Gems in an online course specialist, working with entrepreneurs in multiple industries to design, create and launch their own online courses. With a Masters in Global Management and 15 year career in Project Management, Gems started her own business when she married a US serviceman and her career trajectory changed. Gems truly believe in the power of experience as education and loves the versatility of online courses to spread the passion and purpose of entrepreneurs.
- CEO Hack: My morning routine
- CEO Nugget: It not always gonna be smooth, but having a strong WHY or your reason behind your business will drive you through your challenges
- CEO Defined: Having the freedom and flexibility to do what I want and knowing I am having a positive attitude that I'm making a positive 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 0:29
Hello, hello. Hello, this is Greg from the IMC podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Gems Collins of Gem Collins calm Jim's. It's awesome having a show.
Gems Collins 0:38
Hi, thanks so much for having me. It's good to be here.
Gresham Harkless 0:41
No worries, a pleasure is definitely ours. And before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about Jim so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Jim's is an online course specialists working with entrepreneurs and multiple industries to design create and launch their online courses. With a master's in Global Management and a 15 year career in project management. Jim started her own business when she married a US servicemen and her career trajectory changed. Jim truly believes in the power of experience as education and loves the versatility of online courses to spread the passion and purpose of entrepreneurs gyms. Are you ready to speak to the IMC Oh community?
Gems Collins 1:16
I sure I'm excited to be here.
Gresham Harkless 1:18
Awesome. Let's do this. So to kick everything off, I wanted to kind of rewind the clock a little bit here a little bit more how you got to how you got started, what I like to call your CEO story.
Gems Collins 1:27
Mm hmm. So yeah, it kind of started when I joined the military community. So as my bio, and you beautifully explained, I have 15 years in project management behind me and I had all these plans to go and have my own consultancy. And then when I joined the military community, and I actually moved to America from I was living in Abu Dhabi at the time came over to America. And it just kind of changed everything, you know, starting from scratch all over again. And the ability to find a job that kind of lit me up. Whilst having to move a read kind of two or three years just really took its toll on me. And I struggled with a lot of confidence issues and lack of self worth and that kind of thing and decided that it was kind of up to me to take it into my own hands to to make my professional fulfillment, what I wanted it to be. So I decided to start my own business where I was going to help other military spouses to start their own businesses. And I did this by I created an online course to walk them through the process of understanding what your purpose is, what's your why, you know, how you create a business plan, or your pricing, marketing, all of that kind of stuff. And that was really successful. But after probably six to eight months, I found that more people were actually coming to me for support with creating their own online courses. And they were starting businesses. So I was getting people further down the line, who were looking at ways to scale, expand, generate more revenue, and add in a different income streams to their business. So I just sort of a natural pivot. And so since then, I've been creating courses with people and helping them through the presence or doing it for them. So basically people who are just like, I really want to do this, but I don't have the time. You know, can you help me pull this together. And so it's kind of just grown from there and be there. Like you said, in my bio, it's just something that I feel really passionate about, because people have online courses are a great way to reach more people. And you know, entrepreneurs in Germany have this spirit of giving, and educating and inspiring and leading, and I think online courses are a really good way to do that to reach more people.
Gresham Harkless 3:19
Yeah, I think you definitely hit the nail on the head. And I was actually just gonna touch on that, because I feel so many times I feel like we all have our gifts that we are in our we are are bestowed upon us to give to the world. And I think that as you talked about, I think sometimes the struggle or the frustration is not being able to serve as much clients directly. But being able to kind of have an online course, where it kind of lives online and have the ability to showcase your expertise, help out so many more people, because you're able to kind of replicate yourself is a phenomenal thing to do.
Gems Collins 3:51
Yeah, exactly. And I think it takes some of the pressure off, especially people who literally just trade time for money. So people who do one to one coaching or, you know, they can either teach an aspect of what they do so that people can learn it for themselves, freeing the business owner up to then do more stuff to offer themselves to different types of people. And but like I said, it's just a really good way to get your gifts into the hands of other people to really help other people to get your name out there. And to grow your business in a way that maybe allows you to step back one day. So you're not having to work as much on the business constantly. Yeah,
Gresham Harkless 4:21
absolutely. Working definitely in the business is something I think most of us sometimes get trapped in when we start the business. We're really passionate about it, we love and don't realize all the things that you have to do. And a lot of times we get trapped in and sometimes I get some I describe the worst job ever. But a lot of times we knowing that there is light at the end of the tunnel in a way that we can kind of replicate ourselves in such a big wave thing that we can do.
Gems Collins 4:43
Gresham Harkless 4:45
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I know you touched on it a little bit and Can you take us through a little bit more on how you serve your clients what exactly that process looks like for you working with your potential clients.
