IAM573- Executive Coach Ignites Vibrancy and Innovation

Podcast Interview with Kerrian Bard Fournier

Kerrian Bard Fournier is the CEO & Founder of Vybrante Ventures, a professional services
a company dedicated to unlocking the highest level of performance for innovative companies, teams, and professionals by igniting their vibrancy and innovation. Kerrian has 25+ years of experience in the corporate world on Wall Street, Strategy/Risk Consulting, and Technology firms. She is certified as an Executive Coach through iPEC, one of the preeminent coaching certification programs. She is also a sought-after speaker on the topics of team effectiveness, human capital, innovation, and building a vibrant corporate culture.

  • CEO Hack: Looking at my week ahead and managing my energy
  • CEO Nugget: Mantra- exploration not expectation
  • CEO Defined: Taking full ownership of the vision and execution of what you want to bring to the market

Website: http://www.vybrante.com/

15-Minute Laser Coaching Session – Would you like to quickly reframe and open up your thinking on a problem you're dealing with in your professional or personal life?  Sign up for a quick 15-minute laser coaching call and watch your mindset shift!


Website: http://www.vybrante.com/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/vybrante_ventures
Facebook: www.facebook.com/vybrante
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kerrian-fournier/

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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 Kerrian Bard Fournier of Vybrante Ventures, Kerrian it's awesome to have you on the show.

Kerrian Bard Fournier 0:37 

Pleasure.Thank you 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 Kerrian so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. Kerrian is the CEO and founder of Vybrante Ventures, a professional services company dedicated to unlocking the highest level of performance for innovative companies, teams, and professionals by igniting their vibrancy and innovation.

Kerrian has 25-plus years of experience in the corporate world on Wall Street strategy and risk consulting in technology firms. She is certified as an executive coach through iPEC, one of the preeminent coaching certification programs. She is also a sought-after speaker on topics of team effectiveness, human capital innovation, and building a vibrant corporate culture Kerrian, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

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Kerrian Bard Fournier 1:20

Absolutely. Well, I certainly feel really good about myself after hearing you describe me. So thank you.

Gresham Harkless 1:25

Yeah, absolutely. It's super awesome to be able to introduce people that are doing phenomenal things. So I'm glad I could I could at least hold the mic and say all those awesome things. But I wanted to take it back a little bit. I want to hear more about how you got started. Can you tell us your CEO story? When did you get started with the business?

Kerrian Bard Fournier 1:38

Sure. Umm, you know, it's funny was I had been told I was 25 years in corporate Wall Street strategy, consulting firms tech, from big to even being a CEO of a startup company. For years I had seen people who said, open your own firm, open your own firm. And I just wasn't ready. I didn't To be frank, I didn't have the courage to step into my own potential. And my own vision and I finally hit a pretty big milestone.

And I said, If not now, when, if not who may. And there was something really I knew accompany wasn't just about, okay, I'm gonna go sling product, and which is fine, but I just knew this company is literally my passion and purpose. It's what I'm absolutely clear, I was put on this planet to do and provide. And so when I think about that, not just as my company, but my whole purpose, it takes on a certain energy and focus that I think before that I didn't really have clarity on.

Gresham Harkless 2:29

Yeah, that makes so much sense. And I don't know if you experienced this with the clients that you work with. But I, I always say sometimes you have to know Dr. Nadal. And you have to know the kind of the opposites and the best experience. So I don't know if you find that exact same thing where it helps you to put yourself into your client's shoes when they're not maybe living out to their full potential as they could. And because you've been able to experience that you stepped into that you know how to also help them to do that.

Kerrian Bard Fournier 2:53

You know, that's such a great point. Because I think really, so much of what happens when I come in either. And my company the type of people I hire, are our consultants and coaches have very much been on the other side of these. I mean, there's just an immediate empathy and understanding of where the person is.

And to be frank, from a place of non-judgment a lot of times, you know, it's not the optimal situation that was brought in, and to come in with clarity and compassion, and some constructive feedback and new perspectives and new tools, I think is really what's helps differentiate ourselves versus just people saying, you know, here's the latest flavor of what you should try and, you know, kind of product push.

