Erin Perkins is an online business manager and accessibility educator. Through her business, Mabely Q, she empowers womxn-owned small businesses to grow bigger and serve better, taking behind-the-scenes admin work off their plates and advising her clients how to create a more inclusive environment for their communities.
- CEO Hack: Profits Plus software
- CEO Nugget: It’s not too late to do anything
- CEO Defined: Taking ownership, doing what you love to do and showing support
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 0:30
Hello, hello. Hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today at Erin Perkins of Mabely Q. Erin, It’s awesome to have you on the show.
Erin Perkins 0:39
Hi, nice to have you. Thanks for having me on the show.
Gresham Harkless 0:43
No problem. Super excited to have you on and before I jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about Erin so you can hear about all the awesome things that she’s doing. And Erin is an online business manager and accessibility educator. Through her business Mabely Q, she empowers women-owned small businesses to grow bigger and serve better taking behind The scenes admin work off their plates and advising her clients how to create a more inclusive environment for their communities. Erin, are you ready to speak to the IAM CEO community?
Erin Perkins 1:09
Yeah, I am definitely ready to talk to the IAM CEO community. I think this is like what you’re doing is really awesome. And it most people have this image of CEO and it really is not that image anymore.
Gresham Harkless 1:25
Yeah, absolutely. Well, that’s the most exciting thing I you know, I get to really do you know, during the interview is really get to show the holistic aspect of entrepreneurs and business owners. And I know that one of the things that I usually like to jumpstart us, so to speak, is really to hear a little bit more on how you get started. So could you take us through what I call your CEO story, and what led you to get started?
Erin Perkins 1:45
So I actually got laid off in December of 2018. And I had been working with a corporation for like, Well, almost 12 years and it was just like one of those things like what am I going to do? I didn’t know because that was like all I have I never really had any, like, plan beyond that, because it was literally I was kind of laid in the act of you finding a company, you stay with them. It wasn’t about jumping from job to job, like I feel like today’s generation does, they jump from job to job, because the better opportunities out there, and I was like, I really don’t want to start back at square one with another company. So like, why don’t I give this type and just started my own business and it but fall into something really awesome just because I found that people do it. Well, actually really kind of awesome and helpful. And I bayman wait two and a half years so far.
Gresham Harkless 2:45
I absolutely love that. And so many times, when you kind of put things out there like put in, you know, whether it be starting a business or an organization or whatever. It kind of seems like those people that you need a start to get attracted to your kind of like a magnet and then things start to Really good things start to happen a lot of awesome, awesome, awesome. So I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper here about Mabely Q Could you take us through exactly how you serve your clients and what exactly do they
Erin Perkins 3:11
So the tip-top post to my business my main point that in making income in I am an online business manager was probably, I think, just to my client, I haven’t checked them and basically I run the backend of their businesses so that they can handle their clients upfront like one of them is a hair makeup artist. And she does so many weddings like last week she had a V wedding and for the photoshoot. She has no time to like go and check email and deal with you should include though like I take care of all of that. I make sure her schedule that I communicate with the client, and make sure she’s getting paid and make sure to all set. So the day of services she just showed up, and my other clients like they do hosting. So like, I think Have a lot of the little stuff that they wouldn’t think that if necessary. And it kind of like allows them to really do what they’re really good at, which is like, why they started a business, a lot of business tend to fall back or fail, because they’re like, I take the little stuff. I love all the detail. And my second part of the business, which I am working on, really is accessibility education. I realized there’s a gap in the market for small business owners because if you look up information for how to be accessible on the web and topmost businesses can do that because they have the money for it. But more business owners, they don’t know any different. They don’t know what they don’t know. So I have been using Instagram, Facebook, as a way to add a little bit more awareness, share tips, and tricks on how to do that, and I have an online course working on creating right now that will be coming up hopefully in the next couple of months ago to really kind of help people make the business more acceptable because you, you really don’t know who your audience is until you meet them. And that’s what happened to me most of my coaches or coaches that they didn’t know. And I was like, Okay, well, let me help you.
