I AM CEO PODCASTProductivity

IAM403- Entrepreneur Creates Systems and Workflows for Business Owners

Podcast Interview with Charlotte Parsons

Charlotte runs The Work In Process, a systems and workflows consultancy for business owners who are tired of the hustle and crave more time and freedom in their businesses. She works with clients all over the glove, providing VIP Level support in creating custom workflows, automations and client experiences using software like Dubsado, Acuity and Asana.

  • CEO Hack: Dubsado
  • CEO Nugget: You don't have to do it all
  • CEO Defined: Working on the things that matter

Website: https://theworkinprocess.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theworkinprocess/


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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 0:30

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I'm Charlotte Parsons of The Work In Process. Charlotte, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Charlotte Parsons 0:39

Thanks, Gresh. I'm excited to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:41

No problem. Super excited to have you on the show. And what I wanted to do was read a little bit more about Charlotte so you can hear all the awesome things that she's doing. Charlotte runs that work in process, a systems and workflow consultancy for business owners who are tired of the hustle and crave more time and freedom in their businesses. She works with clients all over the globe, providing VIP-level support and creating custom workflow automation and client experiences using softwares like Dubsado, Acuity, and Asana. Charlotte, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO Podcast Community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Charlotte Parsons 1:14

Yeah, I'd love to. I'm looking forward to it.

Gresham Harkless 1:16

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

Charlotte Parsons 1:22

Yeah, absolutely. I think that I have a bit of a brain that's always thinking about how to make things better. And that kind of led me into creative agencies, which was a lot of fun. And I got to flex a lot of those muscles. But as we all kind of do, at some point, I felt like I needed a little bit more of a change, I realized that I could kind of put the skills I'd learned streamlining bigger businesses into use with smaller businesses and probably make a bigger difference and help people get time back. And at the same time, I was able to do that for myself, which is very selfish.

Gresham Harkless 1:53

Yeah, we need to do that sometimes though.

Charlotte Parsons 1:55

Yeah, we do. Absolutely. It's important to know why you're starting a business, I think.

Gresham Harkless 2:00

Yeah

Charlotte Parsons 2:01

Because it's quite the journey. And it's sometimes nail-biting, as everybody probably knows that has a business.

Gresham Harkless 2:07

Exactly. Yeah, it's definitely Nailbiter on that roller coaster ride that always seems to happen. There's always ups and downs, and lows, but it's great to hear that, you know, you kind of reach to try and to help out these, you know, small to medium-sized business owners it sounds like because they do, you know, do a lot of the hiring and make a lot of the impact. So really, they're juggling a bunch of things. So it's great to hear that you're you're helping out with that.

Charlotte Parsons 2:30

Yeah, for sure. I think sometimes small businesses don't get the perks that bigger businesses get. I mean, it's kind of obvious when you say it like that. But it is, you know, it gives me a lot of happiness to help people that sometimes, you know, in their business on their own juggling a lot of hats by themselves.

Gresham Harkless 2:46

Absolutely, I definitely appreciate that. Because sometimes the smaller businesses don't have as many resources, which also sounds obvious, I guess you could say, too. So it's great to hear that, you know, not only that, you're helping them out with that, but you know, so many tools and different ways that they can, you know, leverage the Mac and maximize those 24 hours in a day that we all have and just have to know how to use it as effectively as possible.

Charlotte Parsons 3:12

Yeah, I mean, it's true. We all do have 24 hours, but sometimes sometimes doesn't feel like it.

Gresham Harkless 3:16

Exactly, exactly. So I wanted to hear a little bit more about how you're helping serve the clients. Could you could you drill down a little bit deeper, and tell us what you're doing with the work in process?

Charlotte Parsons 3:26

Yeah, for sure. So most of my clients have probably been in business for at least two or three years. And they're starting to feel like they're stuck in the weeds every day. They're feeling overwhelmed, and maybe even a little bit stuck or trapped by their business because of where they're at.

