CBNationI AM CEO PODCAST

IAM621- Business Owner Runs Agriculture Seed Company

Podcast Interview with Ben Green

Ben Green is the owner of Purple Ribbon Seeds an Independent Agriculture Seed Company located in the Midwest. Ben started his career in the IT industry working in an IT startup, but a string of random events sent him on the path of leaving an IT startup and buying a seed company.

  • CEO Hack: Strict routine such as a morning routine
  • CEO Nugget: (1) People don't follow their passion due to fear (2) Figure out what you want to do independently (3) Be scrappy in business
  • CEO Defined: (1) Ability to help people learn, believe in themselves, and chase their dreams (2) Following your passion (3) 120% in control of own destiny

Website: http://www.purpleribbonseeds.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theseeddude
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theseeddude/


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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 and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Ben Green of purple ribbon seeds. Ben It's awesome to have you on the show.

Ben Green 0:39

Hey, thanks for having me, man.

Gresham Harkless 0:41

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

Ben is the owner of Purple Ribbon Seeds an independent agriculture seed company located in the Midwest. Ben started his career in the IT industry working in an IT startup, but a string of random events sent him on the path of leaving an IT startup and buying a seed company.

Ben are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Ben Green 1:06

Sure. Yep. Sounds good.

Gresham Harkless 1:07

Let's do it. So I wanted to hear about that random seed of events or random events, I should say, and hear a little bit more about your story. What led you to get started with your business?

Ben Green 1:16

Sure. Yeah. So I grew up in Indiana and the middle of nowhere. My formal education is in information technology from Purdue University. Worked like, like you said, in an IT startup for about 12 years. I grew up in the middle of nowhere, where corn and soybeans are grown. Farming is pretty prevalent. I always liked agriculture. But, you know, when I was graduating high school, that probably wasn't the best choice for my career path. I mean, it's just, you know, it was hot, we were approaching actually the dot com bubble is, as it turns out, so it was my choice.

The random events were mine so it'd be my wife's side of the family that was involved in the seed company, actually one of them works there. We were at a customer appreciation dinner, I sat down next to the owner of the company didn't realize he was the owner of the company, and just got to talking. He kind of got a hold of us there in the next week or so and asked if we'd be interested in buying a seed company, which, of course, was not something that I knew anything about. But you know, real Ford, six months past that, we were on our way to owning a seed company.

I kind of cashed out my chips in a startup, so here we are.

Gresham Harkless 2:34

Awesome. Was there something that sparked your interest? I mean, I know, obviously, you had the background, You sound like you were maybe not as I guess, in the industry, but you were familiar because it was around you. Was there something that kind of sparked your interest?

Ben Green 2:46

Yeah, man, you know, so when I was a kid, living in that area, I always wondered why my parents didn't farm. Now, I realize it's really capital intensive and most families have the farm, you know, it's a multi-generation, they've been doing this for years, and years and years, so you just don't hop into it. You know, the seed industry was kind of a way to chase a dream that I had when I was a kid, I suppose, and get back into getting into something that was agricultural related. But still I was kind of hoping to use when which I do use that IT background, then on the farming side to help me make better decisions, both for our company and for the customers we serve.

Gresham Harkless 3:24

Yeah, absolutely. It's funny you say that because I was going to actually ask you that, because it seems like, you know, it is not an industry within itself. I mean, I guess it is technically, but it's literally in all industries. So you literally probably see it in every single type of business you can potentially have.

Ben Green 3:39

Everything has a computer now, man, or if it's a tractor or what it is, but everything's got a computer in it.

Gresham Harkless 3:45

Yeah, exactly. I think I heard something where they said a lot of refrigerators are more advanced than the first phone just because there are so many banks within them. So that makes perfect sense.

I wanted to hear a little bit more about purple ribbon seeds, could you take me through exactly what you guys do and how you serve the clients?

