh, my team wins, our company wins. When our clients win, our company wins, because their success is a part of the result of our work. And us being in the, in the posture of let me help you get to where you're trying to go. So to me, I think it really boils down to how do I do that? And then how do I And how do I need to constantly stay ahead of the game, so I'm better suited to be there for my team?

Gresham Harkless 14:18

Absolutely, absolutely. And I love, your quotables. You know, how do you help people win in their own story because that's huge? And like you said, once you start putting out that energy, it starts to manifest itself in client relationships, and personal relationships, and everything just starts to take off from there. So I definitely you know, appreciate that definition, and Wes, I truly appreciate the time that you took today. What I want to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just if there's anything additional, you want to let your readers and our listeners know and then of course how they can find you.

Wes Gay 14:43

Yeah, I would say and I work with companies all day long every day about getting clarity in their messaging. And I would say as somebody who is by kind of default a writer and somebody who is a big believer in brand messaging, and brand positioning, I would challenge everybody to take 30 minutes or an hour today or tomorrow. and look at their own company's marketing collateral start with your website, can you in just five or six seconds on your website answer questions like, what do we do? How do people get started? And why does it benefit the customer? Right?

Those three questions alone will generate enormous clarity for you. I'd also encourage you to read Building a storied brand, because I think what you're going to come out of with, you're going to be empowered with the knowledge to frankly, be your own consultant and be able to address some of the gaps in your own business as a man sales are down and we're not closing as many deals or maybe we're a b2b brand, and our sales pipeline is too long. A lot of your problem is the messaging you're using, and you're just not being clear to people in a way that matters to them.

So my challenge to you is to think through everything your company says for marketing and sales and think about, Does this really matter to our audience? And if it doesn't, it's time to change it. So that would be my advice. I think the best way to find me is on Twitter, I'm just @wesgay on Twitter, and I'm on LinkedIn, I don't really know how you find people on LinkedIn because there are some things about LinkedIn, I still haven't figured out. Just just look up, just look up Wes Gay, and you'll find me and you can check out our agency hirewayfinder.com, to see some of the projects we're doing and the work we're doing as well.

Gresham Harkless 16:07

Absolutely. And we'll make sure to have those links in the show notes, including LinkedIn, LinkedIn, if you can say that three times fascist, because that can sometimes be very user-friendly, sometimes not. But, Wes, I truly appreciate your time and all the awesome things that you're doing and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Wes Gay 16:22

Thanks for having me.

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

See also  IAM1078- Creators Helps Millennials Design a Freedom Lifestyle

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.

Outro 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 Gresham from the I AM CEO Podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Wes Gay of wesgay.com. Wes, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Wes Gay 0:34

Thanks for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:36

No problem. No problem I appreciate having you on. And what I wanted to do was just read a little bit more about Wes so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. AndWes believes clarity is king. With it, organizations reaches more customers, grow their sales, and align teams around the mission. He’s a writer, marketing consultant, TEDx speaker, and slightly pretentious coffee drinker. Wes has helped dozens of clients understand and implement the StoryBrand Framework in their own business. As a result, they get the clarity they need to achieve their goals. He lives with his wife, two young sons, and their overprotective dog and Suwanee, Georgia.

Wes Gay 1:11

SWANA.

Gresham Harkless 1:11

Georgia. I knew I was gonna butcher that. Wes it's awesome to have you on the show. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Wes Gay 1:17

I am

Gresham Harkless 1:18

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So the first question I had was to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story and how did you start your business?

Wes Gay 1:23

Yeah, totally by accident purely by circumstance. So 2016, I found myself without a job, I had been working in profit organizations and went through about a six month stretch, I didn't have anything in the middle of that I actually became one of the paid contributors over forbes.com, which is a crazy experience. Very interesting. But as a result of that I was I was starting to get a little bit of work as a kind of a freelance writer, you know, copywriter, just small projects here, there. And some of your audience may be familiar with what's called the story brand framework based off a book called Building a StoryBrand by a guy named Donald Miller

