I AM CEO PODCAST

IAM739- Executive Coach Connects Working Women With Their Dreams

Podcast Interview with Randi Braun

Specializing with women leaders and entrepreneurs, Randi Braun is an executive coach, consultant, speaker, and the Founder of Something Major. She has coached leaders from the Fortune 500 to small businesses and start-ups. A thought leader on women's leadership, Randi has been featured by Forbes, The Washington Post, and Parents Magazine. Before founding Something Major, Randi was a sales leader who generated tens of millions of dollars for a diverse portfolio of organizations including non-profits, publicly traded and privately held companies, and tech start-ups.

  • CEO Hack: Optimisation
  • CEO Nugget: It's not about you
  • CEO Defined: Living and working with intention and with a focus on impact

Websitewww.somethingmajorcoaching.com/

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/randi-braun-312a5423/
IG: https://www.instagram.com/something_major_coaching/


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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.

[00:00:29.80] – 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 Randy Braun of Something Major. Randy, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:39.29] – Randi Braun

Gresh, thanks so much for having me.

[00:00:41.29] – Gresham Harkless

No problem. Super excited to have you on. And before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Randi so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. Specializing in women leaders and entrepreneurs, Randi is an executive coach, consultant, speaker, and the founder of Something Major. She has coached leaders from the Fortune five hundred to small business businesses and startups. A thought leader on women's leadership, Randi has been featured by Forbes, The Washington Post, and Parents Magazine. Before founding so something major, Randi was a sales leader who generated tens of millions for a diverse portfolio of organizations, including nonprofits, publicly traded companies, and privately held companies as well, And also tech startups. Randy, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

[00:01:25.09] – Randi Braun

Yeah. Gosh. Thanks again. Really, really excited.

[00:01:28.00] – Gresham Harkless

No problem. Super excited to have you on. Before we jump in, what I wanted to do was just read and hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story, and will let you get started with the business.

[00:01:39.40] – Randi Braun

Yeah. Absolutely. So, you know, Gresh, I am the accidental coach and the reluctant entrepreneur. I never dreamed about running my own business, although I love it now. I had my two kids in two years and six days, which is crazy. But what was even crazier to a lot of people was that during that time, I doubled my compensation to find everything social science tells us should have happened to me with something called the maternity penalty. So, Gresh, if you or your listeners aren't familiar, that's the phenomenon by which women's earning potential stagnates during their childbearing years.

So as you can imagine, work kinda got around town. I was being asked to speak on panels. I was being asked to have coffee and breakfast and lunch and dinner with all these different women that I didn't even know. And what was apparent to me in all those conversations was that all these women, they didn't wanna replicate exactly what I had done, but they were very, very intrigued in how I was able to make such a big leap in a moment where I shouldn't have been able to.

So I started getting interested in coaching, started training with an organization called CTI, and ultimately started this very small part-time engagement that got really big really quickly. And so in late twenty nineteen, I left my full-time job at Fiscal Note. I know some of your listeners here in the DMV region will know it. It is the district's largest homegrown startup to take my business to something major full-time. Today I really spend my time helping connect women and leaders to their dreams, to their goals, and helping them lead on purpose.

[00:03:13.80] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. I absolutely love that. I appreciate you for telling that story and then even more about, you know, being able to kinda execute it. I say this often is that I think sometimes we don't always know that something's possible until we hear that somebody is able to do that. So it's great that, obviously, you know, you were able to do it yourself, but, as you said, I'm sure so many people are trying to understand exactly how you were able to do it. And then I feel like it becomes a lot more realistic, maybe is the right word, when you can hear somebody has actually been able to kinda do and excel in that in that time frame.

[00:03:45.80] – Randi Braun

And, you know, it was almost like a double-edged sword. Right? Because people were so interested in hearing the story. In fact, I had what a lot of entrepreneurs dream of, which is I had a call from a major media outlet Parents Magazine who had heard about me. Right? And what happened was and this was something that really frustrated me and also really made me double down on thinking about this as a business was that I was so sick, Grash, of people telling me that I was special or unique or I got lucky.

Because the truth is I didn't get lucky. I was not special, but my story wasn't common enough. And that's been a guiding light for me in really debunking the myth that big things only happen to some people. It's really about working to understand what's gonna be your big thing or what I call my clients. What's your something major major moment? Right? And helping them get there because what they want is different than what I want, is different than the client I have after them, and that's also what keeps my job really fun and exciting.

