CBNationI AM CEO PODCASTInformation

IAM571- Founder Shares Business Proposal Best Practices

Podcast Interview with Adam Hempenstall

Adam

Adam Hempenstall is the CEO and Founder of Better Proposals, simple yet quite powerful proposal software for creating beautiful, high-impact proposals in minutes. With more than 20 years of experience, having helped his customers at Better Proposals win $120,000,000+ in one year only, he has launched the first Proposal Writing University where he shares business proposal best practices.

He’s also a goalkeeper and huge fan of music festivals and traveling.

  • CEO Hack: Learning how to work best
  • CEO Nugget: Double down on what you're good at
  • CEO Defined: Being a good leader

Website: http://betterproposals.io/

Proposal University: https://betterproposals.io/proposal-university/
Proposal Templates: https://betterproposals.io/proposal-templates/
Company landing page: http://betterproposals.io/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/betterproposals/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BetterProposals


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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 0:29

Hello, hello. hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast I have a very special guest on the show today, Adam Hempenstall of Better Proposals. Adam, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Adam Hempenstall 0:40

Thanks for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:40

Yeah, no problem. Super excited to have you on and what I want to do is just read a little bit more about Adam so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. Adam is the CEO and founder of Better Proposals, a simple yet quite powerful proposal software for creating beautifully beautiful high-impact proposals in minutes.

With more than 20 years of experience having helped his customers and better proposals win over 120 million in one year only. He has launched the first proposal writing University where he shares business proposal best practices. He is also a goalkeeper and a huge fan of music festivals and traveling. Adam, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Adam Hempenstall 1:17

Suddenly, yeah.

Gresham Harkless 1:19

Awesome. Let's do it. So to kick everything off. I just wanted to hear how you got started with all the awesome things you're doing. Can you take us through your CEO story what led you to get started with your business?

Adam Hempenstall 1:28

Yes, started out pretty young. When I was about 15 or 16. Doing all sorts of odd little things really. Wrestling was like like pro wrestling was like huge back when I was a kid. And my dad got the internet. So I would download all of the theme music. And then I would sell it to my friends on cassette tapes. And then I saved up and bought a CD writer, and then now had like mass production going at a factory and everyday labels in a factory. It was good. It felt like a royal production line. But that was the first entrepreneurial thing I did at 14 or so.

Gresham Harkless 2:04

Nice. And it's so funny because I used to do the I actually sell them but I do remember actually downloading I used to be a huge wrestling fan. So I used to have all the opening theme music and I would download it and put it on at my parents had a CD writer, so I was able to kind of do that too. So you actually just really took me way far back.

Adam Hempenstall 2:27

Felt like a drug dealer in school. Because the school was like you're not selling stuff like you're not doing this on the school property. So I was like, wait behind the yellow line and get in, give me a three quid and good fun, good fun. But yeah, growing up now. So yeah, we flash forward a little bit of time, I ran a web design agency for about 12 years and then moved into building custom software.

And then that sort of took us into building what you now know as better proposals. But originally, it was an internal proposal tool that we used, because we had all these problems with proposals, right? So, we wanted to know when people got them, what they looked at, get them signed us and quit with digital signatures, all that kind of stuff. And there was nothing really out there that really was any good at the time. There are definitely some options.

Now I'm not saying like, you know, we're, you know, the only option is definitely some but back then there really wasn't anything. So we built our own tool. And then before long people just started buying our software and then saying all that proposal thing you I think you sent me the proposal on Can I have that bit as well? No, no, really is like the little thing that we made for us.

So it's not really for sale. And, you know, he's smart enough to know you're getting lucky. Few people mentioned it, we kind of, you know, developed it. And then it's just one weekend where we just did this little landing page, Ransome Twitter ads, I think, for 24 hours, and we had more leads in those 24 hours we had in the previous 12 months for the custom software business. So you know what, let's just go through this and make it a thing.

