Black Wall StreetI AM CEO PODCAST

IAM726- Motivational Speaker Inspires Women to Live Their Best Lives

Podcast Interview with Ceola J.

Ceola J. is passionate about encouraging and inspiring women to seek and reach their God-given purpose and to live their best lives now! She is the published author of “I Know It Was the Blood: A Story of Overcoming. She is the founder and CEO of CJ Productions, LLC, a faith-based company dedicated to producing projects that create, inspire, and empower through performing arts. Ceola has written & produced five stage plays under the production company. Ceola is also a motivational speaker, and the founder of Sisters Celebrating Each Other, Inc. a nonprofit benefiting single women and single mothers. Look for new books, CD series, and stage plays coming soon from Ceola J.

  • CEO Hack: (1) Dr. Myles Munroe's book (2) Effective communication
  • CEO Nugget: Don't relinquish your birthright and stay true to your vision
  • CEO Defined: Being mindful and caring honestly for others

Website: https://ceola@ceolaj.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ceolaJ3/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ceola_j/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ceolaJ_1

FULL INTERVIEW


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Transcription

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[00:00:02.20] – Intro

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.

[00:00:30.19] – Gresham Harkless

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 Ceola J. of CJ Productions LLC. Ceola, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:40.39] – Ceola J.
Thank you. I'm happy to be here.

[00:00:43.10] – Gresham Harkless

No problem. Super excited to have you on. And before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Ceola so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Ceola J. is passionate about encouraging and inspiring women to seek and reach their God-given purpose and to live their best lives now. She is the published author of I Know It Was the Blood, a story of overcoming. She is the founder and CEO of CJ Productions LLC, a faith-based company dedicated to producing projects that create, inspire, and empower through performing arts. Ceola has written and produced five stage plays under the production company, Ceola is also a motivational speaker, the founder of Sisters Celebrating Each Other Incorporated, a nonprofit benefiting single women and single mothers, And looking for new books, a CD series, and stage plays coming soon from Ceola J. as well too. Ceola, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

[00:01:34.20] – Ceola J.

I am.

[00:01:36.00] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Let's do it. So to kick everything off, I wanted to kind of rewind the clock here a little bit more from the beginning. Take us through your CEO story. We'll let you get started with your business.

[00:01:45.00] – Ceola J.

Wow. Wow. Well, actually, is it okay to call you Gresh?

[00:01:49.40] – Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. Go for it. I've been called a lot of stuff a lot worse. So, no, Gresh is what I go by, so I appreciate it.

[00:01:56.09] – Ceola J.

That's awesome. Well, Gresh, it started for me I think writing started for me when I was much, much younger. Probably around 11:10 or eleven years old, writing, was a way of escape for me. You know, my childhood was so much troubling. If I can be transparent here, I was sexually assaulted as a child and dealt with an alcoholic mother. We experienced homelessness, academic failure, and so much more. So writing was a way of escape for me. You know. But, unfortunately, due to my academic struggles, I didn't think I was good enough.

So it wasn't until, probably around a thousand seven when I sat down at this nudge that I had to write a story about my grandmother and I's relationship. And that turned into my first stage play. That was back in two thousand seventeen. And then the book the first book I know was The Blood was published in two thousand sixteen for the first time. It was just republished in January of this year by TBN's, publishing company, Tribble Tridler Tridler Trilogy Publishing House, on January seventh.

[00:02:59.80] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Well, obviously, sorry to hear all of that, but I appreciate you for showing courage and transparency as well too, and being able to tell your story because I think indefinitely, I'm sure you probably hear it as well when you're going through a difficult time. Sometimes you can feel back like you're by yourself. And I think by being able to tell your story and hear not just the story, but hear you overcome and be able to accomplish so much. It gives power obviously to yourself, I know, but to so many people who probably hear your story and connect with you as well.

[00:03:28.09] – Ceola J.

Yeah. I hear that often, and it's quite humbling.

[00:03:31.80] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And so I know you create in so many different ways. Could you take us through exactly how you serve your clients? I know you have your stage plays and everything. Can you take us through everything you do to kinda support the people that you work with?

[00:03:46.50] – Ceola J.

Wow. You know, well, one of the things let's just start with CJ Productions. So one of the things that I am excited about with CJ Productions is just the opportunity to give the platform to those who may not have otherwise had the platform. So our stage play productions, speak to my story, but we bring in women who may have experienced some of the things that I've experienced that have a creative gift and can convey, you know, their story through the the productions. So that's one aspect of what I feel like, you know, CJ Productions brings to the community is a sense of community through CJ Productions, through their own real-life experiences, and can convey that through the stage play.

