IAM808- Consultant Helps Create Business Growth Foundations

Podcast Interview with Chandra Gore

Chandra has built successful and profitable businesses through her boutique consulting and public relations firm, Chandra Gore Consulting, working with entrepreneurs to help them create foundations to ensure longevity and growth. Quietly making strides with placements for small businesses, entertainment, authors, therapists and motivational speaking clients on local and national news outlets she has also been leaving her mark as a publicist in the industry. She is also an author, speaker, podcast host, festival founder and producer.

  • CEO Hack: I have a notebook that I write down stuff for future references
  • CEO Nugget: Trust your guts
  • CEO Defined: Being fearless and trust your mindset



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Intro 0:02
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 I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today at Chandra Gore of Chandra Gore consulting, Chandra is awesome. have you on the show?

Chandra Gore 0:38
Thank you for having me. This is this is a great, you know, catch up situation here. Yeah,

Gresham Harkless 0:44
absolutely. You're doing you know, so many phenomenal things always good to kind of catch up with people doing phenomenal things and in different fields and different opportunities and just to introduce shaundra t, so you can learn a little bit more about some of the awesomeness that she's doing. Sandra has built successful and profitable businesses through through her boutique consulting and public relations firm Sondra gore consulting, working with entrepreneurs to help them create foundations to ensure longevity and growth, quietly making strides with placements for small businesses, entertainment, authors, therapists, motivational speaking clients on local and national outlets. She has been leaving her mark as a publicist in the industry. She's an author, speaker, podcast host, festival founder and producer Shadi, are you ready to speak for the imcl community?

Chandra Gore 1:27
I am ready to speak to everyone.

Gresham Harkless 1:29
Awesome. Let's do it. So to kick everything off, I wanted to hear a little bit more on how you got started. Can you take us through what I call your CEO story, we'll let you get started with awesome. And

Chandra Gore 1:37
I actually started out at 18 with a baking Catering Company A long time ago, and legit business. But I had businesses before that when I was a kid. But that's you know, that's how it all started working go through? No. My dad was like, you don't work for me. That's it. So, um, but yeah, my entrepreneur, my CEO journey started at a young age for my passion for baking. And I found out that was a great, you know, a great business people like sweets. So started from there, then I started making catering little small events. And then I went into wedding planning for a little bit. That was not my ministry. So, but in in the process of running that I actually learned a lot about business registrations, um, how, you know, the different levels, from federal to state to actual local registrations for businesses. So a lot of people don't realize that there's a three tier process. So from there, I ended up reading about every single county because it fascinated me how many different hoops you had to go through. So when everyone was starting their businesses, they knew that I had done the research. So they came to me and asked me questions. So that's where I got my feet in with consulting. And I was like, okay, you know, that was my new little, you know, thing. And then from there, it just blossomed, I was laid off in 2015, which actually, um, prompted me to get my LLC get my business started and go for it. And then six days later, I got another job. So. So being a parallel entrepreneur, it just kind of pushed me to look at the different ways a larger company, you know, works, and applies those to my small business. And it actually worked out for me, because there's certain things that apply to small businesses, that that wouldn't work with a larger business. But learning all of that actually helped me to gain clients and explain to them why they can't I want to be big as Nike. Oh, you know, I had to tell them the truth like that? No. No, it's like, it became, um, it was a great a great progression of learning how the markets work itself. So that's where I, I just grew as a consultant. And then public relations is something I got it by accident. Because someone wrote a press release, I didn't like it. And I like to, I used to do persuasive writing. So I was like, okay, it's basically we have to sell this to an outlet for them to book a client. Oh, that's easy. Let me write words that trigger you to say, Oh, I need to find out more. So that's where public relations was added and knowing how to strategically tell a message, like especially with community events, and stuff like that, to let the community know, this is what's going on and why they should be a part of it. So that's where that went with my business consulting and public relations. The producer side, I love comedy, that's by one of my loves. So I started producing comedy shows and from there, it just took off because it's like, it's just like running a bit. It's the same thing as running a business, teaching comedians that they are business so you know, kind of everything crosses, you know, path. So, from there, I hosted a festival 2019 there was no Comedy Festival. A brand buy in great in Northern Virginia. So I ended up launching that I was a one woman show I brought in other producers come, you know, they ran different comedy houses across the northern Virginia area, pull that together a five day event. It was great. So it's like, and then with my community organization with the voting registration itself, it's like, it's like, it's, I wear many hats. So as a CEO, like it's like, you can't be pigeon holed to roll, roll roll sometimes. So it's like everything kind of, kind of criss crosses in. But it all works. Yeah.

