DMV CEOI AM CEO PODCAST

IAM615- Communications Consultant Helps People Who Create With Mastery

Podcast Interview with Dana Ray

Dana Ray's job is to find the words for what your work is about and why it matters so you can succeed in the business of bringing it to the world.

She works with people like you who have things to say. She works with people who create with mastery. They lead in diverse fields including fashion, design, dance, art, photography, tech, and activism. And that work makes the world an interesting place to be.

Her experience includes work as a content marketing writer and as the creator of art experiences. Dana was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Bulgaria and holds a Master's in Literature and Creative Writing from Bucknell University.

  • CEO Hack: Not doing for myself what I do for other people 2) Hiring coaches to get the language for my work 3) Outsourcing 4) Journalling
  • CEO Nugget: The people I work with who have anxiety about talking and presenting their work
  • CEO Defined: Taking on the work of my language and communication

Website: http://www.danamray.com/

Instagram: @danam.ray
Linkedin: @danamray


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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, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Dana Ray of Dana Ray Consulting.

Dana Ray 0:37

Hey, everyone. I'm so glad to be here. This is exciting.

Gresham Harkless 0:41

Definitely is exciting, super excited to have you on the show. What I want to do is just read a little bit more about Dana so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. Dana's job is to find the words for what your work is about and why it matters so you can succeed in the business of bringing it to the world.
She works with people like you who have things to say. She works with people who create with mastery. They lead in diverse fields including fashion, design, dance, art, photography, tech, and activism, and that work makes the world an interesting place to be.

Her experience includes work as a content marketing writer and as the creator of art experiences. Dana was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Bulgaria and holds a Master's in Literature and Creative Writing from Bucknell University. Dana, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Dana Ray 1:23

I'm here and ready to go.

Gresham Harkless 1:24

Let's do it. So I wanted to hear how everything got started. Can you tell us your CEO story, and what led you to get started for business?

Dana Ray 1:32

The fun part about this business for me is that it is the externalization of work I've always been doing, I've always been putting words to both my experiences and understanding, and then doing that for other people. Every single job I've had minus high school work as a janitor has really been about that. It's where my greatest contribution has been, regardless of my role. So it's really been 10-plus years of this work, even if the business is in its early stages in its first few years. So this is work that I'm doing in a setting now but it's work that I have done and probably will do in many other settings going forward.

The business is the best venue for that right now and some other places where this work of putting language to things has shown up. I used to work at writing centers in college, helping people write their personal statements and cover letters. I have my master's, I was going to be an academic and then got my head turned by entrepreneurship. I worked in a marketing agency and b2b Tech. That's really where I found my interest in audience discovery and business definition, a better writer forever.

I've mentored college students. That's where my kids used to call me the translator because I could help them communicate with each other if they couldn't find the language to do that. They really resonated with me, I was pretty young when they titled me that and that's a name that I've used for myself going forward. Eventually, I knew that I wanted to create something independent, a structure that would house the work that I was doing in a more direct and explicit way and so I went into business.

Gresham Harkless 3:03

Awesome, I definitely appreciate you for breaking that down. I think so many times that when you hear this, when you see somebody and see that they're successful, you see where they are, maybe their finish line, you don't see all the work they did prior to that. I appreciate you for breaking that down.

I think so many times we forget that everything that we're doing is building up into who we are and where we are in this present time. That writing and being able to communicate and being able to translate as your children say, is not anything that is I guess separate from what we're doing at this current stage in time and what you're doing it sounds like,

Dana Ray 3:36

Absolutely and what your business is today can be building you to what happens next, in a couple years from now or a decade from now, maybe you're not going to be in business forever. But that doesn't change the value of what you're creating and what you're learning and growing in right now.

Gresham Harkless 3:51

Absolutely. I think when we have that mentality, we really start to become extremely powerful, because we understand that everything, every little brick, every little year that we're spending on this, every project that we have, is not necessarily just building up for that project and the completion of that before who we're going to become 10-15 years down the line as well, too.

Awesome. So I know we touched on a little bit when I read your bio, and you did as well, too. I wanted to hear a little bit more on what you're doing for clients how that process works, and what exactly that looks like.