Gresham Harkless 5:22
Yeah, I absolutely love that. And love as you said, you know, most times when you are starting a business, you don’t realize all the other things that you have to do outside of running the business. And sometimes that’s not something that is in our zone of genius. So often you have to find somebody or have a partner or you do really phenomenal things to be able to take care of a lot of those behind the scenes so that they can do the things that they really wanted to do when they started a business. And I know you touched on the accessibility aspect for those that may not know exactly what accessibility is. Can you kind of give us more of a general definition of what that oh,
Erin Perkins 5:53
I am deaf? I know what I wanna I’m on a podcast because like, I can’t listen Okay, with slight makes me incredibly frustrated, I feel like I missed out on it. But basically, especially in the online industry, I’m teaching people how to make things. A lot of people do videos that take the gift pattern. And I’m like, ah, like, I would love to watch it. But you don’t have Captain or arm talk about alt tags on Instagram and on your website, you gotta do that for people who don’t have any vision or low vision need that and like making things a little bit more stressful. I’m not quite focused on web accessibility yet, but that is a beach. That’s like too much, but I’m telling people how to kind of like put me together when they do video or if they do online coaching, or if they do social media, how you can do just little things just to make your stuff a little bit more acceptable. highpass is definitely something I’m trying to tackle and encouraging everyone to try out their podcast. And you know how to like really build it into what?
Gresham Harkless 7:04
Yeah, that’s extremely huge. And you’re absolutely right, where I usually say the name of the game is all about visibility, and visibility, not always in the literal sense in so many different ways. Because you have that accessibility can get seen and heard by so many different people, but you’re coming to them, and how they’re able to kind of take on that information. I think that’s one of the best ways of marketing and advertising. And definitely reminder to ourselves and make sure that we started transcribing our episodes as well too, so that we don’t we don’t make it on the naughty list.
Erin Perkins 7:29
It’s hard, like, because you don’t think about it, you don’t think about who will be listening to your podcast, and I know me and my friends, we all like talk to each other, like, what podcasts do you like? I don’t know. I don’t really know. Because if I go to a website, it’s not necessarily accessible. And then I don’t want to see my past but what not if we have like so many internal conflicts with this whole thing? Because I know so many people also have amazing podcasts. And I do feel I’m now.
Gresham Harkless 8:01
Yeah, absolutely what No, I mean, I think that’s part of it. And that’s why I love what you’re doing is because a lot of times, we don’t know and we till we get that information out there so we understand what accessibility is and what exactly that looks like in so many different levels. And how we can take those small steps in order to make sure our podcasts or videos or whatever that might be is accessible to even more people is a huge thing look awesome. So now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for yourself or your business, but what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?
Erin Perkins 8:30
I think because I think what makes me unique is the fact that I post a lot of my clients and new people that meet with a lot of empathy. I never used to be that and pathetic because I feel like when you look for what wasted you can’t be, you’re like cold-hearted, but like I found that people are drawn to me because I am very open and honest. And I and I’ll tweet them with as much because i will i people like oh my god And then think about that and why it’s okay. And then it’s like that. And I feel like just be able to approach the situation with a lot of empathy makes people belong to me, my favorite word is awesome. Make every day awesome. But my friends makes fun of me because I use the word awesome all the time.
Gresham Harkless 9:19
No, that’s an awesome word to use, because I use awesome all the time as well, too. And I use it as especially as a transition word as well. So I am with you on that. So there we go from the same camp.
Erin Perkins 9:30
I kind of made up my own time for I’m using it.
Gresham Harkless 9:34
I like that. I got to do that as well, as soon as I got to come up with a version of it, but I might just borrow that as well if that’s okay. Yeah, guys. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book or a habit that you have, but what’s something that makes you more effective and efficient?
Erin Perkins 9:53
I would ship it like I think it’s junior and be able to switch from computer to computer Well like I did last class, I have a desktop as my iPad, Google Drive. And my Honestly, I feel like what really made my life with block was money and about profit foot. I love the platform, paying yourself, and then having different boxes of each account. But operating profit tested and yeah, on payment and income don’t have five accounts. And it’s been nice because I lost some income during the COVID. And this was like really helpful because I had money saved up in my profit, so I could take some of that profit and pay myself. So that wouldn’t make enough money during that time. So I feel like that was super helpful.
Gresham Harkless 10:46
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. It might be something you would tell a client or if you were to happen to a time machine, you would tell your younger business self.