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Gresham Harkless 5:35
No, I appreciate you breaking that down. Because I think so many times that we see like maybe the event you went to the festival, we saw there was a really phenomenal festival, we don't see all the things that add up to the festival. We don't see, you know, the baking business and the information you learn from that and how you're using that today and the consulting with the different businesses. I think so many times, I think, you know, Malcolm Gladwell has his 10,000 hours very aware to be an expert. Excellent. And it takes 10,000 hours. But so many times, we don't see each of those steps that people take in order to get there, we just see the finish line and say, oh, okay, that's all you have to do, when in reality, it is a lot of work that's behind the scenes to get back

Chandra Gore 6:09
I sleep. Yes. I missed sleep sometimes. Like, I really would like to catch up on the sleep that I missed.You know, I love to read. So sometimes I get wrapped up in reading different methodologies and you know, different processes, it actually helps me to keep my mind going and it keeps my it keeps me kind of on my toes. Yeah, no. Yeah. So Absolutely. Well, I

Gresham Harkless 6:37
think to that, I don't know if you would definitely agree with me, I feel like there's a certain kind of curiosity. I think the best CEOs or entrepreneurs or business owners having a lot of them are avid readers, they're, you know, subscribing every YouTube channel, listen to the podcasts are taking in so much time, and to be able to think creatively, sometimes by as you kind of touched on bringing what is in one industry to another industry, sometimes that's the most creative thing that you can sometimes do.

Chandra Gore 7:02
Yeah, because it's like, it's, um, for some reason, like, in my head, I don't know when you can see him inside of my head. But it's like a, you know, how electricity is going through different points, right. And it just, it just flows because it knows where to go. So a lot of times I could sit and I'm thinking about something and then have to just do it, just click it. It's like, wow, like, wait a minute, I never thought about it that way. So I ended up having to write down like little little reminders, like Remember to go back to this and understand like, this can work with that. And I never thought, you know, I just it just, it just flows sometimes because you don't see the parallels in different businesses, which is sometimes it's the same build same train, you know, and it's different trains, but they all run the same track sometimes, if that makes sense. Because a lot of people like so yes, like, because I never thought of applying how I ran my desert, you know, when I had took orders for desserts and stuff. So I would only release certain things at certain certain times of the year. Same way with comedy. There are certain times of the year where more people came out the show. So I had to apply that same thing to that. I was like, wait a minute, more people come out during the summer in the fall, and then not much in the winter, because people are staying home. So it's like, okay, so I'll reduce the number of shows or having the winner, you know, increase the number shows I have in the summer, spring summer in early fall. And it was successful. And it was like, okay, and I found that sweet spot right before summer ended in Fall begin to find the to put the festival in it Actually, it was like a perfect week. And I was like, Yes. It was like, Wow, it actually worked. Yeah, it's

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Gresham Harkless 8:43
from the baking business. It's so funny. I know, I definitely understand exactly what you mean, I feel like you're in my head because I almost I don't know if you ever seen the movie, A Beautiful Mind, where he's like riding all the mirrors I saw and I literally looking at my mirror right now, because I have a bunch of writing all over. Because sometimes when you get those ideas, and things start to flow together, and you see kind of like the forest for the trees, it really provides you that opportunity, which is you know what I love? You know, you're doing the consulting business, because I think you are able to kind of give and provide so many services, from that expertise to people to help them, you know, set up their business, as you mentioned, but it also sounds like that the PR is a big part of that. Can you talk a little bit more about those ways.

Chandra Gore 9:18
So public relations, most of the time people come to me The first thing is I want to get on the news. And I'm like, wait a minute, what's your business foundation? What is your SLP look like? What? How are you going to handle the influx once people put eyes on you? And I get the blank stare like what you mean? I just want to know what I'm doing. No, you want to sell your product or service. But how are you going to handle once you get that notoriety? I didn't think of that. Exactly. Because everybody wants to be seen for the great things that they're doing. But you if you can't handle your business is not structured to handle going from four four orders a week to 400 orders a week. Then it's going to fail. So that press you got is going to turn into bad press, and then it's going to turn into cleaner, and it is going to turn into crisis management. So to alleviate it going to that progression, I sit down that as you know, I asked that question, once you get this media recognition, let's look at your business to make sure that you run the testing, so that you can actually handle the influx and handle the looks and handle everything. Let's look at your media presence, let's look at what you've done online personally, and business, you know, to make sure when those eyes are on you, you are a perfect box that people can palette. Now, if palatable, you know, and not offensive or a misunderstanding, Oh, I didn't mean to say that, let's make sure you're ready for that kind of scrutiny, because some people aren't, they'll find the old tweet from 2010 and hit your business clothes. That's where it's like you have to understand it's you know, public relations is not just the, you know, I'm here, let me show you what I have. Most of the time, that's what all the publishers will do. The duality that I have as a consultant is I will not take on a client that I can't, um, that I'm that I don't fit, and look at everything because they could, they could have done something 20 years ago, and I will never be able to get them press, you know, because of what they've done. So I have to bet everything, you know, as a process. So because it's public relations, and especially if you have a really always tech gauge the community as well, like, you know, hey, you know, have you heard of such and such, what are your views, I check every site that can get a review of a company, if their service provider or a public, you know, they work directly with the community, I check all of that. Because the issue is like, if you don't fix that one deficit that you had, what's the point of getting the press?