Dana Ray 4:19

So I help individuals and businesses, it can be both the solopreneur or the larger organization in the arts and culture space. So let's get some of those industries in the bio, but it's arts and culture. So people who have something that they're trying to say and they need to put words to what their work is about in order to get that work done. Think branding, but language instead of the visual aspect of it. I am working with these kinds of high-achieving master craftsmen social impact people because I know that words are action. They're not separate from action, they are an action and of itself. If we cannot say something clearly, we cannot bring it to the world, we can not share it, we cannot see its impact happen.

So what we say our work is and what it scores becomes what that is in the world. Getting clear on the specific what your work is and what it's about why you're doing it and how you're doing it. Putting language to that is what's going to actually make it possible for you to do this work. So in my process, we start by defining what I call a ground truth statement for the business or the project. It's that one-sentence statement of what I just outlined, what it is why it matters. It defines the work, it enables confident decision-making, and it communicates where you're going.

It's an internal language that you can then move externally. It's the foundation for good marketing, good branding, good pitching, and even just your own understanding of what is important to you and your value set. So all of that is in that one succinct statement. We look at your past experiences and your future ambitions and we draw a line that is holding all of these things together. That's that one sentence again. So based on the process that I've developed, it's a three-and-a-half-hour workshop for an individual client a little bit longer for a group of people in a room that's been supported by reports that I create, you can hold on to going forward and one month or retainer support from me, I become kind of a head of the board.

Even if you don't have a board, just someone that you can get checks against, who really knows how you think how you speak what matters to you, and orienting, we're going to be building that going forward.

Gresham Harkless 6:33

That makes so much sense. I definitely appreciate you for breaking that down. I also like how and definitely correct me if I'm wrong, and kind of sounds like there are synergies and how you found or have been working in your kind of, I would say Zona genius, where people are also trying to do that as well, too, and be able to arm people with the words in the language to be able to do that.

I don't know if you find this with clients, but a lot of times, the frustration is usually in the very beginning and doing that inner work to determine where you want to be, why you want to do it, how to communicate that on a deeper level. But I think a lot of times you have to know it yourself and if you don't know it yourself, it's hard to communicate and to be clear on that.

Dana Ray 7:12

What's interesting about this, is that I find my clients don't actually need help figuring out what they want. They don't need help figuring out what their work is about. So interestingly, some of my clients are in the beginning stage, or they're in the beginning stage of work that's been happening for 5 years, 10 years, and they're re-expressing their business to the point of pivoting the point of scale. The professional in an artistic career, who's been killing it, but can't get to the next stage unless they communicate more effectively. So they know it, they do not lack the knowing, but they lack the ability to articulate that in language. That is something that I find to be true for so many of us in business, in creative work because we're very knowing about what matters to us.

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But language is meant to be figured out by ourselves and that's part of the fun of language and part of the frustration of it. We learn the language as babies, by interacting with adults, we interact with other human beings, and our species evolved speaking as a communication tool. But we only get language in the process of dialogue. So if you're off by yourself or with your team, and you're just in that insular space of your head, you're not going to be able to find language, because you're not supposed to your brain is literally not structured to do that. My brain is not structured to do that. We have to be in conversation and dialogue in order to get to that language and that communication structure, that will work for us.

So it can be the beginning, but it's as much about the middle of the process.

Gresham Harkless 8:49

Nice. I appreciate you for definitely breaking that down and you're absolutely right. I was gonna actually say and ask you exactly what you mentioned, where I feel like a lot of creatives in that creative industry and people that work in the industry sometimes maybe struggle with that aspect of translating as your kids so that everybody else can also understand exactly what they're doing, why they're so great, why they're so unique, or whatever that might be.

That's the gap and bridge that you're able to build.

Dana Ray 9:15

Yes, exactly.

Gresham Harkless 9:17

Awesome. So would you consider that to be like your, what I call your secret sauce? The thing that kind of sets you apart is that ability to be that bridge that translator and doing that?

Dana Ray 9:25

Yes, I don't give my words to my clients, I help them find their words. So my secret sauce is how I'm able to study their voice, their body language, their inflections of speech. By the end of the workshop, I am thinking and speaking in words that are going to resonate with them specifically. So now ground truth is exactly the same because it belongs to the person that it belongs to. I know for my clients both what they're trying to say and identifying the specific words to say that will anchor them and orient them going forward. So I'm able to synthesise all these different data sets all these different narrative pieces and figure out what holds that together and words are going to make sense for them. It's really a profound deep process. They already know themselves, but they're able to understand what that work is about in a very different way being conversation.