Erin Perkins 10:59
So I honestly I always kind of felt like, I never envisioned myself owning my own business. Well, like I like when they post that today. I’m like, kind of like, why did I start this too late? Why didn’t this happen to me? I’m coming up on Phooey this summer. And it’s never too late to do anything. And I think that’s like the biggest theme for me, even though like a lot of my business kids, they’re like in the late ’20s and solos like thank you. I honestly kind of feel like I missed out on doing something. But really, no. It was meant for me to like when I started. And that’s why I truly believe is sometimes things aren’t meant to be until it needs to happen. And that’s what happened to me.
Gresham Harkless 11:45
Yeah, I absolutely love that. And you’re right. I think so many times, especially in entrepreneurship and business, I don’t think that you take just one thing from running a business. I think you take your collective experience and a lot of times those things that we’ve done and jobs are in position. Things that we didn’t even think were related starts to show up and running a business because you have to do so many different things and juggle obviously be aware of so many different things.
Erin Perkins 12:08
The only thought it off as an online business manager, and I had no intention to do the accessibility thing. It wasn’t even on on my radar until I went through the thing. And now let the just kind of input. But and so I like so size glasses. I’m good. I feel fortunate that I got to do it. The funny and there’s so many other amazing graphic designers out there. So I felt like I’m good with it. I got to do what I want to pull for life do something that has more impact in acceptability, would it and I definitely pay off on my of what it’s like to be adept at me.
Gresham Harkless 12:46
Yeah, absolutely. And I’ve always felt like entrepreneurship at its heart is solving problems. And so we have and see a problem that pops up, or that comes up or probably has always been there but now it’s a lot more.
Erin Perkins 12:57
I guess it’s a visible it’s like oh, Right in front of you, like, Why didn’t my thing when they weren’t meant to me until it happened.
Gresham Harkless 13:04
Absolutely love that. And so now I want to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we’re hoping to have different quote-unquote, CEOs on the show. So Erin, what does being a CEO mean to you?
Erin Perkins 13:17
Absolutely. That’s a loaded question, though. I mean, being a CEO, but basically being able to take ownership, knowing what you love to do, and the most share that with other business owner and I, and manvel put other business owners because as a couple of women that I’m like, super close with, and we all do different parts of our business, and I’m still able to show my support to them, and they show this to put to them. It’s very different than what I imagined was do when I’m growing up because my parents had their own business. And I always thought like, you know, it’s always like, dude, hi. I get to wear a t-shirt. Yeah. He has my way better than I thought it would be.
Gresham Harkless 14:03
Yeah, I think that as we kind of talked about with time, and then timing, you know, changing things, I think there’s been an evolution, as you talked about in the very beginning about what it means to be a CEO, what it means to be an entrepreneur, what it means to be a business owner. But you’re absolutely right, where I think you hit the nail on the head when you talk about being able to kind of be kind of of service and be able to share what it is that you do with so many other businesses and entrepreneurs and people. I think when we understand that it creates that really phenomenal environment.
Erin Perkins 14:29
Yeah, I love doing what I do for my clients like I will be like the number one killer. Well, each one of them because I truly do believe in what they’re doing. And I think that’s like what makes me really proud to own my own business. I can authentically say, this person is amazing and like, I don’t support them going through and we’re able to help each other grow, to make payment for all of that.
Gresham Harkless 14:57
Yeah, absolutely. There’s when you have that abundance, mindset, you understand that there’s a tremendous amount of opportunity that’s out there. So I truly appreciate that definition. And 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 ahold of you and find out about all the awesome things that you’re working on.
Erin Perkins 15:18
So if you have any questions about accessibility, please feel free to reach out to me, I have a lot of my ways to freely torch it on my website. And I have, you can also follow me on Instagram, maybe on the fourth queue. And that, like I should have so much information on there. And that’s really the best way to get a hold of me. And then if you want more information, you know, ask me for my email and I will email you and more than happy to do video chat with anybody that wants to be with me or they need a better understanding and that into him and also what I will be announcing when my watch comes out. So really excited about that.
Gresham Harkless 16:00
Yeah, definitely I’m super excited about it as well as soon as I appreciate you for putting your gifts towards helping so many other people and entrepreneurs and business owners be more successful as well too. So we will definitely have the links and information in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you as well there. But I truly appreciate you, Erin. Appreciate all those things you’re doing and I hope you have the greatest day.
Erin Perkins 16:19
Thank you so much for having me. I love what you’re doing.
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