DMV CEOI AM CEO PODCAST

IAM518- Founder Creates a Community of Creatives and Entrepreneurs

Podcast Interview with Sara Alepin

Sara is a go-getter with a background in Art Education. After founding Photos from the Harty, Sara realized something was missing. Hoping to create a community of supportive and like-minded creatives and entrepreneurs, she launched District Bliss.

Sara continues to be amazed at how many wonderful, talented people have joined the District Bliss chapters across the USA!

  • CEO Hack: Following a not-so-typical routine
  • CEO Nugget: Just because I love what I do doesn't mean I am my ideal client
  • CEO Defined: Freedom to run your business and be in control

Website: http://districtbliss.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/districtblissevents/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DistrictBlissEvents/


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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 have Sara Alepin of District Bliss, Sarah it's awesome to have you on the show.

Sara Alepin 0:39

Yeah, thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:42

No problem. Super excited to have you on. What I want to do is just read a little bit more about Sara so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing.

Sara is a go-getter with a background in art education. After founding photos from Harty, Sarah realized something was missing, hoping to create a community of supportive and like-minded creatives and entrepreneurs, she launched District Bliss. Sara continues to be amazed at how many wonderful talented people have joined the District Bliss chapters across the United States.

Sara, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO Community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Sara Alepin 1:11

I am

Gresham Harkless 1:12

Awesome. Let's do it. So I wanted to kick everything off and hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story. When did you get started with your business?

Sara Alepin 1:20

Alright, awesome. Um, so I founded District Black Bliss back in 2014. What we initially did was through networking, and socials, for people in the wedding industry, and since then have expanded to creatives, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. So now it's more. It's they're just really fun and light-hearted and welcoming. And, and we do workshops now. So things have grown and changed since we started and it's been awesome.

Gresham Harkless 1:59

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that a lot of times I say, like you forget about, you know, the human aspect of business, but you always love those networking groups where you have a good time, and I feel like, indefinitely, you can correct me if I'm wrong, I feel like sometimes it's just more of a connection seems like even more opportunities come about when you're having a good time kind of networking and connecting.

Sara Alepin 2:18

Yeah, coz I mean, we buy from people we know, like, and trust, which is one of the really important reasons to join a networking community and get out there and get networking, because that is the human element. And you never know where your next client is gonna come from. And it's super, super important to, put your face out there and your personality, because, then people are gonna want buy from you because you're awesome.

Gresham Harkless 2:51

Exactly. You have to be awesome first before you do that, though, so make sure that you're awesome for you out there, right? That's always important pre Razak, wave when I was younger, but I know, I wanted to hear you touched on district place, I wanted to hear a little bit more about you know, what, what you have going on how it works, different things that are available, and also like locations where we can, you know, do some of the networking as well.

Sara Alepin 3:12

Okay. So we have, we have a networking social coming up on the 11th of December at City Winery in DC, which will be super fun there. It's a really small event for we tend to keep our events intimate anyway because we want it to be welcoming. And if you're walking into a room of 300 people, it will not always have that same vibe. So this one we only have 25 tickets though, because the city winery is going all out and like having amazing hors d'oeuvres. They're doing like wine tastings and we it's going to be a great time. So that one's in DC.

We also have an LA branch, but we don't have anything on the calendar for 2019. So then we also have an online workshop or training I guess with creative successful entrepreneurs and then we do a Q&A session afterwards. They're this like incredible, like coaching company that's owned by Melissa McFarlane and she does these coaches kitchens, and each month it's a different topic.

So spanning anywhere from you know, marketing to what she calls the ankle show or the elevator pitch and how to you know, put that together so that it helps you speak about your business because it's not always easy to describe what you do. I'm sorry my dogs are about to video Obama's here.

Gresham Harkless 4:53

That's okay. My dog is eating a snack right now.

Sara Alepin 4:58

My dog loves to interrupt all my video calls Yes. Calusa

Gresham Harkless 5:05

So like the Panther. Hey Calusa will he be at the events? That's the question.