Gresham Harkless 4:13

It's definitely huge. It's so funny, like a lot of times, I know Google, especially they spent a lot of time, I guess you have like 20% time where they came up with products such as Gmail and all that stuff. And it's crazy because you're just kind of sometimes you're just being experimental. Other times, like you just want to create something internally that you can use, and then all of a sudden people are knocking at your door to say, hey, that's really awesome. And I would love to have that for my business. So can you duplicate that?

Adam Hempenstall 4:40

Exactly, yeah. So it's been a fun journey. It's certainly been a fun journey, but you got to be smart enough to know that you're getting lucky, you know. And that was what I heard back when the MySpace guys were talking about. They ran another business and then the music networking thing started taking off. And it was sort of, you know, being smart enough to know that you're getting lucky was kind of, good

Gresham Harkless 5:07

Advice. Yeah, I think so many times like, you know, there is sometimes people say opportunities, I bus, you always kind of see them come and go. But if you never look and get on the right bus, if you've never, you know, made the right pivot or the right change, then you can easily you know, miss the bus or get on a bus where there's no gas, or there's nobody going anywhere, and you're really not going anywhere at all.

Adam Hempenstall 5:29

Or broken down one.

Gresham Harkless 5:30

Exactly. Exactly. So for some of us who haven't heard about Better Proposals, could you take us through exactly what the software is how it works, exactly what it provides?

Adam Hempenstall 5:41

Sure. So basically, anybody that's selling anything, really, so if you're a service business, web designer, freelance marketer, almost an entrepreneur of any description of anyway, you're selling a service of some description, at some stage, you have to send your price to your customer. So what better proposals do is take the pain out of that process. So usually what we as a collective would do, you'd hack it together in Microsoft Word or InDesign if you're a really fancy PDF, and then you send that across an email, and hear absolutely nothing.

If you're anything like most of us. So what better proposals do is it not only make the creation process nice and simple, but just focus on your content, tons of templates and tips and tricks, and all that kind of stuff built in. So it's all just focused on your client, the problem you're trying to solve, and almost everything else is taken care of. So you're sending a really, really, really smart web-based proposal, which is easy for your client to read and navigate and explore experience, really, it makes it really easy to get a signature, so you can actually get the deal wrapped up nice and quick, and then take payment immediately after that.

So there's a whole bunch of stuff in there. That's really, really cool. But well, I think one of the most popular features, even today, is the fact that you get notified about everything that's happening on it. So you get to see exactly which sections are reading, in what order for how long. So if somebody comes along, opens it up, looks at the price, and closes there, you know that they've done that, rather than somebody sitting there 20 minutes reading the whole thing, word for word.

So it just gives you a little bit of ammo where you previously didn't have any. And, you know, maybe it doesn't change the outcome. You know, I'm not gonna sit here and pretend that having tracking matters. But it does mean that you've got a little bit of a battle plan, and you can follow up relevant, you know, in a relevant way, instead of just kind of, you know, Hey, did you get it? It's got a week, you know? Yeah, so that's, that's Better Proposals in a nutshell.

Gresham Harkless 7:46

No, it's what No, I definitely appreciate that. And, you know, I speak a lot, usually about digital marketing. And I say, one of the kinds of, as you definitely know, you know, having your agency in the press, I say, usually one of the biggest benefits of it is that you have eyes and ears. So like, sometimes when you're doing newspaper advertising, or you're doing some direct mail campaign, you don't really know if somebody opens it up.

But because of this technology, you're able to see that and that, you know, to be able to do that from a proposal standpoint definitely doesn't guarantee success. Obviously, nothing really can. But to have the eyes and ears and say, hey, somebody actually went to, you know, your, your price, and then they closed, it gives you some information for the next conversation that you have with them. And I think that the habit at your fingertips in this day, and age is definitely something super powerful.

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Adam Hempenstall 8:35

Isn't it? There is one other thing I'd add to that as well. And that's when people come back to it a long time later. Probably one of the last projects we ever actually did before you completed your fold at the software company and moved full-time into better proposals was a really high-end furniture shop. And it was I think that quote was like 50,000 pounds or something like that. So fairly decent. And we sent him over the proposal didn't hear anything back sort of just filtered out, ignored it.

