CBNationI AM CEO PODCAST

IAM793- Founder Helps Companies Improve Their Brands

Podcast Interview with Sarah Evans

Sarah Evans is the founder and CEO of Sevans Strategy and Sevans Digital PR. Sarah serves as a digital correspondent and consultant to global brands and is a digital strategist and global brand correspondent, who works with companies worldwide to create and improve their social and digital strategies, advising on branding, marketing, advertising, and public relations. Additionally, Sarah is a digital correspondent for several companies including Paypal, Cox Communications, MGM International, Wal-Mart, Shorty Awards, and more…

  • CEO Hack: Setting up key labels with keywords I'm looking for, creating various templates on how to respond to various clients
  • CEO Nugget: Learn to let go of things you're not so good at and learn to say no to businesses you are not fit at
  • CEO Defined: Learning more every day from things you did not know

Website: http://www.sevanspr.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/prsarahevans

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00:02 -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.

00:30 – 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 Sarah Evans of 7 Strategy and Seven's Digital PR. Sarah, it's awesome to have you on the show.

00:40 – Sarah Evans

Thanks so much for having me.

00:42 – Gresham Harkless

No problem. Super excited to have you on. Before we jump in, I wanted to read a little bit more about Sarah so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Sarah is the founder and CEO of 7 Strategy and Seven's Digital PR. Sarah serves as a digital correspondence and consultant to global brands and is a digital strategist and global brand correspondent as well too, who works with companies worldwide to create and improve their social and digital strategies, advising on branding, marketing, advertising, and public relations. Additionally, Sarah is a digital correspondent for several companies including PayPal, Cox Communications, MGM International, Walmart, Shorty Awards, and many more. Sarah, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

01:25 – Sarah Evans

Let's go for it.

01:26 – Gresham Harkless

Let's do it. So to kick everything off, I wanted to just rewind the clock a little bit here a little bit more on how you got started. Could you take us through what I call your CEO story and we'll let you get started with your business?

01:37 – Sarah Evans

It started, I think, once I went to work in real life, the real world, and, the office setting I realized very early on that was not for me. And if you hear some thudding upstairs, I think my sitter is going to tell the kids to work. No, I shoot everyone out and up. So that'll be taken care of shortly. I realized that the office setting wasn't for me and I really enjoyed working for myself. In fact, the key identifier was the passion I felt in the off hours when I was doing my freelancing. So I was essentially working 2 full-time jobs And part of the reason was out of fear of going out on my own. And the other reason was wanting to be responsible and have some sort of safety net if I decided to do this on my own. So it was a feeling for me and then created a plan of responsibility.

02:32 -Gresham Harkless

Nice. I definitely appreciate that. And I think so many times people have those feelings, but they don't kind of step into them or they shoot them away. And I feel like sometimes you even start to miss those feelings if you, you know, shoot them away long enough. So I appreciate you for obviously having that, but just reminding us of how important it is to kind of step into that as well.

02:50 -Sarah Evans

Yeah, it was, it was essential to my being and my ability to, my ability to use my abilities when I finally went out on my own and had this business, I feel very passionate and empowered and also have that sense of need to keep doing and keep creating. I can't just sit back. It all rests on me.

03:13 -Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely. And I feel like that's at the heart of true entrepreneurship is that creation where, you know, that you use and be able to kind of create, obviously you directly, you know, through the clients you work with, but also as a business and as a whole, be able to create opportunities for people that you work with, but also the people that are on our teams as well.

03:32 – Sarah Evans

Yes, absolutely.

03:34 -Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So speaking of some of these things that we're creating, could you take us through a little bit more on what you do for clients and how exactly you support the clients you work with?

03:43 – Sarah Evans

The fun thing about what I do is that there's a little something different for every client. The reason I have 7th strategy and 7th digital PR is because sometimes clients have various needs. Sometimes it's just strategy, sometimes it's full force execution of that strategy. The strategy is really where I pride myself on creating a very strong strategy, process, procedure, and ability to execute. So a client will come to me with a problem that lies in the digital PR world or strategic communications and say, how do we solve this? Or here is an idea or a moment in time. How do we create influence, promote this, or get media placements? And we get to build a custom plan based on that.

If they have the internal resources to be able to execute, that's wonderful. If not, we're there to support them. So I get really a blank canvas with every client. I have some things I know that are tried and true and trusted. For example, if they're doing a large funding announcement, I really know that process and how it works and how we can make a big splash about that and get them some attention, especially if it's a startup or this is someone announcing their Series A, they likely haven't had a lot of press and attention prior. So this is a very big moment in time for them. So it changes from client to client and no 2 days look the same for me.

