Black Wall StreetI AM CEO PODCASTSocial Entrepreneurship

IAM266- Social Impact Strategist Helping Companies Define Their Social Impact

Podcast interview with Deloris Wilson

Deloris Wilson is a trained lawyer who found her passion in helping companies define their social impact strategies. She leads her company, AXL, a mission-driven firm to help other businesses leave a mark in the society.

This was a live recording at the PurpleCon event.

  • CEO Hack: (1) Time blocking (2) Self- Journal
  • CEO Nugget: Do the self-reflection and determine where your goals are so you do things in alignment with the vision and mission.
  • CEO Defined: Making the hard decisions, putting your business and employees before yourself and knowing when to delegate

Websitehttps://www.movewithaxl.com/


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 0:28

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast, I have a very special guest on the show today I have Deloris Wilson of AXL. Deloris, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Deloris Wilson 0:35

Thank you for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:36

No problem. Super excited to have you on. So I wanted to hear a little bit more about PurpleCon. And how's it going?

Deloris Wilson 0:41

Absolutely. PurpleCon has been phenomenal. I was really excited to serve as a moderator earlier today on a panel about authentic brand storytelling and how you connect with audiences, both online and offline. So having built communities leading one and working in social impact, it's really important to be able to tell your authentic story. And for those that are elevating the stories of others, how do you kind of draw out that information and use it to amplify their messages? So we had a really kind of in-touch conversation about how you leverage social media kind of the the pitfalls and the opportunities and how we can grow our brand through storytelling.

Gresham Harkless 1:12

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And I always feel that people get attached and connected to stories. So have an opportunity to tell your story. Gana is a way to kind of differentiate your brand, you find the same thing.

Deloris Wilson 1:22

Absolutely. I mean, your story is your truth. And when you lead with your story, you end up aligning with people and opportunities and just different things that come into contact with you because of your truth. A lot of times people say, Well, how did you do that? Or how did that happen? And so much of your success is serendipitous when you'll find kind of what that common thread is when people lead with who they were the universe really aligned them with the folks that they needed to meet the opportunities that needed to open their doors. And that's really how some of these things happened.

Gresham Harkless 1:49

Yeah, makes perfect sense. So now this perfect segue, I'm going to ask you for what I call your CEO story. And what led you to start your business?

Deloris Wilson 1:54

Absolutely, I started my business because I realized what I didn't want to do. So formally trained as a lawyer and a policy walk, finish law and grad school knew I didn't want to have a traditional legal path, I knew I wanted to work in social impact, and kind of the transition or kind of the professional trajectory into a social impact consulting position at a firm and at the level of which I knew I could execute when we required me to really start at the bottom, and not make enough money and do work that I knew I had already proven myself to be capable of more. And I just didn't want to join that rat race. So I said I'll just create it myself.

So I started my own company, I started AXL as a mission-driven social impact consulting firm that helps nonprofits, mission-driven startups, and corporations to really define their social impact strategies, analyze their using programs and offer a data-driven and culturally conscious approach to impact investing, I created this first by working as a client to my friends.

I was pulling in very small contracts, it was kind of like a side project that I enjoyed. But as I grew, my brand grew, my network built, my services became more defined, and I was able to take on larger clients. And it's really amplified me to where I am today, I'm in touch that actually, research that I published ended up really driving a dual role that I serve right now as head of strategy and operations at Beacon, the DC women founders initiative.

So it's really cool to kind of liaise between being an entrepreneur myself and supporting other entrepreneurs. And I would have never even been in this space, had I not taken that leap to really do what I wanted to do with my time.

Gresham Harkless 3:24

Yeah, that's a really great reminder, because a lot of times people were thinking they might be listening now thinking about potentially doing something or having this idea. But a lot of times you let circumstances sometimes dictate that you don't actually take that leap. So it's great to hear you did that.

Deloris Wilson 3:36

Absolutely and I didn't know that. Like, you can weave in and out of things. And that may be an opportunity that doesn't look exactly on par with where you're headed but maybe would provide some stability or provide a network or provide a skill set that you want it to develop that will then make your own idea even stronger. I think sometimes people feel if I can't achieve that massive goal now then I shouldn't do it at all, like no, you've got to bite it off in the segments that you can digest now, and utilize everything around you to feed into that. So you can really attack the big thing later.

Gresham Harkless 4:06

Makes perfect sense. The quickest way to eat it elephant is one bite at a time so now I want to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this can be for you or your organization. Well, what do you feel kind of makes you unique and sets you apart?

Deloris Wilson 4:18

Absolutely. I think for me personally, is that I'm highly adaptable. I have lived in a lot of places I've been in so many different sorts of roles, I've had to do a lot with a little. And so really being resourceful and being able to adapt to my surroundings makes me a better person because I know I can find happiness anywhere. And I think how that translates to my work. As a strategist, I'm constantly having to think 2, 3, 4, or 5 feet ahead days, months years ahead for my clients that are kind of in the weeds, I have to take that long-term approach.