So I'm all about helping them set up systems and automation, particularly around client management, because we all have those challenges. And it does take a lot of time that kind of gets in the way sometimes. And so it really helps them start to clawback time so that they can focus on growing their business spending more time with their families, and at the same time having a bit of client experience. So I do a lot of Dubsado setups you mentioned before and also broader systems overhauls and strategy sessions for people who are DIY or systems but feel like they need an objective set of eyes to help them out.

Gresham Harkless 4:09

Absolutely, that makes perfect sense. Yeah. And I know we talked a little bit offline about Dubsado because I had not heard about it until you introduced that to me.

Charlotte Parsons 4:16

If you just have a chance to have a look at it.

Gresham Harkless 4:18

Exactly. Yes. I'm definitely gonna look a little bit deeper. But let me ask you this. I know you touched on you. You said that you know, sometimes the business owners that you worked with had been in business like two or three years at the minimum, that wall? Do you find that there's a reason why you, I guess fit best with those people that have been in business for two or three years instead of maybe just at the job or I know probably, depending but as a general practice.

Charlotte Parsons 4:44

I mean, I do work with clients who are coming sort of, you know, they're freshly starting. And if people want to start setting up really good structures for themselves at the start of business. I think it's so important. Obviously, I would preach that. But I think that people who've been in business for two or three years, they're really aware of the processes that they've been doing. They kind of already have a good idea of what works for them and, and how they like to walk their clients through their experience. And so they've kind of got all this information, but they're just working really hard to do it themselves. And so it's, not an easy place to start, but it's, I think that there's a lot more to work with there. If that make sense at all?

Gresham Harkless 5:20

No, it definitely does. Because, you know, you have that kind of tried and trued experience that, you know, that the business owner has, whereas, sometimes if you are just getting started, you may not necessarily have experience, depending on the person's experience, of course, but you may not necessarily have that. But, after you've, I guess, gone through all the Red Bulls and all that energy over the first two or three years, you realize that you are hitting that wall, you need to figure out how to maximize those 24 hours in a better way.

Charlotte Parsons 5:49

Yeah, it's true. And I think it's also, I guess, part of their circumstance, they've just been working so hard to build a business and get clients. And, you know, I guess they're at the point where they're not going to grow much further, if they keep spending all this time, you know, pouring it into following up invoices and making sure they're paid on time. And did they get a contract signed? And oops, do they even remember to send the contract? It's very hard to grow if you're constantly in that headspace.

Gresham Harkless 6:14

Absolutely, absolutely. So it's great to kind of take those things off of our plate so that we can be better at those things that we do best and our zones of geniuses so that we can, you know, be the best entrepreneurs and business owners possible.

Charlotte Parsons 6:26

Absolutely. I couldn't have said it better.

Gresham Harkless 6:28

There we go. So I wanted to hear a little bit more about what I call your secret sauce. And then you might have already touched on this, but this could be for you or your organization. But what do you feel?

Charlotte Parsons 6:38

I love the term secret sauce. I think it's a lot of fun. I think mine is probably that I'm very intentional in the way I work with clients. I see a lot of people automating for the sake of automating. And I've got to be honest, it's one of my pet hates. And I think that people do it because they feel like they really need to save some time. But often it can create this big clunky mess, which obviously is not what we want.

So I'm really conscious about that. I try to make sure that every time I start working with a new client, I take the time to get to know them and their business why they started their business what they want their business to look like, and what they want their life to look like. I think that if we approach things through that lens, then we're always going to end up with a better outcome than if we just said, Okay, this is the system you need, what's wrong with it?

Gresham Harkless 7:23

Nice, I definitely appreciate that perspective. Because I think a lot of times, you, like you kind of touched on, this, this new app or this software can save you point five seconds of your life. And you're like, Okay, I gotta get this because you see, like a Facebook ad or something like that. But in reality, going through that lens of you know, what are my goals? Why did I start my business, things like that? Those were those foundational questions that you touched on, if you can answer them and be in alignment with them you can be more successful than getting that point five savings of seconds.

