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Podcast with Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

Published author, counsellor, advocate, entrepreneur and military veteran, Ariel possesses the up with authenticity, vulnerability, and courage. Her unrelenting passion and commitment to empowering and her ability to show others how to drive important social initiatives forward with agility and focus make her a sought-after leader in many arenas.

High Impact Presenter and Business Development Expert – Ariel is a returning media guest to conversation topics stemming from Women and Veterans, Diversity and Inclusion, Personal Development and Entrepreneurship. Ariel was recognized as Woman Veteran of the Year (2019) and her accolades include Miss Veteran America, Semi-Finalist (2017) and Miss Black Utah (2010).

  • CEO Hack: I have a habit of reading 25 pages a day
  • CEO Nugget: Recognize what the standard is because it might be less than what you require of yourself
  • CEO Defined: Being thoughtful, present, productive and playful. Having a little self-awareness

Website: http://www.tactfuldisruption.co

Twitter: https://twitter.com/llctactful

Instragram: https://www.instagram.com/llctactful/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/tactful-disruption-llc/

Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/LLCtactful/

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Full Interview:

Transcript

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00:02 – 00:26
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 – 00:39
Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and have a very special guest on the show today. I have Ariel Shivers-McGrew of Tactful Disruption. Ariel, it's awesome having you on the show.

00:39 – 00:44
Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

It's so nice to be here. Thank you for inviting me.

00:44 – 01:43
Gresham Harkless

No problem. Super excited to have you on. And before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Ariel. So you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. She's a published author, counsellor, advocate, entrepreneur and military veteran. Ariel possesses the up with authenticity, vulnerability and courage. Her unrelenting passion and commitment to empowering abilities to show others how to drive important social initiatives forward with agility and focus make her a sought-after leader in many arenas.

High-impact presenter and business development expert Ariel is a returning media guest to conversation topics stemming from women and veterans, diversity and inclusion, personal development and entrepreneurship. Ariel was recognized as a Woman Veteran of the Year in 2019. And her accolades include Miss Veteran America, a semi-finalist in 2017, and Miss Black Utah in 2010. Ariel, you're doing many awesome things. Super excited to have you on the show. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

01:43 – 01:44
Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

I'm ready.

01:44 – 01:53
Gresham Harkless

Awesome, let's do it. So to kick everything off, I want to hear a little bit more about how you got started. Could you take us through what I call your CEO story? We'll let you get started with all the awesomeness that you're working on.

01:53 – 04:37
Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

Yeah, it's really short. I'm gonna keep a long story short. I got tired of being around people who were sleeping on me. So No, the reality of it is, you know, like, you know how Taraji P. Henson started her movement saying there were no black therapists, right? Here it was, I was a black therapist, I am a black therapist, right? Licensed professional counselor. So I'm trained to see pathology as it sits in front of me. But what was even more interesting was I wanted to do career development and they are very different to other people when it's like career and mental health are really intertwined. You can't have 1 without the other. I mean, there is literature that dates all the way back to like 1952 about this. So I was working in spaces and places for people who knew that I was a counselor but wanted me to be in different roles.

So for me, it was like the coolest way to kind of develop this mentality of becoming like the Nike of mental health and career development. Like, let me show y'all how to do this. This is kind of fun. So they were leveraging the reality that I was affiliated with the military. They're like, hey, we need women veterans. We want to talk to women veterans of color. We want them to do things. And it just opened 1 door after another. And I think the aha moment for me was when I helped a veteran-owned company that was speaking clear English to me, but not to the managing director that I was under. So I was translating it, and we ended up winning a $250,000 grant. And it was to really help with the federal and state technology partnership.

And I was looking at it from the strategic plan that the company had organized saying, Hey, we want to implement more technology. And I'm like, well, what if instead of just implementing it in the organization within our physical space, we actually think about putting that in our programming? And so it was a great way to leverage that mental health background of listening 80%, talking 20%. But being 100% self-aware, to say, Okay, I figured out how I can actually help people with some of the challenges because the person was brilliant. But you know, the thing about brilliance is there's a fine line between genius and insanity. And so having that experience of counselling the criminally insane to mother and daughter teams, it's like, I work with people all day long.

