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IAM347- Entrepreneur Builds Relationships Through Mobile Dating App

Podcast Interview with Lori Cheek

Architect turned Entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of Cheekd— a mobile dating app that makes missed connections obsolete- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cheekd/id807619613?mt=8. Lori, a Shark Tank Veteran, was recently listed as “The Digital Dating Disruptor” and “One of the Top 10 CEOs to Watch.” A University of Kentucky Architectural Graduate, Lori is no longer building structures. She's now building relationships.

  • CEO Hack: Fitness
  • CEO Nugget: Surround yourself with mentors and people you want to become
  • CEO Defined: Inventing something, living a lifestyle not a job

Websitehttp://cheekd.com/

itunes app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cheekd/id807619613?mt=8
Facebook: http://facebook.com/cheekd
Instagram: http://instagram.com/cheekd
Twitter: http://twitter.com/loricheeknyc

http://twitter.com/cheekd

Full Interview:


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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 0:29

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I've Lori cheek of Cheekd. Lori, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Lori Cheek 0:38

Thank you for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:40

No problem. Super excited to have you on and what I want to do is just read a little bit more about Lori so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. An Architect turned Entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of Cheekd— a mobile dating app that makes missed connections obsolete. Lori, a Shark Tank Veteran, was recently listed as “The Digital Dating Disruptor” and “One of the Top 10 CEOs to Watch.” A University of Kentucky Architectural Graduate, Lori is no longer building structures. She's now building relationships. Lori, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO Community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Lori Cheek 1:10

I'm ready.

Gresham Harkless 1:11

Awesome. Let's do it. So to kick everything off, I wanted to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story. And what led you to start your business?

Lori Cheek 1:18

Well, I've always been coming up with ideas my whole life. But there was one day when this light bulb moment would not go off in my head. I couldn't stop thinking about this idea. And I told hundreds of people about it over a year period. And everybody was like, this is genius. You've got to bring it to life. And I even had people calling me weeks after saying I needed your products in the subway the other day. So I heard it enough that I decided to make it happen. So that was 11 years ago, and I launched the company over nine years ago. And it's been quite the journey, I have to say,

Gresham Harkless 1:52

Nice. An entrepreneurial journey is always an interesting journey or a roller coaster, whatever you want to call it. So it's great to hear that not just hearing those people say you should create that you actually went through it, and created in true entrepreneurial fashion. So I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper here, a little bit more about Cheekd, can you tell us exactly what it is, what it does, and how it serves the clients you work with?

Lori Cheek 2:13

Well, the whole idea started out with me living in a city of 8 million people coming from a town of 2000 people and I realized how difficult it was to even meet someone where there are this many people, I mean New Yorkers are just really strangers to one another until you get into close proximity. But I also thought it was very hard to find a date after living here for 16 years. So Cheekd actually helps make real-life connections for dating. So real time real life. And it started out with a deck of cards that you could slip to strangers, they were dating cards of the head, if any pickup line in the code that led to an online profile.

And we've since pivoted in an eco-friendly way, which we got rid of the cards and now we have a Bluetooth app that sort of does the same thing. So if you walk into a bar or a cafe that connects you like your friends become a beacon. So it tells you who's single in the same space, and you have a chance to interact in person before starting this virtual nonsense that usually leads to nothing.

Gresham Harkless 3:13

There you go. Yeah, you can actually see, maybe I should go in that bar I shouldn't base off on whatever connection

Lori Cheek 3:18

Yeah, exactly.

Gresham Harkless 3:21

Exactly. So what would you consider to be what I call your secret sauce? And actually, it could be for your organization. Or it could be for yourself, but what do you feel sets you apart and makes you unique?

Lori Cheek 3:31

Well, I think our secret sauce for the app is actually pretty much what I just said, the fact that you have an opportunity to strike up real-life conversations face-to-face before. The swiping stuff that you can do in the comfort of your own home, that really doesn't lead to a lot. I mean, I've tried all the dating apps, and the number of times you make a match it is really slim chances to actually make a connection and find someone back in the real world. And my secret sauce is that I have been completely stubborn since I was a kid. And I think to be a successful entrepreneur. That's one of those bad characteristics that actually comes in very handy not taking no for an answer and just bulldozing forward no matter what.

