I AM CEO PODCAST

IAM429 – Marketer Turned Writer Writes Killer Content for Marketing Agencies

Podcast Interview with Kenzi Wood

Kenzi Wood is a marketer turned writer. She's a solopreneur who writes killer content for marketing agencies and their clients. When she's not furiously typing on her keyboard, you can catch her baking and playing video games.

  • CEO Hack: (1) Book – Sorry I'm late I didn't want to come (2) Partnering with entrepreneurs in other industries
  • CEO Nugget: Don't fight the idea about the job you're passionate about
  • CEO Defined: To be human but to be the genuine authentic person you are

Website: http://www.kenziwrites.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kenziwrites/
Twitter: @kenziwrites


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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 0:22

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very, very special guest on the show today at Kenzi Wood of Kenzi Writes. Kenzi, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Kenzi Wood 0:39

Thank you for having me Gresh. It's great to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:41

Great to have you on and what I want to do is just read a little bit more about Kenzi so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Kenzi Wood is a marketer turned writer. She's a solopreneur, who writes killer content for marketing agencies and their clients. When she's not furiously typing on a keyboard, you can catch her baking and playing video games. Kenzi, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO Community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Kenzi Wood 1:00

I am how's it going, guys?

Gresham Harkless 1:03

Going pretty well. So to kick everything off. I wanted to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story. What led you to get started with your business?

Kenzi Wood 1:09

Yeah, so I started my career out as a marketer. So I was doing marketing for about five years. And I liked it. And I was good at it. But I tried to be a good little employee. And I just realized I woke up one day and I thought, Man, I think I need to be my own boss, I want to wear pajamas, I want to have some fun, I also want to do what I love for a living.

So initially, I started freelance writing on the side as a side job as a marketer. After about a year of doing that, I was making enough on the side that I was actually earning more than my full-time job in the side business. And I thought, What am I doing, I'm, I'm working 10 hours a week, and I'm outpacing my full-time job, this is crazy. I can be my own boss if it blows my mind, I never thought that would happen.

So back in October of 2018, I made the terrifying jump from full-time work working for someone else to being my own boss. And it's I'm coming up on my one-year anniversary now. And it is the best decision I've ever made becoming own CEO of my own small one-woman island. And I absolutely love it. So it's been a great journey so far. And I can't wait to see what happens in the future.

Gresham Harkless 2:14

Nice. I definitely appreciate that. And I feel like you've done it at the perfect time. Because it's like the content golden age, so to speak. So everybody's kind of creating content and figuring out how to do that, or how to find people that can do that. But I definitely appreciate that. Because I think sometimes people wonder exactly if they want to start a business or maybe want to, you know, take that leap.

But a lot of times you can do things on the side, and build it up, especially if you can have the success that you had in the very beginning where you were able to have it be bigger than what you were making with your regular nine to five, you can definitely set out to do that.

Kenzi Wood 2:42

Yeah, that was absurd. I was not planning that at all. So it was a happy accident. Yeah.

Gresham Harkless 2:47

A good sign that nevertheless, so happy anniversary. And I wanted to hear a little bit more about what you're doing with your clients, can you break down exactly what you do to help support the client you work with?

Kenzi Wood 2:56

Yeah, so I originally started as a very general writer, I was writing all kinds of stuff. I mean, I was writing blogs for homesteading sites, and pizza companies, just super random, because it was a hobby. And then I realized I wanted to be serious about this. And I have very niche knowledge as a marketer, and things like SEO, social media, things like that.

And so I realized that marketing agencies really needed a lot of help writing content, either for themselves, because they're so busy or for their clients. Because as an agency, it's really easy to say, oh, yeah, and your client, we've got these resources, we can write these blogs for you. And then they kind of turn around real fast and say, okay, quit, go and find a writer to fix all this work.

So it happens to happen a lot because I used to be at an agency, I know how it is. So I only work with marketing agencies now. And I help them either write content for their clients or actually promote their agency themselves.

