CBNationI AM CEO PODCAST

IAM379 – Special Episode

Podcast interview with Gresham Harkless

Gresham “Gresh” W. Harkless Jr. is the founder and Blogger in Chief for CEO Blog Nation (CBNation.co) and is the founder and digital marketing specialist behind Blue 16 Media. Blue 16 Media is a digital marketing company providing digital marketing services to small to medium-sized businesses and organizations. Central to his marketing philosophy is that You Are a Media Company: Developing a Marketing Strategy to Connect with Your Target and Reach Your Goals. CBNation.co is a community of niche blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners including video content and audio content (podcast). 
CEO Hack: Insight Timer (http://cbnation.co/insighttimer) & Acuity (http://cbnation.co/acuity) | CEO Nugget: REcipe / Your Marketing Plan | CEO Defined: Responsibility
Website links:

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Transcription

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INTRO

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 IAMCEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:00

Hello, this is Gresh from the IMCEO Podcast, CBNation.co Blue16media and loads of other sites that I won't name right now. But you're now listening to the second of seven podcasts IAMCEO podcast that I'm drilling down a little bit deeper so you can hear some of the things that I think you should use some of the things that have resonated with me from podcasts. And really one of the big things and reasons for me doing this is because IAMCEO has turned one. So we've had the podcast for a little bit over a year. Now, as you're listening to this, it's been a really phenomenal journey. We've ramped up from having it be about probably two or three days a week now being a daily podcast and loads of work.

Appreciate Mercy, appreciate everybody on the team for for keeping the ball rolling. As I'm able to just kind of do the interviews and do some phenomenal things and talk with some phenomenal people. Shout out to all the guests that have been on the show as well too, because a lot of times, we wouldn't even have content if it wasn't for the phenomenal guests that we had. So I'm super excited for that. And as has been the tempo. We know for every podcast, I just wanted to drill down a little bit deeper. To tell you a little bit more about my CEO story.

[restrict paid=”true”]

What led me to kind of start my business I talked in the previous episode just a little bit more about what led me to start the Hearpreneur site. The site that came eventually evolved into the CEO blog nation and then became CBnation. But wanted to take a little bit more of a step back to tell you about Blue16 Media. Blue16 Media is a digital marketing service, digital marketing company, and agency.

So we provide web design and SEO services primarily. Which has definitely been a big push for CBNation. One of the big reasons for me starting that was because I had already had the blog, but always worked on WordPress websites didn't really understand the value of working on websites and understand the importance of it to entrepreneurs and business owners. Until I came across a guy, his name was Mike Moss, who was in a networking group called Business Networking International.

Fast forward years later, I was in BNI for about four years, probably a little bit more than that in two different chapters. But I really learned a tremendous amount as far as business and starting a business what exactly that looked like what exactly networking was the difference between adding versus farming, just all the strategic things that I hope to really drill down upon, and probably other episodes will be in this next segment in these seven episodes that were that I'm doing.

But that was really a pivotal point for me because I think that you become what you surround yourself around. And by me joining that networking group, and going there every single week, it provided a foundation for me to be confident in being a business owner, but also be able to build a business and understand exactly how to do that based on the people that were around me.

It was probably one of the biggest decisions that I did eventually make, but it kind of led to me it wasn't like I just found BNI, and then it just kind of came from there, I was actually doing some cold calls. It was the last job that I worked with. And I cold called Mike Moss, I actually think I was you know, it goes back to me like just being active, I think I found his information on one of these local flyers that have local companies that wanted to provide certain services.

So I called him, I talked with them. And then next thing, you know, I have a meeting with them. I tried to sell him advertising, but he didn't want to buy advertising he invited me to BNI I went to BNI to talk about the company that I was working with.

And then he's saying maybe you should try to do this other company. And the reason that he brought that up is that my way of getting into and talking with business owners was essentially talking about their websites. So I would go in, look at their website, and say hey, you need to work on this, this, and this. And one thing led to another and I was able to start working with him. And then he introduced me to that networking group and I had left the job at the time.