Gresham Harkless 4:19

Exactly. You have to be relentless, especially when you have a vision and a goal, and especially when it's something that's unique or trendsetting or something that hasn't been created before. But I liked the fact that you mentioned that too. Because I think a lot of times the apps, they're either the real world or they're not the real world. So the fact that it sounds like you merge those two together where you have that app field, but at the same time you have that Bluetooth connection. So you have to be somewhere in the vicinity of the person's sounds. Would that be accurate?

Lori Cheek 4:48

Exactly.

Gresham Harkless 4:49

Exactly. Awesome, awesome, awesome. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this could be an app, a book, or a habit that you have But it's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

See also  IAM1521 - Author and Co-Founder Helps Salespeople Stay on Top of the Sales Game

Lori Cheek 5:03

I would have to say fitness has really been a crutch for me over the past decade building this business. I mean, I've been more stressed doing this than anything. Although it's been a magical experience, I have been more stressed about this than anything else in my life. And I find my release at the gym, I go there religiously, every single day unless I feel like I'm on my deathbed or traveling in an airplane for 24 hours, and I still find a way to work out.

Gresham Harkless 5:32

Absolutely, that makes perfect sense. And I even find that, at the end of the day, I usually have to go to the gym. That's what I try to put into my plan because it does get all that stress relief out. And if you don't do that, then it can start to build up and become a lot more. But when you're able to do that on a regular basis, it definitely helps.

Lori Cheek 5:49

Yes, exactly.

Gresham Harkless 5:52

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

Lori Cheek 6:03

Well, I think it's important, first of all, to surround yourself with the people that you want to become, that's probably the best advice I've heard. I mean, if you're surrounded by naysayers, or negative people, or people that I mean, I even remember some of my best friends early on, when I was hitting some serious brick walls in this journey. They're like, when do you decide to pull the plug on this thing? And I'm like, Do you know who you're talking to? How long have you known me, I don't know, just sitting there takes a lot of self-belief and determination. And I was born with both of those things. But also just to make sure that you're around people that you admire and that are super supportive.

Gresham Harkless 6:46

Absolutely your environment can definitely determine your altitude, as they say, is independent of who you're around, or who you're not around that can definitely, you know, make or break you a lot of times for people that may not have been born, you know, with that, that gene and that ability to do that. What would you kind of recommend to those people to kind of I guess, if it can be developed?

Lori Cheek 7:07

I mean, I think it's important to find mentors, and that's something that I actually didn't know to do. But that's sort of surrounding yourself with the right people. So I think, yeah, finding people that you admire that have been down that road before. I mean, I've gotten tonnes of calls from entrepreneurs before that have watched my journey, and what my advice, so I'm happy to take those calls, you'd be surprised at the number of people that have been down that road, they've been there before starting out. So I think that's probably some good advice for people that aren't born with the stubbornness that I was.

Gresham Harkless 7:45

Exactly, exactly, no, it's great to be able to tap into that expertise and tap into those people, because we're always trying to, a lot of times when you start something, you have a vision, you have a goal, and a lot of people give up on it. So I definitely appreciate you for going and continuing to build your business and build your vision that you have, because so many people don't do that. So I appreciate that. Thank you.

Lori Cheek 8:06

You're welcome.

Gresham Harkless 8:07

And now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different quote unquote, CEOs on the show. So Lori, what does being a CEO means to you?

Lori Cheek 8:19

I mean, I consider being a CEO as having invented something and built this dream of mine. And being a CEO to me, means living a lifestyle and not a job. So, I've given up a 16-year career in architecture and design to build this dream. And now, I'm not getting paid to build someone else's dream working 40 to 50 hours a week, I've got a life dedicated to building my own, and it's been the most magical road of my life.

Gresham Harkless 8:49

Nice. And I definitely think that's what everybody else can definitely aspire to do if you have that vision to go on and do that. And definitely, it can be difficult sometimes when you are leaving, what is the norm or what is the comfort zone especially, but I appreciate you for doing that, and also helping out others as well. So, Lori, I appreciate your time. And what I want to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know. And then of course how best they can download, chat and find out about all the awesome things that you're doing.

Lori Cheek 9:19

Yeah, so our app is free. If you're single, it works well in an urban environment because it does work within a 30-foot radius. So if you're out in the boonies, where I grew up in Kentucky, it might not work so well. But if you are in a city, you can download our app Cheekd on the iTunes store. We also have a spin-off of Cheekd called Networked, it's the same sort of app for networking, and that's in the Google Play and iTunes Store. Both are free. You've got nothing to lose except a little space on your phones. And on social media, we're pretty much Cheekd on everything.