Because a lot of the time it's hard to remember to market yourself, even as an agency, which sounds weird. So they sometimes just need a helping hand and I am more than happy to step in and be the helping pen they need.

Gresham Harkless 4:03

Hey, I definitely appreciate that. And it always goes back to like the Congress kids, why the Congress doesn't have any don't have any shoes. Because just like with agencies, sometimes you're taking care of everybody else's, and marketing and everything you sometimes forget your own. So I appreciate you for focusing on that. And I think, too, you know, coming in that digital marketing world, a lot of people think that it's all one thing.

So there are certain niches in which everybody has strengths that everybody has. So when you have an agency, you need that specific expertise, it's great that you're able to kind of come in and help out to do that. And I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce, and it can be for you or your organization, but what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

Kenzi Wood 4:40

So one of the problems I found in content writing is that there are a lot of and this is gonna sound mean, but there are a lot of bad writers out there. So a lot of people who say, oh, I can type stuff into a computer. I'm a copywriter, and maybe you are but you're not a good one. And so I and again, that sounds mean but it's just kind of true. There's a lot of bad actors out there.

Gresham Harkless 4:59

Yeah.

Kenzi Wood 5:02

People who need to hone their craft a little bit more before they have clients. So a lot of people come to me and they say, Hey, we got saddled with a real linen of a copywriter, and we need somebody good, we need something that we are going to rely on. And so I step in to be the quality that they're looking for, like, you know, kind of filling that gap in the market where you people say, like, Where have you been this whole time?

That's what I want to be. So the secret sauce isn't necessarily. I mean, it's writing, you know, you're not going to have like a patented process for writing, but it's not my process, it's more so because writing, in my opinion, is a service-based business. So it's about providing that service, which means like, it's simple stuff to man, it's like being on time responding to people within an hour, making good work.

You know, it's those basic things that I think a lot of us take for granted, whenever we're looking for a secret sauce. But the secret is, just be good. Be good at what you do, and the success will follow.

Gresham Harkless 5:56

Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate you for bringing that to light. Because I think sometimes, you know, we forget these big huge things that we want to accomplish and do this. Sometimes we forget, like the devils in the details, so to speak, where you have to take care of those little small things. And those things are actually what build up to be that great thing.

But if you don't have that foundation in place, then it's really hard to build something, you know, really tremendous. So I appreciate you for sharing that. Because I think we often overlook that. And those things are the things that truly makeup success.

Kenzi Wood 6:22

Yeah, and it kind of sucks because it's like, I wish I could tell people like Oh, download this book, or, you know, download this tool, and you'll magically be, you know, the best in the field. But that's just not how it works. So you gotta just be good.

Gresham Harkless 6:37

Yeah, absolutely. And it comes down to you know, it's hard to replace the time and energy that you put into something and that work that you put in to kind of hone your craft, and be great at what it is that you do. And it's hard to, especially in writing and mostly no other skills. You know, you have to you can tell if somebody has put in the work, or they haven't put in the work.

Kenzi Wood 6:52

Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Gresham Harkless 6:55

I suppose very quickly. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I wanted to ask you for what I call a SEO hack. This might be an app or book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Kenzi Wood 7:06

Okay, this is actually something that I just found this week. So I don't know, you might not be able to tell right now. But I am actually an intern. But like, I kind of need to go retreat and you know, kind of do my own thing. Well, when you want to be your own CEO, it's very difficult to be an introvert because you need to, go you know, shake hands and kiss babies, so to speak.

So I really struggled with getting out there and being social, especially because I'm a solopreneur. I'm a one-woman CEO. And I need to get out there and meet people. So I found this book called ‘Sorry, I'm Late, I Didn't Want To Come'. And it's by Jessica Pan. And it's absolutely hilarious. And I've been reading a lot of self-help books just because I find them fascinating.