Charlotte Parsons 7:56

I think it's more than point five. But no, absolutely. I think that it's about saving the right point five seconds as well, too. We all have things that are amazing. And sometimes it doesn't make sense to automate. But if we can save time and do the right things so that we can focus on what we enjoy doing and what we do really well, then it's going to make a huge difference.

Gresham Harkless 8:13

Absolutely. I couldn't have said that better myself, either. So I appreciate you for saying that. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This could be an app or a book or a habit that you have. But it's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

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Charlotte Parsons 8:29

Yeah, so I wasn't gonna say this until we talked last week. And now I'm going to it's Dubsado. And you're listening, it's probably not going to surprise you, because I've already mentioned it a couple of times. But if I think about the one thing that I couldn't run my business without it is Dubsado. If you don't know Dubsado, it's a client management system where you can really streamline and automate all of your client processes.

So I kind of said before, there are things that we all have to do in business, like, you know, dealing with the inquiries that come through our website and getting your proposals and contracts and invoices out and you know, asking for feedback. And sometimes we dropped the ball on any one of those things because we're juggling a whole heap of clients. And the cool thing about Dubsado is that it can really do most of it for you. And it obviously saves you a ton of time. That's an obvious benefit. But it often makes things easier and better for your clients too. So I am a big fan, you may have noticed.

Gresham Harkless 9:19

Yes, absolutely. I know, we talked offline about us, I was really hoping that's what you're gonna, how you're going to answer. And I guess you basically help people set up Dubsado? Is that correct?

Charlotte Parsons 9:30

Yeah, that is one of the things that I do. Dubsado is probably the tool I end up working with the most. There are lots of them out there. I don't know whether you're familiar with any of the other ones Gresh but Dubsado is the one that I think works really well for people across the board. And it's really robust for a system that's been designed for small businesses.

Gresham Harkless 9:48

Yeah, absolutely. Because there's you know, there are so many things that we're juggling so many things that we have our hands in and trying to do as you said, you know you're trying to get payment for an invoice you never sent out sometimes it's difficult. So it helps to have something that can back you up and keep you accountable for saying things like that.

Charlotte Parsons 10:04

Yeah, sure. I love that payment for an invoice we never sent out.

Gresham Harkless 10:10

Exactly how was it the best of us, but thank you for telling us about that hack that we could definitely use and leverage so that we can, you know, do what we do best in our businesses.

Charlotte Parsons 10:20

Yeah, for sure.

Gresham Harkless 10:21

Absolutely. And so 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 hop into a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Charlotte Parsons 10:32

I'd love the time machine. If I can't have that learning, it's for telling myself something, I think I would probably tell myself that you don't have to do it all. And I'm still trying to remind myself of this one every day. And I mean, a couple of ways. There's the really obvious one that you obviously don't have to do it all yourself. That there are people and systems out there that can do a lot of things better than you can yourself. So it's okay to get help that way. But I also mean it in the way that it's okay not to do it right now.

And that's probably the one I'm still working on in my business at the moment. I think that you know, you probably, maybe you don't, but I often feel that people are, there's a lot of shooters out there, you should do this in your business. And we kind of add them all to our to-do list and have this pressure that we need to get it all done. But I'm really trying to remind myself that it's okay to pocket things, even if it's just for right now.

Gresham Harkless 11:19

Yeah, to answer your question, yes, I do have that same struggle. And, you know, one of the things that helped me out, and I love that nugget, by the way, because I've had to work on this a lot. And I think that I don't know just what I think I had a coach or something that actually talked with me and told me something that kind of changed my entire perspective where he was like, if you look at things quarterly, you have a certain amount of things that you can do. So you might have a project that you're working on. And you can do that in a quarter, and then the next quarter that can come off your plate, and you can add something else on because I get a lot of energy around starting stuff.

So that perspective helped me to realize that, yes, you might want to do 100,000 things this year. But maybe you can spend that out over 10 years, or spin that out over a longer period of time. And you don't have to do everything. And maybe everything is not what you should be doing as well. So also doing that kind of inner work to understand exactly why you're doing what you're doing and how to basically fulfill that.