Ben Green 4:02

Sure. We are an agricultural Seed Company. We sell predominantly corn, soybeans, and wheat, along with some grass seeds and cover crops. Indiana, a little bit in Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, a little bit in Tennessee. So you could say that that product is our main bread and butter of the company. That's what brings in revenue. But you know, there are a lot of companies out there that do the same thing as us. So I think what differentiates us is the technology side and the data management side. That's becoming a really big piece, and agriculture right now, people are trying to make heads or tails of what to do with all their data.

We've got all these gigabytes of data that we keep every year but nobody really makes actionable decisions off of them. Some of them don't even track that stuff. It's gonna be really important moving forward, especially as people have to get more in tune with what they're putting on there, on their farms, you know, like inputs, pesticides, nitrogen, things like that, you know, those are pretty hot topics in the news industry right now and there's, of course, a disconnect between the farm side and the rest of the side of the world. The people that consume versus the ones that produce it, you know, some stuff is going to become under more scrutiny.

We'll need to have that data in order to prove what we did when we did it, how much went on versus, you know, we just want to make sure we're not dumping stuff on the ground needlessly. So, we help people with that, right? Because if you're at a farm, or you grew up on a farm, and maybe you went to school and had a little bit of IT background, but you came back on the farm, it's still a daunting task to try and figure out how to save all that stuff, what to do with it, how to make decisions off of it. So I think that's really what separates us from the rest of the seed companies.

Gresham Harkless 5:54

Yeah, that makes so much sense. I appreciate you for sharing that, because it kind of sounds like, definitely correct me if I'm wrong there. I see it in a lot of industries, that it's, I guess the word I'm thinking of is transparency where you want to because that data that is available. And as it starts to become more apparent in each of the different industries, you want to be able to call in and see like the pesticides, you want to see all this information that should be readily available. Now, you know, as you guys are able to do that, and you of course have that background, you're able to kind of be at the forefront of what that sounds like.

Ben Green 6:25

Absolutely, that's exactly what we're doing. So, you know, and you're absolutely right. I think ultimately consumers eventually are going to want to see exactly where everything came from, from start to finish. So that's what I tell people, it's good to start the practice right now of keeping good clean data because it'll take a number of years history of that stuff in order to meet the requirements that some of the stuff gonna have as we move forward.

Gresham Harkless 6:50

Yeah, absolutely, it definitely sounds like you're ahead of that curve. I think, you know, you're always at an advantage if you're not trying to swim against the current, but you're swimming with the current, you see where things are gonna go and gonna go along the lines, in terms of doing that. So I definitely appreciate that.

Is there, I guess anything additional, you would add on that may be your personal secret sauce or another source of the secret sauce of the business as well.

Ben Green 7:12

So um, you know, one of the things that probably disgruntled me the most about, you know, when my previous employment, that was a big company, there were multiple people involved. I wasn't the sole owner or anything like that so there were a lot of management decisions I couldn't make. One of those was how I lead and manage the team. So I feel like that's probably one of the things that we don't talk about publicly much, but I think it differentiates us quite a bit. I'm the type of person where I'm not a yeller, I don't like to manage with an iron fist or anything like that. So I like to set boundaries and let people do their own things.

I firmly believe in establishing core values that you use to lead and make decisions based on so that's what we do, right? If somebody's doing something, well, I can always point to one of our core values and show why they've done well. On the flip side, if there's a mistake that was made, or I don't like an attitude or something like that, I can point to a core value instead of pointing at that person. We give awards based on those core values. It's how we promote, it's how we hire, I firmly believe just about any sort of, except for like a medical doctor or lawyer or some sort of specialized industry, I believe everything can be taught with under the right circumstance.

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Just the way we lead using the core values, the team pretty much teaches itself now. So it took a long time to get all that implemented, and kind of get it in the right direction. We're still trying to improve on it. But you know, it's a lot easier to bring a person on board too, because the rest of the team, they just kind of know what they need to do. They have their expectation set, we've hired based on personality, and attitude, and the rest just kind of happens. So bad employees work themselves out, and it becomes a lot easier from that perspective. We don't just have to turn around and fire somebody, and the good employees get better.