. Well, in 2016, they offered as a copywriter certification because they've had a few 1000 businesses go through the framework, but nobody really felt comfortable writing copy for websites or email, email campaigns, etc, using this formula. So it was $5,000. For this certification, I didn't have jobs on me money, but I had a credit card. And I thought, let me put this on the credit card and just see what happened. We've got two little kids, our youngest was six months old at the time, our oldest was just turned two. And it was like this is kind of a make or break thing, I'm just going to venture out on my own. The original plan was I want to do this for a while until a regular regular job works out. So I did it got home a week later, I had my first client and that contract was equivalent to almost a single month salary of any job I've ever had previously. And I thought this is not a bad deal. So I quickly gained about a half dozen clients doing copywriting projects. And within about three months, I was actually more of a starting to move into more marketing strategy and more of a consultant from a messaging standpoint. And then in 2017, I became certified as what storebrand calls their guides. So like, essentially a marketing consultant been able to help companies with overall messaging strategy and high level but also distill that down at different marketing sales channels. So I guess it was by accident, I thought I'm just gonna do this for a season until a real job works out. Turns out, this is my real job. And in late 2018, I transitioned to become one of the story brands, certified agencies. So now I actually run an agency called Wayfinder, you can find this over at hirewayfinder.com where we help organizations understand and implement this framework in marketing sales and in their customer success. So that's a little bit I was totally by accident. Now I find myself actually running a team. It's completely virtual, mostly in the US with folks over in Europe too.

Gresham Harkless 3:32

Awesome, awesome, awesome. It's funny to to kind of hear and see how, you know, taking one leap of faith kind of rolls into all that and you're just like, I'm just gonna try this out for a little bit. And next thing you know, like you said, it becomes your job.

Wes Gay 3:42

Exactly. I you know, like a lot of folks probably early 20s. In my career. First in my career, I thought, I want to work really hard. And I would love to become a consultancy speaker type one day, but I gotta go get ten, fifteen, twenty years of experience in an industry or in a niche to be able to be considered an authority. But what ended up happening was because I went and got certified, I actually got to experience what I call the benefit of delegated authority. Because I had that certification, I get to benefit from the authority of those who are doing great work, and I get to be associated with it, which is really helped to accelerate my ability to work with some really big and really incredible brands.

Gresham Harkless 4:17

Can you tell us a little bit more about storebrand exactly what that is?

Wes Gay 4:19

Sure. So most people, especially in today's modern marketing area, most people waste an enormous amount of money on marketing, because they're chasing all the wrong things. They're running after Facebook ads, which aren't necessarily bad. They're running after better websites, which also aren't bad. My team does both of those things. But the real issue is you need to have clarity in what you're saying what you're saying to your audience before you figure out how you need to go out and say it because if you know what your audience is experiencing the problems they have, you're better positioning your brand to be able to win more customers. So the story brand framework takes a seven part formula of storytelling, and it's a formula that you can use for everything from The Hunger Games to Mary Poppins to Star Wars to Tommy Boy, I mean you name it You can, it all works in this framework. It's a formula that that store that screenwriters for movies were just finished off the Oscars. They all use this formula, because story is something that people naturally understand. So by using this formula, you're able to create messaging that better resonates with your audience, and therefore it gets them it's going to drive more business simply because you're speaking a language they understand. And you're showing how you solve their problems. Now, one example we love to use is there's a lady who went through this about two years ago, she was a quarter of a million dollars in the hole that year in business she makes like cauliflower pizza crust, obviously, it's a health trend. People love it, it's great for you. But she's a quartermaine in the whole, she goes through this workshop fires her marketing agency takes all the marketing in house and in her first year does $7 million. And it's not because she hired some gurus, it's not because she had some grand wizards or something or other. It's not because she had somebody, you know, the guy on the mountaintop telling us how to do everything. What she did is she said, I'm going to figure out what my audience cares about, I'm going to figure out the problems they experience. And I'm going to talk about that. And then I'm going to make it really easy for them to buy from me. So you're one she was 7 million, I think in revenue year two, she's on track to do over 20 million in revenue simply because she got her messaging, right, by using a formula of story that's worked for 1000s of years.

Gresham Harkless 6:13

Yeah, absolutely. That's huge. And especially because, you know, you mentioned those two parts where you know, you have to be able to solve whatever those issues, well, probably three, you have to be able to identify what the issues are, be able to solve them. And then you have to be able to communicate how you can do that. And do that in a way that's kind of palatable to people, which is like through stories, as you mentioned, you know, is definitely a huge part to be able to do that. I want to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. So you might have already touched on this. But do you have a secret sauce? Or what you feel kind of distinguishes you? Either you or your organization?