So providing that opportunity to the community is a huge, sense of excitement for me. And then through sisters celebrating each other when we talk about entrepreneurial the various platforms that I have, being able to serve the community, offering assistance with homelessness and, support academically through the women in our community is another product and service or service, I should say, that we offer to the community. And, just by way of motivational speaking, being able to speak at different events and life coaching. So life coaching, stage play productions, and community service, through the nonprofit are ways that I'm able to offer products and services, to the community.

[00:05:11.39] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And do you find that, it sounds like, I don't know if you would use the phrase service-based entrepreneur, but it kinda sounds like in every aspect there's that strong service-based aspect of it because even, you know, from using your gifts and your talents, your God-given gifts and talents, you know, you've been able to kinda serve and then provide a platform for other people to serve and their unique God-given talents as well too. But, of course, the nonprofit and then everything you're doing as far as the coaching and motivational speaking, it sounds like you're being of tremendous service to the community and the people within it.

[00:05:42.00] – Ceola J.

I would hope so. I mean, I think that's really what, it's really all about. You know, we will get to that, but I think that's really what it's all about is being able to offer, the gifts, as you said, the talents and the abilities that we have, to those in whom we serve, be it our community, nationwide, globally. I think that's what it's all about.

[00:06:04.30] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And this is a beautiful thing, especially in this day and age when you're able to, you know, reach so many people, on such a grand scale and and and so many different talents and ways. So that's why I appreciate, you know, everything, you know, that you've been that you're doing and growing as well. So, I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for yourself personally or your business, but what do you feel kinda sets you apart and makes you unique?

[00:06:30.00] – Ceola J.

One of the things that I can say, Gresh, is really or I should say two things, authenticity and, transparency. You know? And you said it could be for myself. I found that over the years being authentic, you know, in what I do, and being transparent. And I find that doing that through the stage plays, doing that through my, individual or group live coaching sessions, is, for me, my circus secret sauce. You know, I think it's it's important and it has been a benefit to me and to those whom I can help and serve. Authenticity and transparency.

[00:07:10.60] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So 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 app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

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[00:07:22.60] – Ceola J.

Wow. You know okay. Book. There is more than one book. There's more than one book. Mhmm. I'll just say my one of my favorite authors and resources, which I have, considered, to be very helpful to me is Doctor. Myles Munro. You know, over the years, I have read many of his books, and they have helped me, and continue to help me. Another book that I have read that I found to be a great resource to me is, I'm not sure if you're familiar with Doctor, well, I don't think he's Doctor, S. Evoso. And, he has a book called Anointed for Business, you know, that, is beneficial, in terms of marketplace transformation, helping those that are of the faith walk into, the marketplace with their gifting and their talents, and so that has been very helpful to me. And then the other thing I would say is for me being a stage play write writer and, an author of books and CDs, I think effective communication is essential.

[00:08:29.39] – Gresham Harkless

I love that. It's extremely powerful. Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. If you were to hop into a time machine, it might be something you would tell your younger business self or you might even tell a client as well too.

[00:08:46.20] – Ceola J.

Okay. What would I tell people? I would say don't relinquish your birthright.

[00:08:54.29] – Gresham Harkless

Mhmm.

[00:08:55.39] – Ceola J.

And I'll explain a little bit about that. What I'm saying when I say don't relinquish your birthright is we were all created with a purpose. We were all created, you know, with a vision that, you know, we were born with. And a lot of times, I think, even for me in my journey, I've had so many different and I would say, how can I categorize this as opportunities, you know, that will cause me to kinda relinquish my birthright, whether it be for money or it is for fame or it is for status or it is for recognition? You know, sometimes we're so eager to manifest the vision and the purpose and the passion that sometimes we're willing to sacrifice or relinquish our birthright for the things that we deem as success.

So I wanna say to people, if I had any advice to my younger self, although I haven't done this, you know, I caution myself, to be careful even going forward not to do that because the more exposure you get, the more people learn about you, the more opportunities you'll find that you're being met with to say, hey. Do this, or, you know, don't do it that way, or, yeah, don't don't, you know, let's let's change that model and do it this way. And I would say stay true to your vision and don't sell your birthright.