[00:04:47.19] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. That makes so much sense and, you know, I was thinking about, I'm a big, sports guy and a lot of times you have, in history, I guess, they used to have they had the four-minute mile, and nobody could ever break the four-minute mile until somebody broke the four-minute mile. And when they did it, they're unique. But then after that happens, person upon person upon person started to be able to do that, do something major so that they were able to see exactly how it was being done rather than say it couldn't be done. So I, I absolutely love that. So I know we touched on it a little bit, but I wanted you to take us through, something major. Could you take us through how you serve your clients and the people that you work with?

[00:05:25.60] – Randi Braun

Yeah. Absolutely. So there are really three parts of my business. I do coaching, consulting, and speaking. Intention in their professional and personal lives. Because I'm a recovering salesperson, it's like you can take me out of sales, but you can't take the sales out of me. I also do a lot of business coaching for women entrepreneurs, which is something I'm so passionate about. I also do consulting and program building. So I work with companies, trade associations, even embassies to help them build programs that help retain and engage their women stakeholders, whether those are internal audiences of employees or external audiences of members, and helping them align, you know, what's your messaging about what it means, Gresh, to affiliate with you as a woman in leadership, which is fun and exciting work.

And then the last thing is I do a lot of speaking and a lot of talking. So that's everything from retreats, conferences, coming in and training teams, and it's the best part of my job because I feel like I get, you know, basically paid to just talk about the things that I'm passionate about. So that's women's leadership and professional advancement. It's thriving and working parenthood, business development, you know, meaningful professional relationships, and how you develop those.

And so it's my favorite part of my work in some ways because it really allows me to scale the message to a lot of different people. But of course, they're all interrelated. Right? Because the coaching work is just the most kinda intimate and personal work that I do. And then, of course, the consulting work kinda combines all those things together. So just really, really fun. Every day is different, but I just really, really feel blessed that I get to wake up and be myself every morning.

[00:07:15.69] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And I think that's and it gives people power and a reminder to be themselves as well too, which is what I love. And I love how you kinda broke each of those aspects down because it kinda sounded like that. And I was gonna say that where you had the more intimate, kinda interaction to the more, like, widespread interaction. But either, well, all of them, I should say, are all kind of impactful because you really get that that way to communicate in so many different aspects and and and fashion. So I definitely, appreciate you for breaking that down. And then so I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for yourself or your business, but what do you feel kinda sets you apart and makes you unique?

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[00:07:53.10] – Randi Braun

Yeah. Absolutely. You know, it's such a funny question, Gresh. I could tell you the secret sauce for each one of my clients. But even as somebody who's a coach, it is it's so funny to think about those things. what's the thing your secret sauce that comes so naturally to you. Right? Part of the reason it comes naturally to you is because it's so organic. And, you know, it's interesting. I get this feedback all the time from my clients that I'm such an individualizer for them. But really and it's my advice to all entrepreneurs, especially those in any kind of professional services or consulting role like I am part of what makes my sauce secret or special is I'm just so unapologetically myself.

So I'm quirky, I'm funny, I'm silly, I'm curious, and I don't try and pretend that I'm not any of those things. And so what makes a meaningful difference in my business is that people talk to me for thirty minutes, and they feel like they know who I am. And because they know who I am, they wanna continue the conversation. They trust me. We build rapport quickly. And then the other part of it as well, you know, the other ingredients in my secret sauce is, you know, my experience at the intersection of revenue and relationships.

So I came to my coaching business from a career in fundraising and business development. You know, I am addicted to people and great conversations. My husband said that you know, it is like a true issue how much I talk to strangers. But, you know, I think a lot of times you can be a great conversationalist, but it's the rigor of that business development experience and background. Right? I know how to continue a great conversation and move it through the sales pipeline. And it's one of the things I really enjoy teaching entrepreneurs how to do as well.

[00:09:34.10] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. It's an extremely, powerful thing. And, I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I wanted to ask you for what I call a SEO 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?

[00:09:47.50] – Randi Braun

I mean, besides being a black belt in time management

[00:09:53.50] – Gresham Harkless

Always important.