Wes Gay 6:38

Yeah, so I think what distinguishes me, particularly marketing world is, I want to figure out your problems before I tell you what to do next, because what I want to do is I understand kind of my felt my guiding principles and marketing are the storybrand framework, because for me, I know I can develop every piece of marketing collateral that you need. But what I want to do is come in and say, and I guess the best way to distill down to the secret sauce is am I always providing value at every point of the conversation like am I going in to provide value because I learned early on if you provide value, you'll always be valuable. And there is a price tag with being valuable when it comes to business. So if I can come in and provide value by understanding by trying to like Stephen Covey said, seek to understand before trying to be understood, if I can come in with that posture. Like this morning, I had a sales presentation, and I didn't prepare a single thing for presentation, nothing. I walked in and opened my notebook and I asked questions for the first half hour. And then I transitioned it started showing how I can help them based on what I knew. But I thought I can't provide value yet until I understand what their problems are, and where the opportunities to provide value are. So for me, it's always trying to lead with how do I provide value? And then how do I create clarity for them so they can go out and grow their own business.

Gresham Harkless 7:48

Absolutely. I love that. It's kind of like, you know, you go to the doctor's office, and the doctor says before they even talk to you, you take this pill, this pill, this pill, this will make you all better. But I don't even know what's wrong with you. I don't know if your knee hurts, your head hurts. So I'm just gonna give you whatever I think because this is what I have.

Wes Gay 8:01

I want to put you on this plan, like in marketing, you know, this marketing agency word, we're going to put you on this very specific plan, because this is just the one thing that we do. I gotta diagnose your problem first. And I can't I'm not valuable to you until I diagnose and tell you what's wrong.

Gresham Harkless 8:13

No, I absolutely love that. And what I want to do is switch gears a little bit.

Wes Gay 8:17

Sure

Gresham Harkless 8:17

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.

See also  IAM1663 - Wellness Coach Invites Her Clients with Empathy

Wes Gay 8:24

Yeah, I got a lot of I love to read. There's a lot of books, but I would say that I would say there's a book that is tied into a habit. And the book is The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

. And I mean, it's the bullet journal thing has been popular. Don't look at it on Pinterest, because you're gonna see a lot of people who are very artistic doing it. I'm not for me, it's points and dashes. But the greatest thing about the bullet journal is in today's world, I feel like there's so many places where I have tasks coming from like I have, we use Basecamp. So I have Basecamp for our team, I have my own personal list. I mean, I've got lists everywhere. But the biggest I think hack for me in the bullet journal world, my my kind of the way I personalize it is by doing a weekly review. So on Sunday night or Monday, on the left side of a two page spread in my moleskin notebook, I'll put my calendar so I'll do Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and list all of my appointments. On the right side, I'll list here the project priorities or main tasks I need to accomplish this week to stay on target, here are the people I need to contact and hear my personal goals for the week. So then with my calendar in place, I'll take my tasks as big project and move those to these days, never putting more than two on the same day two is a lot in two priorities a day is a big task anyway to really get done effectively to still leave margin for the unknown and the interruptions. And then from there, what it allows me to do is really take an honest look at and go okay, I filled up but I've got all these things I got to do. What should I start delegating out more of to my team to get more things off my plate. And so by asking myself that each week, now I'm able to be able to set my priorities ahead of time. So each day I literally we sit down I did this morning, I write down my calendar for the day. So I always have an offline version of my calendar for the day. I'll write down my priorities and then just the way we go with the day so that's been the bullet journal of things but then my take on the bullet journal is biggest help for me is just getting it all centralized and been able to delegate more effectively to my team.

Gresham Harkless 10:04

Yeah, no, I absolutely love that. And just understanding kind of like, what you're able to accomplish how many hours you have in the day, because you understand these are two tasks, I'm gonna have to get done, anything else is left on this, I guess the left side would be something that you have to delegate that you, if you want it to be accomplished, you're going to have to find a way to do it. And often that is, you know, finding somebody or delegating that to somebody.

Wes Gay 10:23

Or delegate it to a machine. You can delegate via automation, which is great.

Gresham Harkless 10:28

Absolutely, absolutely. And 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?

