I AM CEO PODCAST

IAM427 – Jewelry Designer and Entrepreneur Helps Jewelry Brands Build Profitable Businesses

Podcast Interview with Tracy Matthews

Tracy Matthews is a Jewelry Designer, Entrepreneur, Mentor to Creative Visionaries and the Host of the Top-Rated, Thrive By Design Podcast. Her jewelry and story have been featured in InStyle, Elle, Us Weekly, Real Simple, Martha Stewart Weddings, Entrepreneur, and on the Today Show. She’s been interviewed on countless podcasts and programs including, Yahoo Finance, American Fashion Podcast, EOFire, SoMoney and Creative Live.
As the Chief Visionary Officer of Flourish & Thrive Academy, she helps other jewelry brand launch, grow and scale profitable jewelry businesses. Over the years, she’s inspired creative thinkers to use their innate gifts to grow their business.
At Creatives Rule the World, she helps creative visionaries of entrepreneurial companies to spend more time in their creative zone of genius, inspire and lead their teams and increase their profits.

She lives in NYC, loves to travel and is the proud auntie to 19 nieces and nephews.

  • CEO Hack: (1) Book- Rocket Fuel by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters  (2) Get up early, meditate and journal
  • CEO Nugget: Protect your creativity by eliminating things that don't make you happy
  • CEO Defined: Freedom

Website: https://creativesruletheworld.com/

Instagram

https://instagram.com/tracymatthewsny/
http://instagram.com/creativesruletheworld/

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/tracymatthewsofficial/

Visionary Code Download

https://creeativesruletheworld.com/VC


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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 Gresham from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I've Tracy Matthews of Creatives Rule the World. Tracy, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Tracy Matthews 0:38

Thanks for having me. It's great to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:41

No problem. Super excited to have you on and before we get started, I want to read a little bit more about Tracy so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. Tracy Matthews is a Jewelry Designer, Entrepreneur, Mentor to Creative Visionaries, and the Host of the Top-Rated, Thrive By Design Podcast.

Her jewelry and story have been featured in InStyle, Elle, US Weekly, Real Simple, Martha Stewart Weddings, Entrepreneur, and on the Today Show. She has been interviewed on countless podcasts and programs including Yahoo Finance, American Fashion Podcast, EOFire, SoMoney, and Creative Live.

As the Chief Visionary Officer of Flourish and Thrive Academy, she helps other jewellery brands launch grow, and scale profitable jewelry businesses. Over the years, she's inspired creative thinkers to use their innate gifts to grow their businesses.

At Creatives Rule the World, she helps create visionaries of entrepreneurial companies to spend more time in their creative zones of genius, inspire and lead their teams, and increase their profits. She lives in New York City, loves to travel, and is the proud Auntie to 19 nieces and nephews. Tracy, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Tracy Matthews 1:41

I am, let's do this.

Gresham Harkless 1:43

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 get started with your business?

Tracy Matthews 1:48

Yeah, so I started in entrepreneurship back in the 90s. So I've had several businesses since then. But the thing that got me started in business is that I had a skill, in designing jewelry and making it back way back before this independent designer thing was happening.

And because I come from an entrepreneurial family, it wasn't a matter of if I would start my own business, it was more of a matter of when because I had made the decision back then, after some mentorship from my teacher at University, where she basically was like, you know, you really have this gift.

And compared to the rest of the people who are your peers in this program, you have something that they don't have. And it's an eye for design, but also a business sense. So that kind of planted the seed and launched my first business that evolved into several other companies.

Now I'm most actively working in three, which are Flourish and Thrive Academy, where we mentor jewelry designers and teach them how to run successful businesses, my own jewelry company, tracymatthews.com, and Creatives Ruled the World.

Gresham Harkless 2:49

Nice, nice. No, I definitely appreciate that. Because I think a lot of times, especially when people are getting started, sometimes you think that he would just start with like, you know, seven businesses, but in reality, it kind of seems like somebody really hones in it.

And you can definitely speak to this, you hone in on a certain expertise, and then it starts to grow and develop into other opportunities.

Tracy Matthews 3:07

Yes, I, started my jewelry company and built that business over the course of 11 years. And then 2008 came and took it out. And it's a long story. But I know this is a short podcast, so we won't go into crazy depth in that. And so, at that point, I just made a choice, like a lifestyle choice that I wanted something different.