Sara Alepin 5:15

Always video bomb our online workshop,

Gresham Harkless 5:20

one of the bonuses, one of the perks

Sara Alepin 5:25

he will not be at City Winery, unfortunately. But he is sorry, not here, I'm not talking about my dog right now.

Gresham Harkless 5:38

It can be the same thing, my visa stack right now.

Sara Alepin 5:40

I love it. So, we, for district Bliss, what we do is we host these events where you can either you can be a member of the community or have a membership. Or you can just come to the events, the awesome thing that we did when we started this membership thing was it, the benefits are just off the charts. Like it's a huge SEO bump. We can blog on our guest blog on our site, and you get access to all kinds of stuff from our sponsors, and free access to workshops, it's a way to kind of almost hold yourself accountable to attend networking events and build your business.

Which is just really important. Because I mean, I know, for me, it can be isolating, and you need that community. Working from home, I see my dog more than I see any other human. So it's good. It's really important to feel like you have that community and that support system. So that's one of the reasons that we founded membership, but it is not required to attend our events.

Gresham Harkless 6:59

Okay, well, awesome. Well, that's good to know. Yeah, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who spends a lot of time with my dog. Because, yes, it can be isolating, you know, working from home doing your business, in and of itself is very sometimes trying, there's so many ups and downs in running a business that you want to be able to have that community, people that you lean on so that you know that you're not alone. And sometimes even just the difficulties that we're going through to know that it's not us, it's just part of running a business, which is definitely what we always sometimes need to hear.

See also  IAM389- Serial Entrepreneur Works With Clients to Build Brand Evangelism and Social Impact

Sara Alepin 7:27

Yeah, I mean, it is really important to remember that you aren't alone. And that, you know, it is like there was a year where I don't think I saw friends for like more than three weekends, that entire year. And it was otherwise like I was just too busy. And that is hard. It's not healthy. I since have re-distributed things so that I'm never in that situation again. But if I didn't have the District Bliss community during that time, I would have been absolutely bonkers. And that was a pretty dog too.

Gresham Harkless 8:12

It'd be even worse

Sara Alepin 8:13

I would have been sitting by myself like my pleaded husband didn't want to listen to all of my stories than from like, running a business. He also doesn't understand it to that full extent. You know, it's nice to have somebody like that you can talk to you that gets it.

Gresham Harkless 8:35

Yeah, exactly. Yeah, they can they can trade war stories, so to speak. Because yeah, we've had the same thing happen. So that makes so much sense. And so you definitely will have like you guys have any events that you can find out about all events, depending on whenever you're listening to this as well on the site, correct?

Sara Alepin 8:51

Yeah, yeah, for sure. We always have everything on our website. So districtbliss.com. And we're super active on social media. So Instagram is @districtblissevents. We don't plan events technically, just to make sure that that is posted. Like in the wedding planning.

Gresham Harkless 9:16

They thank you for making that designation because you might have just gotten a phone call saying I'm getting married tomorrow. Can you plan this for me? So that's good to know. But having those business events is huge.

I know we talked about a little bit offline about why you started is like having those creative entrepreneurs is that like what you would consider to be like your secret sauce and the reason that you started what makes you feel kind of sets it apart and makes you unique?

Sara Alepin 9:45

Yeah, and I think the light-hearted welcoming kind of vibe that we have there is it's just, I needed a place where I felt like I belonged and I realized that a lot of other people felt the same way. And I wanted to like find my people. And I think the welcoming, light-hearted positive you know, the caring about connecting people. And helping people succeed, I think is probably what has made District Bliss so successful.

Having that, like real drive to see other people be their best selves and live their best lives and do it while they can like to have that ability to live your best life the way you want to on your terms. So having you know, that real support systems kind of thing, is I guess that's probably what I would call our secret sauce is that light-hearted welcoming, and caring about other people and their businesses.

Gresham Harkless 11:05

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

Sara Alepin 11:17

So I have kind of a weird routine because I am, kind of, I know I should be better, but I don't love routines. So what I do is I start my day in this room, which is my living room, essentially. And I usually laid a lot of fires in the fireplace, which you know, kind of like gives me that like, comfy, warm feeling. And then I move down to my office, which is down a flight, and work in there for part of the day. And then I come back up at the end of the day and work in this space, because I feel like at least then if I'm not, if I'm not in the same room, I feel like I'm accomplishing something, it helps move through my day, it's kind of I guess, it's like my commute time.