So I decided to start my business really through there. Luckily, I was staying at home so I didn't have the overhead that many people have when they start businesses. So I was literally able to start from nothing, They say zero, I'm gonna say negative, whatever number you can think of, but that's really where the business kind of started from.

And it just kind of grew from there. So that's, you know, a little bit into my CEO story. And as I mentioned, you know, we focus on web design and SEO Services. When I start talking a little bit more about you are a Media company and the Recipeee acronym as I talked about in the previous episode, you'll understand exactly what aspect of it that we provide value for. So that's really the goal of what it is that we do is to provide that foundation for those entrepreneurs and business owners to be successful. And I think that starts with the website. But also, SEO plays a big part in that as well, too. As you can hear my guest star in the back is trying to make her name be heard during the podcast as well.

So that is really what makes us unique. And, as I talked about before, the entire secret sauce, that mentality when we work with clients is all about helping them to understand that you should think strategically about your digital marketing. And when exactly you're doing, you should think strategically about everything related to your business. But again, because we're a digital marketing company, I'm going to skew towards, you know, speaking specifically like that. And, as you'll hear, you know, these these nuggets that I talk about in these future episodes, and again, you can go back to the CEO chat episodes, to hear more about it, you'll begin to understand that these are tools at your disposal, you don't necessarily have to use every single one of them.

But you want to make sure that you really have that perspective, based on all the opportunities that you have. And you're really thinking about your target market, you're really thinking about your goals, you're really thinking about your your ideal client and your resources to really make decisions based off of what you're going to use and not use. So it's really important to kind of have that strategic mindset.

And that's essentially what we do for clients. Like even though we're focusing on web design and SEO, I think the website is typically the foundation of your digital marketing strategy. It's been said it's been it's your digital storefront, it's 24/7 365, it's going to be speaking to clients for you when you're not there. So you want to make sure that it makes a really good impression, whether you're a consultant or whether it's hunting, and providing value and opportunities for you just want to make sure that you understand that and know that.

But we usually delve into some of those conversations about how exactly you should approach your digital marketing strategy, which I think is important. And that's really what I think is our secret sauce. And that we really try to ensure that you are following that you are media company mindset. And you are thinking strategically, with your target market in mind, and also your goals, and being honest about the resources that you have as well, too. So I think those are the biggest things that make us unique. And, as always, I wanted to switch gears a little bit.

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And I wanted to talk about a CEO hack, actually, two CEO hacks that I absolutely swear by. The first one is Insight Timer, probably within the past year, or maybe about a year or so I think I'm around 320 or so times that I've used the app, but I started to do meditation. And the reason that I started to do meditation is because I'm one of those people that wake up and want to get after it every single day. So when I wake up, I'm ready to use it and get after it granted, you know, there are good and bad mornings, but usually, I'm ready to jump into whatever it is that I'm doing. I just finished working the night before.

So I want to jump up and do it. But when I started to do as I've matured and gotten older, IAMCEO podcast is now one Blue16 Media is seven, I started to understand that it is definitely a marathon. And I started to approach things a lot more strategically with a lot more strategy related to just you know, using all your energy to try to get as much done.

So that's where meditation has really come in and has come in tremendously. I have two meditations that recently I've been listening to one after another. But the whole idea that I'm trying to do when I meditate is really, to become and get aware of that current moment that I'm in to be fully present in wherever I'm at.

And really to think about all the great things that I have that are available to me, but also to really drill down and focus so that I can choose to quickly figure out how I want to tackle this day, not let the day tackle me but let me strategically as much as possible, try to control that day and initiate the day as much as possible. So I swear by Insight Timer, it's completely free.