And so with that, I have to expect the unknown I have to respond to things that we weren't necessarily planning for. But as much as I can anticipate some of those challenges and advise them on how to structure operations or management styles, that sort of thing. So definitely being adaptable is so relevant and necessary, both personally and professionally.

See also  IAM457- CEO and Podcaster Assists Creatives Start and Scale Their Businesses

Gresham Harkless 5:05

Yeah, and I would say for anybody to be successful, you definitely have to be there, especially from an entrepreneurial standpoint, because you always have to understand what resources you have and sometimes come up with other out-of-the-box ways to kind of accomplish them. So 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.

Deloris Wilson 5:23

Oh, CEO hack, I have a lot of hacks. I would say number one, because, in terms of time management, I juggle a lot of things, my own company, and helping other people run their companies. I'll take on random projects that are short term, how do I manage it all time blocking number one thing, the surefire way to be completely unproductive and to lose an entire day is to not plan your day, and be hop around projects with no clear end goal in mind, I use what's called a self journal, which I absolutely love. It allows you to chart out your day I like to write things down. I haven't Google Cow. But my daily things are still handwritten with a pen and paper. I write this down. But it asked me every morning, what are three things that I'm grateful for? It asked me what is my immediate goal, what are my three top priorities for the day, and what will make today a win for me to finish those three tasks, and then at the end of the day, I have a reflection.

And that just really makes things go full circle, because sometimes when you're just doing so many things like you can be busy all day, but what actually got done, what I can see that and track it and see that over time, it really gives you the motivation and the planning that you need to continue to be successful. So time blocking, number one, and then self journal, I would literally die without that thing.

Gresham Harkless 6:31

And it makes perfect sense. And to be able to do that, at the end of the day, let you kind of control your day, because a lot of times a lot of craziness pops up

Deloris Wilson 6:38

Emails will control you if you let them play. And I'm actually probably going to adopt some new strategies for my friend Morgan, where she's like, I only check my email at 10 am and 4 pm. And if it's an emergency, you better call my phone. And I'm like, You know what? I need that because emails have really taken over my day sometimes. And it's Yeah, I can't be responded to you all the time.

Gresham Harkless 6:56

Exactly. Yeah, I'm in Tim Ferriss. That's a lot too for the four-hour workweek I'm checking into and I'd say I do 10 to 2:30. So now I would 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?

Deloris Wilson 7:10

Oh, I would say to my younger business self and this is true. I think of any entrepreneur, you need to design your services to the needs of your clients. Right. But I think in the early business days when I was I didn't really know what I was trying to offer, I knew I had an objective that I wanted to achieve, but I didn't know how I was going to translate my strengths into those deliverables or services into in a way that other folks could clearly understand. So because I didn't really take the time to do the self-work reflection or kind of itemization of my skill set, I became more responsive to client needs than proactive in showing and telling what it was that I did and could offer and saying know what I need to do and saying yes, when I needed to.

So I learned that over time and became very good at my notes and very good with my essence and making sure that I'm staying in alignment inbound on where I want to take my company. But before I was kind of flipping back and forth, but I had to figure it out. So that worked for me. But I would say the earlier you can do that the better. Because I think you'll be more successful when you're more intentional.

Gresham Harkless 8:12

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And a lot of times because when you start a business, you're trying to find a market for your needs. So sometimes you have to test things out to see if they weren't or like just like you said, you have to understand where your mission is where your goal is, and you have to make sure everything you do is in alignment with that absolutely makes perfect sense. So now I want to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And We're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on this show, to look at what it means to be an entrepreneur, business owner, and CEO. So what does being a CEO mean to you?

Deloris Wilson 8:38

Being a CEO means making hard decisions. It means sometimes putting your business before yourself, it means oftentimes putting employees before yourself. And it means knowing how to delegate, I think that the number one factor that separates a successful business from an unsuccessful business is knowing that in order to grow, delegation is required. And if you continue to hold on to everything and have to have control over every single aspect and think that only you have the right answer your business is not going to be successful.

Gresham Harkless 9:10

Absolutely. Have to be able to empower people to be able to do their job and to do it sometimes better than us in some aspects. So I appreciate you appreciate your time, what I want to do is pass you the mic just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know and how best they can get a hold of you.

Deloris Wilson 9:24

Absolutely. So thank you for having me. First of all, I invite listeners to subscribe to my website Dwilson.co. There you can follow me on all of my social impact stuff, see what's happening with myself with Beacon, the DC women founders initiative, and how we're really supporting diversity inclusion across the city of DC. I also invite folks to follow us @beacondc.com If you're interested in seeing events, opportunities for funding, etc, for women entrepreneurs, so a great way to plug into the city and see all that we have to offer.