Gresham Harkless 9:31

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

Dana Ray 10:28

My favorite hack is that I do not try to do for myself what I do for other people. I have hired outside coaches and voices for my own business to help me get language for my work. Because I so profoundly believe in the power and the essential nature of dialogue and finding language. I can't find that for myself, I shouldn't expect that anyone who cares about their work should expect to find it by themselves. So I outsource that I bring people, it's when you say outsourcing and bringing someone in, but you know what I mean? So that's like my main hack. Don't feel weird when your are a website designer and you can't get your website, though Google can help, it's fine. That is the most normal thing.

So go lean on those people to give you what you are giving everyone else all the time, that is the most human most normal thing. Then on the more tactical side, I have been journaling since I could put words and sentences into sentences on a piece of paper, I have the cutest six-year-old diaries, they are ridiculous. But that practice has given me a really rich relationship with my internal life. That has mattered a lot in my ability to listen and understand what people are saying because I've been paying attention to myself for so long. It sounds weird, but I actually think that's really important and being able to hear the people.

Gresham Harkless 11:53

So I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So that could be like a word of wisdom or a piece of advice can be something around, maybe writing or content or finding your voice. Or it might even be something you might tell your younger business self or maybe even a client as well,

Dana Ray 12:08

I would say to the people that I work with, who have anxiety about presenting their work and talking about their work, all we want as your audience or a stranger on the street, we actually just want to love what you do and sometimes we don't know how. We're waiting for you to tell us how, we're waiting for you to tell us what the work is for and what it means so we can celebrate it with you.

Sometimes that will mean that we become your client buy your piece of art, go to your concert, or invest in your business. Sometimes it just means that we will celebrate with you right there. We just want to know, just be clear, just tell us what matters to you. Most people really just want to cheer you on even if they've just met you. All of us are out here just waiting for you to tell us how brilliant you are. Just do it because I believe you.

Gresham Harkless 13:00

Awesome. I definitely appreciate that. Now I want 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 the show. So Dana, what has being a CEO meant to you?

Dana Ray 13:13

Being a CEO means taking on the work of language and communication. If you are going to create or build anything that's going to last, you have to be able to talk about it and tell people about it. We don't want to miss it, you don't want us to miss it. So you're gonna take on the language piece you're gonna take on the communication piece. It's a lot of emotional labor. But emotional labor is the game of being CEO.

Gresham Harkless 13:40

Absolutely. I appreciate that so much because I think we take on the I don't know if want to call it a challenge. But when we have in our charge with understanding and being able to take on language and communication, I think it is one of those things or two of those things that actually go through everything that we do, whether we're being a leader, whether we are trying to tell people what we do, whether we're doing marketing, whether we're doing sales, so on and so forth. It's one of those common themes and veins that's through everything that we do. So it's important to kind of be central to be able to kind of master that.

Dana Ray 14:10

Yeah. It's not easy, but it's okay.

Gresham Harkless 14:15

Yes, and I definitely appreciate you for mentioning that too because I think that we talked about your story and how you got started. So many people think that you've been able to master this just because you woke up yesterday and you became a master but those 10 years, that overnight success that we sometimes hear is not the case because we've been working on it day in and day out. Then it starts to become better and better and better every time that we work on our craft.

Dana Ray 14:39

Typically, your craft that you're great at is something that you love so much you don't even notice that you've been working on it for 10-plus years. You just look back and go oh, that's what I have. I've been doing that forever. Not because you said I'm gonna take Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hours I'm gonna do it. It just it just happens because it's love.

Gresham Harkless 15:00

Exactly, it's all love. A lot of times, we might even take it for granted as well, too. So it's important that you've been able to do that and remind us to do that, too. So, Dan, I truly appreciate that appreciate all the awesome things that you're doing.

What I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know. Then of course, how best they can get a hold of you find out about all the awesome things we're working on.

Dana Ray 15:20

So something to know about me is that I love to write letters. It's one of my favorite genres, both to write and to read. So I actually love e-newsletters and I like writing mine. So if you want to get a letter from me, and I do structure like a letter, once a month, you can go sign up on my website, danamray.com. Sorry about the URL being weird, and stands for my middle name. If you're gonna start a business team, go get your URLs right now. My name belongs to a Nebraska real estate agent. So danamray.com is the place.