So tactical disruption was really how I am as a person. Our tagline is boldly editing workplace italics, which is just people, culture and organization. So it was like a no-brainer that hey, I'm a mental health coach and consultant, like, But I'm telling people this and they're still like, we want you for the job. Okay, great. But in my mind, these are projects. I'm not really an employee because I'm in a state of self-actualization. So I realized there's a way to help other people do that. And 1 of the routes I found was through career development. Now, some people will say it's entrepreneurship, it's economic development, but it's self-actualization. We all need to do things that make us happy.

04:38 – 05:02
Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that's 1 of the most powerful words. And I think that's something that when you are able to kind of self-actualize or get to that moment in that space. That's when really phenomenal things happen. Because I say so often that so many times we end up running other people's races, not running our own. And when you start to understand what that is, and you understand what your race is and how exactly you can make that happen and how it manifests itself, that's when everything kind of flows from there.

05:02 – 05:03
Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

I agree.

05:04 – 05:14
Gresham Harkless

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So I know you touched on it a little bit about, you know, tactical disruption, exactly what you're doing, how you support clients. Can you drill down a little bit more to let us know exactly how that process goes and who exactly you connect with?

05:14 – 08:42
Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

Sure, so we do like one-to-one mental health coaching. Now HIPAA is rolling out. I'm not HIPAA. Let me not say that There is a rollout of new telebehavioral health laws that are coming into play but what I found was If I went through organizations like the depression and bipolar support alliance, they're like 35 years old They do peer support groups, right? So some of those sessions are free But really it's a resource that deals with people who have a likely Experience So it's being able to tell that experience, putting truth to it, but with people who have been through it, because sometimes people don't realize counselors, like there's a real journey to becoming a psychotherapist, like a real journey. It's like, no, we have to try on many personalities.

And you know, we've dealt with a lot of types of personalities to be like oh I get it we get it right because we're here to coach you. What I found was they wanted to move a women veterans of color group online but they don't have any people of color in the organization who speaks to that audience. And so we developed a really dope relationship and I said, hey, let me do the campaigns. So they pay us upfront, we create the campaigns, we're speaking the language of the population. And then on the back end, I'm running those peer support groups every Sunday at 6 pm for them, but it's twofold. So I'm certified as a veteran peer support specialist. So it's like, hey, I'll share my story. I married a narcissist. I'm like an empath. It's crazy. You know, I had, you know, that gives you PTSD.

The reality is it's just, you know, I had a human experience, but I wanna talk to people who understand what that human experience is like when you're wearing this uniform when you don't have an opportunity to be as vulnerable as others because it comes with a lot more. Specifically, like my MOS is Psyop. There are not a lot of females that are qualified to be Psyop. Additionally, there's not a whole bunch of minority women who are in Psyop. So it comes with its own implied social responsibilities. And I'm always up for a challenge. So we do the campaigns on the front end, we do the peer support groups, and then what happens is we end up getting people who go, hey, you know, I love this, but I read about your company and I need help with this career piece.

So it's like, Hey, we're doing something for an organization in the midst of doing for the organization, we're using that appreciative inquiry framework. So we're looking at their team dynamics so we're kind of helping them have transparent conversations and highlighting because remember, We're trying to see pathology as it sits in front of us like, hey, that person might be struggling. You might want to help your buddy out. You know, so there's a new camaraderie that gets created there. But then whoever the primary is, you know, they'll end up calling and I love it. Like they'll be closer like, oh my God, I love talking to you. You're like my personal therapist.