And I keep this is, you know, I'm not getting to be honest, this was the only self-help book I have ever read cover to cover and actually kept because I want to read it again. So if you're an introvert, like I am, but you also want to be a successful business owner, read this book, it really helps me because the writer is an introvert herself.

And she's also an independent business owner. So it's very useful. It's hilarious, and it's a good read. So definitely check that out.

Gresham Harkless 8:15

Nice. I definitely appreciate that. And I hadn't heard of that book. So that's it's funny. The title in and of itself makes me want to pick it up. Because you always hear you know, people saying, Oh, I'm sorry, I, you know, my dog ate my homework or whatever happened, but then reality actually didn't want to come. So that's why I didn't make it on time. But that makes perfect sense.

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But I love to like how you structure your business model. I think a lot of times, especially when you're a solopreneur in this day and age, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have like a solo business in the sense that you can partner with certain companies that do something.

So like, you've been able to partner with those agencies is huge, because they already have those clients. And because you're able to kind of tap into them and build those strategic relationships, if you have a solo business, but at the same time, you have that bigger feel as well.

Kenzi Wood 8:57

That is a good point. I mean, we treat it like a solo business. But occasionally you might need to bring in a contractor as well.

Gresham Harkless 9:02

Right.

Kenzi Wood 9:02

Helping me with cold emailing. And also it. It's kind of like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to educate you as an entrepreneur, and CEO. So I'm a member of mastermind groups of fellow writers, but then it's also important to join groups of people who have different businesses than yours. So for example, I am I just recently joined The Mastermind, where it's like it's a florist photographer, and then a counselor.

At first blush, it seems like we have nothing in common, but yet to work together and you find really interesting ideas and things that you've never thought of before. As much as you think, you know, you don't know everything. And it is so valuable to partner with people even if it's not, you know, a contractor or an employee seeking out this fellow business owner relationships are so important.

Gresham Harkless 9:02

Yeah. And I've always I think I heard a quote where he said that there are usually no new ideas over the sun, but sometimes it's not that the ISBN is new. It's just maybe you're doing a different industry. So if you're learning something from that florist, and you're implementing that this can be the most innovative thing ever.

But really, they may have been doing it for years, and you just put it in a kind of a different place. So I appreciate that perspective.

Kenzi Wood 10:07

Yeah, it's like it's mind-blowing. It's like, why didn't I think that I feel? Do you feel dumb after it to you? Like, oh my gosh, but yeah, it's been great. Yeah. So absolutely.

Gresham Harkless 10:16

Nice. I appreciate that. 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 happen to that time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Kenzi Wood 10:26

Okay, I've got it. So when I was in fifth grade, I was and I'm kind of dating myself here. But I was making magazines, handmade magazines, on my parent's fax machine, if any of you have seen one of these, like clunky, and it's not going to make a magazine, but that's what I have.

Gresham Harkless 10:40

Yeah. I guess I'm dating myself too.

Kenzi Wood 10:42

Yeah, I've used a fax machine.

Gresham Harkless 10:45

That older, I hope that.

Kenzi Wood 10:48

If you're like in your late 20s or 30s, you might know but that's anyway, so I was using fax machines, I was writing and making content for people, even when I was you know what, you know, 10 years old. And you know, you grow up and people tell you, Oh, well, you know, you're such a good writer, but there's no one that drilled into you that this is not a viable career option.

This is a hobby. So I always felt the call to be a writer, I was actually a hobby blogger. For many years, I have been blogging about personal finance. And it wasn't until I actually started my side business as a writer, that I got proof and cold, hard numbers, that this is a very viable career field, if anything, it's more viable than it was 15 or 20 years ago, just because of the sheer volume of content that businesses need to put out.

Now, if you're not putting out something every day you're behind. And that's just kind of the world we're in now. So I'm very thankful for that. Because it's led to a career. But going back to what piece of you know, advice, or a nugget of wisdom I would give people is, don't fight it. If you feel like you are called to be, in my case, a writer, a designer, whatever you want to be, don't fight it, because it's going to find its way back to you.