Gresham Harkless 3:30

Yeah, do this, I have somebody else they do it, you actually can sit down and say, hey, you know, I understand what you're going through, look at it in an empathetic way, as you say, and then a person feels, I think, at least that they're not by themselves, which a lot of times happens when you are trying to push those boundaries and get over those barriers.

Kerrian Bard Fournier 3:45

Absolutely. And listen to high-performing, folks, unfortunately, there's a cycle that happens that you, you end up being very judgmental about yourself because you have a high standard, it's somehow not going well, we're not going in or you know, you're not leaning in enough. And then not only is that happening, but you start judging yourself and getting down on yourself.

And so behaviorally, I mean, it's just for psychology, people then get triggered under fight or flight, when there's something stressful that happens. And so, you know, people either sometimes, you know, get very conflict-oriented, or they stick their head in the hole, and they procrastinate, and being able to say, Listen, it's a natural response when this happens. But the question is, how often does it happen?

And how long do you stay there? What are those new tools that will help you pop out of it and get to a place of really much higher productivity to be of service to what they're trying to do? And that's, that's what's really about it's not really whether they're doing things right or wrong. The question is, is it truly being of service to where they want to go? And if the answer is no, then partner with someone to help you expand to see what's possible and how you get there.

Gresham Harkless 4:41

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that hits the nail on the head because so many times we get caught into, you know, sometimes the mundane or certain things or do whatever is going on that we forget why we're doing what we're doing. What our purpose is.

Kerrian Bard Fournier 4:52

Absolutely, absolutely. And when you're anchored that way, you know, we've helped you through those sort of, you know, those darker times and it's a natural part Being an entrepreneur is certainly a natural part of just being a human being. So for sure.

Gresham Harkless 5:06

Absolutely. Yeah, we all have those ebbs and flows, you know, throughout life. So I know we kind of touched on it a little bit, could you take us through, you know, some of what you're doing for your clients and how exactly that process works and how you work with your clients?

Kerrian Bard Fournier 5:17

Absolutely. So there are two major verticals of our company. One is sort of the more personal side, although there's a team element, and that's the coaching services, the executive coaching, really executive life coaching are just two halves of the same coin. And the question is, what part of the conversation do we enter on? You know, almost every time I've got hired as an executive coach, elements of their life come into play, because how you do one thing is typically how you do everything from a mindset perspective.

So personally, there are two swim lanes that I'd say I coach on all day long and Neva, I joke, the first one is your type of professional, who's been on that overachiever passes, they've been like in diapers. And you know, and they've created this life that, to be frank on the outside looks incredibly successful, their ego is probably preening, things look great. They've got the job, the title, the comp the car that they've aspired to, and yet they know there's something missing. They're not in the driver's seat of their life, they're feeling unfulfilled.

There's a part of them that knows it could be a better leader, a better spouse, a better parent, and yet, they just don't know how to get there. And oftentimes, what happens for all of us, is we think, well, if I just keep doing more of what I've been doing, it'll somehow transform, and that tends to also dig us into a deeper hole. So you know, these individuals that, you know, really understand that, okay, I need a partner to help fill in the gaps of what I don't know, I don't know.

And so the good news is because of my background on Wall Street and strategy, consulting, in technology, you know, I can come in with a certain level of credibility on having an understanding and empathy of what they're going through and where they are, and be able to introduce things that, To be frank, maybe they weren't always comfortable putting into their portfolio, which is what I joke, the softer side of Sears, but you know, how do you talk to folks who have typically been very intellectual, intense alpha, and then really start talking in a way that resonates with them about emotional intelligence, about leadership, about, you know, different sides that really round out their way of thinking.

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And so I really love coaching in this space, I empathize with these individuals, I was one of these individuals until my own journey. So that's certainly a core area. Once again, my own personal journey is for women professionals, who are just sick of feeling underpaid, underappreciated, and unhappy in their career, and finally want to sort of, you know, speak truth to power for themselves.