Charlotte Parsons 12:14

Yeah, I think we all kind of know, and I've got what we should be doing. But sometimes it's really hard to completely, you know, to listen to it. We're really good at ignoring our guts.

Gresham Harkless 12:22

Yeah, I feel like there's so much noise out there as well that sometimes people will tell you what you should what that inner voice is telling you when it's not they have no idea what exactly that's telling you.

Charlotte Parsons 12:33

Oh, for sure. I mean, it's marketing, isn't it? Yes, we've gotten really good at these webinars that are supposedly live in 10 minutes. There's lots of noise out there.

Gresham Harkless 12:41

Exactly, exactly. But it's great to hear that. And I think that's a great reminder, because you know, you don't have to do everything yesterday, you don't have to do everything today. You know, we have more time sometimes than we give ourselves credit for. So I appreciate that nugget. 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 Charlotte, what does being a CEO means?

Charlotte Parsons 13:05

This, I guess, follows on from the last one. And it's, I would say being a CEO, to me means stepping out of busy work and working on the things that matter. And I guess that's because I think no matter how big you are, there's always going to be distractions. And as business owners, we're really good at sweating, the small stuff. And sometimes we feel like we need to reinvent the wheel over and over again. And when you're a small business, it's even harder not to do that. I mean, you're literally wearing every single hat in your business. And so for me, I think what it means right now is giving more focus to the things that matter.

Gresham Harkless 13:36

Absolutely. I love that. And I think that the part that I love most about that definition in that perspective, is that sometimes we feel like when all these things are happening, that we don't have the ability to kind of I don't wanna say control, but we're kind of a victim sometimes. So what is everything that's happening, but you have the ability to realize that those things may not necessarily matter? They're small details. Yes, you know, they might be important, but It's not something that's gonna keep you up, you know, a year from now.

Charlotte Parsons 14:05

Yeah, for sure. It's definitely a perspective thing. I think that's, I know, you said you'd been working on the coach on similar kind of stuff. And I think sometimes it's really hard to be objective in your own business. And you do need other people to kind of help you learn to listen to your gut if that makes sense. I'm kind of contradicting myself here. But sometimes talking it out with someone can help you realize what's important to you and what's not.

Gresham Harkless 14:26

Yes, I think that's a great point. Because I think that sometimes we're so close to it, that even if we're talking about you know, processes and systems, that or even you know anything about our business, for that matter, because we're juggling so many things, we have so many things going on that sometimes we're too close to it that we do need that other perspective, not necessarily just to say we need to do XYZ but just as a bouncing board just to kind of think through it because like you said a lot of times we already know what the answer is.

Charlotte Parsons 14:54

Yeah, absolutely. Even if it's just having a friend who asks you why you're doing something that always makes a huge difference to me, it's kind of a good little reality check. Because I'm a bit the same as you Gresh I get carried away, I get an idea in my head, and I'm like, Oh my gosh, I'm gonna run with this, I'm gonna do it, this is gonna be fantastic. All of a sudden, you've lost a year. So having people in your life that will give you a bit of a reality check on that and ask you some hard questions sometimes can make the world of difference.

Gresham Harkless 15:21

Exactly, exactly. That makes perfect sense. And I'm happy to know I'm not alone. So, Charlotte, thank you so much, you know, for your time and all the awesome things that you're doing. I wanted to 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 get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things you're doing.

Charlotte Parsons 15:40

I don't think I have anything additional. If anyone has any questions, absolutely welcome to send them my way and how to get in touch with me. I guess my website's a really good place to start. That's probably a pretty common answer. Mine is theworkinprocess.com. And if you want to know more about what I do, or what systems and tools are out there to support you, as a business owner, there's a lot of resources on that. And on social media, I'm at @theworkingprocess across the board, but Instagram is probably where I spend most of my time. If you want to chat. That's a good place to go.