I do believe that every person has a purpose on this earth. And if you're doing data entry, you're at a job that you're just not passionate about. And you keep feeling like something is telling you to jump off and do your own thing. But then you kind of like defeat yourself before you get the thought out. Because Oh, there's no money in it.

Or, oh, I don't even know how to make that possible. You can make it happen. Like you really can make it happen. So that's my advice is, don't fight it. Look at what you really want what you want out of your life, and make a plan to get it, it might take a little bit, but nothing good.

You know, good things require hard work and sacrifice, you're not going to get the life you want just by sitting and being the same. So don't fight it, pursue your dreams, and you will find a way to make it happen.

Gresham Harkless 12:45

There you go. I love that. And I definitely appreciate that. Because I think a lot of times, you know, we also don't take into account that things change and change is very, very constant. So as you see things in the industry or the way that people are running their business now changing now, content is such a big part of business as it wasn't as much as it was, you know, 10-15 years ago.

It's a huge thing now, but if you hadn't to take taking that time, and you know, continue to work on your craft and be great at what you do, by the time that shift happened, you wouldn't have had the skills to be able to do what you're doing now. So I think it goes back to what you're saying just you know, continue to hone your craft and continue to have that vision that you have.

And then you know, a lot of times things will align exactly how they should. But I definitely appreciate that. And so now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote-unquote, CEOs on the shelves with Kenzi, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Kenzi Wood 13:32

So to me, being a CEO, as an introvert, I might add, it's you know, we look at the CEOs and we think, you know, suits, you know, having all your stuff together public speakers, really confident people, but we forget that CEOs are humans. So to me, to be a CEO is to be a human, but to be the most genuine, authentic version of yourself, to be confident enough to stand up and speak and do things even though they terrify you.

Like I love being on podcasts. But I'm an introvert. So I'm absolutely terrified. Every time I speak on a podcast thinking, Am I going to say something stupid, but you know what, I'm a CEO. I put on my you know, business owner hat and I go and I do it anyway.

Gresham Harkless 14:08

Nice. I appreciate that definition. I always usually say to feel the fear and do it anyway. Because your absence of fear is not to be human to some degree. So you'll feel the fear, but you want to make sure that you continue on, and I love that perspective.

Because a lot of times we forget, when we look at you know, business, that it's made up of people, we're human, we have fears we have likes, we have things that we're scared of, we have things that we love to do, but to forget that human part is to kind of forget the essence of who we are as individuals. So I appreciate that perspective tremendously.

And I appreciate your time even more. And when 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, how best they can get ahold of you and find out about all the awesome things you're doing.

Kenzi Wood 14:47

Yeah, sure. So I did want to go back to my first point about being the best and giving good quality work. So there's a lot of solopreneurs out there. There are a lot of people probably doing exactly whatever business model that you guys are doing. And I think the question I get a lot as a marketer, who helps small agencies is how can I stand out?

How can I basically, you know, beat my competition, you know, everybody's looking for an easy answer, everybody's looking for a way to game Google or, you know, a magic bullet. And the minute that you accept that does not exist is the minute that you can actually start growing your business, you can stop looking for shortcuts, and actually, you know, look up ahead of the mountain in front of you and figure out how to climb it instead of continuously looking for a way around it, and wasting your time.

So that's what I would say is just dedicate yourself to quality, and understand that this is going to be hard. No matter what you're doing with your business. It's hard guys, and we all know that. But the minute that you say, You know what, I know, it's hard. I'm going to do it anyway. That's the moment that you're a true CEO.

Gresham Harkless 15:46

Absolutely, I would definitely echo that, you know, put in the time and put in the work to be excellent. And once you realize there is no silver bullet, and that doesn't exist other than you know, rolling up your sleeves and getting the work done, then you know, you'll have a leg up on your competition because you just understand it's going to be really hard and it's going to take sometimes really long so I appreciate that perspective and people that want to reach out to you Kenzi what was the best way for them to do that?