Gresham Harkless 9:54

Awesome, awesome, awesome, we'll make sure to have those links in the show notes as well, but I appreciate you appreciate your time. May you have phenomenal rest of the day

Deloris Wilson 10:00

Awesome. Thank you for having me.

Outro 10:02

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

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

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 0:28

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast, I have a very special guest on the show today I have Deloris Wilson of AXL. Deloris, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Deloris Wilson 0:35

Thank you for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:36

No problem. Super excited to have you on. So I wanted to hear a little bit more about purpleCon. And how's it going?

Deloris Wilson 0:41

Absolutely. PurpleCon has been phenomenal. I was really excited to serve as a moderator earlier today on a panel about authentic brand storytelling and how you connect with audiences, both online and offline. So having built communities leading one and working in social impact, it's really important to be able to tell your authentic story. And for those that are elevating the stories of others, how do you kind of draw out that information and use it to amplify their messages. So we had a really kind of in touch conversation about how you leverage social media kind of the the pitfalls and the opportunities and how we can grow our brand through storytelling?

Gresham Harkless 1:12

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And I always feel that people get attached and connected to stories. So have an opportunity to tell your story. Gana is a way to kind of differentiate your brand, you find the same thing.

Deloris Wilson 1:22

Absolutely. I mean, the your story is your truth. And when you lead with your story, you end up aligning with people and opportunities and just different things that come into contact with you because of your truth. A lot of times people say, Well, how did you do that? Or how did that happen. And so much of your success is serendipitous, when you'll find kind of what that common thread is when people lead with who they were the universe really aligned them with the folks that they needed to meet the opportunities that needed to open their doors. And that's really how some of these things happened.

Gresham Harkless 1:49

Yeah, makes perfect sense. So now this perfect segue, I'm going to ask you for what I call your CEO story. And what led you to start your business?

Deloris Wilson 1:54

Absolutely, I started my business because I realised what I didn't want to do. So formally trained as a lawyer and a policy walk, finish law and grad school knew I didn't want to have a traditional legal path, I knew I wanted to work in social impact, and kind of the transition or kind of the professional trajectory into a social impact consulting position at a firm and at the level of which I knew I could execute, when we required me to really start at the bottom, and not make enough money and do work that I knew I had already proven myself to be capable of more. And I just didn't want to join that rat race. So I said I'll just create it myself. So I started my own company, I started AXL as a mission driven social impact consulting firm that helps nonprofits, mission driven startups and corporations to really define their social impact strategies, analyse their using programmes and offer a data driven and culturally conscious approach to impact investing, I created this first by working as a client to my friends. I was pulling in very small contracts, it was kind of like a side project that I enjoyed. But as I grew, my brand grew, my network built, my services became more defined, and I was able to take on larger clients. And it's really amplified me to where I am today, I'm in touch that actually, research that I published ended up really driving a dual role that I serve right now as head of strategy and operations at Beacon, the DC women founders initiative. So it's really cool to kind of liaise between being an entrepreneur myself and supporting other entrepreneurs. And I would have never even been in this space, had I not taken that leap to really do what I wanted to do with my time.

Gresham Harkless 3:24

Yeah, that's a really great reminder, because a lot of times people were thinking they might be listening now thinking about potentially doing something or have this idea. But a lot of times you let circumstances sometimes dictate that you don't actually take that leap. So it's great to hear you did that?

Deloris Wilson 3:36

Absolutely and I didn't know that. Like, you can weave in and out of things. And that maybe an opportunity that doesn't look exactly on par with where you're headed but maybe would provide some stability or provide a network or provide a skill set that you want it to develop that will then make your own idea even stronger. I think sometimes people feel if I can't achieve that massive goal now then I shouldn't do it at all, like no, you've got to bite it off in the segments that you can digest now, and utilise everything around you to feed into that. So you can really attack the big thing later.

Gresham Harkless 4:06

Makes perfect sense. The quickest way to eat it elephant is one bite at a time so now I want to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this can be for you or your organisation Well, what do you feel kind of makes you unique and sets you apart?

Deloris Wilson 4:18

Absolutely. I think for me personally, is that I'm highly adaptable. I have lived in a lot of places I've been in so many different sorts of roles, I've had to do a lot with a little. And so really being resourceful and being able to adapt to my surroundings makes me a better person, because I know I can find happiness anywhere. And I think how that translates to my work. As a strategist, I'm constantly having to think 2, 3, 4 or 5 feet ahead days, months years ahead for my clients that are kind of in the weeds, I have to take that long term approach. And so with that, I have to expect the unknown I have to respond to things that we weren't necessarily planning for. But as much as I can anticipate some of those challenges and advise them on how to structure operations or management styles, that sort of thing. So definitely being adaptable is is so relevant and necessary, both personally and professionally.