Gresham Harkless 16:10

Awesome. Awesome, awesome. We'll make sure to have all those links in the show notes as well. So Charlotte, I thank you so much again, you know, for your time and for all the awesome things that you're doing and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Charlotte Parsons 16:20

Thanks Gresh you too.

Outro 16:22

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

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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 0:30

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I'm Charlotte Parsons of The Work In Process. Charlotte, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Charlotte Parsons 0:39

Thanks, Gresh. I'm excited to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:41

No problem. Super excited to have you on the show. And what I wanted to do was read a little bit more about Charlotte so you can hear all the awesome things that she's doing. Charlotte runs that work in process, a systems and workflow consultancy for business owners who are tired of the hustle and crave more time and freedom in their businesses. She works with clients all over the globe, providing VIP level support and creating custom workflows automations and client experiences using software's like Dubsado, Acuity and Asana. Charlotte, are you ready to speak to theI AM CEO Podcast Community?

Charlotte Parsons 1:14

Yeah, I'd love to. I'm looking forward to it.

Gresham Harkless 1:16

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

Charlotte Parsons 1:22

Yeah, absolutely. I think that I have a bit of a brain who's always thinking about how to make things better. And that kind of led me into creative agencies, which was a lot of fun. And I got to flex a lot of those muscles. But as we all kind of do, at some point, I was feeling like I needed a little bit more of a change, I realized that I could kind of put the skills I'd learned streamlining bigger businesses into use with smaller businesses and probably make a bigger difference and help people get time back. And at the same time, I was able to do that for myself, which is very selfish. But

Gresham Harkless 1:53

Yeah, we need to do that sometimes though.

Charlotte Parsons 1:55

Yeah, we do. Absolutely. It's important to know why you're starting a business, I think.

Gresham Harkless 2:00

Yeah

Charlotte Parsons 2:01

Because it's quite the journey. And it's sometimes nail biting, as everybody probably knows that has a business.

Gresham Harkless 2:07

Exactly. Yeah, it's definitely Nailbiter on that roller coaster ride that it always seems to happen. There's always ups and downs and, and lows, but it's great to hear that, you know, you kind of reach to try and to help out these, you know, small to medium sized business owners it sounds like because they do, you know, do a lot of the hiring and make a lot of the impact. So really, they're in juggling a bunch of things. So it's great to hear that you're you're helping out with that.

Charlotte Parsons 2:30

Yeah, for sure. I think sometimes small businesses don't get the perks that bigger businesses get. I mean, it's kind of obvious when you say it like that. But it is, you know, it gives me a lot of happiness to help people that sometimes, you know, in their business on their own juggling a lot of hats by themselves.

Gresham Harkless 2:46

Absolutely, I definitely appreciate that. Because sometimes the smaller businesses don't have as many resources, which also sounds obvious, I guess you could say, too. So it's great to hear that, you know, not only that, you're helping them out with that, but you know, so many tools and different ways that they can, you know, leverage the Mac and maximize those 24 hours in a day that we all have and just have to know how to use it as effectively as possible.

Charlotte Parsons 3:12

Yeah, I mean, it's true. We all do have 24 hours, but sometimes sometimes doesn't feel like it.

Gresham Harkless 3:16

Exactly, exactly. So I wanted to hear a little bit more about how you're helping serve the clients. Could you could you drill down a little bit deeper, tell us what you're doing with the work in process?

Charlotte Parsons 3:26

Yeah, for sure. So most of my clients have probably been in business for at least two or three years. And they're starting to feel like they're stuck in the weeds every day. They're feeling overwhelmed, and maybe even a little bit stuck or trapped by their business because of where they're at. So I'm all about helping them set up systems and automation, particularly around client management, because we all have those challenges. And it does take a lot of time that kind of gets in the way sometimes. And so it really helps them start to clawback time so that they can focus on growing their business spending more time with their families, and at the same time having a bit of client experience. So I do a lot of Dubsado setups you mentioned that before and also broader systems overhauls and strategy sessions for people who are DIY or systems but feel like they need an objective set of eyes to help them out.