Gresham Harkless 9:12

Yeah, that makes so much sense. I appreciate you for breaking that down and telling us about that. I think a lot of times when you have that foundation and kind of that Northstar, so to speak, you know how your company is run, and what it is that you're doing, it attracts, is like a magnet that attracts the right people, it doesn't attract the right people as well as the wrong people I should say. Just making sure that you have that as a standard allows you to continue to work and continue to even sound like keep people accountable and allow other people to keep others accountable as well, too because you have that strong culture in place.

Ben Green 9:45

Yep. Exactly. Yep.

Gresham Harkless 9:47

Awesome. I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So that 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?

Ben Green 9:58

Oh man, currently I think what makes me most effective and efficient, there's, there's a couple of things. So I have an extremely strict schedule in terms of when I get up and what I like a morning routine, so to speak. If I deviate from that morning routine, I'm off my game the whole day. So basically, my day starts at 4:30. I try to get either an indoor or an outdoor workout and I don't try to get I do get an even if it's just an outdoor walk or something like that. It's cold out, I do it, just because it kind of gets your mind clear and gets things going. It's my own time.

I've got two kids here at home with my wife. I get about two hours here. That's the time I get to process my day, process my thoughts, and keep going. After that 45 minutes, I've got, you know, like a food routine that I do and visualization and meditation, which you probably hear from just about every CEO or leader. Once they discover a kind of process of meditation and visualization that works for them, they usually stick to it.

Gresham Harkless 11:03

Awesome. Now I want to 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 hop into a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Ben Green 11:12

So if I were to go back and talk to myself, let's say 7 to 10 years ago, the first thing I would want to tell myself is, that most people don't follow a passion. They don't follow a dream. They don't start their own business. They don't do their own thing. It's all fear-based. There's fear of money, there's fear of what's gonna happen, what if I fail, those are all possibilities, right? But what you'll find is that you're going to be more satisfied, more fulfilled, you're going to work harder, you're going to work differently, trying to figure out what to do on your own, and financially, you'll make it work.

Actually, that's one of the things, the biggest things that I learned probably along the way I always wished, man, I just wish I had, you know, 2 million more dollars or just throw out a number. It's like, oh, my life would be easier if I had 10 million more dollars. Well, everybody's would be but the lessons that I learned along the way in terms of having to be frugal, having to make sacrifices have made me a lot more scrappy in business. I feel like in my business compared to some of the larger ones, we make a lot better financial decisions than they do because we had to along the way in order to get to where we're at right now.

Gresham Harkless 12:21

Awesome. Well, Ben, truly appreciate that. I wanted to ask you now 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 Ben, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Ben Green 12:33

Um, and that's a really good question. So, I would say, being a CEO, to me,  is you're given one of the best gifts, so to speak of, that you could possibly have in the world. You have the ability to get people, to help people learn, to try new things, to experience new things, to believe in themselves, to chase their dreams, all along with hopefully, following your passion, doing something that you really enjoy. You're 120% in control of your own destiny, along with everybody that works directly for you.

What's even better than that is, if your company is doing really well, most good CEOs that I know are most good leaders that I know that are financially well off, give back in ways that other companies or other businesses or other people just aren't capable of doing. So I feel like really good CEOs are really good leaders, or are impacting the world in a positive fashion.

Gresham Harkless 13:43

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much, again, for breaking that down and being able to have that as a gift. As you talked about, I think it's a gift, obviously, and being able to impact people's lives and being able to get back as you said to but I think also like what you kind of talked about before too, is like that gift in perspective, as well as that, you know, you say some of the difficulties sometimes train you and help you to be better able to handle you know, other things in the future because, you know, you had to be a little bit more scrappy in the beginning.