And I started a new company that had a different kind of business model, a jewelry company, that allowed me the flexibility to travel that didn't require me to carry inventory. And it was highly profitable very quickly. And that led to me launching the next company.

So it's all layers and lots many, many have years of experience, I do not recommend that most people have more than one business at a time, it is much harder, multiple businesses. But when you can find the leverage and remove yourself from your company, and in a way that it can still grow without you, that's where kind of the sweet spot is where you have an opportunity to dive into multiple passions.

Gresham Harkless 4:04

Nice. That definitely makes sense. And I think that's a kind of a great thing to kind of to keep in mind is that a lot of times like you mentioned that word leverage where you're able to kind of leverage that what you've built and then to be able to create it as a sustainable business that can continue to grow or whatever you want it to do, you know while you're doing it, or you have somebody managing it potentially.

Tracy Matthews 4:21

Exactly.

Gresham Harkless 4:22

Nice. I know you touched on some of the businesses and Creatives Rule the World can you tell us a little bit more about exactly what they do to support the clients you're working with?

Tracy Matthews 4:30

Sure. Well, at Flourish and Thrive Academy, I mentioned that we support jewelry designers we have courses and coaching and members mentorship, I should say and we help them scale their sales basically at that's like the shortest way to describe what we do and build more leverage into their lives.

Because typically, people who are highly creative, find something that they're passionate about. They decide they want to start a business or a hobby or something, it starts making money. And then they're like holy moly, like whatever I do hear to kind of get to that next level, and they end up getting stuck or feel overwhelmed.

And they have a lot of them end up doing things that are not really the things that they should be doing. And they end up focusing their time on the things that aren't actually growing their business. And so their business just stops growing at a certain point.

And so Creatives Rule, the World was sort of this evolution out of Flourish and Thrive Academy after, you know, knowing myself so well, and where I get stuck in business, and working with so many highly creative thinkers for a long time.

You know, everyone has a different type of creativity, and the visionaries and founders of companies, CEOs, visionaries, whatever you want to call them, have a lot of ideas. And most of them want to get those ideas out into the forefront first. And so they're cranking away and doing all the things that you're supposed to do to get a business going.

And then at a certain point, they end up burnt out hating what they hate about their company, wanting to throw in the towel, because they're not actually doing the things that they should be doing. And for every kind of person, it's a little bit different. So I started this investigation, I started talking to a lot of people.

And it's kind of came out of a conversation that I was having with consultants when I was closing my first business about like, what is it that you love to do? Like, what are the parts of the business that you love?

And so being able to identify that and clarify that, for me, allowed me to start a new jewelry company that was completely aligned with my strongest skill set, but also aligned with like what I love to do most. And I think that a lot of people, whether they're entrepreneurs or working for someone else, have this perception about what it means to be creative.

And the first thing that everyone goes to, is creativity means if you're creative, it means that you're an artist. But that's just one type of creativity. And I explain it like this, you know, like every company has multiple people working for it, like especially when they start to scale and their sales get bigger, right?

So you have like a CFO, you have a CEO, you have a you know, CEO, or whatever you want. And then there are the divisions that are run below those people. My friend, I have a friend named Art, which is kind of ironic that his name is Art. And he used to say to me, you know, I'm not creative at all.

And I'm like, well, you know, you came into my business at one time, and you're talking about all this advanced business modeling. And then you showed me that spreadsheet that was spitting out all these formulas, I'm like, that's creative, I can't do that. And so thinking in terms of like, what is your type of creativity?

And how can you spend more time doing those things, actually grow a business or do better at your job, and, you know, ultimately, be one of those people, that's irreplaceable so that you are recession-proofing your career and your business?

And also getting to a place where you're getting promoted or making more money, because that genius that you're working in most of the time, is the thing that's actually making you money.

Gresham Harkless 7:47

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And I definitely appreciate that. And just because a lot of times, we don't realize, like we kind of spoke to, when I read your bio, the zone of genius, whatever that sweet spot is the thing that we do best. And I think a lot of times, we don't end up playing in that sandbox, so to speak, we get someplace else.

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So you kind of have to be very aware of one of them exactly what that is. But then to be kind of cognizant of you, basically deliberately taking those actions to make sure that you're in that sandbox.

So I definitely appreciate you obviously being able to do that yourself. But then, you know, helping so many other people identify that and then you know, play in that sandbox. So would you consider that to be like your secret sauce or thing you kind of think sets you apart?