[00:09:54.39] – Randi Braun

Yeah. Well, listen. I'm a working mom of two under four, and, I was I joke. I was always good at time management before having two kids made me even better at it, and so much more efficient and effective and also territorial about how I hold time sacred for myself, for my business, and the things I care about. But, you know, the other thing is it's a framework, that or, like, rather a lens fresh that I look at everything through, which is I am all about optimization, not remediation.

[00:10:27.70] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That's extremely powerful. I love that. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So that could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client or if you have to do a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

[00:10:40.29] – Randi Braun

It's such a great question. You know, what I would tell any client from a business development perspective is it's not about you. It's something I learned in sales, and it's even more important in coaching. It's the biggest mistake that I see when entrepreneurs and CEOs are trying to scale up the sales of their business is that they're hitting the market with all of the things that they're excited about, that they care about. And they're not taking the time, especially in that pitch meeting, to ask the client, what's important to you? What's valuable to you? Because you're so much more authentic. You're so much more effective when you can sync the client's needs with your message and offering versus leading to the client, which is, like, these are all the things I care about. Is it a fit for you or not? Right? I mean, that's why you build meaningful business relationships.

[00:11:34.70] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That's what's so powerful. It's so funny because you were taking me back. I've had sales jobs, and I remember I did, like, a three-week training. And I remember one of the big things that they told us not to do, which everybody does, is you have so much information and so much knowledge about what it is you do. The very first time you sit down in front of a client, you're just gonna throw up all the information and knowledge rather than having a conversation and speaking to and meeting the person where they are. And potentially, you know, your product or service or whatever it is a solution to what they're looking for. But so many times, we're just losing sight of why we're doing what we're doing and exactly having a conversation and providing a solution to the people that we're trying to help.

[00:12:14.89] – Randi Braun

Totally. I mean, you do not win, you know, the deal or you do not maximize the contract value. If you are reading off a script or using some kind of sale pitch deck that we could give to any client. Right? It's really about using your gifts, your services, your values, and your partnerships to help them solve a problem. Right? What is it that they wanna get out of it? And by the way, Gresh, I'm a huge believer that we earn karma points. We get this, like, life dividend when we're able to sit down with a client and say, you know what, client? I'm not the best fit for you. Here's my colleague or here's this product they're a better fit for you. Now you don't wanna hopefully have that conversation ten times a week, but it's okay to not be the right fit for somebody. The worst thing in the world is to overpromise and underdeliver.

And I know that's something that's was important to me in my sales career, and it's something that I get constant feedback from my clients, especially, like, larger organizations and corporations that they feel like they can come to me as a trusted adviser and a thought partner because I'm not trying to sell them every time they ask me a question. I am like a referral machine when it comes to something when they need something that I can offer, and it's something that actually makes me more valuable to them rather than less valuable. But I know a lot of us feel scared especially as the CEO when we don't have the answers.

[00:13:36.70] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And as you said, there's great power in being able to say, you know, maybe we're not the right fit or even, even more, powerful if someone asks you a question, you just say I don't know, but I can check on that or maybe I can find somebody who might be able to to provide that answer. As you said, you get those karma points and those karma points add up to really phenomenal, things. So I 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, we're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So, Randy, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:14:09.20] – Randi Braun

It's such a great question. Right? Like, what is being a CEO? And to me, being a CEO is being the most authentic and effective leader that you can be. So I'm a huge believer that, like, you can be the CEO of your world in life and still work for somebody else. Right? To me, you are truly the chief executive officer when you are living and working with intention and with a focus on impact.

[00:14:37.20] – Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. Yeah. And I'm a believer of that as well to is that you know, when you are and have those kinda north stars or those actions that you're doing towards that, whether you're working in a position or you have the quote, unquote CEO title or the CFO or the employee, whatever that might be, you still have that way and that ability to make an impact. And I think when you cover yourself accordingly, you really have that opportunity to truly see phenomenal things happen. So I truly appreciate that definition. I appreciate your time even more. 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, and of course, how best they can get a hold of you and find out about all about some things you're working on.

[00:15:14.10] – Randi Braun

Yeah. Absolutely. And, Gresh, thanks. It's been such a fabulous conversation chatting with you. You know, your listeners and readers can get in touch with me on my website, w w w dot something major coaching dot com. If you go to the insights tab of my website, there are all sorts of free and on-demand resources for how you can live your best work life. And I really encourage folks to check out the website if they wanna figure out how to contact me via email, or via social. I'm also gonna be kicking off another business development boot camp that I do in the fall, in a few weeks in September. So you can reach out to me to learn more information there. And, Gresh, it's just been such a pleasure chatting with you, and I really look forward to doing this again.