Gresham Harkless 5:05

Yeah, and I would say for anybody to be successful, you definitely have to be there, especially from an entrepreneurial standpoint, because you always have to understand what resources you have and sometimes come up with other out of the box ways to kind of accomplish them. So 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.

See also  IAM936- Founder Helps Business Leaders to Remain Authentic

Deloris Wilson 5:23

Oh, CEO hack, I have a lot of hacks. I would say number one, because in terms of time management, I juggle a lot of things, my own company, helping other people run their companies. I'll take on random projects that are short term, how do I manage it all time blocking number one thing, the surefire way to be completely unproductive and to lose an entire day is to a not plan your day, and be hop around projects with no clear end goal in mind, I use what's called a self journal, which I absolutely love. It allows you to chart out your day I like to write things down. I haven't Google cow. But my daily things are still handwritten with a pen and paper. I write this down. But it asked me every morning, what are three things that I'm grateful for? It asked me what is my immediate goal, what are my three top priorities for the day, what will make today a win for me to finish those three tasks, and then at the end of the day, you have a reflection. And that just really makes things go full circle, because sometimes when you're just doing so many things, like you can be busy all day, but what actually got done, what I can see that and track it and see that over time, it really gives you the motivation and the planning that you need to continue to be successful. So time blocking, number one, and then self journal, I would literally die without that thing.

Gresham Harkless 6:31

And it makes perfect sense. And to be able to do that, at the end of the day, let you kind of control your day, because a lot of times a lot of craziness pops up

Deloris Wilson 6:38

Emails will control you if you let them play. And I'm actually probably going to adopt some new strategies for my friend Morgan, where she's like, I only check my email at 10am and 4pm. And if it's emergency, you better call my phone. And I'm like, You know what? I need that because emails have really taken over my day sometimes. And it's Yeah, I can't be responded to you all the time.

Gresham Harkless 6:56

Exactly. Yeah, I'm in Tim Ferriss. That a lot too for the four hour workweek I'm checking into and I'd say I do 10 to 2:30. So now I would 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?

Deloris Wilson 7:10

Oh, I would say to my younger business self and this is true. I think of any entrepreneur, you need to design your services to the needs of your clients. Right. But I think in early business days when I was I didn't really know what I was trying to offer, I knew I had an objective that I wanted to achieve, I didn't know how I was going to translate my strengths into those deliverables or services into in a way that other folks could clearly understand. So because I didn't really take the time to do the self work reflection, or kind of itemization of my skill set, I became more responsive to client needs than proactive in showing and telling what it was that I did and could offer and saying know what I need to do and saying yes, when I when I needed to. So I learned that over time and became very good at my notes and very good with my essence and to make sure that I'm staying in alignment inbound on where I want to take my company. But before I was kind of flipping back and forth, but I had to figure it out. So that worked for me. But I would say the earlier you can do that the better. Because I think you'll be more successful when you're more intentional.

Gresham Harkless 8:12

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And a lot of times because when you start a business, you're trying to find a market for your needs. So sometimes you have to test things out to see if they weren't or like just like you said, you have to understand where your mission is where your goal is, and you have to make sure everything you do is in alignment with that absolutely makes perfect sense. So now I want to ask you my absolute favourite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different quote unquote CEOs on this show, look at what it means to be an entrepreneur, business owner and CEO. So what does being a CEO mean to you?

Deloris Wilson 8:38

Being a CEO means making the hard decisions. It means sometimes putting your business before yourself, it means oftentimes putting employees before yourself. And it means knowing how to delegate, I think that is a number one factor that separates a successful business from an unsuccessful business is knowing that in order to grow, delegation is required. And if you continue to hold on to everything and have to have control over every single aspect and think that only you have the right answer your business is not going to be successful.

Gresham Harkless 9:10

Absolutely.Have to be able to empower people to be able to do their job and to do it sometimes better than us in some aspects. So I appreciate you appreciate your time, what I want to do is pass you the mic just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know and how best they can get a hold of you.

Deloris Wilson 9:24

Absolutely. So thank you for having me. First of all, I invite listeners to subscribe to my website Dwilson.co. There you can follow me on all of my social impact stuff, see what's happening with myself with Beacon, the DC women founders initiative and how we're really supporting diversity inclusion across the city of DC. I also invite folks to follow us at the BeaconDc.com If you're interested in seeing events, opportunities for funding, etc, for women entrepreneurs, so great way to plug into the city and see all that we have to offer.

Gresham Harkless 9:54

Awesome, awesome, awesome, we'll make sure to have those links in the show notes as well, but I appreciate you appreciate your time. May you have phenomenal rest of the day

Deloris Wilson 10:00

Awesome. Thank you for having me.

Outro 10:02

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