Tracy Matthews 8:25

I think so I mean, because in all of my businesses, like I've really strived to put myself in that role, but then also surround myself and surround myself with a team, depending on the size of the company and the revenue, obviously. But then also inspire the people that I mentor and work with, like my customers to do the same.

Because if you're not doing that, then you know, running a business isn't fun if you're doing all the things that you hate all the time. Would you agree? I mean, I don't know. That's like my experience. But there's like, yeah.

Gresham Harkless 8:56

It's definitely my experience as well. Yeah, I think that it kind of goes back to like, the E Myth. And you know, everybody talks about has this vision of what running the business is.

And then you start a business and you start doing whatever it is you thought you were gonna love to do, you thought you're gonna do that one thing, and it's the seven other things that you have to do, and you start to hate it. And it's not nearly as enjoyable as you thought it was.

Tracy Matthews 9:15

Totally, exactly.

Gresham Harkless 9:16

Nice. And so I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This could be an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Tracy Matthews 9:27

I don't have just one. I mean, I try to get up early and journal a little bit and meditate and I spend at least one to three hours in the morning working on creative things that I need to do to move my businesses forward.

So for instance, I'm writing a book right now I spent the morning time working on that or things that require creative spaces of time because I'm most productive then so that's like the biggest hack. But I have to mention my favorite book because it's very life-changing for people who are visionaries and highly creative, it's called or if you don't know if you are just think of yourself as a CEO.

The book Rocket Fuel will absolutely 100% change your life, it's by Gino Wickman and Mark C Winters. When I read that book, the first time, I'd already read Traction and other business books where he, talked about their operating system and how to run businesses.

But that book in and of itself, like really made me feel like I was not a crazy person and that I had, you know, that, like, the tools that I have, are like the most valuable tools that you can bring to the company, it's just about how to really dive into them, and support yourself, so that you can be doing the work that you're best at your business.

Gresham Harkless 10:35

Exactly, yeah, that makes perfect sense. It's funny, like, I think that there's a quote that said that, uh, you know, a ship that's docked is great, and it's safe. But that's not necessarily what ships are supposed to be doing. That's not what they're supposed to do.

So it kind of speaks to what you were saying, like, once we identify when our skills and our zones of genius are and things that we have that we can bring to the world. If we're not in the right, you know, sandbox, we're not doing the right thing that it may not seem, it may make us feel like we're crazy.

And I can definitely you know, attest to that as well, too. Sometimes, we need to just be in the right place. And once we figure out what that is, and identify that and are able to beat it, that's when we truly are able to, you know, be that rocket fuel, so to speak.

Tracy Matthews 11:11

Absolutely. 100%.

Gresham Harkless 11:13

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

Tracy Matthews 11:25

If you're unhappy dissatisfied or bored with what you're doing, take a look at what you're spending most of your time on every day. And it probably means that it's not the right stuff. And that you need to tap back into that creative zone of genius that is like uniquely yours, and spend more time protecting that creativity.

And there are so many ways to do that. But this is a very short podcast. Let's leave it at that. Yeah, so I mean, I think the creativity piece is so important. When I was younger, and my family, athleticism was the thing that was rewarded. And I was a terrible athlete. I mean, I'm fit now, but like I wasn't fit then.

But I wasn't a competitive sports player. And so I thought that being creative meant that you weren't smart. But creativity is like the thing that like makes people smart. So being able to protect that is very important.

Gresham Harkless 12:13

Yeah, absolutely. To create that, it's to protect that and cultivate that. And I love that you use the word protect. Because I think a lot of times, we sometimes think that you know, just because we're creative, or whatever our zone of genius might be that's just going to be there. And it's just going to, you know, manifest itself and people are going to protect that.

But in reality, sometimes people are going to use it for their own ventures, or potentially you're going to use it, you know, for something else that's not aligned with exactly how you envisioned it. So you have to protect it. And you have to cultivate that and grow that yourself. And it's kind of like our responsibility to do that.

Tracy Matthews 12:43

Awesome. Yeah, for sure.

Gresham Harkless 12:45

Nice. 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 this show. So Tracy, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Tracy Matthews 12:55

What does it mean, to me, it means freedom. I mean, that's it, I really believe that. Although being the leader of several companies is a lot of work, there's a lot of flexibility in being able to be an entrepreneur, newer, and be able to inspire and lead people to like a bigger goal or vision.