05:08 – Gresham Harkless

Nice. I appreciate you for breaking that down. And it kind of sounds like you can kind of lean on obviously your experience and the successes that you have with clients, but then provide that customer approach. Because I imagine as you mentioned, there are probably different goals, different types of businesses, different cultures, so many different aspects of each client that you have to kind of obviously lean on that experience, but also lean on the individuality of each of the clients and what they're trying to accomplish.

05:34 -Sarah Evans

For sure, because each client is trying to reach a different audience or audiences, whether it's B2B or B2C, and sometimes an overlap, each of those has a completely different set of tactics and or strategies that are required to reach those audiences.

05:52 -Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely. And so I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for you personally or your business or a combination of both, But what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

06:04 – Sarah Evans

I think what sets me apart and makes me unique is never resting on my laurels. I treat every client like a new adventure and I want to find the best way to help them reach their goals. My favorite thing at a very simple level is when a client comes to me and feels extremely stressed. They have this very big scope or project and then they come back to me once I can package it all together and they say this feels easy. And at the end of the day, when my job is done well, no 1 really knows how it got done, just that it did and they feel relaxed and easy and that their expectations were exceeded. Nice.

06:45 – Gresham Harkless

And I almost feel like, I don't know if you feel the exact same way that to me when you reach excellence and you're really great at your craft, that easy word comes about not because it was easy from the very beginning, but because through the process of doing it and to be able to kind of translate as a client, it looks like it was just kind of a snap of the finger so to speak.

07:03 – Sarah Evans

Absolutely I mean you can you can use the same analogy with athletes when you see a really exceptional athlete and you're like wow they make that look so easy but there's so much skill coordination practice that goes into making that look easy.

07:17 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, I'm glad well's 10,000 hours concept where you see the repetition of all the things behind the scenes to get to where you shoot the free throw or you throw the pass or catch the pass. You've done it so many times that it becomes easy because you've worked so much at it.

07:31 – Sarah Evans

Yeah, we are big Michael Jordan fans so there you go.

07:36 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely last dance reference definitely. Oh yeah. That was amazing. Just kind of see all that in the behind-the-scenes that we sometimes don't see to what makes somebody great.

07:45 – Sarah Evans

Absolutely I think we're on our fifth time watching that.

07:48 -Gresham Harkless

Yes, I might have you beat there. So my guilty pleasure for sure during all this quarantine time. 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?

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08:07 – Sarah Evans

I want to give actually a really practical tip, especially for the audience listening because many people say, how can I get media? How can I get more attention? I actually created out of Harrow Help a Reporter Out, which is a service offered by Scision. Journalists can send queries to that 3 times a day. You get an email and you can read through these queries and submit or pitch yourself for media opportunities. And there are really high-level quality media opportunities in there. I've created a few hacks out of this to make it work better for myself and all my clients. And there's 2 things that I've done.

1 is to set up an email label with keywords that I'm looking for in those emails. So the title could be something like important harrow or insert your keyword if you're in fraud prevention, it could be fraud prevention harrow. And if those keywords are contained, you get a separate email based on all those emails, you don't have to scan and look through everything. The other thing that I've done is create various templates on how to respond to the media based on those deadlines so you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time you do outreach. And if 1 of your goals is to gain more influence or attention, It's essential to check out, sign up for, and find a way to work for you. Many times it can seem overwhelming, but using a few hacks like that can really make it a lot easier.

09:27 – Gresham Harkless

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. This could be a word of wisdom or 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.

09:40 – Sarah Evans

I think it's learning to let go of what you are not best at. That is something that took me a little bit of time to discover and now I can very easily say this is not my wheelhouse, it needs to go here. Whether I need to outsource someone, send it to someone on my contracted team, or whatever it is, I need to get rid of that. And also learning to say no to a business that isn't a right fit. It is really painful as a business owner to say no to money, but I will tell you when you take on the wrong work and bring that money in, it costs you much more in the long term. I learned that through repeated mistakes and now have conditioned myself on when to say yes and when to say no.

10:23 – Gresham Harkless

Awesome, awesome, awesome. 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 this show. So Sarah, what does being a CEO mean to you?