Kenzi Wood 16:07

Yeah, sure. You guys can get in touch with me on Twitter. I'm a at Kenzi Writes. And then you guys can also check out my website kenziwrites.com.

Gresham Harkless 16:15

Awesome, awesome, awesome. We will make sure to have those links and information in the show notes as well. But thank you so much Kenzi 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.ceo gear.co. This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Gresham Harkless 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.

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very, very special guest on the show today at Kenzi Wood of Kenzi Writes. Kenzi, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Kenzi Wood 0:39

Thank you for having me. Gresh. It's great to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:41

Great to have you on and what I want to do is just read a little bit more about Kenzi so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Kenzi Wood is a marketer turned writer. She's a solopreneur, who writes killer content for marketing agencies and their clients. When she's not furiously typing on a keyboard, you can catch her baking and playing video games. Kenzi, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO Community?

Kenzi Wood 1:00

I am I am how's it going guys.

Gresham Harkless 1:03

Going pretty good. So to kick everything off. I wanted to hear a little bit more about what I call your SEO story. What led you to get start with your business?

Kenzi Wood 1:09

Yeah, so I started my career out as a marketer. So I was doing marketing for about five years. And I liked it. And I was good at it. But I, you know, I tried to be a good little employee. And I just realized I woke up one day and I thought, Man, I think I need to be my own boss, I want to wear pajamas. I want to have some fun. So and also, I want to do what I love for a living. So initially, I started freelance writing on the side as a side job as a marketer. And after about a year of doing that, I was making enough on the side that I was actually earning more than my full time job in the side business. And I thought, What am I doing, I'm, I'm working 10 hours a week, and I'm outpacing my full time job, this is crazy. I can be my own boss, if it blew my mind, I never thought that would happen. So back in October of 2018, I made the terrifying jump from full time work working for someone else to being my own boss. And it's I'm coming up on my one year anniversary now. And it is the best decision I've ever made becoming my own CEO of my own small one woman island. And I absolutely love it. So it's been a great journey so far. And I can't wait to see what happens in the future.

Gresham Harkless 2:14

Nice. I definitely appreciate that. And I feel like you've done it at the perfect time. Because it's like the content golden age, so to speak. So everybody's kind of creating content and figuring out how to do that, or how to find people that can do that. But I definitely appreciate that. Because I think sometimes people wonder exactly like if they want to start a business or maybe want to, you know, take that leap. But a lot of times you can do things on the side, build it up, especially if you can have the success that you had in the very beginning where you were able to have it be bigger than what you were making with your regular nine to five, you can definitely set out to do that.

Kenzi Wood 2:42

Yeah, that was like absurd. I was not planning that at all. So it was a happy accident. Yeah.

Gresham Harkless 2:47

A good sign that nevertheless, so happy anniversary. And I wanted to hear a little bit more about what you're doing with your clients, can you break down exactly what you do to help support the client you work with?

Kenzi Wood 2:56

Yeah, so I originally started as a very general writer, I was writing all kinds of stuff. I mean, I was writing blogs for like homesteading sites, pizza companies, just super random, because it was a hobby. And then I realized I want to be serious about this. And I have very niche knowledge as a marketer, and things like SEO, social media, things like that. And so I realized that marketing agencies really needed a lot of help writing content, either for themselves, because they're so busy or for their clients. Because as an agency, it's really easy to say, oh, yeah, and your client, we've got these resources, we can write these blogs for you. And then they kind of turn around real fast and say, okay, quit, go and find a writer to fix all this work. So it happens to happen a lot, because I used to be at an agency, I know how it is. So I only work with marketing agencies now. And so I help them I either write content for their clients, or to actually promote their agency themselves. Because a lot of the times it's hard to remember to market yourself, even as an agency, which sounds weird. So they sometimes just need a helping hand and I am more than happy to step in and be the helping pen they need.