[00:10:14.29] – Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. That's that's extremely powerful. And, as you said, that vision and that birthright that you have, I think so many times, you know, even we can just, you know, look down at our phones and see, like, how many distractions that we have. Those distractions are everywhere, you know, as you get to connect with more and more people, as you get to build relationships. A lot of times, you can lose that vision because you might be living somebody else's vision or maybe they see something else that's different from your vision. So you kinda have to hold that, like, North Star, so to speak, true and make sure that you are continuing to take steps and continue to kinda remind yourself of what your birthright is and what that vision looks like.

[00:10:52.89] – Ceola J.

Right. Right. Stay true. Stay true to yourself. Absolutely.

[00:10:58.20] – Gresham Harkless

I love that. And so now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different, quote, unquote, CEOs on the show. So, Celia, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:11:09.50] – Ceola J.

What does it mean to be a CEO to me? It's interesting because the first three letters of my name are CEO.

[00:11:18.10] – Gresham Harkless

Mhmm.

[00:11:19.10] – Ceola J.

And it was my husband who brought this to my attention because I've never really focused on it. But, you know, when he mentioned that to me, I started thinking about that. And I started thinking that nothing ever happens by coincidence or chance. There's always a reason for everything. And so when I thought about the CEO, I thought about caring earnestly for others.

[00:11:41.50] – Gresham Harkless

Mhmm.

[00:11:42.10] – Ceola J.

And so for me, if I could use that, I would say that as a CEO, as an entrepreneur, our business is run by people. Whether it's marketing a marketing team, a tech team, whether it's an HR team, our customer base, or our client base. So it's people-focused. So I think for me, being a CEO means caring earnestly for others, taking into consideration why I'm doing what I'm doing and what it is that I'm doing, and always being mindful of the people, in terms of my business. So I would say to me, it means always being mindful of caring earnestly for others.

[00:12:30.29] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. I love that. That's powerful, and I love even the connection with your name as well. And I think the quote that was coming to my mind is that people don't care how much you know till they know how much you care. And I think that when you look at business and organizations and, you know, of course, you can look at the numbers, and I think, of course, that's important. But I think that the people aspect is something that often we can sometimes gloss over and have that care and to have that, trust and the relationship building as well too that comes with, you know, getting to know somebody, another human, I think is is is insanely important. And I appreciate you for reminding us of that. I appreciate you for reminding us through your name as well too, even though I don't know if you, if you, you plan that. But it's it's great to kinda hear and see that and see how that goes together.

[00:13:19.50] – Ceola J.

Actually, I did. And I think, you know, I think as CEOs, as entrepreneurs, I think sometimes we're so driven by their vision. You know, like the work and everything that we need to do. Initially, when you're starting out as an entrepreneur, on your way to kind of fulfilling that vision as a CEO, there are so many little things that are important things that we need to do from a foundational standpoint, establishing the business and so on and so forth, that we can forget the why behind the what. We can forget the people, you know, that we're we're here for the people, and I always wanna be mindful of that. So yeah.

[00:13:55.89] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. It's it's being very aware of exactly what you're doing the tools that you have and how you can impact and have the impact on the people and the world on an even, deeper level as well. And I think if we lose sight of that, we lose sight of, why we're doing these certain steps, why we're going through the certain things. So it's insanely important, and I appreciate it.

[00:14:17.70] – Ceola J.

Yes.

[00:14:19.10] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to to pass the mic to you, to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers and listeners know and, of course, how best people can get a hold of you and find out all the awesome things that you're working on.

[00:14:31.50] – Ceola J.

Yeah. Going back, if there's anything else I would want our viewers and listeners to know it is to remind people to always be true to yourself, always be can you know, in terms of your business, even yourself, always be true to yourself. Always remember again the why behind the what. You know, never lose sight of that. And I also wanna say, don't let fear hinder you from the new entrepreneurs, the CEOs that are beginning new ventures. Don't let fear hinder you. You know, be your own biggest cheerleader. Believe in yourself. You know, don't doubt yourself, you know, and understand that, you know, my grandmother used to always say something and that's nothing beats a failure but a try. So, you know, don't fail by not trying.

[00:15:18.89] – Gresham Harkless

That's extremely powerful. I definitely appreciate that. And for people that wanna get a hold of you, what's the best way for them to do that?

[00:15:26.79] – Ceola J.

You can reach me via email. That's Ceola, c e o l a, at ceolaj.com, and on all social media platforms at, Instagram, Ceola j, Facebook, and LinkedIn, simply Ceola J.

[00:15:43.10] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much again, Ceola. We will have the links and information in the show notes, but I love that kind of last, moments and especially what your grandma said, nothing beats a failure, like a try. And I think so many times you can get so caught up in what could happen and what might happen that you never really try to do what you are born to do, what your birthright is.