And you're there's another app that I use and I think it was Headspace that I used to do the first meditation and they had like a course that was amazing. But I decided that I didn't necessarily want to upgrade to I didn't think it was an upgrade. I think you had to do the paid version. But I found Insight Timer and I thought this was a phenomenal app. So I wanted to definitely leverage that. And I use it every single day. There's people that are people that create meditations I don't know exactly how that process works, but you are able to create a profile and create content on the platform. So I thought that was really awesome as well. So I swear by that hack.

And then the next hack that I also swear by equally, if not more is my scheduler, I use Acuity for my scheduling. The reason for that is it literally will help me to take something off my plate. So that's why I wanted to talk about these two hacks together because a lot of times we keep so many things in our heads. And we juggle so many things. And I myself have had it, where it's a challenge for me to hold on to this many things. But you don't really have to do that.

You have those apps and those things like my scheduler, which I can basically send a link to anybody that wants to get on my calendar, My calendar is completely up to date. And they can select what time they want to meet based on the link that they send. I use it for the podcast, I use it for one-to-ones I use it for intro calls, I use it for literally everything that I do.

And it saves so much time so much back and forth from having to figure out what time is the best time to speak. So I think these two hacks are huge because they will take things off of your plate. It leverages technology and allows you to work and use your mind and your headspace on highly valuable things. So definitely check out those two CEO hacks and go into the CEO nugget.

As I talked about there's an acronym the acronym is Recipeee. And in the recipeee, the very first thing I want to talk about is the R. And that is your marketing plan. So this is what's going to lay the foundation of what you're going to execute, You want to start to be really clear on how you're creating that marketing plan. So again, you're figuring out how to develop that sweet potato pie, what things you're going to put into it, your recipe, your marketing plan is going to tell you exactly what you're going to do what you're going to follow to make sure that you get there.

So that's really the big thing that you really want to try to keep in mind. Anytime you do any type of marketing, any type of strategy related to your business, you want to have a plan in place. And this is specifically related to your marketing plan. So what things are you going to execute on. What things are you going to do better than the competition. What things have you created from that mark, that marketing plan based on your target market based on your resources based on your goal, that's what really is going to follow from there. So make sure this nugget you listen to is on your ear, which is your marketing plan.

And then the last thing that I wanted to talk about was one of the things that has come up consistently when people define what being a CEO means to them. As I talk about all the time, we've had different CEOs on the show that define it for themselves. And it's this idea of responsibility. I think it really has resonated with me tremendously because I think a lot of times, you go through the day-to-day grind of running a business or running an organization or leading or whatever you are doing from a day-to-day standpoint, and sometimes you lose perspective on the responsibility that you have.

And I would say that even if you are a solopreneur, even if you know you have a team of five, you are at risk, You have a responsibility to not just the people that are on your team, but your clients and your customers to potentially your family and your friends. So when you do embark upon the journey, to be a CEO to be an entrepreneur, or to be a business owner, however you might define it keep in mind that there is a certain responsibility that goes along with that. And I think that has been one of the biggest things that has resonated with me from the guests that have been on the show as far as definition. I think that a lot it's a lot of times you will lose that perspective to understand that there is a responsibility in what you do You have a responsibility to leave it on the field, so to speak with everything that you do.

So it's just, it's just important to kind of keep that in mind. I think that definition is one definition that has come up consistently but it's huge because you are doing it not just for yourself, not just you know for your clients and customers not just for your your family and your friends, not just for your employees or contractors or team members, you're doing it for the world you're doing it to make the world a better place. The reason why you decided to start what you started is why you're doing and going through that grind.

So you have a responsibility to to carry out the plan that you said you were going to and you know I would definitely charge you I'm gonna charge myself I will charge everybody with executing what you know you're capable of doing. So definitely remember that as always, this is Gresh from the IMCEO podcast, You can check me out and find me on progreshion.com a funky spelling progreshion, You can also find us on all social media platforms at CEO blog nation. CBNation.co has a landing page that has everything we're working on and as always we are proud to order by Blue16 Media so please check out Blue16Media.com This is Gresh signing out I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day and take care.