Gresham Harkless 9:53

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, thank you so much again, and we'll make sure to have those links in the show notes as well so that anybody can follow up with you But I appreciate your time and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Lori Cheek 10:03

Thank you so much. Nice to speak with you.

Outro 10:05

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  IAM1363 - Author Helps Entrepreneurs Develop Instant Credibility by Writing a Book

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 0:29

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I've Lori cheek of Cheekd. Lori, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Lori Cheek 0:38

Thank you for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:40

No problem. Super excited to have you on and what I want to do is just read a little bit more about Lori so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. An Architect turned Entrepreneur, Founder and CEO of Cheekd— a mobile dating app that makes missed connections obsolete- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cheekd/id807619613?mt=8. Lori, a Shark Tank Veteran, was recently listed as “The Digital Dating Disruptor” and “One of the Top 10 CEOs to Watch.” A University of Kentucky Architectural Graduate, Lori is no longer building structures. She's now building relationships. Lori, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO Community?

Lori Cheek 1:10

I'm ready.

Gresham Harkless 1:11

Awesome. Let's do it. So to kick everything off, I wanted to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story. And what led you to start your business?

Lori Cheek 1:18

Well, I've always been coming up with ideas my whole life. But there was one day when this light bulb moment would not go off in my head. I couldn't stop thinking about this idea. And I told hundreds of people about it over a year period. And everybody was like, this is genius. You've got to bring it to life. And I even had people calling me weeks after saying I needed your products in the subway the other day. So I heard it enough that I decided to make it happen. So that was 11 years ago, and I launched the company over nine years ago. And it's been quite the journey, I have to say,

Gresham Harkless 1:52

Nice. An entrepreneurial journey is always an interesting journey or a roller coaster, whatever you want to call it. So it's great to hear that not just hearing those people say you should create that you actually went through it, and created in true entrepreneurial fashion. So I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper here, a little bit more about Cheekd, can you tell us exactly what it is, what it does, and how it serves the clients you work with?

Lori Cheek 2:13

Well, the whole idea started out with me living in a city of 8 million people coming from a town of 2000 people and I realised how difficult it was to even meet someone where there's this many people, I mean New Yorkers are just really strangers to one another until you get into close proximity. But I also thought it was very hard to find a date after living here for 16 years. So Cheekd actually helps make real life connections for dating. So real time real life. And it started out with a deck of cards that you could slip to strangers, they were dating cards of the head, if any pickup line in the code that led to an online profile. And we've since pivoted in an eco friendly way, which we got rid of the cards and now we have a Bluetooth app that sort of does the same thing. So if you walk into a bar or a cafe that connects you, like your friends become a beacon. So it tells you who's single in the same space, and you have a chance to interact in person before starting this virtual nonsense that usually leads to nothing.

Gresham Harkless 3:13

There you go. Yeah, you can actually see, maybe I should go in that bar I shouldn't based off of whatever connection

Lori Cheek 3:18

Yeah, exactly.

Gresham Harkless 3:21

Exactly. So what would you consider to be what I call your secret sauce? And actually, it could be for your organisation? Or it could be for yourself, but what do you feel sets you apart and makes you unique?

Lori Cheek 3:31

Well, I think our secret sauce for the app is actually pretty much what I just said, the fact that you have an opportunity to strike up real life conversations face to face before. The swiping stuff that you can do in the comfort of your own home, that really doesn't lead to a lot. I mean, I've tried all the dating apps and the number of times you make a match it is really slim chances to actually make a connection and find someone back in the real world. And my secret sauce is that I have been completely stubborn since I was a kid. And I think to be a successful entrepreneur. That's one of those bad characteristics that actually comes in very handy and not taking no for an answer and just bulldozing forward no matter what.

Gresham Harkless 4:19

Exactly. You have to be relentless, especially when you have a vision and a goal, and especially when it's something that's unique or trendsetting or something that hasn't been created before. But I liked the fact that you mentioned that too. Because I think a lot of times the apps, they're either real world or they're not real world. So the fact that it sounds like you merge those two together where you have that app field, but at the same time you have that Bluetooth connection. So you have to be somewhere in the vicinity of the person sounds. Is that would that be accurate?