And I was a compensation executive for decades, I've literally been on the other side of billions of dollars worth of comp discussions. And I can tell you, I've seen what women oftentimes do not do for themselves. And it's not that companies don't need to take ownership of their own structures and approaches. But there are also things that women can do, to at least have a fighting chance.

And perfect example, there's a statistic validated statistic out there that typically, women will only put themselves forward for a promotion, or some, you know, new job, if they feel they're 90% qualified, and what's on the job description, where men will put themselves forward if there's six 60%. And so what's that about? And it's about this perfection mindset, the fact that they think their value is in what they know, versus their learning, agility, their ability to get in there and figure it out.

And so that's just one of the core root causes that I've seen time and time again, as far as what really blocks women from, you know, leaning into their career in the most powerful way. And so yeah, I love coaching the space and doing workshops speaking on this topic. So those are my core coaching sides. Certainly, there are coaches under me that do all sorts of other coaching. But personally, those are my two main verticals. on the consulting side. We call it human capital consulting.

And not I'm not trying to sound like snobby HR at all, I'm really what it is, though, and it's meant to differentiate a different view into the people of your company as true human capital, human assets. And how do you unlock those assets? How do you almost think of it like a financial portfolio in a proactive management way? As I mentioned, some of the lead conversations that often get me into organizations are because I have this deep technical expertise and compensation.

And you know, compensation typically people think is just pay. It's like how much I'm paying someone. But a lot of times it's behavioral. I think of it as behavioral economics, not just numbers. It's not just accounting for the people part of their business. It's, what are you rewarding? What signals How are you communicating the valid value of what you're providing? And so we get brought in for all sorts of are we paying at the appropriate market rates, bonus design, equity to design, a lot of process so the process feels smoother for the organization?

Lots of training for leaders to think about What kind of behaviors? And how do I actually really differentiate the performance and potential? A lot about communications. But you know, the funny thing about compensation and the reason why I stayed in it for so long, it's kind of like the Trojan horse into strategy consulting, because so many people, both individually and at the corporate level complain or have issues with the compensation. But when you follow the breadcrumbs, it's about all these other things.

It's about the division of leadership, it's about maybe organizational design or role clarity. It could be even when you do sales comp design, clarity on the products and services you're bringing to market in your market segmentation. So when you really want to deliver a compensation solution with excellence, oftentimes, it requires a more consultative, broader strategic conversation with the leadership team. And so I love those situations and thrive in those situations. And yeah, I could do those all day long.

Gresham Harkless 10:54

Exactly. It's part of the process to do that. So you might have already touched on this, but I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce, it could be for you or your organization, but what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

Kerrian Bard Fournier 11:04

Um, I think it's a combination of really analytical thinking. And the ability to dissect a lot of information, whether it's behavioral, quantitative, or whatever else, and really deciphered into some key themes that are very easily digestible. So there's that sort of brain side of me, I'm basically a geek in heels. But the other side is really coming from a place of empathy.

And I, you know, I'd love to say, I think one of my strengths is really my emotional intelligence, and to sit there and to be able to provide space, whether it's consulting for the leader to talk about provision or even create their vision, or for an individual. And sometimes the difference between consulting and coaching, consulting, you come in, and you basically tell them ideas and potential solutions and say, here's a model, do this, try this.

Coaching is the ability to create space and ask those empowering questions, those, you know, have someone test and really touch into what they think is possible that ability to unlock their own voice, their own vision in a way that they may not have even known how to access or that it was even there. And I think that combination of classic consulting and advisory, and a really deep, you know, passion for the coaching so that somebody can tap into their own innovation and expertise. I think it's something that certainly sets me apart. It's the type of people that are part of Vybrante Ventures. Yeah, and I think is really our sweet spot.

Gresham Harkless 12:31

Appreciate that, that secret sauce. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So it could be like an apple book or a habit that you have. But what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Kerrian Bard Fournier 12:44

For me, I know when I'm clear like I need to look at my week ahead. Like and when I don't do this, I am not nearly effective. I need to set myself up, I need to set my mindset up to understand how my week is happening and almost think about my managing my energy like an energy portfolio. Take a look and be honest about what activities I've got planned that are going to be energizing, draining, challenging, or not challenging, and take the time to set up if there are things that I think are going to be challenging or draining, Can I shift my mindset around it? So it's not as difficult.