OUTRO

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.

Gresham Harkless 0:00

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Hello, this is Gresh from the IMCEO Podcast, CBNation.co and Blue16media and loads of other sites that I won't name right now. But you're now listening to the second of seven podcasts IAMCEO podcast that I'm drilling down a little bit deeper so you can hear some of the things that I think that you should use some of the things that have resonated with me from these podcasts. And really one of the big things and reasons for me doing this is because IAMCEO has turned one. So we've had the podcast for a little bit over a year. Now, as you're listening to this, it's been a really phenomenal journey. We've ramped up from having it be about a probably about two or three days a week now being a daily podcast and loads of work.

Unknown Speaker 0:51

Appreciate Mercy, appreciate everybody on the team for for keeping the ball rolling. As I'm able to just kind of do the interviews and do some phenomenal things and talk with some phenomenal people. Shout out to all the guests that have been on the show as well too, because a lot of times, we wouldn't even have content if it wasn't for the phenomenal guests that we had. So I'm super excited for that. And as has been the tempo. We know for every podcast, I just wanted to drill down a little bit deeper. To tell you a little bit more about my CEO story.

Unknown Speaker 1:24

What led me to kind of start my business I talked in the previous episode just a little bit more about what led me to start the Hearpreneur site. The site which came eventually evolved into the CEO blog nation and then became CBnation. But wanted to take a little bit more of a step back to tell you about Blue16 Media. Blue16 Media is a digital marketing service, digital marketing company and an agency. So we provide web design and SEO services primarily. Which is best definitely been a big push for CBNation. But one of the big reasons for me starting that was because I had already had the blog, but always worked on WordPress websites didn't really understand the value of working on websites and understand the importance of it to entrepreneurs and business owners. Until I came across a guy, his name was Mike Moss, who was in a networking group called Business Networking International.

Unknown Speaker 2:23

Fast forward years later, I was in BNI for about four years, probably a little bit more than that in two different chapters. But I really learned a tremendous amount as far as business and starting a business what exactly that looked like what exactly networking was the difference between adding versus farming, just all the strategic things that I hope to really drill down upon, and probably other episodes will be in this next segment in these seven episodes that were that I'm doing. But that was really a pivotal point for me, because I think that you become what you surround yourself around. And by me joining that networking group, and going there every single week, it provided a foundation for me to be confident in being a business owner, but also be able to build a business and understand exactly how to do that based off the people that were around me.

Unknown Speaker 3:16

And it was probably one of the biggest decisions that I did eventually make, but it kind of was led to me it wasn't like I just found BNI, and then it just kind of came from there, I was actually doing some cold calls. It was the last job that I worked with. And I cold called Mike Moss, I actually think I was you know, it goes back to me like just being active, I think I found his information on one of these local flyers that have local companies that wanted to provide certain services. So I call him, I talk with them. And then next thing, you know, I have a meeting with them. I'm trying to sell him advertising, he doesn't want to buy advertising he invites me to BNI I go to BNI to talk about the company that I was working with.

Unknown Speaker 4:01

And then he's saying maybe you should try to do this other company. And the reason that he brought that up is because my way of getting into and talking with business owners was essentially talking about their website. So I would go in, look at their website, say hey, you need to work on this, this and this. And one thing led to another where I was able to start working with him. And then he introduced me to that networking group and I had left the job at the time. So I decided to start my business really through there. Luckily, I was staying at home so I didn't have the overhead that many people have when they start businesses. So I was literally able to start from nothing, they say zero, I'm gonna say negative, whatever number you can think of, but that's really where the business kind of started started from.

