Gresham “Gresh” W. Harkless Jr. is the founder of CBNation and Blue 16 Media. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand focused on increasing the business success rate through content including blogs, podcasts and videos. CBNation consists of blogs (CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). The brand focuses on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. Blue 16 Media is a digital marketing agency providing digital marketing services including web design & SEO to small to medium-sized businesses and organizations. Central to his marketing philosophy is that You Are a Media Company: Developing a Marketing Strategy to Connect with Your Target and Reach Your Goals. Gresham is a proud graduate of Howard University & Georgetown University.
Check out these CEO Hacks: ceohacks.co
- CEO Hack: Morning routine, technology tools and hacks
- CEO Nugget: Success is not a straight line
- CEO Defined: Understanding your gifts and how you can share them with the world for greater impact
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 and this is a special episode number 800 for the IAMCEO podcast, and it’s definitely been a long way coming. I want to say we’ve been doing this for probably about a year and a half, two years, I want to say maybe about a year, year and a half for it being a daily podcast, but it’s hard to believe there were 800 episodes, it’s been such a long gear. And this might be the last special episode you hear from me before the new year. So I just wanted to kind of fill you in on some of the things that we’re doing as with each podcast, if you haven’t met me or listen to me or know anything about my background, my name is Gresham Harkless, Jr. and I basically manage CB nation in blue 16 media. And the goal for what I tried to do is basically to help entrepreneurs and business owners be successful. I say the name of the game is often visibility. So on CB nation, you find out about visibility plus resources that can make you successful in a blue 60 media’s focus on web design and SEO, all about that visibility piece. But really to to hear my story and how I got started. I just did a podcast interview in one of the things that I wanted to touch base on was that the reason that I started a lot of this is just because I was interested in business and entrepreneurship before I even knew exactly what that was. And it led me down this road of kind of rediscovering who I was, during the podcast interview, I talked a lot about how one of the best things that podcasts podcasters can do is to find their voice. And I think we often feel like finding our voice or finding out who we are is something we have to seek out really, in reality, I think a lot of those answers are sometimes inward. And for me, it was me going back to when I was a kid on the playground selling potato chips, or creating and getting necklaces and beads from MJ designs to create necklaces to be able to sell them. Also my first media company, which was the family newspaper, I started when my father went TTY. And the reason that I bring all that up, because a lot of times when you have to make really sometimes difficult decisions, sometimes we forget about who we are in what is our true north, and what is our North Star that we should be following. And I almost always believe that we all were given God given abilities and God given gifts to be able to showcase to the world. And we all do that in our own very unique way. So the biggest reason that I bring all that up is because when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up, I read a lot about entrepreneurship and business. I read a lot about how they think differently. They don’t do things the way that everybody else does. And sometimes they’re often outcasts, sometimes they they just question themselves because nobody else is sometimes doing what they’re doing. And when I read a lot about that, and I started to interview these entrepreneurs and business owners, not even for the blog or anything just to get to know them, I felt at home. And that is the reason that I started everything that you hear, see and can view now is because CB nation is all about covering the CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners that people that want to create and make the world a better place sometimes in business forms, sometimes in an organization or a nonprofit. But the idea is how can I create something to impact the world. And sometimes that’s money. Sometimes that is creating a seven 810 figure business sometimes that is leading 100,000 team of employees and people that can support other organizations or potentially it is a solopreneur that decides that they want to start in consults or be a podcast host or whatever that might be but the core of it is how do I create something that can impact in some way shape or fashion and that’s what I want it to be around. I have the opportunity really to hold up the microphone and really interview people on podcasts. I have the opportunity to really have the blogs, the email interviews and all of the people that have been featured on the site and do the roundup posts as well. So the reason I want to bring that up is just because this is my story. My story is really being able to to showcase the abilities. The things that people are doing in the best light possible, whether that be podcast, blog posts, or video content. And that’s what I try to do with CB nation in blue 16 media, we just try to increase their visibility. So that’s a little bit about how we serve the clients that we work with. And we’re really, really process driven.
For us to be able to serve the amount of people that we serve, we are very, very process oriented. And you’ll hear a little bit about what I do with the hacks that I mentioned as well, too. But that’s the thing that I think helps out more than anything else is how can I take the time that I have, and leverage it as much as possible to reach as much people as possible to serve as many people as possible? And I think when I start to understand that, and I try to figure out how can I not only put myself in the best position to be successful, but how can I put my team members in the best position to be successful? And how can I put my clients in the best position to be successful? How can I put the people that are on the podcast in the best position to be successful, or the people that have been and are featured on our blog. So that’s kind of the mentality that I have in technology is a really great way for us to do that. So we leverage technology really well. And I think that is our secret sauce. And the thing that I feel like sets me apart, but also sets our team apart and us being remote and being able to kind of leverage technology in a very, very, very, very efficient way. And as normal, I’m going to switch gears a little bit, I’m going to get into the CEO hack.