Gresham Harkless 13:19

No, I love that. And, and I know we touched on, you touched on kind of like the nuggets as well, too. So I was going to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. So those could be some of those golden nuggets, silver or bronze nuggets that you have. But what's kind of like a word of wisdom or a piece of advice, you would either give yourself a client or a business off.

Kerrian Bard Fournier 13:36

Yeah, well, something that has really personally reaped dividends for me is so when I started my own company, and I really do think like a CEO and much as an individual contributor, think about the full stack of what I need to do in order to bring my business forward. And the area for me, which was terrifying, which in hindsight is ridiculous. But at the time what was terrifying was that business development, sales, and marketing weren't how I defined myself. I thought I wasn't salesy. I'm like, Oh, I don't know, I can't get my head around this. I can't apply my energy. And I settled on this mantra of exploration, not expectation.

Gresham Harkless 14:08

Exactly. And I know we touched on this a little bit, but I wanted to ask you for your definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on this show. So Kerrian, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Kerrian Bard Fournier 14:18

I mean, I think it's taking full ownership of the vision and execution of what you want to bring to market.

Gresham Harkless 14:25

Awesome, awesome. Well, I truly appreciate that. And I wanted to see if anybody wanted to follow up with you is there of course anything additional, you want to let our readers and listeners know and then of course how best they can get hold of you?

Kerrian Bard Fournier 14:35

Sure. So I'm certainly a way to understand our products and services are our website. It's Vybrante.com. I should explain the name of the company spelled a little differently. It's VYB r a n t e. And the reason why we spell it this way is not because I'm the poor speller, it's very intentional. Because the premise is to unlock organizational team or individual vibrancy. You have to understand your why. So what's your vision and purpose?

And in the end, it's all about your effect and your energy. And how do you raise your vibration? How do you get out of your own way and get to your most innovative and powerful self? So www.vybrante.com kerrian@vybrante.com k e r r i a n. Once again, I couldn't spell anything that almost seemed right but what I put on my mom was a personal choice. And then something I will offer and I know it'll be in the show notes is what I found helpful family friends, random people I meet at bars, is I'm really good.

And I really enjoy what I call laser coaching sessions. 15 minutes if somebody is clear on what they're struggling with, whether it's a feeling or a situation and they want to shift their mindset to open up to more possibilities I will offer for you, for your audience. They'll be able to book a 15-minute laser coaching session with me. There'll be some free questions so that we clear before we start exactly what they're struggling with and they want to shift on and let's jump in and help open up some possibilities.

Gresham Harkless 16:00

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, I definitely appreciate that you know, there's always room to open up possibilities and to break some barriers and some walls so I appreciate you for making that offer to our audience as well. So we will have those links and information in the show notes with all the correct spelling so you don't have to worry about your mom or anybody else as well. So appreciate you, Kerrian, tremendously for all the awesome work you're doing for your time today. And I hope you have a great rest of the day.

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Outro 16:23

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

Intro 0:02

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

Gresham Harkless 0:29

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Jessica Alston of honestlyjessica.com, Jessica, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Jessica Alston 0:38

Thank you 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 Jessica's who so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And she's a graduate of Winthrop University with a bachelor's in political science, economics and social sciences. She started out as a bookkeeper for her father's recycled bumper cover business, which is now a six figure is now six figures with projections of seven within the next one to two years, she learned more about accounting and finance while working at an investment firm run by foreign investors who invested in the federal government through the EB five program. She has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and has been in business for herself since 2018. And her goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs build a recession proof business, while financially strategizing multiple business endeavors. Jessica, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Jessica Alston 1:25

I am.

Gresham Harkless 1:26

Let's do it. So I know I touched on a little bit, but I wanted to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story, what led you to get started with your business.