Gresham Harkless 12:12

The best commute ever, especially around here.

Sara Alepin 12:16

I just need different scenery, I get so bored of looking at the same thing. If I'm sitting on my computer, it's just you know, I need to be visually stimulated.

Gresham Harkless 12:29

I want to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. So that is a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. Or if you could happen to a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Sara Alepin 12:37

Probably to remember that just because I love what I do doesn't mean that I am my ideal client. And thinking about like a way not that I'm particularly selling anything, but the way that you sell.

Gresham Harkless 12:59

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 and quote, CEOs on this show. So Sara, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Sara Alepin 13:08

Being a CEO means that I have the freedom to run my business, the way that I believe it should be run. And to be in control of my destiny and my success. I am at the end of the day, the person who takes the hit if anything goes wrong, but I'm also the person who gets to celebrate the successes, and then pass that along to my team. So it's it's being a badass.

Gresham Harkless 13:47

That's what you have to be right. By quarter quote from Sara, Sara components, so I truly appreciate that. I appreciate your time even more. What I want to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know. And then of course, how best to get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things you guys are working on.

Sara Alepin 14:09

Yeah, um, I mean, I would love to see all of you guys, all of the CEOs out there, the aspiring CEOs at some of our events and, and get to know more about their business and, you know, help find other ways that I can grow and support other CEOs, business owners aspiring or current. Because I know sometimes it takes a long time to leap. And you know, it doesn't, you don't have to be full-time. It doesn't matter.

That doesn't to me dictate your level of success because some people just want to have like a cool side thing. So if you would like to reach out I'm Hello@districtbliss.com. Our website is districtbliss.com. We have a cool blog, you can find all of our events on the website. If you are looking for a rad group of people who want to support you and you know, really help build you up and support the community, you should come check us out.

Gresham Harkless 15:21

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, thank you so much again. I truly appreciate you. We will have the links in as well in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you and connect and see all the awesome things you guys are working on. But thank you so much again, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Outro 15:35

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.

See also  IAM648- CEO Helps Entrepreneurs With Sales and Marketing

[/restrict]

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 have Sara Alepin of District Bliss, Sarah its awesome to have you on the show.

Sara Alepin 0:39

Yeah, thanks for having me. I'm really excited to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:42

No problem. Super excited to have you on. And what I want to do is just read a little bit more about Sara so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Sara is a go getter with a background in art education. After founding photos from Harty, Sarah realized something was missing, hoping to create a community of supportive and like minded creatives and entrepreneurs, she launched District Bliss. Sara continues to be amazed at how many wonderful talented people have joined the District Bliss chapters across the United States. Sara, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO Community?

Sara Alepin 1:11

I am

Gresham Harkless 1:12

Awesome. Let's do it. So I wanted to kick everything off and hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story. When did you get started with your business?

Sara Alepin 1:20

Alright, awesome. Um, so I founded District Black Bliss back in 2014.And what we initially did was we through networking, socials, for people in the wedding industry, and since then have expanded to creatives, entrepreneurs, small business owners. So now it's more. It's they're just really fun and light hearted and welcoming. And, and we do workshops now. So things have really grown and changed since we started and it's been really awesome.

Gresham Harkless 1:59

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that a lot of times I say, like you forget about, you know, the human aspect of business, but you always love those networking groups where you have a good time, and I feel like, indefinitely, you can correct me if I'm wrong, I feel like sometimes it's just more of a connection seems like even more opportunities come about when you're having a good time kind of networking and connecting.

Sara Alepin 2:18

Yeah, coz I mean, we buy from people we know, like, and trust, which is one of the really important reasons to join a networking community and actually get out there and get, networking, because that is the human element. And you never know where your next client is gonna come from. And it's super, super important to, put your face out there and your personality, because, then people are gonna want buy from you because you're awesome.