Gresham Harkless 13:14

Absolutely, yeah, I think being able to have the freedom and ability to do that. Just as you know, somebody who is creative would definitely appreciate it. And being able to actually execute on that is definitely you know, a great kind of definition and perspective.

And, Tracy, I appreciate all the awesome things that you're doing, and I appreciate your time even more, what I wanted 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, our best people can get ahold of you and find out about all the awesome things you're doing.

Tracy Matthews 13:38

I just think that the most important thing that you could be doing and I've said this several times during this podcast, is just really diving in and understanding your brand of creativity. Are you someone who likes to talk to people? Are you a good negotiator? Are you someone who makes things happen?

Are you someone who has big ideas? Are you someone who's very artistic, or a writer or something like that, and acknowledge what it is that you're best at, and then get really clear on how that is going to bring wealth into your life?

You know, some people talk about using creativity as a hobby, but I think it's really important to bring it into your business acumen, whether you're working for someone else, or leading a company or starting your own business, like in any way, shape, or form.

As a business owner, and an entrepreneur, one of the most valuable assets I tap into on my team, is their ability to come to me with their ideas, because it takes so much pressure off you of having the basically the responsibility for lack of a better word, to be the one driving the business forward. But it also creates a conversation around business direction and growth.

And sometimes maybe the idea that someone might bring to a founder isn't necessarily like the idea that goes with but it starts a conversation that comes that helps everyone come to something better.

Gresham Harkless 14:51

Absolutely. No, I think that makes perfect sense. I feel like it creates that sense of engagement as well to where you do have somebody that's on the team that actually is engaged in their thinking of ideas, so build that tie as a team.

Tracy Matthews 15:02

For sure.

Gresham Harkless 15:03

Nice and people that want to reach out to you what's the best way for them to do that? Of course, subscribe to your podcast and find out everything you're doing.

Tracy Matthews 15:09

Yeah, so definitely subscribe to my podcast. It's called Thrive by Design, you can find it on the Apple podcast or head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/apple. And the easier that the podcast is catered towards jewelry and product-based businesses in the fashion industry.

But I have so many people listening to it, who have other types of businesses who are like, oh, my gosh, your podcast has changed my business. So I think that there, check it out and tell me if you like it because I'd love to hear.

And then if you are the leader of a company, and you want to be more creative yourself or inspire your team to be a lot more creative, I'd love to invite you to download the visionary code.

It's just a short audio, I love the audio format, that will share with you how to as a leader of your company, really set boundaries around your creativity so that you're doing the things that actually are going to grow your business faster, and you can grab that over at creativesruletheworld.com/

Gresham Harkless 16:06

Awesome. Well, thank you so much. Again, Tracy. I truly appreciate it. We will make sure to have those links and that information in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you subscribe to the podcast, and of course get that downloadable audio file.

So thank you so much again for your mission and staying true to your zone of genius and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

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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

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 Gresham from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I've Tracy Matthews of Creatives Rule the World. Tracy, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Tracy Matthews 0:38

Thanks for having me. It's great to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:41

No problem. Super excited to have you on and before we get started, I want to read a little bit more about Tracy so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Tracy Matthews is a Jewelry Designer, Entrepreneur, Mentor to Creative Visionaries and the Host of the Top-Rated, Thrive By Design Podcast. Her jewelry and story have been featured in InStyle, Elle, US Weekly, Real Simple, Martha Stewart Weddings, Entrepreneur and on the Today Show. She has been interviewed on countless podcasts and programs including Yahoo Finance, American Fashion Podcast, EOFire, SoMoney and Creative Live. As the Chief Visionary Officer of Flourish and Thrive Academy, she helps other jewelry brands launch grow and scale profitable jewelry businesses. Over the years, she's inspired creative thinkers to use their innate gifts to grow their businesses. At Creatives Rule the World, she helps create visionaries of entrepreneurial companies to spend more time in their creative zones of genius, inspire and lead their teams and increase their profits. She lives in New York City, loves to travel and is the proud Auntie to 19 nieces and nephews. Tracy, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Tracy Matthews 1:41

I am let's do this.

Gresham Harkless 1:43

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 get started with your business?