Jessica Alston 1:33

So it was kind of a personal story for me. Growing up, I really never knew how my parents struggled financially until they purchased their first home and 2008. And I saw at that one of their like, Oh, check registers, it just kind of remember, you know, you open your bank account, and you get the checkbook and in the check register. And I found an old one. And it had like a whole bunch of negatives in it. And I never knew that my parents like ran the household in the negative. And so that's when I really started becoming alert about finances. We talked about it a lot growing up. But when my dad started, what was his side business now that's a full time business. He was like, Hey, I can't be out here picking up these bumper covers and coming home, I'm too tired to you know, keep up with everything, can you help me out and it was kind of like a chore. So he paid me for it. So that's how I started out was literally just to help him when he was too tired to do the app man. And so I continued helping him throughout college. And I actually was going to school. So that could be an attorney actually took the LSAT and actually got accepted into law school. But then of course, life has a different, you know, have a different strategy for you. And so I ended up landing with the investment firm after working insurance. And that investing firm was really what got me interested in accounting and finances, just the fact that people had accountants and had portfolios that were worth millions of dollars to just invest into this EB five federal program. And so when I saw that I was like, really, really intrigued.

Gresham Harkless 3:04


Jessica Alston 3:05

Kind of how I got into it.

Gresham Harkless 3:07

Nice one, I definitely, obviously, already, you know, hear how everything started. But I think that I appreciate you for First of all, telling us you know about that about that experience. But I think that there's so many of us that don't take that next step as far as getting being empowered being, you know, aware of all the things that are going on, so that when those situations present itself, and we're able to kind of be armed with, you know, the information and knowledge of how to, to, to approach that.

Jessica Alston 3:32

Yeah, yeah, my dad was like, I don't want you live in like how we live. And he like really drilled financial literacy into us early on. You know, he my parents are two totally different people. You know, my dad's from the south and low country and my mom, she was more city in the Midwest. And so I've taken a lot from the both of them when it comes to financial literacy and, and just how you can really expand upon it.

Gresham Harkless 3:56

Yeah, absolutely. What definitely, you know, shout out to your father and mother as well, too, as far as drilling that. And so I wanted to hear a little bit more about you know, what you're doing and how you work with clients. Can you take us through? Exactly, you know, some of the services you provide and how exactly that works?

Jessica Alston 4:10

Yeah, so I provide virtual CFO and accounting services. So my typical client looks like a solopreneur, or a small businesses, a small business that has less five employees. And all they really want to do is their business. They don't they want to focus on their business. They don't want to have to deal with the numbers. They know that it's important, but they just rather hire or outsource that to a trusting agency to have those weekly meetings so that they're making sure that they're staying on top of everything, but at the same time, things that they want to implement new within their business, they want to make sure that first of all, it's not risk heavy, and that secondly is something that can basically pay for itself once it gets launched and going. And so I typically, you know, have the consultation and I will really try to learn as much as I can about their business. I usually do research before the consultation as well. And once we have the consultation, and I learn more about their business that out, let them know what I do and see if we're a good fit. And typically, they've been watching me on social media or on facebook or however for a lengthy period of time, but they kind of already know how I work. And so usually, it's just that I know I need you, let's get started kind of thing. I really haven't had any client that really had to think about it. It's like, No, I know, I need you. This is what you do. I've seen you doing. I've been watching you on social media, and I love what you do. I love the consistency, let's work together. And so it's really just making sure that entrepreneurs and business owners really maximise on everything that they want to do within their business without having taken too many risky financial moves.

Gresham Harkless 5:47

Yeah, that makes so much sense. And I appreciate you for touching upon that, because I think so many times, especially in this day and age, we as consumers have so much accessibility to potential businesses and organizations, we want to work with it. A lot of times, by the time you talk to somebody, they've already done a tremendous amount of research and due diligence. And know, you know exactly what it is. And I think, you know, when you do work with clients, I think at the heart of business, it's not, you know, I guess getting rid of all risk, because that's nearly impossible to do in business or definitely in life. But it's just reducing it as much as possible. And I think if you have people on your team, and kind of minds, you can kind of, you know, drill into it and learn from you can reduce that likelihood, a risk, and that helps to increase the likelihood of success.