[00:15:58.70] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. I'm definitely looking forward to it as well, and I appreciate you again. We will have all the links and information in the show notes. And, Randy, I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

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[00:16:08.60] – 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 - Sat, 20 Apr 2024 09:35:19 GMT

Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2024 09:35:19 GMT, Duration: [00:16:44.50]

[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.

[00:00:29.80] - 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 Randy Braun of Something Major. Randy, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:39.29] - Randi Braun

Gresh, thanks so much for having me.

[00:00:41.29] - Gresham Harkless

No problem. Super excited to have you on. And before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Randi so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. Specializing in women leaders and entrepreneurs, Randi is an executive coach, consultant, speaker, and the founder of Something Major. She has coached leaders from the Fortune five hundred to small business businesses and startups. A thought leader on women's leadership, Randi has been featured by Forbes, The Washington Post, and Parents Magazine. Before founding so something major, Randi was a sales leader who generated tens of millions for a diverse portfolio of organizations, including nonprofits, publicly traded companies, and privately held companies as well, And also tech startups. Randy, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[00:01:25.09] - Randi Braun

Yeah. Gosh. Thanks again. Really, really excited.

[00:01:28.00] - Gresham Harkless

No problem. Super excited to have you on. Before we jump in, what I wanted to do was just read and hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story, and will let you get started with the business.

[00:01:39.40] - Randi Braun

Yeah. Absolutely. So, you know, Gresh, I am the accidental coach and the reluctant entrepreneur. I never dreamed about running my own business, although I love it now. I had my two kids in two years and six days, which is crazy. But what was even crazier to a lot of people was that during that time, I doubled my compensation to find everything social science tells us should have happened to me with something called the maternity penalty. So, Gresh, if you or your listeners aren't familiar, that's the phenomenon by which women's earning potential stagnates during their childbearing years.

So as you can imagine, work kinda got around town. I was being asked to speak on panels. I was being asked to have coffee and breakfast and lunch and dinner with all these different women that I didn't even know. And what was apparent to me in all those conversations was that all these women, they didn't wanna replicate exactly what I had done, but they were very, very intrigued in how I was able to make such a big leap in a moment where I shouldn't have been able to.

So I started getting interested in coaching, started training with an organization called CTI, and ultimately started this very small part-time engagement that got really big really quickly. And so in late twenty nineteen, I left my full-time job at Fiscal Note. I know some of your listeners here in the DMV region will know it. It is the district's largest homegrown startup to take my business to something major full-time. Today I really spend my time helping connect women and leaders to their dreams, to their goals, and helping them lead on purpose.

[00:03:13.80] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. I absolutely love that. I appreciate you for telling that story and then even more about, you know, being able to kinda execute it. I say this often is that I think sometimes we don't always know that something's possible until we hear that somebody is able to do that. So it's great that, obviously, you know, you were able to do it yourself, but, as you said, I'm sure so many people are trying to understand exactly how you were able to do it. And then I feel like it becomes a lot more realistic, maybe is the right word, when you can hear somebody has actually been able to kinda do and excel in that in that time frame. 

[00:03:45.80] - Randi Braun

And, you know, it was almost like a double-edged sword. Right? Because people were so interested in hearing the story. In fact, I had what a lot of entrepreneurs dream of, which is I had a call from a major media outlet Parents Magazine who had heard about me. Right? And what happened was and this was something that really frustrated me and also really made me double down on thinking about this as a business was that I was so sick, Grash, of people telling me that I was special or unique or I got lucky.

Because the truth is I didn't get lucky. I was not special, but my story wasn't common enough. And that's been a guiding light for me in really debunking the myth that big things only happen to some people. It's really about working to understand what's gonna be your big thing or what I call my clients. What's your something major major moment? Right? And helping them get there because what they want is different than what I want, is different than the client I have after them, and that's also what keeps my job really fun and exciting.

[00:04:47.19] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. That makes so much sense and, you know, I was thinking about, I'm a big, sports guy and a lot of times you have, in history, I guess, they used to have they had the four-minute mile, and nobody could ever break the four-minute mile until somebody broke the four-minute mile. And when they did it, they're unique. But then after that happens, person upon person upon person started to be able to do that, do something major so that they were able to see exactly how it was being done rather than say it couldn't be done. So I, I absolutely love that. So I know we touched on it a little bit, but I wanted you to take us through, something major. Could you take us through how you serve your clients and the people that you work with?