Gresham Harkless 4:03

Hey, I definitely appreciate that. And it always goes back to like the Congress kids, why the Congress gives doesn't have any don't have any shoes. Because just like with agencies, sometimes you're taking care of everybody else's, and marketing and everything you sometimes forget your own. So I appreciate you for focusing on that. And I think, too, you know, coming in that digital marketing world, a lot of people think that it's all one thing. So but there's certain niches that everybody has strengths that everybody has. So when you have an agency, you need that specific expertise, it's great that you're able to kind of come in and help out to do that. And I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce, and it can be for you or your organization, but what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

Kenzi Wood 4:40

So one of the problems I found in content writing is that there are a lot of and this is gonna sound mean, but there are a lot of bad writers out there. So a lot of people who say, oh, I can type stuff into a computer. I'm a copywriter, and maybe you are but you're not a good one. And so I and again, that sounds mean but it's just kind of true. There's a lot of bad actors out there.

Gresham Harkless 4:59

Yeah.

Kenzi Wood 5:02

People who need to hone their craft a little bit more before they have clients. So a lot of people come to me and they say, Hey, we got saddled with a real linen of a copywriter, and we need somebody good, we need something that we are going to rely on. And so I step in to be the quality that they're looking for, like, you know, kind of filling that gap in the market where you people say, like, Where have you been this whole time? That's what I want to be. So the secret sauce isn't necessarily. I mean, it's writing, you know, you're not going to have like a patented process for writing, but it's not my process, it's more so because writing, in my opinion, is a service based business. So it's about providing that service, which means like, it's simple stuff to man, it's like being on time responding to people within an hour, making good work. You know, it's those basic things that I think a lot of us take for granted, whenever we're looking for a secret sauce. But the secret is, just be good. Be good at what you do, and the success will follow.

Gresham Harkless 5:56

Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate you for bringing that to light. Because I think sometimes, you know, we forget these big huge things that we want to accomplish and do this. Sometimes we forget, like the devils in the details, so to speak, where you have to take care of those little small things. And those things are actually what build up to be that great thing. But if you don't have that foundation in place, then it's really hard to build something, you know, really tremendous. So I appreciate you for sharing that. Because I think we often overlook that. And those things are the things that truly make up success.

Kenzi Wood 6:22

Yeah, and it kind of sucks because it's like, I wish I could tell people like Oh, download this book, or, you know, download this tool, and you'll magically be, you know, the best in the field. But that's just not how it works. So you gotta just be good.

Gresham Harkless 6:37

Yeah, absolutely. And it comes down to you know, it's hard to replace the time and energy that you put into something and that work that you put in to kind of hone your craft, and be great at what it is that you do. And it's hard to, especially in writing and mostly no other skills. You know, you have to you can tell if somebody has put in the work, or they haven't put in the work.

Kenzi Wood 6:52

Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Gresham Harkless 6:55

I suppose very quickly. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I wanted to ask you for what I call a SEO hack. And this might be an app or book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Kenzi Wood 7:06

Okay, this is actually something that I just found this week. So I don't know, you might not be able to tell right now. But I am actually an intern. But like, I kind of need to go retreat and you know, kind of do my own thing. Well, when you want to be your own CEO, it's very difficult to be an introvert because you need to, go you know, shake hands and kiss babies, so to speak. So I really struggled with getting out there being social, especially because I'm a solopreneur. I'm a one woman CEO. And I need to get out there and meet people. So I found this book called 'Sorry, I'm Late, I Didn't Want To Come'. And it's by Jessica Pan. And it's absolutely hilarious. And I've been reading a lot of self help books just because I find them fascinating. And I keep this is, you know, I'm not getting to be honest, this was the only self help book I have ever read cover to cover and actually kept because I want to read it again. So if you're an introvert, like I am, but you also want to be a successful business owner, read this book, it really helps me because the writer is an introvert herself. And she's also an independent business owner. So it's very useful. It's hilarious, and it's a good read. So definitely check that out.