Lori Cheek 4:48

Exactly.

Gresham Harkless 4:49

Exactly. Awesome, awesome, awesome. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this could be an app, a book or a habit that you have But it's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Lori Cheek 5:03

I would have to say fitness has really been a crutch for me over the past decade building this business. I mean, I've been more stressed doing this than anything. Although it's been a magical experience, I have been more stressed in this than anything else in my life. And I find my release at the gym, I go there religiously, every single day, unless I feel like I'm on my deathbed or travelling in an aeroplane for 24 hours, and I still find a way to work out.

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Gresham Harkless 5:32

Absolutely, that makes perfect sense. And I even find like, at the end of the day, I usually have to go to the gym. That's what I try to put into my plan, because it does get all that stress relief out. And if you don't do that, then it can start to build up and become a lot more. But when you're able to do that on a regular basis, it definitely helps.

Lori Cheek 5:49

Yes, exactly.

Gresham Harkless 5:52

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

Lori Cheek 6:03

Well, I think it's important, first of all, to surround yourself with the people that you want to become, that's probably the best advice I've heard. I mean, if you're surrounded by naysayers, or negative people, or people that I mean, I even remember some of my best friends early on, when I was hitting some serious brick walls in this journey. They're like, when do you decide to pull the plug on this thing? And I'm like, Do you know who you're talking to? How long have you known me, I don't know, that just sit there takes a lot of self belief and determination. And I was born with both of those things. But also just to make sure that you're around people that you admire and that are super supportive.

Gresham Harkless 6:46

Absolutely in your environment can definitely determine your altitude, as they say, is independent on who you're around, or who you're not around that can definitely, you know, make or break you a lot of times for people that may not have been born, you know, with that, that gene and that ability to do that. What would you kind of recommend to those people to kind of I guess, if it can be developed?

Lori Cheek 7:07

I mean, I think it's important to find mentors, and that's something that I actually didn't know to do. But that's sort of surrounding yourself with the right people. So I think, yeah, finding people that you admire that have been down that road before. I mean, I've gotten tonnes of calls for entrepreneurs before that have watched my journey, and what my advice, so I'm happy to take those calls, you'd be surprised at the number of people that have been down that road, they've been there before starting out. So I think that's probably some good advice for people that aren't born with the stubbornness that I was.

Gresham Harkless 7:45

Exactly, exactly, no, it's great to be able to tap into that expertise and tap into those people, because we're always trying to, a lot of times when you start something, you have a vision, you have a goal, and a lot of people give up on it. So I definitely appreciate you for going and continuing to build your business and build your vision that you have, because so many people don't do that. So I appreciate that. Thank you.

Lori Cheek 8:06

You're welcome.

Gresham Harkless 8:07

And now I wanted 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 the show. So Lori, what does being a CEO means to you?

Lori Cheek 8:19

I mean, I consider being a CEO is having invented something and built this dream of mine. And being a CEO to me, means living a lifestyle and not a job. So, I've gave up a 16 year career in architecture and design to build this dream. And now, I'm not getting paid to build someone else's dream working 40 to 50 hours a week, I've got a life dedicated to building my own, and it's been the most magical road of my life.

Gresham Harkless 8:49

Nice. And I definitely think that's everybody else can definitely aspire to do if you have that vision to go on and do that. And definitely it can be difficult sometimes when you are leaving, what is the norm or what is the comfort zone especially, but I appreciate you for doing that, and also helping out others as well do that. So, Lori, I appreciate your time. And what I want to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know. And then of course how best they can download, chat and find out about all the awesome things that you're doing.

Lori Cheek 9:19

Yeah, so our app is free. If you're single, it works well in an urban environment because it does work within a 30 foot radius. So if you're out in the boonies, where I grew up in Kentucky, it might not work so well. But if you are in a city, you can download our app its Cheekd on the iTunes store. We also have a spin off of Cheekd called Networked, it's the same sort of app for networking, and that's in the Google Play and iTunes Store. Both are free. You've got nothing to lose except a little space on your phones. And on social media, we're pretty much Cheekd on everything.

Gresham Harkless 9:53

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, thank you so much again, and we'll make sure to have those links in the show notes as well so that anybody can follow up with you But I appreciate your time and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Lori Cheek 10:03

Thank you so much. Nice to speak with you.

Outro 10:05

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]

 

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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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