[00:05:25.60] - Randi Braun

Yeah. Absolutely. So there are really three parts of my business. I do coaching, consulting, and speaking. Intention in their professional and personal lives. Because I'm a recovering salesperson, it's like you can take me out of sales, but you can't take the sales out of me. I also do a lot of business coaching for women entrepreneurs, which is something I'm so passionate about. I also do consulting and program building. So I work with companies, trade associations, even embassies to help them build programs that help retain and engage their women stakeholders, whether those are internal audiences of employees or external audiences of members, and helping them align, you know, what's your messaging about what it means, Gresh, to affiliate with you as a woman in leadership, which is really really fun and exciting work.

And then the last thing is I do a lot of speaking and a lot of talking. So that's everything from retreats, conferences, coming in and training teams, and it's the best part of my job because I feel like I get, you know, basically paid to just talk about the things that I'm passionate about. So that's women's leadership and professional advancement. It's thriving and working parenthood, business development, you know, meaningful professional relationships, and how you develop those.

And so it's my favorite part of my work in some ways because it really allows me to scale the message to a lot of different people. But of course, they're all interrelated. Right? Because the coaching work is just the most kinda intimate and personal work that I do. And then, of course, the consulting work kinda combines all those things together. So just really, really fun. Every day is different, but I just really, really feel blessed that I get to wake up and be myself every morning.

[00:07:15.69] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And I think that's and it gives people power and a reminder to be themselves as well too, which is what I love. And I love how you kinda broke each of those aspects down because it kinda sounded like that. And I was gonna say that where you had the more intimate, kinda interaction to the more, like, widespread interaction. But either, well, all of them, I should say, are all kind of impactful because you really get that that way to communicate in so many different aspects and and and fashion. So I definitely, appreciate you for breaking that down. And then so I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for yourself or your business, but what do you feel kinda sets you apart and makes you unique?

[00:07:53.10] - Randi Braun

Yeah. Absolutely. You know, it's such a funny question, Gresh. I could tell you the secret sauce for each one of my clients. But even as somebody who's a coach, it is it's so funny to think about those things. what's the thing your secret sauce that comes so naturally to you. Right? Part of the reason it comes naturally to you is because it's so organic. And, you know, it's interesting. I get this feedback all the time from my clients that I'm such an individualizer for them. But really and it's my advice to all entrepreneurs, especially those in any kind of professional services or consulting role like I am part of what makes my sauce secret or special is I'm just so unapologetically myself.

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So I'm quirky, I'm funny, I'm silly, I'm curious, and I don't try and pretend that I'm not any of those things. And so what makes a meaningful difference in my business is that people talk to me for thirty minutes, and they feel like they know who I am. And because they know who I am, they wanna continue the conversation. They trust me. We build rapport quickly. And then the other part of it as well, you know, the other ingredients in my secret sauce is, you know, my experience at the intersection of revenue and relationships.

So I came to my coaching business from a career in fundraising and business development. You know, I am addicted to people and great conversations. My husband said that you know, it is like a true issue how much I talk to strangers. But, you know, I think a lot of times you can be a great conversationalist, but it's the rigor of that business development experience and background. Right? I know how to continue a great conversation and move it through the sales pipeline. And it's one of the things I really enjoy teaching entrepreneurs how to do as well.

[00:09:34.10] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. It's an extremely, powerful thing. And, I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I wanted to ask you for what I call a SEO 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?

[00:09:47.50] - Randi Braun

I mean, besides being a black belt in time management

[00:09:53.50] - Gresham Harkless

Always important.

[00:09:54.39] - Randi Braun

Yeah. Well, listen. I'm a working mom of two under four, and, I was I joke. I was always good at time management before having two kids made me even better at it, and so much more efficient and effective and also territorial about how I hold time sacred for myself, for my business, and the things I care about. But, you know, the other thing is it's a framework, that or, like, rather a lens fresh that I look at everything through, which is I am all about optimization, not remediation.