Gresham Harkless 2:51

Exactly. You have to be awesome first before you do that, though, so make sure that you're awesome for you out there, right. That's always important pre Razak, wave when I was younger, but I know, I wanted to hear you touched on district place, I wanted to hear a little bit more about you know, what, what you have going on how it works, different things that are available, and also like locations where we can, you know, do some of the networking as well.

Sara Alepin 3:12

Okay. So we have, we actually have a networking social coming up on the 11th of December at City winery in DC, which will be super fun there. It's actually a really small event for we tend to keep our events intimate anyway because we want it to be welcoming. And if you're walking into a room of 300 people, it's not always going to have that same vibe. So this one we only have 25 tickets though, because city winery is going all out and like having really amazing hors d'oeuvres. They're doing like wine tastings and we it's going to be great time. So that one's in DC. We also have an LA branch, but we don't have anything on the calendar for 2019. So and then we also have an online workshop or training I guess with creative successful entrepreneurs and then we do a q&a session afterwards. They're this like incredible, like coaching company that's owned by Melissa McFarlane and she does these coaches kitchens, and each month it's a different topic. So spanning anywhere from you know, marketing to what she calls the ankle show or the elevator pitch and how to you know, put that together so that it helps you actually speak about your business because it's not always easy to describe what you do. And I'm sorry my dogs about to video Obama's here.

Gresham Harkless 4:53

That's okay. My dog is eating a snack right now.

Sara Alepin 4:58

My dog loves to interrupt all my video call Yes. calusa

Gresham Harkless 5:05

So like the Panther. Hey Calusa will he be at the events? That's the question.

Sara Alepin 5:15

Always video bomb our online workshop,

Gresham Harkless 5:20

one of the bonuses, one of the perks

Sara Alepin 5:25

he will not be at City winery, unfortunately. But he are sorry, not here, I'm not talking about my dog right now.

Gresham Harkless 5:38

It can be the same thing, my visa stack right now.

Sara Alepin 5:40

I love it. So, we, for district Bliss, what we do is we host these events where you can either you can be a member of the community and actually have membership. Or you can just come to the events, the really awesome thing that we did when we started this membership thing was it, the benefits are just like off the charts. Like it's a huge SEO bump. We have the ability to blog on our like guest blog on our site, you get access to all kinds of stuff from our sponsors, free access to workshops, it's a way to kind of almost hold yourself accountable to actually attend networking events and actually build your business. Which is just really important. Because I mean, I know, for me, it can be isolating, and you really need that community. Working from home, like I see my dog more than I see any other human. So it's good. It's really important to feel like you have that community and that support system. So that's one of the reasons that we founded membership, but it is not required to attend our events.

Gresham Harkless 6:59

Okay, well, awesome. Well, that's definitely good to know. Yeah, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who spends a lot of time with my dog. Because, yes, it can be isolating, you know, working from home doing your business, in and of itself is very sometimes trying, there's so many ups and downs in running a business that you want to be able to have that community, people that you lean on so that you know that you're not alone. And sometimes even just the difficulties that we're going through to know that it's not us, sometimes it's just part of running a business, which is definitely what we always sometimes need to hear.

Sara Alepin 7:27

Yeah, I mean, it is really important to remember that you aren't alone. And that, you know, it is like there was a year where I don't think I saw friends for like more than three weekends, that entire year. And it was other otherwise, like I was just too busy. And that is really hard. It's not healthy. I since have re distributed things so that I'm never in that situation again. But if I didn't have the District Bliss community during that time, I would have been absolutely bonkers. And that was pretty dog too.

See also  IAM723- Founder Helps Entrepreneurs Systematize and Grow Their Business

Gresham Harkless 8:12

It'd be even worse

Sara Alepin 8:13

I would have been sitting by myself like pleaded husband doesn't want to listen to to be all of my stories than from like, running a business. He also doesn't understand it to like that full extent. You know, it's nice to have somebody like that you can talk to you that gets it.

Gresham Harkless 8:35

Yeah, exactly. Yeah, they can they can trade war stories, so to speak. Because yeah, we've had the exact same thing happen. So that makes so much sense. And so you definitely will have like you guys have any events that you can find out about all events, depending on whenever you're listening to this as well on the site, correct?