It gives you the gift of being able to be more kind of, I guess, aware of the decisions that you're making an impact that you're having a lot more strategic about what you're doing. I think those are as you said, you know, phenomenal gifts and opportunities that we have to be CEOs and entrepreneurs and business owners.

Ben Green 14:27

Absolutely. You got it.

Gresham Harkless 14:29

Awesome. Well Ben, really appreciate that and appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do was 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 of course how best they can get home get a hold of you, and find out about all the awesome things you guys are working on.

Ben Green 14:43

Sure. So the the best way to get a hold of me and see what I'm doing is probably through Instagram. I am at the sea dude on Instagram. You know I check that on a daily basis. I've got other business owner friends that I watch in there and, you know, kind of see what's going on there. Because I am doing some things besides directly with the company. Ultimately that is my goal of one of the reasons why I was doing this or whatever I suppose discovered along the way is that I enjoyed being able to contribute back into society in a positive fashion.

I just can't preach that enough, because it's not done enough. I think the world would be a lot better place, if people would recognize that if they cared about each other, as much as they cared about themselves, a lot of our problems would be solved. So, you know, it's just one of those things that kind of has become a goal of mine now just to keep leaving a positive impact, and I hope others will do the same.

Gresham Harkless 15:44

Yeah, absolutely. Well, I definitely, you know, appreciate you for leaving a positive impact on us as, as well. And I think that you know, when you do have that kind of mindset and that approach, it starts to create an energy around everything that you're doing. I think, you know, it does, you know, create a better place and a better world, obviously, better businesses, organizations, better people, and so on and so forth.

We'll definitely, obviously have your LinkedIn information in the show notes. But I appreciate you for reminding us of that extension, kind of the golden rule, and how important it is to treat others the way you want to be treated, and kind of pour into them the way that we would want to be poor too, as well.

Ben Green 16:16

Yep. Thank you.

Gresham Harkless 16:17

Awesome. No problem. Thank you very much Ben and I hope you have a phenomenal today.

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

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.

See also  IAM518- Founder Creates a Community of Creatives and Entrepreneurs

Gresham Harkless 0:29

Hello. Hello. Hello. this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Ben Green have purple ribbon seeds band. It's awesome to have you on the show.

Ben Green 0:39

Hey, thanks for having me, man.

Gresham Harkless 0:41

No problem. Super excited to have you on. And what I want to do is just read a little bit more about Ben so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Ben is the owner of purple ribbon seeds and independent agriculture seed agricultural Seed Company located in the Midwest, then started his career in the IT industry working in an IT startup, but a string of random events and him on the path of leaving an IoT startup and buying a seed company. Man, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Ben Green 1:06

Sure. Yep. Sounds good.

Gresham Harkless 1:07

Let's do it. So I wanted to hear about that, that random seed of events or random events, I should say, and hear a little bit more about your story. What led you to kind of get started with your business?

Ben Green 1:16

Sure. Yeah. So I grew up in Indiana and middle of nowhere. My formal education is in information technology from Purdue University, worked like, like you said, I worked in an IT startup for about 12 years. And, you know, I grew up in the middle of nowhere, where corn and soybeans are grown. And farming is pretty prevalent. I always liked agriculture. But, you know, when I was graduating high school, that wasn't a probably wasn't the best choice for career path. I mean, it's just, you know, it was hot, we were approaching the actually the.com bubble is, as it turns out, but so it was my choice. The random events were my so it'd be my wife side of the family was involved in the seed company, they actually one of them work there. And we were at a customer appreciation dinner, I sat down next to the owner of the company didn't realize he was the owner of the company, just got to talking. And, you know, he kind of got a hold of us there in the next week or so and asked if we'd be interested in buying a seed company, which, of course, was not something that I knew anything about. But you know, real Ford, six months past that, and we, we were on our way to owning a seed company, and I kind of cashed out my chips in a startup. So here we are.