But nine months later, I got a little notification that she's opened a proposal. Mm hmm. That's interesting. I thought that was like dead in the dead in the woods. So I'm like, Okay, well, I'll leave it like a couple of days. I don't want to be weird about it. Yeah, just gave her a call and said hey, I was just going through my email and she's like, No way. This is so crazy. I was just looking at a proposal.

Can you guys like is it still cool? Can we can we move forward with it? Or you know, sort of wrap up the deal and get going with that like, probably was gonna get that call anyway, but it just made it happen that little bit quicker. And, you know, made that made them feel good. So little things like that. As I say it doesn't guarantee success, but it does give you sort of a leg up when perhaps your competition doesn't have that. So it's definitely a worthwhile little thing to say about that.

Gresham Harkless 9:50

Yeah, absolutely. Having those eyes and ears everywhere definitely, you know, helps out so much. So, you might have already touched on this but I want to ask you for what I call your secret sauce and it could be for you heard personally, or for your business, but what do you feel kind of sets you guys apart and makes you unique?

Adam Hempenstall 10:06

I think compared to some of our competitors, I would say our focus is on freelancers, and not having that kind of corporate environment. We're completely funded, sorry, bootstrapped, we're not funded at all and never will be. Whereas a lot of our competitors are. So there's sort of a general, there's a trajectory that you kind of have to follow when you're funded and someone's given you 10 million, and you've got to spend it, and then you've got to go and sell to all the big names and all that kind of stuff.

Whereas we don't have that we can we can look after the little guys we can we can do a really good job for freelancers and give them a quality product at a very, very low price. So I'd say that sets us apart from our competition, for sure.

Gresham Harkless 10:50

Yeah, absolutely. And what I was the kind of thing that we were talking about, uh, definitely, let me know if this is also in line, it's kind of like that. I don't know if I want to use the word scrappiness. But I always say sometimes when you have those constraints, financial resources, whatever it might be, it allows you to be more creative. And you're able to look at things a lot more to a lot of times, because you have a lot of times because for as a necessity, you have to be a lot more dialed into your target client as well, too.

So you have to provide services that they need, not just oh, I have to fulfill this bottom line, figure or this, whatever. So you have those external factors, but you can actually just provide really high-quality services for the people that are going to use your product.

Adam Hempenstall 11:33

Yeah, I mean, it's kind of strange actually looking at some of our competitors, and the and kind of knowing roughly the sizes of their, their companies and what they have, and you know, one of our competitors, it's got 13 people in their marketing department, we've got two and where there's, there's nothing between us, there's like, there's literally nothing between us. We've got two full-time developers and one full-time designer, same company has 45-46, devs, and designers, again, nothing between us and the product. So it's kind of interesting, that you can kind of think that adding more people and adding more resources can actually help.

But sometimes it can actually hinder is what they probably do have is a lot of middle management, a lot of red tape that they've put there to make sure that certain stuff doesn't happen. We have a set of guidelines. And you know, you can break rules, that's okay, that's okay. In our sort of company culture, I think that's something that we want to keep. So as we grow, and we are growing rapidly, we want to try and keep that small business feeling.

I mean, I know the guys at Basecamp spoke about this for many, many, many years. And we follow and subscribe to a lot of the ideas that they that they've sort of written about. But keeping things small, I mean, there's no shame in having a small company. Small companies are great because they can do more. And they're more, they're more nimble, they're more flexible. You know, if something comes up, and you need to move and dodge out the way, it's much easier to do that in a fighter jet than it isn't, you know.

Gresham Harkless 13:06

I definitely, you know, appreciate that. So, I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And this might be something that you touched on as well, too. But I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So could be like an apple book or habit could be something related to the Basecamp. Guys, what's something that you feel makes you more effective and efficient?