Gresham Harkless 11:56
You know, you're absolutely right, it ends up becoming kind of like a house of cards. So that's why I love that you're able to make sure that you have that foundation, as you mentioned, you don't have that tweet from 2015 or 2000. Right now 3000 followers on Twitter, then but you get what I'm saying but the same

Chandra Gore 12:11
views back then. Okay. Exactly,

Gresham Harkless 12:12
exactly. And especially in this day and age at the kind of a speak of a smart speaker or the type of phone, you can really find out so much information and do that due diligence. And it's so important that not only that you might have created this really phenomenal product or service, but that you have that foundation and you have an are showing and being consistent with the brand and the publicity that you could potentially get. So I love that you're able to kind of kind of merge and bring together that duality, so that businesses can be successful and take it in and go from there. Um, would you consider to be that to be kind of what I call your secret sauce that then you feel kind of sets you apart is that ability to bring in those two different things, but also the experience that you had as well, too?

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Chandra Gore 12:53
Yes, that is, that is the one thing that I think sets me apart, because I don't just look at, oh, I have a retainer for five grand a month, and I'm just going to start pitching. To me, that's, that's not doing that personal service. And I will not take on a client that I know is not ready. You know, my, my, my conscious, and my integrity means more than a check, you know, so it's like, I would rather if they are not ready, help them to get ready, and put that money towards investing into getting a business ready. And then we'll talk about public relations, because some people's businesses are a mess. Like some people Oh, I got an AI in. Okay, that's cute. Where's your registration? Like? Where's your trademarks? What what are you doing to protect yourself? Do you have insurance? Have you, you know, do you have the proper licensing to go put these TVs up on the wall and somebody sounds like, all of these things come into play, like, in a lot of people that like but you know, but I'm popping on Instagram, that's cute. Brand can be deleted like us, like it's all of these things that they don't matter in a grand grand scheme of things having your structure correct. And you know, just in case something happens, you lose it all. You know. And so it's like telling being honest, and I think in a consultation, I'm brutally honest,

Gresham Harkless 14:08
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 or book or a habit that you have, or something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Chandra Gore 14:18
I have a notebook. This notebook is not a client notebook. It's like, it's talking like points that, you know, that I referenced back to. And I have posted notes that I use in the notebook that make me remember like this is you know, when I have this problem, go back to this and it's it helps me to keep in a way it's a it helps me to remember certain things like even though like every internet 10 clients, but every single client has that one thing that they every every endeavor fails is that one thing so I write down what usually precedes it, and how I how I handle it. So I don't I'm not racking my brain.

Gresham Harkless 15:01
Now I want to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this could be a word of wisdom or piece of advice could be around PR consulting. Or if you happen to a time machine, you might tell your younger self,

Chandra Gore 15:11
if I could trust your gut, always trust your gut.

Gresham Harkless 15:15
Now when it asks 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 Sondra, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Chandra Gore 15:23
being fearless because to actually be a leader, you you have to put your fear to the side sometimes. And trust trust your trust your mindset, trust what you actually put them together, I

Gresham Harkless 15:36
truly appreciate that definition. I appreciate your time even more, what I wanted to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know and of course, how best they can, you know, review and find out about all the awesome things you're working on.

Chandra Gore 15:48
Um, thank you for having me. My, um, I can be found on all things social media of tangible consulting or under Chandra 401. And also conversations with Chan. I write about different entrepreneurs, I interview different entrepreneurs on the publication, so you could find out a lot by asking the right question. So that's how you can stay in contact with me.

Gresham Harkless 16:14
Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, shandra will definitely have the links and information in the show notes as well too, so that everybody can follow up with you. But I appreciate you again, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest today.

Outro 16:23
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 a This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

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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(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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