[00:16:06.50] – Ceola J.

Yeah.

[00:16:06.79] – Gresham Harkless

And step into that. And those talents are given to us often to give to the world. And I think it's our duty in order to do that. So I appreciate you for reminding us of that, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

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[00:16:19.10] – Ceola J.

Awesome. Thank you, Gresh. I really appreciate it.

[00:16:22.29] – Outro

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.

Title: Transcript - Tue, 30 Apr 2024 08:28:03 GMT

Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2024 08:28:03 GMT, Duration: [00:16:57.97]

[00:00:02.20] - Intro

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.

[00:00:30.19] - Gresham Harkless

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 Ceola J. of CJ Productions LLC. Ceola, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:40.39] - Ceola J.

Thank you. I'm happy to be here.

[00:00:43.10] - Gresham Harkless

No problem. Super excited to have you on. And before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Ceola so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Ceola J. is passionate about encouraging and inspiring women to seek and reach their God-given purpose and to live their best lives now. She is the published author of I Know It Was the Blood, a story of overcoming. She is the founder and CEO of CJ Productions LLC, a faith-based company dedicated to producing projects that create, inspire, and empower through performing arts. Ceola has written and produced five stage plays under the production company, Ceola is also a motivational speaker, the founder of Sisters Celebrating Each Other Incorporated, a nonprofit benefiting single women and single mothers, And looking for new books, a CD series, and stage plays coming soon from Ceola J. as well too. Ceola, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[00:01:34.20] - Ceola J.

I am. 

[00:01:36.00] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Let's do it. So to kick everything off, I wanted to kind of rewind the clock here a little bit more from the beginning. Take us through your CEO story. We'll let you get started with your business.

[00:01:45.00] - Ceola J.

Wow. Wow. Well, actually, is it okay to call you Gresh?

[00:01:49.40] - Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. Go for it. I've been called a lot of stuff a lot worse. So, no, Gresh is what I go by, so I appreciate it.

[00:01:56.09] - Ceola J.

That's awesome. Well, Gresh, it started for me I think writing started for me when I was much, much younger. Probably around 11:10 or eleven years old, writing, was a way of escape for me. You know, my childhood was so much troubling. If I can be transparent here, I was sexually assaulted as a child and dealt with an alcoholic mother. We experienced homelessness, academic failure, and so much more. So writing was a way of escape for me. You know. But, unfortunately, due to my academic struggles, I didn't think I was good enough. So it wasn't until, probably around a thousand seven when I sat down at this nudge that I had to write a story about my grandmother and I's relationship. And that turned into my first stage play. That was back in two thousand seventeen. And then the book the first book I know was The Blood was published in two thousand sixteen for the first time. And it was just republished in January of this year by TBN's, publishing company, Tribble Tridler Tridler Trilogy Publishing House, on January seventh.

[00:02:59.80] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Well, obviously, sorry to hear all of that, but I appreciate you for showing courage and transparency as well too, and being able to tell your story because I think indefinitely, I'm sure you probably hear it as well when you're going through a difficult time. Sometimes you can feel back like you're by yourself. And I think by being able to tell your story and hear not just the story, but hear you overcome and be able to accomplish so much. It gives power obviously to yourself, I know, but to so many people who probably hear your story and connect with you as well.

[00:03:28.09] - Ceola J.

Yeah. I hear that often, and it's quite humbling.

[00:03:31.80] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And so I know you create in so many different ways. Could you take us through exactly how you serve your clients? I know you have your stage plays and everything. Can you take us through everything you do to kinda support the people that you work with?

[00:03:46.50] - Ceola J.

Wow. You know, well, one of the things let's just start with CJ Productions. So one of the things that I am excited about with CJ Productions is just the opportunity to give the platform to those who may not have otherwise had the platform. So our stage play productions, speak to my story, but we bring in women who may have experienced some of the things that I've experienced that have a creative gift and are able to convey, you know, their story through the the productions. So that's one aspect of what I feel like, you know, CJ Productions brings to the community is a sense of community through CJ Productions, through their own real-life experiences, and are able to convey that through the stage play.

So providing that opportunity to the community is a huge, sense of excitement for me. And then through sisters celebrating each other when we talk about entrepreneurial the various platforms that I have, being able to serve the community, offering assistance with homelessness and, support academically through the women in our community is another product and service or service, I should say, that we offer to the community. And, just by way of motivational speaking, being able to speak at different events and life coaching. So life coaching, stage play productions, and community service, through the nonprofit are ways that I'm able to offer products and services, to the community.