Gresham Harkless 4:09

Absolutely, that makes perfect sense. Yeah. And I know we talked a little bit offline about Subsado, because I had not heard about it until you introduced that to me.

Charlotte Parsons 4:16

If you just have a chance to have a look at it.

Gresham Harkless 4:18

Exactly. Yes. I'm definitely gonna look a little bit deeper. But let me ask you this. I know you touched on you. You said that, you know, the sometimes the business owners that you worked with were had been in business like two or three years at the minimum, that wall? Do you find that there's a reason why you, I guess fit best with those people that have been in business since two or three years instead of maybe just at the job or I know probably, depending but as a general practice.

Charlotte Parsons 4:44

I mean, I do work with clients who are coming sort of, you know, they're freshly starting. And if people want to start setting up really good structures for themselves at the start of business. I think it's so important. Obviously, I would preach that. But I think that people who've been in business for two or three years, they're really aware of the processes that they've been doing. They kind of already have a good idea of what works for them and, and how they like to walk their clients through their experience. And so they've kind of got all this information, but they're just working really hard to do it themselves. And so it's, not an easy place to start, but it's, I think that there's a lot more to work with there. If that makes sense at all?

Gresham Harkless 5:20

No, it definitely does. Because, you know, you have that kind of tried and trued experience that, you know, that the business owner has, whereas, sometimes if you are just getting started, you may not necessarily have experience, depending on the person's experience, of course, but you may not necessarily have that. But, after you've, I guess, went through all the Red Bulls and all that energy over the first two or three years, you realize that you are hitting that wall, you need to figure out how to maximize those 24 hours in a better way.

Charlotte Parsons 5:49

Yeah, it's true. And I think it's also, I guess, part of their circumstance, they've just been working so hard to build a business and get clients. And, you know, I guess they're at the point where they're not going to grow much further, if they keep spending all this time, you know, pouring it into following up invoices and making sure they're paid on time. And did they get a contract signed? And oops, do they even remember to send the contract? It's very hard to grow with if you're constantly in that headspace.

Gresham Harkless 6:14

Absolutely, absolutely. So it's great to kind of take those things off of our plate so that we can be better at those things that we do best and our zones of geniuses so that we can, you know, be the best entrepreneurs and business owners as possible.

Charlotte Parsons 6:26

Absolutely. I couldn't have said it better.

Gresham Harkless 6:28

There we go. So I wanted to hear a little bit more about what I call your secret sauce. And then you might have already touched on this, but this could be for you or your organization. But what do you feel?

Charlotte Parsons 6:38

I love the term secret sauce. I think it's a lot of fun. I think mine is probably that I'm very intentional in the way I work with clients. I see a lot of people automating for the sake of automating. And I've got to be honest, it's one of my pet hates. And I think that people do it, because they feel like they really need to save some time. But often it can create this big clunky mess, which obviously is not what we want. So I'm really conscious about that. And I try to make sure that every time I start working with a new client, I take the time to get to know them and their business and why they started their business and what they want their business to look like and what they want their life to look like. Because I think that if we approach things through that lens, then we're always going to end up with a better outcome than if we just said, Okay, this is the system you need, what's wrong with it?

Gresham Harkless 7:23

Nice, I definitely appreciate that perspective. Because I think a lot of times, you, like you kind of touched on, this, this new app, or this software can save you point five seconds of your life. And you're like, Okay, I gotta get this because you see, like a Facebook ad or something like that. But in reality going through that lens of you know, what are my goals? Why did I start my business, things like that? That was those foundational questions that you touched on seem to, if you can answer them and be in alignment with that you can be more successful than getting that point five savings of seconds.

Charlotte Parsons 7:56

I think it's more than point five. But no, absolutely. I think that it's about saving the right point five second as well, too. We all have things were amazing. And sometimes it doesn't make sense to automate. But if we can save time and the right things so that we can focus on what we enjoy doing and what we do really well, then it's going to make a huge difference.