Unknown Speaker 4:45

And it just kind of grew from there. So that's, you know, a little bit into my CEO story. And as I mentioned, you know, we focus on web design and SEO Services. When I started talking a little bit more about the you are a media company and the Recipeee acronym as I talked about in the previous episode, you'll understand exactly what aspect of it that we provide value for. So that's really the goal of what it is that we do is to provide that foundation for those entrepreneurs and business owners to be successful. And I think that starts with website. But also, SEO plays a big part of that as well, too. As you can hear my guest star in the back is trying to make her name be heard during the podcast as well.

Unknown Speaker 5:27

So that is really what makes us unique. And, as I talked about before, the whole entire secret sauce, that mentality when we work with clients is all about helping them to understand that you should think strategically about your digital marketing. And when exactly you're doing, you should think strategically about everything related to your business. But again, because we're a digital marketing company, I'm going to skew towards, you know, speaking specifically like that. And, as you'll hear, you know, these these nuggets that I talk about in these future episodes, and again, you can go back to the CEO chat episodes, to hear more about it, you'll begin to understand that these are tools at your disposal, you don't necessarily have to use every single one of them.

Unknown Speaker 6:11

But you want to make sure that you really have that perspective, based off of all the opportunities that you have. And you're really thinking about your target market, you're really thinking about your goals, you're really thinking about your your ideal client and your resources to really make decisions based off of what you're going to use and not use. So it's really important to kind of have that strategic mindset. And that's essentially what we do for clients. Like even though we're focusing on web design, and SEO, I think the website is typically the foundation of your digital marketing strategy. It's been said it's been it's your digital storefront, it's 24/7 365, it's going to be speaking to clients for you when you're not there. So you want to make sure that it makes a really good impression, whether you're a consultant or whether it's hunting, and providing value and opportunities for you just want to make sure that you understand that and know that.

Unknown Speaker 7:03

But we usually delve into some of those conversations about how exactly you should approach your digital marketing strategy, which I think is important. And that's really what I think is our secret sauce. And that we really try to ensure that you are following that you are media company mindset. And you are thinking strategically, with your target market in mind, and also your goals and being honest about the resources that you have as well, too. So I think those are the biggest things that make us unique. And, and as always, I wanted to switch gears a little bit.

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Unknown Speaker 7:34

And I wanted to talk about a CEO hack, actually two CEO hacks that I absolutely swear by. The first one is Insight Timer, probably within the past year, or maybe about a year or so I think I'm around 320 or so times that I've used the app, but I started to do meditation. And the reason that I started to do meditation is because I'm one of those people that wake up and wants to get after it every single day. So when I wake up, I'm ready to use it get after it granted, you know, there's good and bad mornings, but usually I'm right ready to jump into whatever it is that I'm doing. I just finished working the night before.

Unknown Speaker 8:15

So I want to jump up and to doing it. But when I started to do as I've matured and gotten older, IAMCEO podcast is now one Blue16 Media is seven, I started to understand that it is definitely a marathon. And I started to approach things a lot more strategically with a lot more strategy related to just you know, using all your energy to try to get as much done. So that's where meditation has really come in and has come in tremendously. I have two meditations that recently I've been listening to one after another. But the whole idea that I'm trying to do when I meditate is really to, to become and get aware of that current moment that I'm in to be fully present in wherever I'm at.

Unknown Speaker 9:03

And really to think about all the great things that I have that are available to me, but also to really drill down and focus so that I can choose to quickly figure out how I want to tackle this day, not let the day tackle me but let me strategically as much as possible, try to control that day and initiate the day as much as possible. So I swear by Insight Timer, it's completely free.

Unknown Speaker 9:25

And you're there's another app that I use and I think it was Headspace that I used to do the first meditating and they had like a course that was amazing. But I decided that I didn't necessarily want to upgrade to I didn't think it was an upgrade. I think you had to do the paid version. But I found Insight Timer and I thought this was a phenomenal app. So I wanted to definitely leverage that. And I use it every single day. There's people that are people that create meditations that I don't know exactly how that process works, but you are able to to create a profile and create content on the platform. So I thought that was really awesome as well. So I swear by that hack.