Jessica Alston 6:29

Yes, it does. It does. I think there's a lot of things that our businesses are able to do with the right strategy and the right implementations.

Gresham Harkless 6:37

Absolutely. And I wanted to ask you for what I call now your secret sauce, and it could be for you personally, or your business. But what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

Jessica Alston 6:45

I tackle your personal finances, too. So a lot of entrepreneurs or people who want to go into business, they see the glory five version of everything, but they don't nearly think about how you handle your personal finances transfers over into how you handle your business finances. So if you are you bad at handling things at home, then you're probably gonna be bad at handling things for your business as well. So I usually kind of have like a man in the mirror type speech with them, and ask them, you know, How are things at home? Are there anything that you would like, you know, to change. And usually, of course, it's a touchy subject, and a lot of people are not open to it. But I had that conversation because it will be less of a struggle. And we'll know what path we need to go down and everything is out on the table upfront. You know, if you're getting ready to file bankruptcy personally, then what makes you think that your business will be successful, you know, so, along with that, I also have like, kind of like having some type of met, mentorship, but like closeness, in a sense to where I can be leaned on at any given moment. It's kind of funny, because I feel like I'm a lot older than what I really am because of the life experiences that I've had. So there's pretty there's kind of not too many things I haven't experienced already. So where if I can be a resource to where I can stop and or prevent you from making a bad decision, then that's what I'm going to be. First and foremost, I believe that I was placed on this earth to serve, and then perform. So I'm going to serve first. And if that means I have to serve you personally, before I serve you professionally, then that is exactly what I'm going to do.

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Gresham Harkless 8:26

Yeah, that makes so much sense. And I think you definitely probably know this better than anybody when we're talking about things like finances, whether we're talking about business or personal. I think it's a very kind of, I don't know, intimate topic. And a lot of times you need to have that relationship, you need to have that trust. And sometimes it may not be the direct financial Oh, should I, you know, how should I file my 1099 It might be something related to something personal. And but once you're able to kind of build that rapport in that relationship, then it starts to manifest itself. And those you know, this is how you found your 1099 or whatever.

Jessica Alston 8:58

Yeah, yeah, and the thing is, is because it was Jordan, to me growing up is that financial literacy part. A lot of people only think of the creative aspect of the business, but never think about how to really run a business. So I think that literacy is important, because it's no good for me to come to these meetings. And um, you know, we're showing you your statements, and I'm giving you your forecasts, and we're looking at all of these spreadsheets that you don't understand nothing that's in front of you. So I want to be able to teach along the way so that if anybody else comes to you and ask, you know, you know how to debt to income ratio, when it comes to personal things, you understand exactly what they're saying. So I'm not, I'm not going to be an individual that's going to, I don't want to withhold any knowledge I want everyone to grow and to learn. I think that's how everyone elevates in life General.

Gresham Harkless 9:50

Definitely appreciate that. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an apple book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective?

Jessica Alston 9:59

More effective, funny enough, peppermint.

Gresham Harkless 10:04


Jessica Alston 10:05

Um, I don't know if you've ever heard of sucking on a peppermint and holding the wrapper in your hand,

Gresham Harkless 10:11

I haven't

Jessica Alston 10:12

read your study,

Gresham Harkless 10:13

I haven't,

Jessica Alston 10:14

she retained information a lot more. I'm a huge book nerd, I have like a mini library in my office right now. And so typical books that I lean towards are like, you know, motivational spiritual books, but then there's business books, then I have more of leisure books, which that shelf is kind of more slimmer than the other ones. But whenever I'm reading, like a business book, or a spiritual book, I always either drink a peppermint tea, or I stuck on a peppermint, and I'll have the wrapper in my hand. And as I'm writing the note, if, for me, it helps retain the information a lot more.

Gresham Harkless 10:44

Now, when it asked me for what I call a CEO,, and that could be like a word of wisdom, or a piece of advice, it could be around financial kind of advice. But what would you tell your younger business self, or maybe even a client or something along those lines.