10:35 – Sarah Evans

It really means I learn more every day than I don't know. There's nothing scarier than throwing yourself into an absolute leadership position and having to learn by fire, learn by mistakes, and learn from experience. Obviously, there are thousands upon thousands of resources in the interwebs and the internet world where you can go, but there is nothing that prepares you for actually getting in and doing the work and you will make mistakes. I feel like that is the key thing. You have to make big decisions and you make big mistakes when you're a CEO.

11:08 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely. And do you feel like you have to kind of, I guess, I think the phrase, be comfortable being, feel comfortable, be comfortable feeling uncomfortable, so to speak, where you're out, when you automatically know that, then when those mistakes happen, or when those things come up that you don't expect them to come up with something you may not know, you're not completely thrown off, because you know that that's part of the process?

11:31 -Sarah Evans

I think it never feels good. I don't know that I am ever comfortable feeling uncomfortable. Every time it happens, I almost have to take a step back and say, okay, like, you know that you're going to have this feeling now. How do you deal with it? I almost have like a coaching moment with myself or self-talk. I don't know that I've ever reached the place of being comfortable in that because I do thrive off of excellence and I want to do well, yet there are always mistakes. Whether it's learning a better process or you've inverted numbers in a report, whatever that is, you just have to learn from it. And the 1 thing that I strive to do when I make those mistakes is not just apologize, but always apologize, own it, and change the process. Here's what I'm going to do differently now that this has happened. It doesn't fix this situation, but I need to protect it from happening again.

12:21 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely. And I think so many times, if you take that kind of roadblocks or those speed bumps or whatever might come up and might happen and you use it as a way to get better and get stronger as you do, as you mentioned, take a step back and be able to say, okay, this is how I'm gonna do it better. You know, next time you continue to kind of, I guess, understand that those things that happen will eventually make you better because you continue to kind of move forward and learn from those.

12:48 – Sarah Evans

Yeah, I mean you have to. It's the only way you can grow and it's not fun and there's no 1 else you can blame. Although sometimes I've made a few mistakes where I know children hanging on my legs under the table in the past 6 months have definitely resulted in some of those mistakes.

13:03 – Gresham Harkless

Right. No, that makes so much sense. And I think, especially during this time, at least I think there's a little bit more grace from everybody because we're all kind of going through the same kind of disruption. But being able to kind of understand, as you said, kind of in the beginning, I love that perspective about you understand that you're not necessarily going to know everything, you're not going to be able to do everything, but you continue to kind of move forward and you take the steps and have that high bar of excellence will help you to get as close as possible as you can be to that.

13:33 – Sarah Evans

Yeah, I think that's my mantra. I don't know what I don't know. In fact, there was 1 period in my marriage where my husband would ask me questions and I felt like I had to have an answer or response. And 1 day he said, is that even the right answer? I said I don't know. I just feel like I had to respond. And he said, well, why? Is it because I'm getting asked questions all day that I have to know the answer to? So I think I've conditioned myself to respond. And finally, it was such a personal moment, but he helped me realize I can say, I don't know, I don't have the answer, but let me find out.

14:03 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, and I think that's extremely powerful. And I think you brought up a point that sometimes we forget as leaders is, I know I have what I like to call decision fatigue sometimes because like you said, you're making so many decisions, you have to answer so many things that sometimes you just are just answering things just because that's what you have to do. But kind of being aware of that, aware of that, you know, in that role and that leadership role is important, but it's even more powerful to understand that we don't have to know everything. It's kind of a freeing feeling. And when you're able to kind of step into that, you can find the answer. But if you're saying, okay, I don't know, but I can try to find it, I think that that's extremely powerful.

14:40 – Sarah Evans

Yeah, and it's honestly, it's core to public relations. Even when you work for a large organization, It's 1 of the central points people go to for information. And even if you don't know the answer, you're usually the people who can get people to the right answer. So I modified the entire way I respond to things and thought if I don't have it, where can I send people or can I get it for them and give it to them?

15:01 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely. And I feel like that's what a lot of people always want is just you may not necessarily know the answer, but if you're going to put in the effort or try to find out what that answer is, then are the right person I should say even so I think that is definitely peace for a lot of people. So truly appreciate that definition and that perspective. And I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you 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 you and your team are working on.

15:30 – Sarah Evans

Well, I would love to chat with all of you. You can find me online on Twitter at prsarahevans. My email is prsaraevans@gmail.com and I'm in all sorts of places, but I love talking to small biz owners and other folks who can feel and empathize with the highs and the lows.