Wes Gay 10:37

I'll start with the younger self, the younger self, I would say, be patient, because Lord willing, from the time, you know, a lot of us, were ready to just take on the world in our early 20s, right. And we think if we haven't made an under 30 list, by the time we're 30, then we failed. But the reality is, when you feel say you start your career at 22, you if you do traditional college, you're gonna start at 22 or 23. As long as your health is good, you legitimately have 50 years potentially of a career, that's enough to have to 25 year careers, right. So when you start so you could have two careers that are longer than they're longer in terms of years and the time you've been alive. When you started your first career. You have a long time, right? I'm not saying these had to be lazy. I'm just saying. And this is what I realized in my late 20s. And I would probably say this to everybody is be patient, keep at it. But realize you actually have a long time think more long term in terms of decades. Instead of days, I had a guy when I was writing for Forbes, I was in the under 30 channel, which is the millennials deal. And people just assumed I voted on the 30 under 30 list. I had no power I had no say I knew zero about that little thing work. But I had a guy DM me who had three or 400,000 Twitter followers. He's pretty big influencer in his particular space, CMO of a startup, you know, he was like an ambassador for NASA at one point, like super cool, but he's guy that's really cool stuff. And he asked me about the 30 under 30 thing. And I'm like, I don't know, I can ask. So I did. And he just didn't make the list. He was like, man, I've been trying my whole career for this. I'm like you're 25 if your career started three years ago, like a three year old is just being potty trained now, you know, it doesn't matter if you've not made it 30 under 30 list or not just be patient and think in terms of decades, not days. And I think you'll be amazed at the potential impact. In the end, you'll be amazed at how much more you can accomplish. So that's, that's my advice for the younger crowd. It's just man, just sit down and be patient and just go to work every day knowing you've got 40 years ahead of you.

Gresham Harkless 12:40

And now 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. So Wes, I wanted to ask you what does being a CEO mean to you?

Wes Gay 12:50

For me being a CEO means it's my responsibility to be the guide for everybody underneath me. And that means I need to be that stable character saying a story that is that understands where everybody else is, and is trying to help people get to their version of success. So that means with my team, I need to maybe remove blockers for them or to help them think through challenges or to help figure out how can I help them win in their own stories for my clients? How do I how do we facilitate and make it to where our clients can win in their own stories, so that means the CEO, I've always got to be a little further ahead than everybody else is, which means I'm constantly to be stretched and pushed, and think differently, put myself in different situations in order to force myself to grow beyond my current capacity, so that I can be a little bit ahead of my team and show them the way otherwise, I'm going to be outpaced by the organization or I'm gonna be outpaced by clients, I'm gonna be outpaced by other people. But it's my responsibility to help people win in their own stories, and make sure that I can facilitate that and get out of the way. So they're able to go out and win because when they were like, Oh, my team wins, our company wins. When our clients win, our company wins, because their success as a part of result of our work. And us being in the, in the in the posture of let me help you get to where you're trying to go. So to me, I think it really boils down to how do I do that? And then how do I And how do I need to constantly stay ahead of the game, so I'm better suited to be there for my team.

Gresham Harkless 14:18

Absolutely, absolutely. And I love your, your quotables. You know, how do you how do you help people win in their own story, because that's huge. And like you said, once you start putting out that energy, it starts to manifest itself in client relationships, personal relationships, and everything just starts to take off from there. So I definitely you know, appreciate that definition and Wes, I truly appreciate the time that you took today. What I want to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just there's anything additional, you want to let your readers and our listeners know and then of course how they can find you.

Wes Gay 14:43

Yeah, I would say and I work with companies all day long every day about getting clarity in their messaging. And I would say as somebody who is by kind of default a writer and somebody who is a big believer in brand messaging, brand positioning, I would challenge everybody to take 30 minutes or an hour today or tomorrow. and look at your own company's marketing collateral start with your website, can you in just five or six seconds on your website answer questions like, what do we do? How do people get started? And why does it benefit the customer? Right? Those three questions alone will generate enormous clarity for you. I'd also encourage you to read building a story brand, because I think what you're going to come out of with, you're going to be empowered with knowledge to frankly, be your own consultant and be able to address some of the gaps in your own business as a man sales are down and we're not closing as many deals or maybe we're a b2b brand, and our sales pipeline is too long. A lot of your problem is the messaging you're using, and you're just not being clear to people in a way that matters to them. So my challenge to you is think through everything your company says for marketing and sales and think about, Does this really matter to our audience? And if it doesn't, it's time to change it. So that would be my advice. I think the best way to find me is on Twitter, I'm just @wesgay on Twitter, I'm on LinkedIn, I don't really know how you find people on LinkedIn, because there's some things about LinkedIn, I still haven't figured it out. Just just look up, just look up Wes Gay, and you'll find me and you can check out our agencies hirewayfinder.com, to see some of the projects we're doing and the work we're doing as well.

Gresham Harkless 16:07

Absolutely. And we'll make sure to have those links in the show notes, including the LinkedIn, LinkedIn, if you can say that three times fascist, because that can sometimes be very user friendly, sometimes not. But, Wes, I truly appreciate your time and all the awesome things that you're doing and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Wes Gay 16:22

Thanks for having me.

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

[/restrict]

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.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button