Gresham Harkless 2:34

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Was there something that sparked your interest? I mean, I know, obviously, you had the background, and you sound like you were maybe not as I guess, in the industry, but you were familiar, because it was around you. Was there something that kind of sparked your interest?

Ben Green 2:46

Yeah, man, you know, so when I was a kid, living in that area, I always wondered why my parents didn't farm, you know, of course, now, I realize it's really capital intensive. And most families have farm, you know, it's multi, multi generation, they've been doing this for for years, and years and years. So you just don't hop into it. You know, seed industry was kind of a way to chase a dream that I had when I was a kid, I suppose, and get back into getting into something that was agricultural related, but still, you know, I was kind of hoping to use when which I do use that IT background, then on the farming side to help me make better decisions, both for our company and for the customers we serve.

Gresham Harkless 3:24

Yeah, absolutely. It's funny, it's funny you say that, because I was going to actually ask you that, because it seems like, you know, it is not an industry within itself. I mean, I guess it is technically, but it's literally in all industries. So you literally probably see it in every single type of business you can potentially have.

Ben Green 3:39

Everything has a computer now, man, or if it's a tractor or what it is, but everything's got a computer in it.

Gresham Harkless 3:45

Yeah, exactly. I think I heard something where they said a lot of the, the refrigerators are more advanced than the first phone just because there's so many banks within them. So that makes perfect sense. So I wanted to hear a little bit more about purple ribbon seeds, could you take me through exactly what you guys do and how you serve the clients?

Ben Green 4:02

Sure. So we are an agricultural Seed Company. So we sell predominantly corn, soybeans, and wheat, along with some grass seeds and cover crops. And Indiana, little bit in Illinois, and Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, little bit in Tennessee. So you could say that that product is our main bread and butter of the company. That's what brings in revenue. But you know, there's a lot of companies out there that do the same thing as us. So I think what differentiates us is, is the technology side and the data management side. That's, that's becoming a really big piece and agriculture right now, people are trying to make heads or tails of what to do with all their data. You know, we've got all these gigabytes of data that we keep every year but nobody really makes actionable decisions off of them. Some of them don't even track that stuff. It's gonna be really important moving forward, especially as people have to get more in tune with what they're putting on their, on their, on their farms, you know, like inputs, pesticides, nitrogen, things like that, you know, those are pretty hot topics in the in the news industry right now and there's of course a disconnect between the farm side and the rest of the side of the of the world, the people that consume versus the ones that produce it, you know, some stuff is going to become becoming under more scrutiny. And we'll we'll need to have that data in order to prove what we did when we did it, how much went on versus, you know, we just want to make sure we're not dumping stuff on the ground needlessly. So, we help people with that, right. Because if you if you're, if you're at a farm, or you grew up on a farm, and maybe you went to school and had a little bit of IT background, but you came back on the farm, it's still it's a daunting task to try and figure out how to save all that stuff, what to do with it, how to make decisions off of it. So I think that's really what separated us from the rest of the seed companies.

Gresham Harkless 5:54

Yeah, that makes so much sense. I appreciate you for sharing that, you know, your secret sauce, because it kind of sounds like you definitely correct me if I'm wrong there. And I see it in a lot of industries, that it's, I guess the word I'm thinking of is transparency where you want to, because there is that data that is available. And as it starts to become more apparent in each of the different industries, you want to be able to call in and see like the pesticides, you want to see, you know, all this information that should be readily available. And now, you know, as you guys are able to do that, and you of course have that background, you're able to kind of be at the forefront of that sounds like.

Ben Green 6:25

Absolutely, that's exactly what we're doing. So, you know, and you're absolutely right, you know, I think ultimately consumers eventually are going to want to see exactly where everything came from, from start to finish. So, you know, it's, that's what I tell people, it's good to start the practice right now of keeping good clean data, because it'll take a number of years a history of that stuff in order to meet the requirements that some of you know, some of the stuffs gonna have as we move forward.