Adam Hempenstall 13:21

I would say, learn how you work best. And forget everybody else.

Gresham Harkless 13:27

Yeah, absolutely. That makes so much sense. So now let me ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. So that could be like 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?

Adam Hempenstall 13:38

Oh, I think follow your own path. And it sounds really weird and cheesy. But it's one of those weird things that Steve Jobs said in his in this standard. Yeah, he said you can only you can't connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backward. So I suppose telling myself when I was 14 or 15 stuff now would make any sense anyway. So I suppose just be open to things and just go with the flow. Don't force stuff, you know, find out what you're good at. And just just continually double down on that.

Gresham Harkless 14:12

Appreciate that, those nuggets in that word of wisdom. And 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 show. So Adam, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Adam Hempenstall 14:25

Being a leader, the leader, or something I'm learning because I have always done an awful lot, working with freelancers and experts rather than building a team. And that's something we did an awful lot of last year. And it's something that's incredibly new to me. But I'm starting to, for the first time really see what that actually means. And when I started to do good leadership traits, really good things happened. And you empower people to do stuff.

Gresham Harkless 14:53

Definitely appreciate that Adam and I appreciate your time even more. What I want to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just See if there's anything additional to let our readers and listeners know and then of course how best they can get a held view. Sign up for meta proposals and find out about all the awesome things you guys are working on.

Adam Hempenstall 15:08

Yeah, I think if there was any parting advice or whatever it would just be to enjoy the process it just enjoy it. Because there's, I mean, I don't know to me there's nothing more exciting than running a business building a team, seeing what they come up with, you know, feeling the joy of watching your team sort something out is probably one of most gratifying things you can you can experience but yeah, it's I think, just enjoy the process.

It's a big long journey and if you're lucky enough to start a business and do it for a really long time, then you're you're fairly young you know, this could be a 40-year journey so remember that patience self a bit and just just enjoy it because it's cool.

Gresham Harkless 15:51

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it's kind of great you know, when you can be that leader, you can be that CEO or whatever you don't tie you have and where one plus one doesn't always equal two and equals 400. If you have the right people in the right place, doing the right things, and then something sparks, and then you can say that you know you played a part in that and super excited to be able to kind of see that all come to fruition.

So appreciate that definition. We will have the information as well for people to follow up with you in the show notes as well so they can touch base with you. But thank you so much again, Adam, and I hope you have a phenomenal 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.

Intro 0:02

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Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29

Hello, hello. hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast I have a very special guest on the show today, Adam Hempenstall of Better Proposals. Adam, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Adam Hempenstall 0:40

Thanks for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:40

Yeah, no problem. Super excited to have you on and what I want to do is just read a little bit more about Adam so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Adam is the CEO and founder of Better Proposals, simple yet quite powerful proposal software for creating beautifully beautiful high impact proposals in minutes. With more than 20 years of experience having helped his customers and better proposals win over 120 million in one year only. He has launched the first proposal writing University where he shares business proposals best practices. He is also a goalkeeper and a huge fan of music festivals and traveling. Adam, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Adam Hempenstall 1:17

Suddenly, yeah.

Gresham Harkless 1:19

Awesome. Let's do it. So to kick everything off. I just wanted to hear how you got started with all the awesome things you're doing. Can you take us through your CEO story what led you to get started with your business?

Adam Hempenstall 1:28

Yes, started out pretty young. When I was about 15 or 16. Doing all sorts of odd little things really. Wrestling was like like pro wrestling was like huge back when I was a kid. And my dad got the internet. So I would download all of that the theme music. And then I would sell it to my friends on cassette tapes. And then I saved up bought a CD writer, and then now had like mass production going at a factory and everyday labels in a factory. It was good. It felt like a royal production line. But that was that was the first entrepreneurial thing I did at 14 or so.

Gresham Harkless 2:04

Nice. And it's so funny because I used to do the I actually sell them but I do remember actually download I used to be a huge wrestling fan. So I used to have all the opening theme music and I would download it to and put it on I had at my parents had a CD writer, so I was able to kind of do that too. So you actually just really took me way far back.