Gresham Harkless 8:15

Nice. I definitely appreciate that. And I hadn't heard of that book. So that's it's funny. Title in and of itself makes me want to pick it up. Because you always hear you know, people saying, Oh, I'm sorry, I, you know, my dog ate my homework or whatever happened, but then reality actually didn't want to come. So that's why I didn't make it on time. But that makes perfect sense. But I love to like about how you structure your your business model. Because I think a lot of times, especially when you're solopreneurs in this day and age, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have like a solo business in the sense that you can partner with certain companies that do something. So like, you've been able to partner with those agencies is huge, because they already have those clients. And because you're able to kind of tap into them build those strategic relationships, if you have a solo business, but at the same time, you have that bigger feel as well.

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Kenzi Wood 8:57

That is a good point. I mean, we treat it like a solo business. But occasionally you might need to bring in a contractor as well.

Gresham Harkless 9:02

Right.

Kenzi Wood 9:02

Helping me with cold emailing. And also it. It's kind of like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to educate you as an entrepreneur, and CEO. So I'm a member of mastermind groups of fellow writers, but then it's also important to join groups of people who have different businesses than yours. So for example, I am I just recently joined The Mastermind, where it's like it's a florist photographer, and then a counselor. And at first blush, it seems like we have nothing in common, but yet to work together and you find really interesting ideas and things that you've never thought of before. As much as you think, you know, you don't know everything. And it is so valuable to partner with people even if it's not, you know, a contractor or an employee seeking out this fellow business owner relationships are so important.

Gresham Harkless 9:02

Yeah. And and I've always I think I heard a quote where he said that there's usually like no new ideas over the sun, but sometimes it's not that the ISBN is new. It's just maybe you're doing a different industry. So if you're learning something for that from that florist, and you're implementing in that is this this can be the most innovative thing ever. But really, they may have been doing it for years, and you just put it in a kind of a different place. So I appreciate that perspective.

Kenzi Wood 10:07

Yeah, it's like it's mind blowing. It's like, why didn't I think that I feel? You feel dumb after it to you? Like, oh my gosh, but yeah, it's been great. Yeah. So absolutely.

Gresham Harkless 10:16

Nice. I appreciate that. 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 happen to that time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Kenzi Wood 10:26

Okay, I've got it. So when I was in fifth grade, I was and I'm kind of dating myself here. But I was making magazines, handmade magazines, on my parents fax machine, if any of you have seen one of these, like clunky, and it's not going to make a magazine, but that's what I have.

Gresham Harkless 10:40

Yeah. I guess I'm dating myself too.

Kenzi Wood 10:42

Yeah, I've used a fax machine.

Gresham Harkless 10:45

That older, I hope that.

Kenzi Wood 10:48

If you're like in your late 20s, or 30s, you might know but that's anyway, so I was using fax machines, I was writing and making content for people, even when I was you know what, you know, 10 years old. And you know, you grow up and people tell you, Oh, well, you know, you're such a good writer, but there's no one that drilled into you of this is not a viable career option. This is a hobby. So I always felt the call to be a writer, I was actually a hobby blogger. For many years, I was blogging about personal finance. And it wasn't until I actually started my side business as a writer, that I got proof and cold, hard numbers, that this is a very viable career field, if anything, it's more viable than it was 15 or 20 years ago, just because of the sheer volume of content that businesses need to put out. Now, if you're not putting out something every day you're behind. And that's just kind of the world we're in now. So I'm very thankful for that. Because it's led to a career. But going back to what piece of you know, advice, or a nugget of wisdom I would give people is, don't fight it. If you feel like you are called to be, in my case, a writer, a designer, whatever you want to be, don't fight it, because it's going to find its way back to you. I do believe that every person has a purpose on this earth. And if you're doing data entry, you're at a job that you're just not passionate about. And you keep feeling like something is telling you to jump off and do your own thing. But then you kind of like defeat yourself before you get the thought out. Because Oh, there's no money in it. Or, oh, I don't even know how to make that possible. You can make it happen. Like you really can make it happen. So that's my advice is, don't fight it. Look at what you really want what you want out of your life, and make a plan to get it, it might take a little bit, but nothing good. You know, good things require hard work and sacrifice, you're not going to get the life you want just by sitting and being the same. So don't fight it, pursue your dreams, you will find a way to make it happen.