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I'm like, hey, I'll send you an invoice. So paying for those campaigns up front gave us an opportunity to really give away free therapy and just peer support style where you drop into a room that's HIPAA compliant and you talk to me as your a counselor for 30 to 50 minutes. I will cut you off at 60. So you talk to me and you just get some stuff out because if you speak it you know what ends up happening is You really start to normalize your experience. You start to de-stigmatize yourself and then the healing starts to happen because when you give life to something, it's available now for you to really watch it grow.

08:43 – 09:15
Gresham Harkless

Yeah, that's extremely powerful. And I think that so many times there's not always, I guess, space that's created. And for that to happen, whether we're talking about organizations or as individuals or a combination of both, I love that you have created those, obviously, now, I guess, virtual opportunities, but definitely, ways in which people can let a lot of that stuff out because I think in correct me if I'm wrong Sometimes that is what happens with mental health where it's sometimes not talked about, it's not addressed, it's not looked at and a lot of times it can be bottled up and manifest itself in not-so-great ways I guess you could say.

09:15 – 09:17
Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

Oh, definitely, definitely.

09:18 – 09:27
Gresham Harkless

Awesome, so what I wanted to ask you for is what I call your secret sauce. This could be for yourself, for your business, or a combination of both. But what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

09:28 – 10:15
Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

I'm talented and confident, but like I understand that I'm a black intellect and I think sometimes I'm not dealing with people who understand what that is. So it's like, yeah, keep trying to put the box on me, but that's why I agree that I am tactfully disruptive. Like, you know, and just like, you know, I'm not just giving you like this framework for a company, I'm giving you this concept that that's who I am as a person. It's not about the right questions, but it's about being in those environments and really helping people understand that we can do this caring relationship as long as we're creating win-win strategies that allow for us to recognize self-actualization is not possible if pathology is present. So if we're not moving together as a team, something is sick within the body of what we're trying to do. So let's fix it.

10:15 – 10:26
Gresham Harkless

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. What's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

10:26 – 11:05
Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

I read 25 pages a day. I don't care what it is. I just read 25 pages a day, primarily because I'm working on my PhD in business psychology. And so I switched programs halfway through. So going from counselor education and supervision that came so naturally to me, like I would devour those books to reading something that is not as natural to me. It's like, what the hell are they talking about? So I got in the habit of saying, okay, I'm gonna read 25 pages a day until this is like a second language to me. Like it's so natural that like People would think I was a genius and it's like, nope, I just learned to be disciplined.

11:05 – 11:15
Gresham Harkless

I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be like a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client or if you hopped into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

11:15 – 11:22
Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

Recognize what the standard is because it might be less than what you require of yourself.

11:22 – 11:32
Gresham Harkless

I definitely appreciate that. And 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 Ariel, what does being a CEO mean to you?

11:32 – 12:06
Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

It means being thoughtful, present, and playful. That it's, you know, minding what matters and making sure that I am not killing myself in the process. Killing myself the moment I feel anxiety, recognizing that, having a level of self-awareness to know, hey, every time that person says that, that makes me uncomfortable. Something is happening here. You know what? When I'm creating this, I don't like the way it feels. Hey, when I created that, oh my God, my heart lit up. I felt great. I told myself I was a genius. Put that 1 out. That 1 feels good, you know? Like just that to me. Be playful, be present, but be productive.

12:06 – 12:44
Gresham Harkless

Nice. I love that kind of 3 aspects, kind of like the legs of a stool, so to speak, because I almost feel like if you don't have 1, then the entire stool kind of topples over. And I think so many times, again, as we kind of talked about, we're not only not, I guess, aware of those things, we don't really create that space and create that time in order to do that. And as you kind of touched on, you know, during a time like this, where everything has literally come to a pause, and kind of force that honest look at where you are and what you're accomplishing and how your mental health is, it is so important to happen that we kind of take advantage of this time as well.

12:44 – 12:48
Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

Definitely. I hope you've been taking advantage of this time. I know you've been working hard, sir.

12:48 – 13:04
Gresham Harkless

I've been working hard and I try to. You can't help but take advantage of the time because it's so much of a transformational time that everything that you do on a regular basis is not normal. So it kind of has been a very tactfully disruptive time, so to speak.