Gresham Harkless 6:50

Yeah, absolutely, it definitely sounds like you're ahead of that curve. And I think, you know, you're always at an advantage if you're not trying to swim against the current, but you're swimming with the current, you see where things are gonna go and gonna go along the lines, in terms of doing that. So I definitely appreciate that is there, I guess anything additional, you would add on that maybe your personal secret sauce or another source of the another secret sauce of the business as well.

Ben Green 7:12

So um, you know, one of the things that probably disgruntled me the most about, you know, when I suppose the previous, my previous employment, you know, that was a big company, there were multiple people involved, I wasn't the sole owner or anything like that. So there was a lot of management decisions I couldn't make. And one of those was how, how I lead manage the team. So I feel like that's, that's probably one of our, you know, internally, one of the things that we don't talk about publicly much, but I think it differentiates us quite a bit. I'm the type of person where I don't, you know, I'm not a yeller, I don't like to manage with an iron fist or anything like that. So I like to set boundaries and let people do their own things. I firmly believe in establishing core values that you use to lead and make decisions based off of so that's what we do, right? If somebody's doing something, well, I can always point to one of our core values and show why they've done well. And on the flip side, if there's a mistake that was made, or I don't like, an attitude, or something like that, I can point to a core value. Instead of pointing at that person. We give, we give awards based off those core values. It's how we promote, it's how we, it's how we hire, I firmly believe just about any sort of, except for like a medical doctor or lawyer or some sort of specialized industry, I believe everything can be taught with under the right circumstance. And just the way we lead using the core values, the team pretty much teaches itself now. So it took a long time to get all that implemented, and kind of get it in the right direction. And we're still trying to improve on it. But you know, it's a lot easier to bring a person on board too, because the rest of the team, they just kind of know what they they need to do. They have their expectation set, we've hired based off personality, and attitude, and the rest just kind of happens. So bad employees work themselves out, it becomes a lot easier from that perspective. We don't just have to turn around and fire somebody, and the good employees get better.

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Gresham Harkless 9:12

Yeah, that makes so much sense. I appreciate you for breaking that down and telling us you know about that. And I think a lot of times when you have that foundation and kind of that Northstar, so to speak of, you know how your company is run. And what it is that you're doing. It as you say is it attracts is like a magnet attracts the right people, it doesn't attract the right people as well to the wrong people I should say. And, you know, just making sure that you have that as a standard allows you to continue to work and continue to even sounds like keep people accountable and allow other people to keep others accountable as well, too, because you have that that strong culture in place.

Ben Green 9:45

Yep. Exactly. Yep.

Gresham Harkless 9:47

Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So that 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?

Ben Green 9:58

Oh man, currently I think what makes me most effective and efficient, there's, there's a couple of things. So I have a, I have an extremely strict schedule in terms of when I get up what I like a morning routine, so to speak. If I deviate from that morning routine, I'm off my game the whole day. So basically, my day starts at 4:30. And I tried to get either an indoor or an outdoor workout and I don't try to get I do get an even if it's just an outdoor walk or something like that. And it's cold out, I do it, just because it kind of gets your mind clear and gets things going. It's my own time, I've got two kids here at home with my wife. And, you know, it's just like, it's that it's my time, right, I get about two hours here. That's my time I get to process a process my day, process my thoughts and keep going. After that 45 minutes I've got, you know, like a food routine that I do. And visualization and meditation, which you probably hear that from just about every CEO or leader. Once they discover kind of process of meditation and visualization that works for them, they usually stick to it.

Gresham Harkless 11:03

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So now I want to 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 self?