15:54 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely. We will have those links and information in the show notes, but definitely, I'd definitely love it if you're able to kind of help highlight and strategize with these businesses and organizations. Because I often say the name of the game is visibility and being founded and to be able to get your name and your information out there is so important so that people know exactly what you do and maybe even deeper level why you do it. So I appreciate you for helping so many organizations do that. And I hope you have a great rest of

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16:19 – 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.

00:02 -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.

00:30 - 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 Sarah Evans of 7 Strategy and Seven's Digital PR. Sarah, it's awesome to have you on the show. 

00:40 - Sarah Evans

Thanks so much for having me. 

00:42 - Gresham Harkless

No problem. Super excited to have you on. Before we jump in, I wanted to read a little bit more about Sarah so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Sarah is the founder and CEO of 7 Strategy and Seven's Digital PR. Sarah serves as a digital correspondence and consultant to global brands and is a digital strategist and global brand correspondent as well too, who works with companies worldwide to create and improve their social and digital strategies, advising on branding, marketing, advertising, and public relations. Additionally, Sarah is a digital correspondent for several companies including PayPal, Cox Communications, MGM International, Walmart, Shorty Awards, and many more. Sarah, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

01:25 - Sarah Evans

Let's go for it. 

01:26 - Gresham Harkless

Let's do it. So to kick everything off, I wanted to just rewind the clock a little bit here a little bit more on how you got started. Could you take us through what I call your CEO story and we'll let you get started with your business?

01:37 - Sarah Evans

It started, I think, once I went to work in real life, the real world, and, the office setting I realized very early on that was not for me. And if you hear some thudding upstairs, I think my sitter is going to tell the kids to work. No, I shoot everyone out and up. So that'll be taken care of shortly. I realized that the office setting wasn't for me and I really enjoyed working for myself. In fact, the key identifier was the passion I felt in the off hours when I was doing my freelancing. So I was essentially working 2 full-time jobs And part of the reason was out of fear of going out on my own. And the other reason was wanting to be responsible and have some sort of safety net if I decided to do this on my own. So it was a feeling for me and then created a plan of responsibility.

02:32 -Gresham Harkless

Nice. I definitely appreciate that. And I think so many times people have those feelings, but they don't kind of step into them or they shoot them away. And I feel like sometimes you even start to miss those feelings if you, you know, shoot them away long enough. So I appreciate you for obviously having that, but just reminding us of how important it is to kind of step into that as well.

02:50 -Sarah Evans

Yeah, it was, it was essential to my being and my ability to, my ability to use my abilities when I finally went out on my own and had this business, I feel very passionate and empowered and also have that sense of need to keep doing and keep creating. I can't just sit back. It all rests on me.

03:13 -Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely. And I feel like that's at the heart of true entrepreneurship is that creation where, you know, that you use and be able to kind of create, obviously you directly, you know, through the clients you work with, but also as a business and as a whole, be able to create opportunities for people that you work with, but also the people that are on our teams as well.

03:32 - Sarah Evans

Yes, absolutely.

03:34 -Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So speaking of some of these things that we're creating, could you take us through a little bit more on what you do for clients and how exactly you support the clients you work with?

03:43 - Sarah Evans

The fun thing about what I do is that there's a little something different for every client. The reason I have 7th strategy and 7th digital PR is because sometimes clients have various needs. Sometimes it's just strategy, sometimes it's full force execution of that strategy. The strategy is really where I pride myself on creating a very strong strategy, process, procedure, and ability to execute. So a client will come to me with a problem that lies in the digital PR world or strategic communications and say, how do we solve this? Or here is an idea or a moment in time. How do we create influence, promote this, or get media placements? And we get to build a custom plan based on that.

If they have the internal resources to be able to execute, that's wonderful. If not, we're there to support them. So I get really a blank canvas with every client. I have some things I know that are tried and true and trusted. For example, if they're doing a large funding announcement, I really know that process and how it works and how we can make a big splash about that and get them some attention, especially if it's a startup or this is someone announcing their Series A, they likely haven't had a lot of press and attention prior. So this is a very big moment in time for them. So it changes from client to client and no 2 days look the same for me.

05:08 - Gresham Harkless

Nice. I appreciate you for breaking that down. And it kind of sounds like you can kind of lean on obviously your experience and the successes that you have with clients, but then provide that customer approach. Because I imagine as you mentioned, there are probably different goals, different types of businesses, different cultures, so many different aspects of each client that you have to kind of obviously lean on that experience, but also lean on the individuality of each of the clients and what they're trying to accomplish.