Gresham Harkless 8:13

Absolutely. I couldn't have said that better myself, either. So I appreciate you for for saying that. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this could be an app or a book or habit that you have. But it's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Charlotte Parsons 8:29

Yeah, so I wasn't gonna say this until we talked last week. And now I'm going to it's Dubsado. And you're listening, it's probably not going to surprise you, because I've already mentioned it a couple of times. But if I think about the one thing that I couldn't run my business without it is Dubsado. If you don't know Dubsado, it's a client management system where you can really streamline and automate all of your client processes. So I kind of said before, there's things that we all have to do in business, like, you know, dealing with the inquiries that come through our website and getting your proposals and contracts and invoices out and you know, asking for feedback. And sometimes we dropped the ball on any one of those things, because we're juggling a whole heap of clients. And the cool thing about Dubsado is that it can really do most of it for you. And it obviously saves you a ton of time. That's an obvious benefit. But it often makes things easier and better for your clients too. So I am a big fan, you may have noticed.

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Gresham Harkless 9:19

Yes, absolutely. I know, we talked offline about us, I was really hoping that's what you're gonna, how you're going to answer. And I guess you basically help people set up Dubsado? Is that correct?

Charlotte Parsons 9:30

Yeah, that is one of the things that I do. Dubsado is probably the tool I end up working in the most. There's lots of them out there. I don't know whether you're familiar with any of the other ones Gresh but Dubsado is the one that I think works really well for people across the board. And it's really robust for a system that's been designed for small businesses.

Gresham Harkless 9:48

Yeah, absolutely. Because there's you know, there's so many things that we're juggling so many things that we have our hands in and trying to do like you said, you know you're trying to get payment for an invoice you never sent out sometimes it's difficut. So it helps to have something that can back you up and keep you accountable for saying things like that.

Charlotte Parsons 10:04

Yeah, sure. I love that payment for an invoice we never sent out.

Gresham Harkless 10:10

Exactly how was it the best of us, but thank you for telling us about that hack that we could definitely use and leverage so that we can, you know, do what we do best in our businesses.

Charlotte Parsons 10:20

Yeah, for sure.

Gresham Harkless 10:21

Absolutely. And so 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 hop into a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Charlotte Parsons 10:32

I'd love the time machine. If I can't have that learning, it's for telling myself something, I think I would probably tell myself that you don't have to do it all. And I'm still trying to remind myself of this one every day. And I mean, a couple of ways. There's the really obvious one that you obviously don't have to do it all yourself. That there's people and systems out there that can do a lot of things better than you can yourself. So it's okay to get help that way. But I also mean it in the way that it's okay not to do it right now. And that's probably the one I'm still working on in my business at the moment. I think that, you know, you probably, maybe you don't, but I often feel that people are, there's a lot of shooters out there, you should do this in your business. And we kind of add them all to our to do list and have this pressure that we need to get it all done. But I'm really trying to remind myself that it's okay to pocket things, even if it's just for right now.

Gresham Harkless 11:19

Yeah, to answer your question, yes, I do have that same struggle. And, you know, one of the things that helped me out, and I love that nugget, by the way, because I've had to work on this a lot. And I think that I don't know just what I think I had a coach or something that actually talked with me and told me something that kind of changed my entire perspective where he was like, if you look at things quarterly, you have a certain amount of things that you can do. So you might have a project that you're working on. And you can do that in a quarter, and then the next quarter that can come off your plate, and you can add something else on because I get a lot of energy around starting stuff. So that perspective helped me to realize that, yes, you might want to do 100,000 things this year. But maybe you can spend that out over 10 years, or spin that out over a longer period of time. And you don't have to do everything. And maybe everything is not what you should be doing as well. So also doing that kind of inner work to understand exactly why you're doing what you're doing and how to basically fulfill that.

Charlotte Parsons 12:14

Yeah, I think we all kind of know, and I've got what we should be doing. But sometimes it's really hard to completely, you know, to listen to it. We're really good at ignoring our guts.