Tracy Matthews 1:48

Yeah, so I started in entrepreneurship back in the 90s. So I've had several businesses since then. But the thing that got me started in business is that I had a skill, designing jewelry and making it back way back before this independent designer thing was happening. And because I come from an entrepreneurial family, it wasn't a matter of if I would start my own business, it was more of a matter of when because I had made the decision back then, after some mentorship from my teacher at University, where she she basically was like, you know, you really have this gift. And compared to the rest of the people that are your peers in this program, like you have something that they don't have. And it's an eye for design, but also like a business sense. So that kind of planted the seed launched my first business that evolved into several other companies. And now I'm most actively working in three, which is Flourish and Thrive Academy, where we mentor jewelry designers and teach them how to run successful businesses, my own jewelry company, tracymatthews.com and Creatives Ruled the World.

Gresham Harkless 2:49

Nice, nice. No, I definitely appreciate that. Because I think a lot of times, especially when people are getting started, sometimes you think that he would just start with like, you know, seven businesses, but in reality, it kind of seems like somebody really hones in it. And you can definitely speak to this, you hone in on a certain expertise, and then it starts to grow and develop into other opportunities.

Tracy Matthews 3:07

Yes, I, you know, I started my jewelry company and built that business over the course of 11 years. And then 2008 came and took it out. And it's a long story. But I know this is a short podcast, so we won't go into crazy depth in that. And so, at that point, I just made a choice, like a lifestyle choice that I wanted something different. And I started a new company that had a different kind of business model, a jewelry company, that allowed me flexibility to travel that didn't require me to carry inventory. And it was highly profitable very quickly. And that led to me launching the next company. So it's all layers and lots many, many have years of experience, I do not recommend that most people have more than one business at a time, it is much harder, multiple businesses. But when you can find the leverage and remove yourself from your company, and in a way that it can still grow without you, that's where kind of the sweet spot is where where you have an opportunity to do to dive into multiple passions.

Gresham Harkless 4:04

Nice. That definitely makes sense. And I think that's a kind of a great thing to kind of to keep in mind is that a lot of times like you mentioned that word leverage where you're able to kind of leverage that what you've built and then to be able to create it as a sustainable business that can continue to grow or whatever you want it to do, you know while you're doing it, or you have somebody managing it potentially.

Tracy Matthews 4:21

Exactly.

Gresham Harkless 4:22

Nice. And I know you touched on some of the the businesses and Creatives Rule the World can you tell us a little bit more on exactly what they do to support the clients you're working with?

Tracy Matthews 4:30

Sure. Well, at Flourish and Thrive Academy I mentioned that we support jewelry designers we have courses and coaching and members mentorship, I should say and we help them scale their sales basically at that's like the shortest way to describe what we do and build more leverage into their lives because typically, people who are highly creative, find something that they're passionate about. They decide they want to start a business or a hobby or something, it starts making money. And then they're like holy moly, like whatever I do hear to kind of get to that next level, and they end up getting stuck or feel overwhelmed. And they have a lot of their end up doing things that are not really the things that they should be doing. And they end up focusing their time on the things that aren't actually growing their business. And so their business just stops growing at a certain point. And so Creatives Rule, the World was sort of this evolution out of Flourish and Thrive Academy after, you know, knowing myself so well, and where I get stuck in business, and working with so many highly creative thinkers for a long time. You know, everyone has a different type of creativity, and the visionaries and founders of companies, CEOs, visionaries, whatever you want to call them, have a lot of ideas. And most of them want to get those ideas out into the forefront first. And so they're cranking away and doing all the things that you're supposed to do to get a business going. And then at a certain point, they end up like burnt out hating what they hating their company, wanting to throw in the towel, because they're not actually doing the things that they should be doing. And for every kind of person, it's a little bit different. So I started this investigation, I started talking to a lot of people. And it's kind of came out of a conversation that I was having with consultants when I was closing my first business about like, what is it that you love to do? Like, what are the parts of the business that you love. And so being able to identify that and clarify that, for me, allowed me to start a new jewelry company that was completely aligned with my strongest skill set, but also aligned with like what I love to do most. And I think that a lot of people, whether they're entrepreneurs or working for someone else, have this perception about what does it mean to be creative. And the first thing that everyone goes to, is creativity means if you're creative, it means that you're an artist. But that's just one type of creativity. And I explain it like this, you know, like every company has multiple people working for it, like especially when they start to scale and their sales get bigger, right? So you have like a CFO, you have a CEO, you have a you know, CEO, or whatever you want. And then there's the divisions that are run below those people. My friend, I have a friend named Art, which is kind of ironic that his name is Art. And he used to say to me, you know, I'm not creative at all. And I'm like, well, you know, you came into my business at one time, and you're talking about all this advanced business modeling. And then you showed me that spreadsheet that was spitting out all these formulas, I'm like, that's creative, I can't do that. And so thinking in terms of like, what is your type of creativity? And how can you spend more time doing those things, actually grow a business or do better at your job, and, you know, ultimately, be one of those people, that's irreplaceable, so that you are recession proofing your career and your business. And also getting to a place where you're getting promoted or making more money, because that genius that you're working in most of the time, is the thing that's actually making you money.