05:34 -Sarah Evans

For sure, because each client is trying to reach a different audience or audiences, whether it's B2B or B2C, and sometimes an overlap, each of those has a completely different set of tactics and or strategies that are required to reach those audiences.

05:52 -Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely. And so I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for you personally or your business or a combination of both, But what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

06:04 - Sarah Evans

I think what sets me apart and makes me unique is never resting on my laurels. I treat every client like a new adventure and I want to find the best way to help them reach their goals. My favorite thing at a very simple level is when a client comes to me and feels extremely stressed. They have this very big scope or project and then they come back to me once I can package it all together and they say this feels easy. And at the end of the day, when my job is done well, no 1 really knows how it got done, just that it did and they feel relaxed and easy and that their expectations were exceeded. Nice.

06:45 - Gresham Harkless

And I almost feel like, I don't know if you feel the exact same way that to me when you reach excellence and you're really great at your craft, that easy word comes about not because it was easy from the very beginning, but because through the process of doing it and to be able to kind of translate as a client, it looks like it was just kind of a snap of the finger so to speak.

07:03 - Sarah Evans

Absolutely I mean you can you can use the same analogy with athletes when you see a really exceptional athlete and you're like wow they make that look so easy but there's so much skill coordination practice that goes into making that look easy.

07:17 - Gresham Harkless

Yeah, I'm glad well's 10,000 hours concept where you see the repetition of all the things behind the scenes to get to where you shoot the free throw or you throw the pass or catch the pass. You've done it so many times that it becomes easy because you've worked so much at it.

07:31 - Sarah Evans

Yeah, we are big Michael Jordan fans so there you go.

07:36 - Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely last dance reference definitely. Oh yeah. That was amazing. Just kind of see all that in the behind-the-scenes that we sometimes don't see to what makes somebody great.

07:45 - Sarah Evans

Absolutely I think we're on our fifth time watching that.

07:48 -Gresham Harkless

Yes, I might have you beat there. So my guilty pleasure for sure during all this quarantine time. 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?

08:07 - Sarah Evans

I want to give actually a really practical tip, especially for the audience listening because many people say, how can I get media? How can I get more attention? I actually created out of Harrow Help a Reporter Out, which is a service offered by Scision. Journalists can send queries to that 3 times a day. You get an email and you can read through these queries and submit or pitch yourself for media opportunities. And there are really high-level quality media opportunities in there. I've created a few hacks out of this to make it work better for myself and all my clients. And there's 2 things that I've done.

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1 is to set up an email label with keywords that I'm looking for in those emails. So the title could be something like important harrow or insert your keyword if you're in fraud prevention, it could be fraud prevention harrow. And if those keywords are contained, you get a separate email based on all those emails, you don't have to scan and look through everything. The other thing that I've done is create various templates on how to respond to the media based on those deadlines so you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time you do outreach. And if 1 of your goals is to gain more influence or attention, It's essential to check out, sign up for, and find a way to work for you. Many times it can seem overwhelming, but using a few hacks like that can really make it a lot easier.

09:27 - Gresham Harkless

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this could be a word of wisdom or 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.

09:40 - Sarah Evans

I think it's learning to let go of what you are not best at. That is something that took me a little bit of time to discover and now I can very easily say this is not my wheelhouse, it needs to go here. Whether I need to outsource someone, send it to someone on my contracted team, or whatever it is, I need to get rid of that. And also learning to say no to a business that isn't a right fit. It is really painful as a business owner to say no to money, but I will tell you when you take on the wrong work and bring that money in, it costs you much more in the long term. I learned that through repeated mistakes and now have conditioned myself on when to say yes and when to say no. 

10:23 - Gresham Harkless

Awesome, awesome, awesome. 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 this show. So Sarah, what does being a CEO mean to you?

10:35 - Sarah Evans

It really means I learn more every day than I don't know. There's nothing scarier than throwing yourself into an absolute leader position and having to learn by fire, learn by mistakes, and learn from experience. Obviously, there are thousands upon thousands of resources in the interwebs and the internet world where you can go, but there is nothing that prepares you for actually getting in and doing the work and you will make mistakes. I feel like that is the key thing. You have to make big decisions and you make big mistakes when you're a CEO.