Gresham Harkless 15:54

Awesome. Well, thank you for that additional nugget as well to make sure you get your handles and your URLs as well before anybody else does for sure. But we will have the links and information in the show notes to make it even easier so that everybody can click through and sign up for your letters and your E-newsletter and all the awesome things that you're doing. But again, appreciate your time. Appreciate the work that you're doing and helping people be able to communicate and get all the awesomeness that they're working on out into the world and we can cheer them on. But appreciate it again, and I hope you have a great 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.

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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, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Dana Ray of Dana Ray Consulting.

Dana Ray 0:37

Hey, everyone. I'm so glad to be here. This is exciting.

Gresham Harkless 0:41

Definitely is exciting, super excited to have you on the show. What I want to do is just read a little bit more about Dana so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. Dana's job is to find the words for what your work is about and why it matters so you can succeed in the business of bringing it to the world.

She works with people like you who have things to say. She works with people who create with mastery. They lead in diverse fields including fashion, design, dance, art, photography, tech, and activism. And that work makes the world an interesting place to be.

Her experience includes work as a content marketing writer and as the creator of art experiences. Dana was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Bulgaria and hold a Master's in Literature and Creative Writing from Bucknell University. Dana, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Dana Ray 1:23

I'm here and ready to go?

Gresham Harkless 1:24

Let's do it. So I wanted to hear how everything got started. Can you tell us your SEO story, what led you to get started for business?

Dana Ray 1:32

The fun part about this business for me is that it is the externalisation of work I've always been doing, I've always been putting words to both my experiences understanding and then doing that for other people. Every single job I've had minus high school work as a janitor has really been about that. It's where my greatest contribution has been, regardless of my role. So it's really been 10 plus years of this work, even if the business is in its early stages in its first few years. So this is work that I'm doing in a setting now but it's work that I have done and probably will do in many other settings going forward. The business is the best venue for that right now and some other places that this work of putting language to things has shown up. I used to work at writing centres in college, helping people write their personal statements and cover letters. I have my master's, I was going to be an academic and then got my head turned by entrepreneurship. I worked in a marketing agency and b2b Tech. That's really where I found my interest in audience discovery and business definition, a better writer forever. I've mentored college students. That's where my kids used to call me the translator, because I could help them communicate to each other, if they couldn't find the language to do that. That they really resonated with me, I was pretty young when I was when they titled me that and that's a name that I've used for myself going forward. So eventually, I knew that I wanted to create something independent, a structure that would house this work that I was doing in a more direct and explicit way and so I went into business.

Gresham Harkless 3:03

Awesome, I definitely appreciate you for breaking that down. I think so many times that when you hear this, when you see somebody and see that they're successful, you see kind of like, where they are maybe their finish line, you don't see all the work they did prior to that. I appreciate you for breaking that down. Because I think so many times we forget that all of everything that we're doing is building up into who we are and where we are in this present time. That writing and be able to communicate and be able to translate as your children say, is not anything that is I guess separate from what we're doing at this current stage in time and what you're doing it sounds like,

Dana Ray 3:36

Absolutely and what your business is today can be building you to what happens next, in a couple years from now or a decade from now, maybe you're not going to be in business forever. But that doesn't change the value of what you're creating and what you're learning and growing in right now.

Gresham Harkless 3:51

Absolutely. I think when we have that mentality, we really start to become extremely powerful, because we understand that everything, every little brick, every little year that we're spending on this, every project that we have, is not necessarily just building up for that project and the completion of that before who we're going to become 10-15 years down the line as well, too. Awesome. So I know we touched on a little bit when I read your bio, and you did as well, too. I wanted to hear a little bit more on what you're doing for clients how that process works, and what exactly that looks like.