Jessica Alston 10:56

Um, so a business nugget that I would say is, don't go into, which is probably something we've all heard before. But honestly speaking for me in the in the community that I serve, a lot of know who you are first, before going into business, also, do not go into business only for money. I'm a service driven person, like I said earlier before, and serving people is what fulfills me rather than money, money can be made. And it can be spent faster than we can think it. But serving and having that personal relationship and that connection is more important. And knowing who you are, before you start to serve, will help you target your audience a lot faster and better than not knowing. I rather say no to 10 clients before I say yes to that one. And that is because I know who I am. And because of the type of service that I want to provide, I know who I need to serve.

Gresham Harkless 11:58

Yeah, that makes so much sense. And I'm really big on, you know, I used to say knowledge of self is probably the best knowledge that you can have. If you have information on yourself, you know, who you work best with. Sometimes, if you need to have peppermint near you, when you learn stuff, this little things like that, it sounds like it's so small, it doesn't really matter. But those things start to add up, especially when you're running a business and you're juggling so many different things and being pulled in so many different directions, you have to be able to kind of lean on self know who self is so that you can you know, not only, you know, make sure that you're in a great place, but you're also able to serve to the best level and best degree that you're able to do.

Jessica Alston 12:35

Yes, and it's so easy to especially if you're a solopreneur you're constantly on the grind. And so sometimes you constantly hit walls, even like oh my goodness, man, like, are the people that I want to reach or the people that I want to serve really out there. But that's when you have to kind of come back to yourself and say, No, I know who I am. I know why I'm here, it's going to come, I just need to stay on the path. And I think people kind of they kind of give up on themselves before they really get started. And I would advise them not to and I know, I know, I know, I know, it is easier said than done. Trust me, I have had two failed businesses before this one. So I get it. But stick with it. Know who you are, and know who you want to serve, that those three things will take you further than anything else in your business, customer service and proper customer service and service to others in the sense of not seeking anything in return will be the character and will be the trait in which your community would know you by and I would rather my community know me as somebody that will help you first before asking for anything in return than anything else.

Gresham Harkless 13:51

Yeah, that makes so much sense. And I think those are things that stand that stand the test of time was talking about being in recession proof and being the person that is providing value and the resource to go to and to be able to have that kind of long term brand or focus or whatever that might be, I think stands the test of time and allows you to to not just, you know, build and generate revenue today, but helps you to generate revenue to build something established to really make an impact, you know, 10-15-20, however many years down the line as well.

Jessica Alston 14:19

Yes, it does. It makes a huge difference.

Gresham Harkless 14:22

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, Jessica, I want 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 Jessica, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Jessica Alston 14:33

Being a CEO is being for me, a woman of influence, that not only stands for her true core values and beliefs, but also is not afraid to implement them.

Gresham Harkless 14:48


Jessica Alston 14:49

That to me is what a CEO is.

Gresham Harkless 14:52

I love that and I respect that. And I think that as we kind of touched a little bit of on, you know how fear sometimes can allow us not to take action tonight, take those steps to be so paralyzed that we don't, you know, move forward. I think. I love that that definition and that perspective. And definitely that that last part of it as well, too is taking the actions and the steps in order to make that happen, because so many people don't do that. So truly appreciate that, that perspective and that definition.

Jessica Alston 15:17

Yes, yes.

Gresham Harkless 15:18

Awesome as I was right, and I 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 want to let our readers and listeners know. And then of course, how best they can get a hold of you get in contact and find out about all the awesome things you're working on.

Yes, so you can reach out to me My website is honestlyjessica.com that is h o n e s t l y Jessica, je s s ica.com. You can find me on Instagram at honestly Jessica and I also have a business page, honestly, Jessica as well. So I can be reached on any of those platforms. Again, not only am I your virtual CFO and your accountant but I'm also here to be of service. So if that's just with general life things, I am here to help with that as well. But I would love to do it more so with numbers.

Sounds like a plan and we will definitely have the information in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you. But thank you for all your words of wisdom, your value that you provided today, reminding us to do that as well too. And I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Outro 16:21

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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