Adam Hempenstall 2:27

Felt like a drug dealer in school. Because the school were like you're not selling stuff like you're not doing this on the school property. So I was like, wait behind the yellow line and get in, give me a three quid and good fun, good fun. But yeah, growing up now.

Gresham Harkless 2:42

You put the CD writing with, with the music theme. So I started doing proposals.

Adam Hempenstall 2:49

So yeah, we flash forward a little bit of time, I ran a web design agency for about 12 years and then moved into building custom software. And then that sort of took us into building what you now know as better proposals. But originally, it was an internal proposal tool that we used, because we had all these problems with proposals, right. So the, we wanted to know when people got them, what they looked at, get them signed us and quit with digital signatures, all that kind of stuff. And there was nothing really out there that really was any good at the time. There's definitely some options. Now I'm not saying like, you know, we're, you know, the only option is definitely some but back then there really wasn't anything. So we built our own tool. And then before long people just started buying our software and then saying all that proposal thing you I think you sent me the proposal on Can I have that bit as well? No, no, really is like our little thing that we made for us. So it's not really for sale. And, you know, he's smart enough to know you're getting lucky. Few people mentioned it, we kind of, you know, developed it. And then it's just one weekend where we just did this little landing page, ransome Twitter ads, I think, for 24 hours, and we had more leads in that 24 hours we had in the previous 12 months for the custom software business. So so you know what, let's just go through this and make it a thing.

Gresham Harkless 4:13

It's definitely huge. It's so funny, like a lot of times, I know Google, especially they spent a lot of time, I guess you have like 20% time where they came up with products such as Gmail and all that stuff. And it's crazy, because you're just kind of sometimes you're just being experimental. Other times, like you just want to create something internally that you can use and then all of a sudden people are knocking at your door to say, hey, that's really awesome. And I would love to have that for my business. So can you duplicate that?

Adam Hempenstall 4:40

Exactly, yeah. So it's been a fun journey. It's certainly been a fun journey, but you got to be smart enough to know that you're getting lucky, you know. And that was a I heard that back when the MySpace guys were talking about. They ran another business and then the music networking thing started taking off. And it was sort of, you know, be smart enough to know that you're getting lucky was kind of, good

Gresham Harkless 5:07

Advice. Yeah, I think so many times like, you know, there is sometimes people say opportunities, I buses, you always kind of see them come and go. But if you never look and get on the right bus, if you've never, you know, make the right pivot or the right change, then you can easily you know, miss the bus or get on a bus where there's no gas, or there's nobody going anywhere, and you're really not going anywhere at all.

Adam Hempenstall 5:29

Or broken down one.

Gresham Harkless 5:30

Exactly. Exactly. So for some of us who haven't heard about, you know, Better Proposals, could you take us through exactly what the software is how it works, exactly what it provides?

Adam Hempenstall 5:41

Sure. So basically, anybody that's selling anything, really, so if you're a service business, web designer, freelance marketer, almost an entrepreneur of any description of any way, you're selling a service of some description, at some stage, you have to send your price to your customer. So what better proposals does is it takes the pain out of that process. So usually what we as a collective would do would, you'd hack it together in Microsoft Word or an InDesign if you're a really fancy PDF, and then you send that across an email, and hear absolutely nothing. If you're anything like most of us. So what better proposals does is it not only makes the creation process nice and simple, just focus on your content, tons of templates and tips and tricks, and all that kind of stuff all built in. So it's all just focused on your client, the problem you're trying to solve, and almost everything else is taken care of. So you're sending a really, really, really smart web based proposal, which is easy for your client to read and navigate and explore experience, really, it makes it really easy to get a signature, so you can actually get the deal wrapped up nice and quick, and then take a payment immediately after that. So there's a whole bunch of stuff in there. That's really, really cool. But well, I think one of the most popular features, even today, is the fact that you get notified about everything that's happening on it. So you get to see exactly which sections are reading, in what order for how long. So if somebody comes along, opens it up, looks at the price and closes there, you know that they've done that, rather than somebody sitting there 20 minutes reading the whole thing, word for word. So it just gives you a little bit of ammo where you previously didn't have any. And, you know, maybe it doesn't change the outcome. You know, I'm not gonna sit here and pretend that having tracking matters. But it does mean that you've got a little bit of a battle plan, and you can follow up relevant, you know, in a relevant way, instead of just kind of, you know, Hey, did you get it? It's got a week, you know? Yeah, so that's, that's Better Proposals in a nutshell.