Dana Ray 4:19

So I help individuals and businesses, it can be both the solopreneur or the larger organisation in the arts and culture space. So let's get some of those industries in the bio, but it's arts and culture. So people who have something that they're trying to say and they need to put words to what their work is about in order to get that work done. Think branding, but language instead of the visual aspect of it. I am in work with these kinds of high achieving master craftsman social impact people because I know that words are action. They're not separate from action, they are an action and of itself. If we cannot say something clearly, we cannot bring it to the world. We can not share it, we cannot see its impact happen. So what we say our work is and what it score becomes what that is in the world. Getting clear on the specific what your work is and what it's about and what why you're doing it and how you're doing it. Putting language to that is what's going to actually make it possible for you to do this work. So in my process, we start by defining what I call a ground truth statement for the business or the project. It's that one sentence statement of what I just outlined, what it is why it matters. It defines the work, it enables confident decision making, and it communicates where you're going. It's an internal language that you can then move externally. It's the foundation for good marketing, good branding, good pitching, even just your own understanding of what is important to you and your value set. So all of that is in that one succinct statement. We look at your past experiences and your future ambitions and we draw a line what is holding all of these things together. That's that one sentence again. So based on the process that I've developed, it's a three and a half hour workshop for an individual client a little bit longer for a group of people in a room that's been supported by reports that I create, you can hold on to going forward and one month or retainer support from me, I become kind of a head of the board. Even if you don't have a board, just someone that you can gut check against, who really knows how you think how you speak what matters to you and orienting, we're going to be building that going forward.

Gresham Harkless 6:33

That makes so much sense. I definitely appreciate you for breaking that down. I also like how, and definitely correct me if I'm wrong, and kind of sounds like there's synergies and how you found or have been working in your kind of, I would say Zona genius, where people are also trying to do that as well, too, and be able to arm people with the words in the language to be able to do that. Because I think, and I don't know if you find this with clients, but a lot of times, the frustration is usually in the very beginning and doing that inner work to determine where you want to be, why you want to do it, how to communicate that on a deeper level. But I think a lot of times you have to know it yourself and if you don't know it yourself, it's hard to communicate and to be clear on that.

Dana Ray 7:12

What's interesting about this, is that I find my clients don't actually need help figuring out what they want. Yhey don't need help figuring out what their work is about. So interestingly, some of my clients are in the beginning stage, or they're in the beginning stage of work that's been happening for 5 years, 10 years, and they're re expressing it their business to the point of pivot the point of scale. The professional in an artistic career, who's been killing it, but can't get to the next stage unless they communicate more effectively. So they know it, they do not lack the knowing, they lack the ability to articulate that in language. That is something that I find to be true for so many of us in business in creative work. Because we're very knowing about what matters to us. But language is meant to be figured out by ourselves and that's part of the fun of language and part of the frustration of it. We learn language as babies, by interacting with adults, we interact with other human beings, our species evolved speaking as a communication tool. But we only get language in the process of dialogue. So if you're off by yourself or with your team, and you're just in that insular space of your head, you're not going to be able to find language, because you're not supposed to your brain is literally not structured to do that. My brain is not structured to do that. We have to be in conversation and dialogue in order to get to that language and that communication structure, that will work for us. So it's, it can be the beginning, but it's as much about the middle of the process.

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Gresham Harkless 8:49

Nice. I appreciate you for definitely breaking that down and you're absolutely right. I was gonna actually say and ask you exactly what you mentioned, where I feel like a lot of creatives in that creative industry and people that work in the industry sometimes maybe struggle with that aspect of translating as your kids that so that everybody else can also understand exactly what they're doing, why they're so great, why they're so unique, or whatever that might be. That's the gap and bridge that you're able to build.

Dana Ray 9:15

Yes, exactly.

Gresham Harkless 9:17

Awesome. So would you consider that to be like your, what I call your secret sauce? The thing that kind of sets you apart is that ability to be that bridge that translator and doing that?

Dana Ray 9:25

Yes, I don't give my words to my clients, I help them find their words. So my secret sauce is how I'm able to study their voice, their body language, their inflections of speech. By the end of the workshop, I am thinking and speaking in words that are going to resonate with them specifically. So know ground truth is exactly the same because it belongs to the person that it belongs to. I know for my clients both what they're trying to say and identifying the specific words to say it in that will anchor them and orient them going forward. So I'm able to synthesise all these different data sets all these different narrative pieces and figure out what holds that together and words are going to make sense for them. It's really a profound in depth process. They already know themselves, but they're able to understand what that work is about in a very different way being conversation.