Gresham Harkless 12:45

There you go. I love that. And I definitely appreciate that. Because I think a lot of times, you know, we also don't take into account that things change and change is very, very constant. So as you see like things in the industry or way that people are running their business now changing now, content is such a big part of business as it wasn't as much as it was, you know, 10-15 years ago, it's a huge thing now, but if you hadn't to take taking that time, and you know, continue to work on your craft and be great at what you do, by the time that shift happened, you wouldn't have had the skills to be able to do what you're doing now. So I think it goes back to what you're saying just you know, continue to hone your craft and continue to have that vision that you have. And then you know, a lot of times things will align exactly how they should. But I definitely appreciate that. And so now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote unquote, CEOs on the shelves with Kenzi, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Kenzi Wood 13:32

So to me, being a CEO, as an introvert, I might add, it's you know, we look at the CEOs and we think, you know, suits, you know, having all your stuff together public speakers, really confident people, but we forget that CEOs are humans. So to me, to be a CEO is to be a human, but to be the most genuine, authentic version of yourself, to be confident enough to stand up and speak and do things even though they terrify you. Like I love being on podcasts. But I'm an introvert. So I'm absolutely terrified. Every time I speak on a podcast thinking, Am I going to say something stupid, but you know what, I'm a CEO. I put on my you know, business owner hat and I go and I do it anyway.

Gresham Harkless 14:08

Nice. I appreciate that definition. I always usually say feel the fear and do it anyways. Because for your absence of fear is not to be human to some degree. So you'll feel the fear, but you want to make sure that you continue on and, and I love that perspective. Because a lot of times we forget, when we look at you know, business, that it's made up of people, we're human, we have fears we have likes, we have things that we're scared of, we have things that we love to do, but to forget that human part is to kind of forget the essence of who we are as individuals. So I appreciate that perspective tremendously. And I appreciate your time even more. And when 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, how best they can get ahold of you and find out about all the awesome things you're doing.

Kenzi Wood 14:47

Yeah, sure. So I did want to go back to my first point about being the best and giving good quality work. So there's a lot of solopreneurs out there. There's a lot of people probably doing exactly whatever business model that you you guys are doing. And I think the question I get a lot as a marketer, who helps small agencies is how can I stand out? How can I basically, you know, beat my competition, you know, everybody's looking for an easy answer, everybody's looking for a way to game Google or, you know, a magic bullet. And the minute that you accept that does not exist is the minute that you can actually start growing your business, you can stop looking for shortcuts, and actually, you know, look up ahead of the mountain in front of you and figure out how to climb it instead of continuously looking for a way around it, and wasting your time. So that's what I would say is just dedicate yourself to quality, and understand that this is going to be hard. No matter what you're doing with your business. It's hard guys, and we all know that. But the minute that you say, You know what, I know, it's hard. I'm going to do it anyway. That's the moment that you're a true CEO.

Gresham Harkless 15:46

Absolutely, I would definitely echo that, you know, put in the time and put in the work to be excellent. And once you once you realize there is no silver bullet, and that doesn't exist other than you know, rolling up your sleeves and getting the work done, then you know, you'll have a leg up on your competition because you just understand it's going to be really hard and it's going to take sometimes really long so I appreciate that perspective and people that want to reach out to you Kenzi what was the best way for them to do that?

Kenzi Wood 16:07

Yeah, sure. You guys can get in touch with me on Twitter. I'm a at Kenzi Writes. And then you guys can also check out my website kenziwrites.com.

Gresham Harkless 16:15

Awesome, awesome, awesome. We will make sure to have those links and information in the show notes as well. But thank you so much Kenzi 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.ceo gear.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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