[00:05:11.39] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And do you find that, it sounds like, I don't know if you would use the phrase service-based entrepreneur, but it kinda sounds like in every aspect there's that strong service-based aspect of it because even, you know, from using your gifts and your talents, your God-given gifts and talents, you know, you've been able to kinda serve and then provide a platform for other people to serve and their unique God-given talents as well too. But, of course, the nonprofit and then everything you're doing as far as the coaching and motivational speaking, it sounds like you're being of tremendous service to the community and the people within it.

[00:05:42.00] - Ceola J.

I would hope so. I mean, I think that's really what, it's really all about. You know, we will get to that, but I think that's really what it's all about is being able to offer, the gifts, as you said, the talents and the abilities that we have, to those in whom we serve, be it our community, nationwide, globally. I think that's what it's all about.

[00:06:04.30] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And this is a beautiful thing, especially in this day and age when you're able to, you know, reach so many people, on such a grand scale and and and so many different talents and ways. So that's why I appreciate, you know, everything, you know, that you've been that you're doing and growing as well. So, I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for yourself personally or your business, but what do you feel kinda sets you apart and makes you unique?

[00:06:30.00] - Ceola J.

One of the things that I can say, Gresh, is really or I should say two things, authenticity and, transparency. You know? And you said it could be for myself. I found that over the years being authentic, you know, in what I do, and being transparent. And I find that doing that through the stage plays, doing that through my, individual or group live coaching sessions, is, for me, my circus secret sauce. You know, I think it's it's important and it has been a benefit to me and to those whom I can help and serve. Authenticity and transparency.

[00:07:10.60] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So 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 app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:07:22.60] - Ceola J.

Wow. You know okay. Book. There is more than one book. There's more than one book. Mhmm. I'll just say my one of my favorite authors and resources, which I have, considered, to be very helpful to me is Doctor. Myles Munro. You know, over the years, I have read many of his books, and they have helped me, and continue to help me. Another book that I have read that I found to be a great resource to me is, I'm not sure if you're familiar with Doctor, well, I don't think he's Doctor, S. Evoso. And, he has a book called Anointed for Business, you know, that, is beneficial, in terms of marketplace transformation, helping those that are of the faith walk into, the marketplace with their gifting and their talents, and so that has been very helpful to me. And then the other thing I would say is for me being a stage play write writer and, an author of books and CDs, I think effective communication is essential.

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[00:08:29.39] - Gresham Harkless

I love that. It's extremely powerful. Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. If you were to hop into a time machine, it might be something you would tell your younger business self or you might even tell a client as well too.

[00:08:46.20] - Ceola J.

Okay. What would I tell people? I would say don't relinquish your birthright.

[00:08:54.29] - Gresham Harkless

Mhmm.

[00:08:55.39] - Ceola J.

And I'll explain a little bit about that. What I'm saying when I say don't relinquish your birthright is we were all created with a purpose. We were all created, you know, with a vision that, you know, we were born with. And a lot of times, I think, even for me in my journey, I've had so many different and I would say, how can I categorize this as opportunities, you know, that will cause me to kinda relinquish my birthright, whether it be for money or it is for fame or it is for status or it is for recognition? You know, sometimes we're so eager to manifest the vision and the purpose and the passion that sometimes we're willing to sacrifice or relinquish our birthright for the things that we deem as success.

So I wanna say to people, if I had any advice to my younger self, although I haven't done this, you know, I caution myself, to be careful even going forward not to do that because the more exposure you get, the more people learn about you, the more opportunities you'll find that you're being met with to say, hey. Do this, or, you know, don't do it that way, or, yeah, don't don't, you know, let's let's change that model and do it this way. And I would say stay true to your vision and don't sell your birthright.

[00:10:14.29] - Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. That's that's extremely powerful. And, as you said, that vision and that birthright that you have, I think so many times, you know, even we can just, you know, look down at our phones and see, like, how many distractions that we have. Those distractions are everywhere, you know, as you get to connect with more and more people, as you get to build relationships. A lot of times, you can lose that vision because you might be living somebody else's vision or maybe they see something else that's different from your vision. So you kinda have to hold that, like, North Star, so to speak, true and make sure that you are continuing to take steps and continue to kinda remind yourself of what your birthright is and what that vision looks like.

[00:10:52.89] - Ceola J.

Right. Right. Stay true. Stay true to yourself. Absolutely.