Gresham Harkless 12:22

Yeah, I feel like there's so much noise out there as well that sometimes people will tell you what you should what that inner voice is telling you when it's not they have no idea what exactly that's telling you.

Charlotte Parsons 12:33

Oh, for sure. I mean, it's marketing, isn't it? Yes, we've gotten really good at these webinars that are supposedly live in 10 minutes. There's lots of noise out there.

Gresham Harkless 12:41

Exactly, exactly. But it's great to hear that. And I think that's a great reminder, because you know, you don't have to do everything yesterday, you don't have to do everything today. You know, we have more time sometimes than we give ourselves credit for. So I appreciate that nugget. 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 Charlotte, what does being a CEO means?

Charlotte Parsons 13:05

This, I guess, follows on from the last one. And it's, I would say being a CEO, to me means stepping out of busy work and working on the things that matter. And I guess that's because I think no matter how big you are, there's always going to be distractions. And as business owners, we're really good at sweating, the small stuff. And sometimes we feel like we need to reinvent the wheel over and over again. And when you're a small business, it's even harder not to do that. I mean, you're literally wearing every single hat in your business. And so for me, I think what it means right now is giving more focus to the things that matter.

Gresham Harkless 13:36

Absolutely. I love that. And I think that the part that I love most about that that definition in that perspective, is that sometimes we feel like when all these things are happening, that we don't have the ability to kind of I don't wanna say control, but we're kind of a victim sometimes. So what are everything that's happening, but you have the ability to realize that those things may not necessarily matter. They're small details. Yes, you know, they might be important, but It's not something that's gonna keep you up, you know, a year from now.

Charlotte Parsons 14:05

Yeah, for sure. It's definitely a perspective thing. I think that's, I know, you said you'd been working on coach on similar kind of stuff. And I think sometimes it's really hard to be objective in your own business. And you do need other people to kind of help you learn to listen to your gut, if that makes sense. I'm kind of contradicting myself here. But sometimes talking it out with someone can help you realize what's important to you and what's not.

Gresham Harkless 14:26

Yes, I think that's a great point. Because I think that sometimes we're so close to it, that even if we're talking about you know, processes and systems, that or even you know anything about our business, for that matter, because we're juggling so many things, we have so many things going on that sometimes we're too close to it that we do need that other perspective, not necessarily just to say we need to do XYZ but just as a bouncing board just to kind of think through it because like you said a lot of times we already know what the answer is.

Charlotte Parsons 14:54

Yeah, absolutely. Even if it's just having a friend that asks you why you're doing something that always make huge difference to me, it's kind of a good little reality check. Because I'm a bit the same as you Gresh I get carried away, I get an idea in my head, and I'm like, Oh my gosh, I'm gonna run with this, I'm gonna do it, this is gonna be fantastic. All of a sudden, you've lost a year. So having having people in your life that will give you a bit of a reality check on that and ask you some hard questions sometimes can make the world of difference.

Gresham Harkless 15:21

Exactly, exactly. That makes perfect sense. And I'm happy to know I'm not alone. So, Charlotte, thank you so much, you know, for your time and all the awesome things that you're doing. I wanted to 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 get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things you're doing.

Charlotte Parsons 15:40

I don't think I have anything additional. If anyone has any questions, absolutely welcome to send them my way and how to get in touch with me. I guess my website's a really good place to start. That's probably a pretty common answer. Mine is theworkinprocess.com. And if you want to know more about what I do, or what systems and tools are out there to support you, as a business owner, there's a lot of resources on that. And on social media, I'm at @theworkingprocess across the board, but Instagram is probably where I spend most of my time. If you want to chat. That's a good place to go.

Gresham Harkless 16:10

Awesome. Awesome, awesome. We'll make sure to have all those links in the show notes as well. So Charlotte, I thank you so much again, you know, for your time and for all the awesome things that you're doing and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Charlotte Parsons 16:20

Thanks Gresh you too.

Outro 16:22

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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