Gresham Harkless 7:47

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And I definitely appreciate that. And just because a lot of times, we don't realize, like we kind of spoke to, when I read your bio, the zone of genius, whatever that sweet spot is the thing that we do best. And I think a lot of times, we don't end up playing in that sandbox, so to speak, we get someplace else. So you kind of have to be very aware of one of them exactly what that is. But then to be kind of cognizant of you, basically deliberately taking those actions to make sure that you're in that sandbox. So I definitely appreciate you obviously be able to do that yourself. But then, you know, helping so many other people identify that and then you know, play in that sandbox. So would you consider that to be like your secret sauce or thing you kind of think sets you apart?

Tracy Matthews 8:25

I think so I mean, because in all of my businesses, like I've really strived to put myself in that role, but then also surround myself and surround myself with a team, depending on the size of the company and the revenue, obviously. But then also inspire the people that I mentor and work with, like my customers to do the same. Because if you're not doing that, then you know, running a business isn't fun if you're doing all the things that you hate all the time. Would you agree? I mean, I don't know. That's like my experience. But there's like, yeah.

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Gresham Harkless 8:56

It's definitely my experience as well. Yeah, I think that it kind of goes back to like, the E Myth. And you know, everybody talks about has this vision of what running the business is. And then you start a business and you start doing whatever it is you thought you were gonna love to do, you thought you're gonna do that one thing, and it's the seven other things that you have to do, and you start to hate it. And it's not nearly as enjoyable as you thought it was.

Tracy Matthews 9:15

Totally, exactly.

Gresham Harkless 9:16

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

Tracy Matthews 9:27

I don't have just one. I mean, I try to get up early and journal a little bit and meditate and I spend at least one to three hours in the morning working on creative things that I need to do to move my businesses forward. So for instance, I'm writing a book right now I spent the morning time working on that or things that require creative spaces of time because I'm most productive then so that's like the biggest hack. But I have to mention my favorite book because it's very life changing for people who are visionaries and highly creative, it's called or if you don't know if you are just think of yourself as a CEO. The book Rocket Fuel will absolutely 100% Change your life, it's by Gino Wickman and Mark C Winters. When I read that book, the first time, I'd already read Traction and other businesses book where he, they talked about their operating system and how to run businesses. But that book in and of itself, like really made me feel like I was not a crazy person and that I had, you know, that, like, the tools that I have, are like, the most valuable tools that you can bring to the company, it's just about how to really dive into them, and support yourself, so that you can be doing the work that you're best at your business.

Gresham Harkless 10:35

Exactly, yeah, that makes perfect sense. It's funny, like, I think that there's a quote that said that, uh, you know, a ship that's docked is great, and it's safe. But that's not necessarily what ships are supposed to be doing. That's not what they're supposed to do. So it's kind of speaks to what you were saying, like, once we identify when our skills and our zones of genius are and things that we have that we can bring to the world. If we're not in the right, you know, sandbox, we're not doing the right thing that it may not seem, it may make us feel like feel like we're crazy. And I can definitely you know, attest to that as well, too. Sometimes, we need to just be in the right place. And once we figure out what that is, and identify that and are able to beat it, that's when we truly are able to, you know, be that rocket fuel, so to speak.

Tracy Matthews 11:11

Absolutely. 100%.

Gresham Harkless 11:13

Nice. And so now I wanted to ask you for what I call your 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.