Unknown Speaker 10:03

And then the next hack that I also swear by equally, if not more is my scheduler, I use Acuity for my scheduling. The reason for that is it literally will help me to take something off my plate. So that's why I wanted to talk about these two hacks together is because a lot of times we keep so many things in our head. And we juggle so many things. And I myself have had it, where it's a challenge for me to hold on to this many things. But you don't really have to do that.

Unknown Speaker 10:34

You have those apps and those things like my scheduler, which I can basically send a link to anybody that wants to get on my calendar, my calendar is completely up to date. And they can select what time they want to meet based off of the link that they send. I use it for the podcast, I use it for one to ones I use it for intro calls, I use it for literally everything that I do. And it saves so much time so much back and forth from having to figure out what time is the best time to speak. So I think these two hacks are huge, because they will take things off of your plate. And it leverages technology and allows you to work and use your your mind and your headspace on highly valuable things. So definitely check out those two CEO hacks and go into the CEO nugget.

Unknown Speaker 11:19

As I talked about there's an acronym the acronym is Recipeee. And in recipe, the very first things I want to talk about is the R. And that is your marketing plan. So this is what's going to lay the foundation of what you're going to execute, you want to start to be really clear on how you're creating that marketing plan. So again, you're figuring out how to develop that sweet potato pie, what things you're going to put into it, your recipe, your marketing plan is going to tell you exactly what you're going to do what you're going to follow to make sure that you get there.

Unknown Speaker 11:35

So that's really the big thing that you really want to try to keep in mind. Anytime you do any type of marketing, any type of strategy related to your business, you want to have a plan in place. And this is specifically related to your marketing plan. So what things are you going to execute on. What things are you going to do better than the competition. What things have you created from that mark, that marketing plan based on your target market based on your resources based on your goal, that's what really is going to follow from there. So make sure this nugget you listen to is your on your ear, which is your your marketing plan.

Unknown Speaker 12:31

And then the last thing that I wanted to talk about was one of the things that has come up consistently, when people define what being a CEO means to them. As I talk about all the time, we've have different CEOs on the show that define it for themselves. And it's this idea of responsibility. I think it really has resonated with me tremendously, because I think a lot of times, you go through the day to day grind of running a business or running an organization of leading or whatever you are doing from a day to day standpoint, and sometimes you lose perspective on the responsibility that you have.

Unknown Speaker 13:06

And I would say that even if you are a solopreneur, even if you know you have a team of five, you are at risk, you have a responsibility to not just the people that are on your team, but your clients and your customers to potentially your family and your friends. So when you do embark upon the journey, to be a CEO to be an entrepreneur or to be a business owner, however you might define it keep in mind that there is a certain responsibility that goes along with that. And I think that has been one of the biggest things that has resonated with me from the guests that have been on the show as far as definition. Because I think that a lot it's a lot of times you will lose that perspective to understand that there is a responsibility in what you do you have a responsibility to leave it on the field, so to speak with everything that you do.

Unknown Speaker 13:55

So it's just, it's just important to kind of keep that in mind. I think that definition is one definition that has come up consistently but it's huge because you are doing it not just for yourself, not just you know for your clients and customers not just for your your family and your friends, not just for your employees or contractors or team members, you're doing it for the world you're doing it to make the world a better place. The reason why you decided to start what you started is why you're doing and going through that grind.

Unknown Speaker 14:23

So you have a responsibility to to carry out the plan that you you said you were going to and you know I would definitely charge you I'm gonna charge myself I will charge everybody with executing on what you know you're capable of doing. So definitely remember that as always, this is Gresh from the IMCEO podcast, you can check me out and find me out on progreshion.com a funky spelling progression, you can also find us on all social media platforms at CEO blog nation. CBNation.co has a landing page that has everything we're working on and as always we are proud ordered by Blue16 Media so please check out Blue16Media.com This is Gresh signing out I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day and take care.

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.

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