The CEO hacks are basically apps, books or habits that help make people more effective and efficient. And what I’ve actually done is I’ve compiled seven hacks that I use, and I feel like you should implement as well to into your business, it doesn’t matter what stage you’re at, if you’re thinking about leveling up. And you’ll see that in the link in the show notes so that you can go and click these hacks, but you can also go to SEO hacks that CEO, our CEO hacks code, so you need to go check these these hacks out. And the reason that I bring that up is because they range everything from how do I make sure to refill my cup? What things can I do to make sure that I’m showing up in my best self, not by working more, but sometimes by working less and reflecting more? Some of these hacks include things like the technology tools, like Basecamp, and acuity and some of the things like Canva that we use on a regular basis as a team as well to some of the hacks include what digital tools? Can I use a pivot my business to be more digitally? digital? Am I just starting a business? Do I need a domain? Do I need to figure out exactly how to create a an e commerce site. So maybe I’m going to use Shopify. So these are some of the hacks that I use on a regular basis, I recommend on a regular basis. And you can get seven of those kind of umbrellas, and hack umbrella type of hacks and hacks that you can use within that. But I definitely, you know, recommend you know, you paying attention to that and really going through that. And if I can really drill down on one hack that I would absolutely, maybe scream to the mountaintops about, it’s the most consistent one you hear on this podcast. And it is the morning routine. The morning routine is something that allows you to win the day. And often your morning routine does not start in the morning, it actually starts the day before so set yourself up at the end of the day for the next day. And then have a least some idea of what you’re doing for me, I wake up, and then I try to meditate. I’m grateful. And I thank God for her waking me up. But I also think all the things that sometimes we forget, at the very beginning of the day, I take my dog out, I do some type of movement as well to before I take my dog out just to make sure that I am really operating on a higher frequency. And then I’ll take my dog out, I’ll come back, I will, of course do all the washing and all those things. And then I will have my shake and start to journal. And that’s usually a start to my day. And what that does is it propels me to have a phenomenal day is I can’t say I can find a notice will change when I don’t do those things. And I think the biggest thing is you want to at least for me have something that you can focus on and have some umbrella things that you do. So that you are able to not always do the same thing but do the same type of things and give you a very specific example I mentioned movement movement can be me getting up and doing five burpees it can be me getting up and doing five squats. It could do it could be me doing jumping jacks, or me doing a little routine that I have as well to just to get the blood flowing or me running in play. So it doesn’t necessarily have to always be the same thing but it’s within the same mindset because it all is going to help me to operate from a higher frequency. So really understanding how you can leverage your morning routine and if you’re like me, maybe tweaking it here and there to be more successful is insanely important. And then as normal going into the CEO nugget, and CEO nugget is a word of wisdom or piece of advice, often I say if you can hop into a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self. And my biggest nugget that I consistently say and even just said on a podcast interview earlier, was that I would, without a doubt, tell myself that success is not a straight line, every person that you look up to, did not have a straight path to success, they experienced failure, they experienced heartache, they experienced frustration. So whatever you may not be experiencing, or you probably will experience at some point in time, you’re not the first one that has done it, the only difference is that people kept going, and they continue to kind of double down on the process and the steps that it takes to get there. So I would say an echo that tremendously to myself is that no matter what you’re doing, where you’re starting a new marketing strategy, maybe you’re leveraging some CEO campaigns, or maybe you’re doing an advertising campaign, maybe you’re frustrated by the success or lack of success that you’re having. With that being said, understand is temporary, everybody has has some type of up and down moment, and you just need to push through that. So I would tell myself that and rewrite that narrative, or the belief that people are more than successful. People are born sometimes with the tools by which they can help increase their success, but they’re not born successful in my eyes and the success that I’m talking about. So I would tell myself that and with that being said, I’m gonna close everything out with the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And for me, being a CEO, is all about really executing on the vision that you have, as I’ve mentioned, as I said, really understanding not just what you want to do to make money, but what God given gifts have you been given? And how can you share that to the world and share that to every person, as many people I should say, in the world, in order to make the world a better place and my whole perspective, and you know, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People say begin with the end in mind. My thing is, how can I impact the people that I know the people that are around me, but impact the world on an even deeper level, so that when I do leave this earth, that people can say that is somebody that did make an impact, that is somebody that did create a better place to live. And that’s all I try to do on a on a daily basis. And like I said, My modality by which doing that as creating content is interviewing entrepreneurs and business owners and podcasts, videos and blogs. But being a CEO to me, is about understanding that and executing on that because sometimes the the path by which you can do that is simple. And it sounds simple. Or it sounds very simple. But it’s it’s not easy to always execute. So one of the hardest things that I struggle with, and I know a lot of CEOs and entrepreneurs struggle with is maybe being really tied into that, that plan and really executing on that plan and really focus in on that. So with that being said, that’s what you know, being a CEO means to me and every single day it’s not about titles is not about all the additional periphery things is all about executing to the best of your ability. And with that being said, you can always find me at I am Gresh calm. And as I am gr e sh calm that has links to everything from the blue 16 media to the IMC your coloring book to the imcl podcast which you’re listening to now. But you can also reach out of course, the CB nation co where you can get links to all the different things that we’re working on and all the content that you can find as well too. But with that being said, I just want to close everything out. Finally by saying just really find who you are, really find that Northstar within you and then go and execute on that and try to kind of push out all the noise or ignore the noise and get really locked in on what we’re trying to do because that’s what I try to do on a daily basis. But that being said, this is Gresh signing out. Hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.
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