[00:10:58.20] - Gresham Harkless

I love that. And so now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different, quote, unquote, CEOs on the show. So, Celia, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:11:09.50] - Ceola J.

What does it mean to be a CEO to me? It's interesting because the first three letters of my name are CEO.

[00:11:18.10] - Gresham Harkless

Mhmm.

[00:11:19.10] - Ceola J.

And it was my husband who brought this to my attention because I've never really focused on it. But, you know, when he mentioned that to me, I started thinking about that. And I started thinking that nothing ever happens by coincidence or chance. There's always a reason for everything. And so when I thought about the CEO, I thought about caring earnestly for others.

[00:11:41.50] - Gresham Harkless

Mhmm.

[00:11:42.10] - Ceola J.

And so for me, if I could use that, I would say that as a CEO, as an entrepreneur, our business is run by people. Whether it's marketing a marketing team, a tech team, whether it's an HR team, our customer base, or our client base. So it's people-focused. So I think for me, being a CEO means caring earnestly for others, taking into consideration why I'm doing what I'm doing and what it is that I'm doing, and always being mindful of the people, in terms of my business. So I would say to me, it means always being mindful of caring earnestly for others.

[00:12:30.29] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. I love that. That's powerful, and I love even the connection with your name as well. And I think the quote that was coming to my mind is that people don't care how much you know till they know how much you care. And I think that when you look at business and organizations and, you know, of course, you can look at the numbers, and I think, of course, that's important. But I think that the people aspect is something that often we can sometimes gloss over and have that care and to have that, trust and the relationship building as well too that comes with, you know, getting to know somebody, another human, I think is is is insanely important. And I appreciate you for reminding us of that. I appreciate you for reminding us through your name as well too, even though I don't know if you, if you, you plan that. But it's it's great to kinda hear and see that and see how that goes together.

[00:13:19.50] - Ceola J.

Actually, I did. And I think, you know, I think as CEOs, as entrepreneurs, I think sometimes we're so driven by their vision. You know, like the work and everything that we need to do. Initially, when you're starting out as an entrepreneur, on your way to kind of fulfilling that vision as a CEO, there are so many little things that are important things that we need to do from a foundational standpoint, establishing the business and so on and so forth, that we can forget the why behind the what. We can forget the people, you know, that we're we're here for the people, and I always wanna be mindful of that. So yeah.

[00:13:55.89] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. It's it's being very aware of exactly what you're doing the tools that you have and how you can impact and have the impact on the people and the world on an even, deeper level as well. And I think if we lose sight of that, we lose sight of, why we're doing these certain steps, why we're going through the certain things. So it's insanely important, and I appreciate it.

[00:14:17.70] - Ceola J.

Yes. Yes.

[00:14:19.10] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to to pass the mic to you, to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers and listeners know and, of course, how best people can get a hold of you and find out all the awesome things that you're working on. 

[00:14:31.50] - Ceola J.

Yeah. Going back, if there's anything else I would want, you know, our viewers and listeners to know it is to remind people to always be true to yourself, always be can you know, in terms of your business, even yourself, always be true to yourself. Always remember again the why behind the what. You know, never lose sight of that. And I also wanna say, don't let fear hinder you from the new entrepreneurs, the CEOs that are beginning new ventures. Don't let fear hinder you. You know, be your own biggest cheerleader. Believe in yourself. You know, don't doubt yourself, you know, and understand that, you know, my grandmother used to always say something and that's nothing beats a failure but a try. So, you know, don't fail by not trying.

[00:15:18.89] - Gresham Harkless

That's extremely powerful. I definitely appreciate that. And for people that wanna get a hold of you, what's the best way for them to do that?

[00:15:26.79] - Ceola J.

You can reach me via email. That's Ceola, c e o l a, at ceolaj.com, and on all social media platforms at, Instagram, Ceola j, and Facebook, and LinkedIn, simply Ceola J.

[00:15:43.10] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much again, ciola. We will have the links and information in the show notes, but I love that kind of last, moments and especially what your grandma said, nothing beats a failure, like a try. And I think so many times you can get so caught up in what could happen and what might happen that you never really try to do what you are born to do, what your birthright is.

[00:16:06.50] - Ceola J.

Yeah.

[00:16:06.79] - Gresham Harkless

And step into that. And those talents are given to us often to give to the world. And I think it's our duty in order to do that. So I appreciate you for reminding us of that, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

[00:16:19.10] - Ceola J.

Awesome. Thank you, Gresh. I really appreciate it.

[00:16:22.29] - Outro

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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