Gems Collins 4:54
Yeah, so um, the main one that I do is the kind of done with the program. So I work with people who They want to learn how to implement courses themselves, because maybe they're going to do like multiple ones, but they don't really know where to start, they have an idea, but they don't really know where to go from there. And really, the first thing I do is, is get people to validate their idea, because there's no point in creating a course that then nobody has any interest in buying. And so it's, it's either testing the idea with your current audience, or finding an audience that needs what it is that you have to offer. So we go through a process of, I guess, market validation, understanding that there's a need for it. And then really understanding what the client transformation looks like. So the purpose of the course is always not what, what do I want to tell you? But how can I help you? What transformation Do you want to go through? So what are you going to? What are you going to come out with at the end of this? So whether it's I'm learning a new skill, a lot of this, you know, people do a lot of mindset courses, teaching you ways to deal with anxiety, stress, a lot of social media marketing strategies, I do a lot of bookkeeping courses, which is actually quite interesting. And so what does the transformation look like? And then we go through a big brain dump, so content brain dump. So what is what's everything that you need to teach people? And then how do you order it? What's fluff? what's necessary? And then how do you teach it in a way that is understandable for somebody who isn't the expert. So obviously, as the cost provider, you're the expert. So you deliver things in a way that other people who know the content would understand. So it's about how we can scale it back and teach it to people who don't necessarily understand the first thing about what it is that you're teaching them. And then we go through, you know, the flow, so I make sure that it all makes sense, we'd be to test it. And then we launch it. So we go through a marketing strategy and a launch plan, and then the follow up. So what a lot of people think is that you launch a course into the universe, and then that's it dropped out. And that's not that's really just where the work starts. Because then you've got to follow up nurture, get feedback from people tweak it based on what people are saying, what works, what doesn't work. So it's quite an evolutionary process for the first, you know, sort of two or three launches. Yeah, that makes so much sense. And I love how everything kind of started out with it, that kind of testing piece, because I think so many times, especially as entrepreneurs, we get so in love with our idea. And so in love with what we're doing that a lot of times, we don't get that market feedback to know if it actually does have legs, and it can potentially create that opportunity that we're there we're all hoping and looking for. And I think that I love the kind of step by step process and being able to kind of understand each of the nuances of it. Because I think, as you said, so well so eloquently, a lot of times, we think that by the time we launch, our courses we have to do is just, you know, put our shingle up, so to speak, and then everybody's gonna be writing to our doorsteps. But there's really a lot more in that process. Yeah, a lot of people have that, you know, build it, and they will come mentality, but it's completely the other way around. It's, you know, what do they want and build it for them, rather than just assuming that everybody wants what you have to offer? And, you know, it's an ego thing sometimes, because, you know, we think we have all the best ideas, but a lot of it is understanding what the market wants, and then also understanding how to explain to them that it is what they want, and that it's what they need.
Gresham Harkless 7:52
Yeah, absolutely. I think that's what you kind of touched on it with that, I always say the true definition of somebody that is an expert is somebody that is able to kind of explain it to a three year old explaining to a fourth grader. And if you're really able to take your expertise, and communicate it in such a way that that person becomes an expert, or that person becomes at least a few steps further along in their process, that you have created something that's really phenomenal.
Gems Collins 8:15
Exactly the transformation has to take them at least one or two steps further than where they currently are. Yeah.
Gresham Harkless 8:20
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. 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?
Gems Collins 8:31
I think for me, it's the connections that I build with people. And I know that that may not be unique in that everybody builds different connections, everybody builds connections with their audience. But for me, I I generally become friends with every single one of my clients. And it's because I get to know them on a level that is more than just what is your business about but it's what are you about because your business and your person, your personal life, as much as there's crossover, people often show up in two different ways. And I think the best way to help somebody is to understand both versions of them, you know, the business persona, and then the professional. And so for me, you know, even before we started working together, officially I make a point of getting to know somebody on a personal basis before we even go down that route. And then it's and again, this is probably nothing secretive or new. But it's I always under promise over deliver. I always go above and beyond for my clients because that's either what gets people coming back to you. It's what establishes trust, and it's what gets you recommendations and referrals. And to me, that's the lifeblood of my business is referrals from other people. But I just genuinely love getting to know people. I love getting to know the face behind the business understanding why they do what they do, because I feel that's the way that I can serve them best.
Gresham Harkless 9:35
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 apple book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient.