[00:10:27.70] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That's extremely powerful. I love that. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So that could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client or if you have to do a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

[00:10:40.29] - Randi Braun

It's such a great question. You know, what I would tell any client from a business development perspective is it's not about you. It's something I learned in sales, and it's even more important in coaching. It's the biggest mistake that I see when entrepreneurs and CEOs are trying to scale up the sales of their business is that they're hitting the market with all of the things that they're excited about, that they care about. And they're not taking the time, especially in that pitch meeting, to ask the client, what's important to you? What's valuable to you? Because you're so much more authentic. You're so much more effective when you can sync the client's needs with your message and offering versus leading to the client, which is, like, these are all the things I care about. Is it a fit for you or not? Right? I mean, that's why you build meaningful business relationships.

[00:11:34.70] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That's what's so powerful. It's so funny because you were taking me back. I've had sales jobs, and I remember I did, like, a three-week training. And I remember one of the big things that they told us not to do, which everybody does, is you have so much information and so much knowledge about what it is you do. The very first time you sit down in front of a client, you're just gonna throw up all the information and knowledge rather than having a conversation and speaking to and meeting the person where they are. And potentially, you know, your product or service or whatever it is a solution to what they're looking for. But so many times, we're just losing sight of why we're doing what we're doing and exactly having a conversation and providing a solution to the people that we're trying to help.

[00:12:14.89] - Randi Braun

Totally. I mean, you do not win, you know, the deal or you do not maximize the contract value. If you are reading off a script or using some kind of sale pitch deck that we could give to any client. Right? It's really about using your gifts, your services, your values, and your partnerships to help them solve a problem. Right? What is it that they wanna get out of it? And by the way, Gresh, I'm a huge believer that we earn karma points. We get this, like, life dividend when we're able to sit down with a client and say, you know what, client? I'm not the best fit for you. Here's my colleague or here's this product they're a better fit for you. Now you don't wanna hopefully have that conversation ten times a week, but it's okay to not be the right fit for somebody. The worst thing in the world is to overpromise and underdeliver.

And I know that's something that's was important to me in my sales career, and it's something that I get constant feedback from my clients, especially, like, larger organizations and corporations that they feel like they can come to me as a trusted adviser and a thought partner because I'm not trying to sell them every time they ask me a question. I am like a referral machine when it comes to something when they need something that I can offer, and it's something that actually makes me more valuable to them rather than less valuable. But I know a lot of us feel scared especially as the CEO when we don't have the answers.

[00:13:36.70] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And as you said, there's great power in being able to say, you know, maybe we're not the right fit or even, even more, powerful if someone asks you a question, you just say I don't know, but I can check on that or maybe I can find somebody who might be able to to provide that answer. As you said, you get those karma points and those karma points add up to really phenomenal, things. So I 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, we're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So, Randy, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:14:09.20] - Randi Braun

It's such a great question. Right? Like, what is being a CEO? And to me, being a CEO is being the most authentic and effective leader that you can be. So I'm a huge believer that, like, you can be the CEO of your world in life and still work for somebody else. Right? To me, you are truly the chief executive officer when you are living and working with intention and with a focus on impact.

[00:14:37.20] - Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. Yeah. And I'm a believer of that as well to is that you know, when you are and have those kinda north stars or those actions that you're doing towards that, whether you're working in a position or you have the quote, unquote CEO title or the CFO or the employee, whatever that might be, you still have that way and that ability to make an impact. And I think when you cover yourself accordingly, you really have that opportunity to truly see phenomenal things happen. So I truly appreciate that definition. I appreciate your time even more. 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, and of course, how best they can get a hold of you and find out about all about some things you're working on.

[00:15:14.10] - Randi Braun

Yeah. Absolutely. And, Gresh, thanks. It's been such a fabulous conversation chatting with you. You know, your listeners and readers can get in touch with me on my website, w w w dot something major coaching dot com. If you go to the insights tab of my website, there are all sorts of free and on-demand resources for how you can live your best work life. And I really encourage folks to check out the website if they wanna figure out how to contact me via email, or via social. I'm also gonna be kicking off another business development boot camp that I do in the fall, in a few weeks in September. So you can reach out to me to learn more information there. And, Gresh, it's just been such a pleasure chatting with you, and I really look forward to doing this again.

[00:15:58.70] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. I'm definitely looking forward to it as well, and I appreciate you again. We will have all the links and information in the show notes. And, Randy, I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

[00:16:08.60] - 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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