Gresham Harkless 7:46

No, it's what No, I definitely appreciate that. And, you know, I speak a lot, usually about digital marketing. And I say, one of the kind of, as you definitely know, you know, having your agency in the press, I say, usually one of the biggest benefits of it is that you have eyes and ears. So like, sometimes when you're doing newspaper advertising, or you're doing some direct mail campaign, you don't really know if somebody opens it up. But because of this technology, you're able to see that and that, you know, to be able to do that from a proposal standpoint definitely doesn't guarantee success. Obviously, nothing really can. But to have the eyes and ears and say, hey, somebody actually went to, you know, your, your price, and then they closed, it gives you some information for the next conversation that you have with them. And I think that the habit at your fingertips in this day, and age is definitely something super powerful.

Adam Hempenstall 8:35

Isn't it isn't it is one other thing I'd add to that as well. And that's when people come back to it a long time later. We probably one of the last projects we ever actually did before you complete your fold at the software company and move full time into better proposals was a really high end furniture shop. And it was I think that quote was like 50,000 pounds or something like that. So fairly decent. And we sent him over the proposal didn't hear anything back sort of just filtered out, ignored it. But nine months later, I get a little notification that she's opened a proposal. Mm hmm. That's interesting. I thought that was like dead in the dead in the woods. So I'm like, Okay, well, I'll leave it like couple of days. I don't want to be weird about it. Yeah, just gave her a call said hey, you know, I was just going through my email and she's like, No way. This is so crazy. I was just looking at a proposal. Can you guys like is it still cool? Can we can we move forward with it? Or you know, sort of wrap up the deal and get going with that like, probably was gonna get that call anyway, but it just made it happen that little bit quicker. And, you know, made that made them feel good. So little things like that. As I say it doesn't guarantee success, but it does give you sort of a leg up when perhaps your competition doesn't have that. So it's definitely a worthwhile little thing to say about that.

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Gresham Harkless 9:50

Yeah, absolutely. Having those eyes and ears everywhere definitely, you know, helps out so much. So, you might have already touched on this but I want to ask you for what I call your secret sauce and it could be for you heard personally, or for your business, but what do you feel kind of sets you guys apart and makes you unique?

Adam Hempenstall 10:06

I think compared to some of our competitors, I would say our focus on freelancers, and not having that kind of corporate environment. We're completely funded, sorry, bootstrapped, we're not funded at all, never will be. Whereas a lot of our competitors are. So there's sort of a general, there's a trajectory that you kind of have to follow when you're funded and someone's given you 10 million, and you've got to spend it, and then you've got to go and sell to all the big names and all that kind of stuff. Whereas we don't have that we can we can look after the little guys we can we can do a really good job for freelancers and give them a quality product at a very, very low price. So I'd say that sets us apart from our competition, for sure.

Gresham Harkless 10:50

Yeah, absolutely. And what I was the kind of thing that we were talking about, uh, definitely, let me know if this is also in line, it's kind of like that. I don't know if I want to use the word scrappiness. But I always say sometimes when you have those constraints, financial resources, whatever it might be, it allows you to be more creative. And you're able to look at things a lot more to a lot of times, because you have a lot of times because for as a necessity, you have to be a lot more dialed in to your target client as well, too. So you have to provide services that they need, not just oh, I have to fulfill this bottom line, figure or this, whatever. So you have those external factors, but you can actually just provide really high quality services for the people that are going to use your product.