Tracy Matthews 11:25

If you're unhappy or dissatisfied or bored with what you're doing, take a look at what you're spending most of your time on every day. And it's probably means that it's not the right stuff. And that you need to tap back into that creative zone of genius that is like uniquely yours, and spend more time protecting that creativity. And there's so many ways to do that. But this is a very short podcast. Let's leave it at that. Yeah, so I mean, I think the creativity piece is so important. When I was younger, and my family, athleticism was the thing that was rewarded. And I was a terrible athlete. I mean, I'm fit now, but like I wasn't fit then. But I wasn't a competitive sports player. And so I thought that being creative meant that you weren't smart. But creativity is like the thing that like makes people smart. So being able to protect that is very important.

Gresham Harkless 12:13

Yeah, absolutely. To create that, it's to protect that and cultivate that. And I love that you use the word protect. Because I think a lot of times, we sometimes think that, you know, just because we're creative, or whatever our zone of genius might be that that's just going to be there. And it's just going to, you know, manifest itself and people are going to protect that. But in reality, sometimes people are going to use it for their own ventures, or potentially you're going to use it, you know, for something else that's not aligned with exactly how you envisioned it. So you have to protect it. And you have to cultivate that and grow that yourself. And it's kind of like our responsibility to do that.

Tracy Matthews 12:43

Awesome. Yeah, for sure.

Gresham Harkless 12:45

Nice. And, 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 this show. So Tracy, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Tracy Matthews 12:55

What does it mean, to me, it means freedom. I mean, that's it, I really believe that. And although being the leader of several companies is a lot of work, there's a lot of flexibility in being able to be an entrepreneur, newer, and be able to inspire and lead people to like a bigger goal or vision.

Gresham Harkless 13:14

Absolutely, yeah, I think being able to have the freedom and ability to do that. Just as you know, somebody that is creative would definitely appreciate. And being able to actually execute on that is definitely you know, a great kind of definition and perspective. And, Tracy, I appreciate all the awesome things that you're doing, I appreciate your time even more, what I wanted 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, our best people can get ahold of you and find out about all the awesome things you're doing.

Tracy Matthews 13:38

I just think that the most important thing that you could be doing and I've said this several times during this podcast, is just really be diving in and understanding like your brand of creativity. Are you someone who likes to talk to people? Are you a good negotiator? Are you someone who makes make stuff happen? Are you someone who has big ideas? Are you someone who's very artistic, or a writer or something like that, and acknowledge what it is that you're best at, and then get really clear on how that is going to bring you wealth into your life. You know, some people talk about using creativity as a hobby, but I think it's really important to bring it into your business acumen, whether you're working for someone else, or leading a company or starting your own business, like in any way, shape, or form. Because as a business owner, and an entrepreneur, like one of the most valuable assets I tap into on my team, is their ability to come to me with their ideas, because it takes so much not only pressure off you of having the basically the responsibility for lack of a better word, to be the one driving the business forward. But it also creates a conversation around business direction and growth. And sometimes maybe the idea that someone might bring to a founder isn't necessarily like the idea that goes with but it starts a conversation that comes that helps everyone come to something better.

Gresham Harkless 14:51

Absolutely. No, I think that makes perfect sense. I feel like it creates that sense of engagement as well to where you do have somebody that's on the team that actually is engaged in their thinking of ideas is, so build that tie as a team.

Tracy Matthews 15:02

For sure.

Gresham Harkless 15:03

Nice and people that want to reach out to you what's the best way for them to do that? Of course, subscribe to your podcast and find out everything you're doing.

Tracy Matthews 15:09

Yeah, so definitely subscribe to my podcast. It's called Thrive by Design, you can find it on Apple podcast or head on over to flourishthriveacademy.com/apple. And the easier that the podcast is catered towards jewelry and product based businesses in the fashion industry. But I have so many people listening to it, who have other types of businesses who are like, oh, my gosh, your podcast has changed my business. So I think that there, check it out and tell me if you like it, because I'd love to hear. And then if you are the leader of a company, and you want to be more creative yourself or inspire your team to be a lot more creative, I'd love to invite you to download the visionary code. It's just a short audio, I love audio format, short audio format, that will share with you how to as a leader of your company, really set boundaries around your creativity so that you're doing the things that actually are going to grow your business faster, and you can grab that over at creativesrule theworld, just like it sounds, .com/vc.

Gresham Harkless 16:06

Awesome. Well, thank you so much. Again, Tracy. I truly appreciate it. We will make sure to have those links and that information in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you subscribe to the podcast, and of course get that downloadable audio file. So thank you so much again for your mission and staying true to your zone of genius and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

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.

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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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