Ben Green 11:12

So if I were to go back and talk to myself, let's say seven to 10 years ago, the first thing I would want to tell myself is, most people don't follow a passion. They don't follow a dream. They don't start their own business. They don't do their own thing. It's all fear based. There's fear of money, there's fear of, you know, what's gonna happen, what if I fail, those are all possibilities, right? But what you'll find is that you're going to be more satisfied, more fulfilled, you're going to work harder, you're going to work differently, trying to figure out what to do on your own. And financially, you'll make it work. And actually, that's, that's one of the things, the biggest things that I learned probably along the way I always wished, man, I just wish I had, you know, 2 million more dollars or just throw out a number. It's like, oh, my life would be easier if I had 10 million more dollars. Well, everybody's would be but the lessons that I learned along the way in terms of having to be frugal have having to make sacrifices have made me a lot more scrappy in business. And I feel like you know, in in my business compared to some of the larger ones, we make a lot better financial decisions than they do, because we had to along the way in order to get to where we're at right now.

Gresham Harkless 12:21

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, Ben, truly appreciate that. And I wanted to ask you now 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 the show. So Ben, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Ben Green 12:33

Um, and that's a really good question. So, you know, I would say, being a CEO, to me, is, what it means is, is you, you're given one of the best gifts, so to speak of, that you could possibly have in the world, you have the ability to, to get people to help people learn, to try new things, to experience new things, to believe in themselves, to chase their dreams, all along with hopefully, following you know, following your passion, doing something that you really enjoy, you're 120% in control of your own destiny, along with everybody that works directly for you. And what's even better than that is, is if your company is doing really well, most most good CEOs that I know are most good leaders that I know that are that are financially well off, give back in ways that, you know, other companies or other businesses or other people just aren't capable of doing. So I feel like really good CEOs are really good leaders, or are impacting the world in a positive fashion.

Gresham Harkless 13:43

Yeah, absolutely. And thank you so much, again, for breaking that down. And, you know, being able to have that as a gift, and as you talked about, and I think it's a gift, obviously, and being able to impact people's lives and being able to get back as you said to but I think also like what you kind of talked about before too, is like that gift in perspective, as well as that, you know, you say some of the difficulties sometimes train you and help you to be better able to handle you know, other things in the future because, you know, you had to be a little bit more scrappy in the beginning, it gives you the gift of being able to be more kind of, I guess, aware of the decisions that you're making an impact that you're having a lot more strategic about what you're doing. I think those are as you said, you know, phenomenal gifts and opportunities that we have to be CEOs and entrepreneurs and business owners.

Ben Green 14:27

Absolutely. You got it.

Gresham Harkless 14:29

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well Ben, really appreciate that and appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is patch to the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers and listeners know and of course how best they can get home get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things you guys are working on.

Ben Green 14:43

Sure. So the the best way to get a hold of me and see what I'm doing is probably through Instagram. I am at the sea dude on Instagram. You know I check that on a daily basis. I've got other business owner friends that I watch in there and, you know, kind of see what's going on there. Because I am doing some things besides directly with the company. And, you know, ultimately that is, that is my goal of one of the reasons why I was doing this or whatever I suppose discovered along the way is that I enjoyed being able to contribute back into society in a positive fashion, I just can't preach that enough, because it's not done enough. I think the world would be a lot better place, if people would recognize that if they cared about each other, as much as they cared about themselves, a lot of our problems would be solved. So, you know, it's just one of those things that kind of has become a goal of mine now is just to keep leaving a positive impact, and I hope others will do the same.

Gresham Harkless 15:44

Yeah, absolutely. Well, I definitely, you know, appreciate you for leaving a positive impact on us as, as well. And I think that, you know, when you do have that kind of mindset, and that approach, it starts to create an energy around everything that you're doing. And I think, you know, it does, you know, create a better place and a better world, obviously, better businesses, organizations, better people, and so on and so forth. And, you know, we'll definitely, obviously have your LinkedIn information in the show notes. But I appreciate you for reminding us of that extension, kind of the golden rule, and how important it is to treat others the way you want to be treated and, and kind of pour into them the way that we would want to be poor too, as well.

Ben Green 16:16

Yep. Thank you.

Gresham Harkless 16:17

Awesome, awesome. Awesome. No problem. Thank you very much, Ben. And I hope you have a phenomenal today.

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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