Adam Hempenstall 11:33

Yeah, I mean, it's kind of strange actually looking at some of our competitors, and the and kind of knowing roughly the sizes of their, their companies and what they have, and you know, one of our competitors, it's got 13 people in their marketing department, we've got two and where there's, there's nothing between us, there's like, there's literally nothing between us. We've got two full time developers one full time designer, same company has 45-46, devs, and designers, again, nothing between us and the product. So it's kind of interesting, the you can kind of think that adding more people and adding more resources can actually help. But sometimes it can actually hinder is what they probably do have is a lot of middle management, a lot of red tape that they've put there to make sure that certain stuff doesn't happen. We have a set of guidelines. And you know, you can break rules, that's okay, that's okay. In our sort of company culture, I think that's something that we want to keep. So as we grow, and we are growing rapidly, but we want to try and keep that small business feeling. I mean, I know the guys at Basecamp spoke about this for many, many, many years. And we follow and subscribe to a lot of the ideas that they that they've sort of written about. But keeping things small, I mean, there's no shame in having a small company. Small companies are great, because they can do more. And they're more, they're more nimble, they're more flexible. You know, if something comes up, and you need to move and dodge out the way, it's much easier to do that in a fighter jet than it isn't, you know.

Gresham Harkless 13:06

I definitely, you know, appreciate that. So, I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And this might be something that you touched on as well, too. But I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So could be like an apple book or habit could be something related to the Basecamp. Guys, but what's something that you feel makes you more effective and efficient?

Adam Hempenstall 13:21

I would say, learn how you work best. And forget everybody else.

Gresham Harkless 13:27

Yeah, absolutely. That makes so much sense. So now let me ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. So that could be like 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?

Adam Hempenstall 13:38

Oh, I think follow your own path. And it sounds really weird and cheesy. But it's one of those weird things that Steve Jobs said it in his in this standard. Yeah, he said you can only you can't connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So I suppose telling myself when I was 14 or 15 stuff now would make any sense anyway. So I suppose just be open to things and just go with the flow. Don't force stuff, you know, find out what you're good at. And just just continually double down on that.

Gresham Harkless 14:12

Appreciate that, those nuggets in that word of wisdom. And 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 show. So Adam, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Adam Hempenstall 14:25

Being a leader, the leader, or something I'm learning because I have always done an awful lot, working with freelancers and experts rather than building a team. And that's something we did an awful lot of last year. And it's something that's incredibly new to me. But I'm starting to, for the first time really see what that actually means. And when I started to do good leadership traits, really good things happen. And you empower people to do stuff.

Gresham Harkless 14:53

Definitely appreciate that Adam and I appreciate your time even more. What I want to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just See if there's anything additionally to let our readers and listeners know and then of course how best they can get a hold view. Sign up for meta proposals and find out about all the awesome things you guys are working on.

Adam Hempenstall 15:08

Yeah, I think if there was any parting advice or whatever it would just be enjoy the process it just enjoy it. Because there's, I mean, I don't know to me there's nothing more exciting than running a business building a team, seeing what they come up with, you know, feeling the joy of watching your team sort something out is probably one of most gratifying things you can you can experience but yeah, it's I think, just enjoy the process. It's a it's a big long journey and if you're lucky enough to start a business and and do it for a really long time, then you're you're fairly young you know, this could be a 40 year journey so remember that patience self a bit and just just enjoy it because it's cool.

Gresham Harkless 15:51

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it's kind of great you know, when you can be that leader, you can be that CEO or whatever you don't tie you have and where one plus one doesn't always equal two and equals 400. If you have the right people in the right place, doing the right things and then something sparks and then you can say that you know you played a part in that and super excited to be able to kind of see that all come into fruition. So appreciate that definition. We will have the information as well to for people to follow up with you in the show notes as well so they can touch base with you. But thank you so much again, Adam and I hope you have a phenomenal 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.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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Mercy - CBNation Team

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

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