Gresham Harkless 9:31

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

Dana Ray 10:28

My favourite hack is that I do not try to do for myself what I do for other people. I have hired outside coaches and voices for my own business to help me get language for my work. Because I so profoundly believe in the power and the essential nature of dialogue and finding language. I can't find that for myself, I shouldn't expect to no one who cares about their work should expect to find it by themselves. So I outsource that I bring people, it's when you say outsourcing and bringing someone in, but you know what I mean? So that's like my main hack, like, don't feel weird when your website designer and you can't get your website, though. Google can help, it's fine. That is the most normal thing. So go lean on those people to give you what you are giving everyone else all the time, that is the most human most normal thing. Then on the more tactical side, I have been journaling since I could put words and sentence into sentences on a piece of paper, I have the cutest six year old diaries, they are ridiculous. But that practice has given me a really rich relationship with my internal life. That has mattered a lot in my ability to listen and to understand what people are saying, because I've been paying attention to myself for so long. It sounds weird, but I actually think that's really important and being able to hear the people.

Gresham Harkless 11:53

So I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So that could be like a one wisdom or a piece of advice can be something around, maybewriting or content or finding your voice. Or it might even be something you might tell your younger business self or maybe even a client as well,

Dana Ray 12:08

I would say to the people that I work with, who have anxiety about presenting their work and talking about their work. All we want as your audience or a stranger on the street, we actually just want to love what you do and sometimes we don't know how. We're waiting for you to tell us how we're waiting for you to tell us what the work is for and what it means so we can celebrate it with you. Sometimes that will mean that we become your client or we buy your piece of art or we go to your concert or we invest in your business. Sometimes it just means that we will celebrate with you right there. We just want to know, just be clear, just tell us what matters to you. Most people really just want to cheer you on even if they've just met you. All of us are out here just waiting for you to tell us how brilliant you are. Just do it because I believe you.

Gresham Harkless 13:00

Awesome. I definitely appreciate that. Now I want to ask you my absolute favourite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO and we're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So Dana, which has been a CEO mean to you?

Dana Ray 13:13

Being a CEO means taking on the work of language and communication. If you are going to create or build anything that's going to last, you have to be able to talk about it and tell people about it. We don't want to miss it, you don't want us to miss it. So you're gonna take on the language piece you're gonna take on the communication piece. It's a lot of emotional labour. But emotional labour is the game of being CEO.

Gresham Harkless 13:40

Absolutely. I appreciate that so much. Because I think we take on the I don't know if want to call it a challenge. But when we have in our charge with understanding and being able to take on language and communication, I think it is one of those things or two of those things that actually go through everything that we do, whether we're being a leader, whether we are trying to tell people what we do, whether we're doing marketing, whether we're doing sales, so on and so forth. It's one of those common themes and veins that's through everything that we do. So it's important to kind of be central to be able to kind of master that.

Dana Ray 14:10

Yeah. It's not easy, but it's okay.

Gresham Harkless 14:15

Yes, and I definitely appreciate you for mentioning that too because I think that as we talked about and your story and how you got started. So many people think that you've been able to you've been able to master this just because you woke up yesterday and you become a master but those 10 years, that overnight success that we sometimes hear is not the case because we've been working on it day in and day out. Then it starts to become better and better and better every time that we work on our craft.

Dana Ray 14:39

Typically, your craft that you're great at is something that you love so much you don't even notice that you've been working on it for 10 plus years. You just look back and go oh, that's what I have. I've been doing that forever. Not because you said I'm gonna take Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hours I'm gonna do it. It just it just happens because it's love.

Gresham Harkless 15:00

Exactly, it's all love. A lot of times, we might even take it for granted as well, too. So it's important that you've been able to do that and remind us of doing that, too. So, Dan, I truly appreciate that appreciate all the awesome things that you're doing. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know. Then of course, how best they can get a hold of you find out about all the awesome things we're working on.

Dana Ray 15:20

So something to know about me is that I love to write letters. It's one of my favourite genres, both to write and to read. So I actually love e newsletters and I like writing mine. So if you want to get a letter from me, and I do structured like a letter, once a month, you can go sign up on my website, danamray.com. Sorry about the URL being weird, and stands for my middle name. If you're gonna start a business team, go get your URLs right now. My name belongs to a Nebraska real estate agent. So Dana and ray.com is the place.

Gresham Harkless 15:54

Awesome. Well, thank you for that additional nugget as well to make sure you get your your handles and your URLs as well before anybody else does for sure. But we will have the links and information in the show notes to make it even easier so that everybody can click through and sign up for your letters and your E newsletter and all the awesome things that you're doing. But again, appreciate your time. Appreciate the work that you're doing and helping people be able to communicate and get all the awesomeness that they're working on out into the world and we can cheer them on. But appreciate it again, and I hope you have a great 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.

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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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