11:08 - Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely. And do you feel like you have to kind of, I guess, I think the phrase, be comfortable being, feel comfortable, be comfortable feeling uncomfortable, so to speak, where you're out, when you automatically know that, then when those mistakes happen, or when those things come up that you don't expect them to come up with something you may not know, you're not completely thrown off, because you know that that's part of the process?

11:31 -Sarah Evans

I think it never feels good. I don't know that I am ever comfortable feeling uncomfortable. Every time it happens, I almost have to take a step back and say, okay, like, you know that you're going to have this feeling now. How do you deal with it? I almost have like a coaching moment with myself or self-talk. I don't know that I've ever reached the place of being comfortable in that because I do thrive off of excellence and I want to do well, yet there are always mistakes. Whether it's learning a better process or you've inverted numbers in a report, whatever that is, you just have to learn from it. And the 1 thing that I strive to do when I make those mistakes is not just apologize, but always apologize, own it, and change the process. Here's what I'm going to do differently now that this has happened. It doesn't fix this situation, but I need to protect it from happening again.

12:21 - Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely. And I think so many times, if you take that kind of roadblocks or those speed bumps or whatever might come up and might happen and you use it as a way to get better and get stronger as you do, as you mentioned, take a step back and be able to say, okay, this is how I'm gonna do it better. You know, next time you continue to kind of, I guess, understand that those things that happen will eventually make you better because you continue to kind of move forward and learn from those.

12:48 - Sarah Evans

Yeah, I mean you have to. It's the only way you can grow and it's not fun and there's no 1 else you can blame. Although sometimes I've made a few mistakes where I know children hanging on my legs under the table in the past 6 months have definitely resulted in some of those mistakes.

13:03 - Gresham Harkless

Right. No, that makes so much sense. And I think, especially during this time, at least I think there's a little bit more grace from everybody because we're all kind of going through the same kind of disruption. But being able to kind of understand, as you said, kind of in the beginning, I love that perspective about you understand that you're not necessarily going to know everything, you're not going to be able to do everything, but you continue to kind of move forward and you take the steps and have that high bar of excellence will help you to get as close as possible as you can be to that.

13:33 - Sarah Evans

Yeah, I think that's my mantra. I don't know what I don't know. In fact, there was 1 period in my marriage where my husband would ask me questions and I felt like I had to have an answer or response. And 1 day he said, is that even the right answer? I said I don't know. I just feel like I had to respond. And he said, well, why? Is it because I'm getting asked questions all day that I have to know the answer to? So I think I've conditioned myself to respond. And finally, it was such a personal moment, but he helped me realize I can say, I don't know, I don't have the answer, but let me find out.

14:03 - Gresham Harkless

Yeah, and I think that's extremely powerful. And I think you brought up a point that sometimes we forget as leaders is, I know I have what I like to call decision fatigue sometimes because like you said, you're making so many decisions, you have to answer so many things that sometimes you just are just answering things just because that's what you have to do. But kind of being aware of that, aware of that, you know, in that role and that leadership role is important, but it's even more powerful to understand that we don't have to know everything. It's kind of a freeing feeling. And when you're able to kind of step into that, you can find the answer. But if you're saying, okay, I don't know, but I can try to find it, I think that that's extremely powerful.

14:40 - Sarah Evans

Yeah, and it's honestly, it's core to public relations. Even when you work for a large organization, It's 1 of the central points people go to for information. And even if you don't know the answer, you're usually the people who can get people to the right answer. So I modified the entire way I respond to things and thought if I don't have it, where can I send people or can I get it for them and give it to them?

15:01 - Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely. And I feel like that's what a lot of people always want is just you may not necessarily know the answer, but if you're going to put in the effort or try to find out what that answer is, then are the right person I should say even so I think that is definitely peace for a lot of people. So truly appreciate that definition and that perspective. And I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you 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 you and your team are working on.

15:30 - Sarah Evans

Well, I would love to chat with all of you. You can find me online on Twitter at prsarahevans. My email is prsaraevans@gmail.com and I'm in all sorts of places, but I love talking to small biz owners and other folks who can feel and empathize with the highs and the lows.

15:54 - Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely. We will have those links and information in the show notes, but definitely, I'd definitely love it if you're able to kind of help highlight and strategize with these businesses and organizations. Because I often say the name of the game is visibility and being founded and to be able to get your name and your information out there is so important so that people know exactly what you do and maybe even deeper level why you do it. So I appreciate you for helping so many organizations do that. And I hope you have a great rest of 

16:19 - 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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