Sara Alepin 8:51

Yeah, yeah, for sure. We always have everything's on our website. So districtbliss.com. And we're super active on social media. So Instagram is @ districtblissevents. We don't plan events technically, just to make sure that that is posted. Like in the wedding planning.

Gresham Harkless 9:16

They thank you for making that designation because you might have just gotten a phone call saying I'm getting married tomorrow. Can you plan this for me? So that's good to know. But they have definitely you know, having those business events is definitely huge and and what so what do you feel it might be I know we talked about a little bit offline about why you started is like having that create those creative entrepreneurs is that like what you would consider to be like your secret sauce and the reason that you started what makes you feel kind of sets it apart and makes you unique.

Sara Alepin 9:45

Yeah, and I think really the light hearted welcoming kind of vibe that we have there are it's just, I really needed a place where I felt like I belonged and I realized that a lot of other people felt the same way. And I wanted to like find my people. And I think the welcoming, light hearted positive you know, the and really caring about connecting people. And helping people succeed, I think is probably what has made District Bliss so successful. Having that, like real drive to see other people be their best selves and live their best lives and do it while they you know, when they can like to have that ability to live your best life the way you want to on your terms. And so having you know, that real support systems kind of thing, I guess, is I guess that's probably what I would call our secret sauce is that light hearted welcoming, and really caring about other people and their businesses.

Gresham Harkless 11:05

Definitely appreciate you for doing that. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be an app or book or a habit that you have. But what's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Sara Alepin 11:17

So I actually have kind of a weird routine, because I am, kind of, I know I should be better, but I don't love routines. So what I do is I start my day in this room, which is my like living room, essentially. And I usually I laid a lot of fires in the fireplace, which you know, kind of like gives me that like, comfy, warm feeling. And then I move down to my office, which is down a flight and work in there for part of the day. And then I come back up at the end of the day and work in this space, because I feel like at least then if I'm not, if I'm not in the same room, I feel like I'm accomplishing something, it helps move through my day, it's kind of I guess, it's like my commute time.

Gresham Harkless 12:12

The best commute ever, especially around here.

Sara Alepin 12:16

I just need different scenery, I get so bored of looking at the same thing. And if I'm just sitting on my computer, it's just you know, I need to be visually stimulated.

Gresham Harkless 12:29

I want to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. So that 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?

Sara Alepin 12:37

Probably to remember that just because I love what I do doesn't mean that I am my ideal client. And thinking about like a way not that I'm particularly selling anything, but the way that you sell.

Gresham Harkless 12:59

Now 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 Sara, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Sara Alepin 13:08

Being a CEO means that I have the freedom to run my business, the way that I believe it should be run. And to control be in control of my own destiny and my own success. I am at the end of the day, the person who takes the hit if anything goes wrong, but I'm also the person who gets to celebrate the successes, and then pass that along to my team. So it's really it's being a badass.

Gresham Harkless 13:47

That's what you have to be right. By quarter quote from Sara, Sara components, so I truly appreciate that. And appreciate your time even more. And what I want to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know. And then of course, how best to get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things you guys are working on.

Sara Alepin 14:09

Yeah, um, I mean, I would love to see all of you guys, all of the CEOs out there, the aspiring CEOs at some of our events and, and get to know more about their business and, you know, help find other ways that I can grow and support other CEOs, business owners aspiring or current. Because I know sometimes it takes a long time to take the leap. And you know, it doesn't, you don't have to be full time. It doesn't matter. That doesn't to me, that doesn't dictate your level of success because some people just want to have like a cool side thing. So if you would like to reach out I'm Hello@districtbliss.com. Our website is districtbliss.com and We have a really cool blog, you can find all of our events on the website. And if you are looking for a really rad group of people who want to support you and you know, really help build you up and support the community, you should definitely come check us out.

Gresham Harkless 15:21

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, thank you so much again. I truly appreciate you. We will have the links in as well in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you and connect and see all the awesome things you guys are working on. But thank you so much again, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Outro 15:35

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

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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