Gems Collins 9:46
I am in love with a morning routine. I don't start my day until I feel that I've done the thinking and the doing what I need to do before My day starts and so I make the point of getting up early and I'll drink my coffee. read a few chapters of the Bible. And then I journal about my day about what I've read just anything to get kind of the thoughts that aren't related to my business down on paper. So that then my brain is kind of free and open to get started for the day. And I'm not, I'm not one of those people that's like, oh, if you're not up by 430, then you've missed the best part of the day, like I get up, when I'm ready to get up. Like when my body's ready, I get going, I never rushed myself to start at a certain time unless I have an appointment. But I generally don't book any appointments before 830 anyway, because for me, I need to be performing at my prime in order to work with people. And I know that I don't work at my best if I'm feeling rushed to do something, or if I haven't had time to get my workout in and have my breakfast, do my morning routine. So for me, it's that kind of golden hour or 90 minutes in the morning to just set myself up for success for the rest of the day. I love that hack. And so now what it asks you for what I call a CEO, nugget. And this could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice might be something you would tell a client or if you hacked into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self, it's gonna get rough, like it's not always going to be plain sailing, and people who tell you that there are seven secrets to success, or the one thing that you need to do every day like that none of that exists. So there are going to be times when it gets really tough, and you'll want to quit, or you'll wonder why you started in the first place. But the one thing that I believe will get you through any of those challenging situations is the why behind what you do. So why did you start your business in the first place, and I don't mean to impact more people or to make money or to do this, but you know why, in terms of the legacy that you want to leave behind the people that you want to make an impact on? For me it was to make my husband proud. And then I'm currently pregnant. So it's showing, you know, my child, what what it looks like to be a successful entrepreneur. So it's the why the internal, why not the external, why and that's going to be the thing that gets you from, like, okay, I don't want to show up today, or I don't want to do this thing, or nobody's listening to me, or I'm not seeing the revenue that I used to see, when you have those moments having a really strong Why is going to be what gets you through.
Gresham Harkless 12:02
Yeah, that's so powerful. And definitely, thank you thank congratulations in advance on the new addition. Now, it reminded me so much I saw this meme, I think it was and it was a guy who was like doing push ups. And he was saying I wanted to quit until I looked over and saw who was watching. It was like a sign that was looking at him. And that legacy piece that you touched on is so huge, because I think that, as it says in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, you really want to begin with the end in mind, if you understand and say this is what I want my legacy to be it allows you to get through those rocky moments get through those great moments as well to to understand these are the things that I need to do in order to fulfill the legacy that I want to have.
Gems Collins 12:40
Yeah, exactly. It's not necessarily just about what you want to do, but it's about the legacy of the legacy, the impact that you want to leave behind afterwards. Yeah, it's
Gresham Harkless 12:46
so important. Absolutely, absolutely. 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 this show. So James, what does being a CEO mean to you?
Gems Collins 12:59
To me, it means having the freedom and flexibility to do what I want, whenever I want, but knowing that I'm having a positive impact on everybody that I serve, whether they become a client, or they're just somebody that's part of my network, it's having the ability to share who I am with my people to have a positive impact on their life. And being able to do it from wherever I am in the world. whatever I'm doing at any point in time.
Gresham Harkless 13:22
I love that I love how it ties in with how you got started as well, too, in being a military spouse, and having that ability to again, be able to be anywhere in the world. But again, I think so many times we forget the impact that we have, obviously, we sometimes see it in the clients that we work with. But a lot of times we forget in podcasts that we're on, or words that we speak to people and how that kind of creates that domino effect, not just in our lives, but also in their lives. And it goes on and on.
Gems Collins 13:47
Exactly. And I think seeing is more than just an opportunity to make money, it's an opportunity to change lives. And for me that bit, you know, there was a big shift when it was a client isn't an opportunity to pay bills, a client is an opportunity to change someone's world and improve you know, their life and improve what they're doing in business or in life, whatever it is. And I think having, having that mindset and that frame of mind just changes it from being something that I have to do to make money to something that I love to do because I want to change lives and impact people. Yeah, absolutely. It
Gresham Harkless 14:16
starts to definitely become a calling not just something you have to do is something you get to do that you're appreciative of getting the opportunity to kind of do that on a day to day basis. Exactly. Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, Jim, I truly appreciate that perspective. 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 you're working on.
Gems Collins 14:40
Thank you. Yeah, I mean, I think like I say, always have a strong why and if there's anybody listening who, you know, you you listen to this podcast and you read the newsletter and you're ingesting all the great information that's been put out there, but you haven't started your business yet. Just go for it. Like there's no reason not to, you'll fall down but you'll learn and I encourage you to continue you're failing because the only way that you're going to get better is to learn from the mistakes that you make the things that didn't work so you can make them work next time. So don't be fearful. If fear is just something that is in your mind right now, it's not a real thing. So just take that first step because somebody, multiple people out there need what it is that you have, and you're doing them a disservice by not doing what it is that you were born to do. So take that first step and get started. And if business coaching online course creation is something that you need help with, then please do reach out, the best place to find me is my website, which is just www gems collins.com. I also spend a lot of time on Instagram, and I'm just at gems Collins and that's gems, but with the G.
Gresham Harkless 15:39
Awesome, awesome, awesome, I will definitely have the links and information in the show notes as well, too. But definitely fear is false evidence appearing real. And if we remind ourselves of that. And just as you said, like a lot of times we don't realize when we start something we will fall, I almost always think of like the little kid that can't walk. And when the kid falls down, no one says hey, maybe walking isn't for you. Maybe that's not your thing. The kid gets up and does it over and over again until we're now it goes and we're walking around and running around and doing all types of phenomenal things. So I think it's something we need to remind ourselves though, so I definitely appreciate that reminder and hope you have a great rest of the day.
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