13:05 – 13:30
Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

I love it. You know, it has been though, right, because now people have really had to get some sense about themselves and for us to recognize wholeheartedly and realistically for the first time, common sense is not common because half of us have been living in isolation. So you know, now it's like people you can like you can almost feel it. It's so powerful people saying like, you know, those soul urges like people need hugs, people need people now.

13:31 – 13:42
Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. And we realized that we probably didn't have those human interactions that people, a connection that we had, we thought we were having everything, everybody to some degree was kind of just zooming through our last life, you can say.

13:43 – 14:43
Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

Yeah, I mean, I bet you If you put it out there and ask people after this interview, how many of you still interact with some of those people you see every day? I bet you like more than half would be like, I have it. And to be honest, I have peace now. You know, I have peace. I'm glad they fell off or, You know, I'm not sure, but my life has been redirected since then. It's almost like, you know, it's kind of like a power, right? Ghost died, but like, you know, it's a new season. This is a new type of game, right? Chess, not checkers.

So it's like, whoa, like it's a whole new scene, whole new cut, whole new mission. Like, it's like, what's about to happen? And I love that. I love that like you're literally getting to experience a redo right like if you didn't get if you felt like you weren't getting it right and you felt like you went through too much you know it's our modern-day biblical times The world has stopped for you to understand what you need in your universe to make some stuff happen. So I think that's pretty dope if you look at it that way. I don't know, I'm a glass-half-full chick.

14:43 – 15:54
Gresham Harkless

So am I. I'm very much that type of person too. And I think as you kind of touched on it's so important to be able to kind of take advantage of that time as well. Because I think a lot of times just like with everything else that's been happening, we can kind of just allow life to kind of happen and zoom through and wait to be patiently wait or anxiously waiting to the end when in reality this is the present that we have right in front of us. So like a literal present. Exactly. Exactly. Well, I definitely appreciate that, Ariel, 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 gain a hold of you and find out about all those things you're working on. Oh, thank you. We are a digital mental health coaching and consulting practice. We address the intersections. So you'll see that we use a lot of little wood figures because we recognize it's a personal journey. It doesn't actually come with a face. It's what you make it. But we wanna be here for you in the process. If you know any women veterans who need additional support, we run free emotional peer support groups every Sunday at 6 pm. The link is, you can find the link on our Instagram page. If you ever want to know what we're up to, just follow us on social.

15:56 – 16:21
Gresham Harkless

Awesome, awesome, awesome. And to make it even easier, we'll have the links and information and the show notes as well too, so that everybody can follow up with us. And I think obviously this is a very transformational time as we kind of talked about. And I think so many times we zoom over mental health, we zoom over checking in to make sure that you're okay. So I appreciate you for kind of leading that charge and making us remind and reminding us of how important that is as well. So Ariel, truly appreciate that and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

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16:22 – 16:57
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 - 00:26

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 - 00:39

Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and have a very special guest on the show today. I have Ariel Shivers-McGrew of Tactful Disruption. Ariel, it's awesome having you on the show.

00:39 - 00:44

Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

It's so nice to be here. Thank you for inviting me.

00:44 - 01:43

Gresham Harkless

No problem. Super excited to have you on. And before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Ariel. So you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. She's a published author, counsellor, advocate, entrepreneur and military veteran. Ariel possesses the up with authenticity, vulnerability and courage. Her unrelenting passion and commitment to empowering abilities to show others how to drive important social initiatives forward with agility and focus make her a sought-after leader in many arenas.

High-impact presenter and business development expert Ariel is a returning media guest to conversation topics stemming from women and veterans, diversity and inclusion, personal development and entrepreneurship. Ariel was recognized as a Woman Veteran of the Year in 2019. And her accolades include Miss Veteran America, a semi-finalist in 2017, and Miss Black Utah in 2010. Ariel, you're doing many awesome things. Super excited to have you on the show. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community? 

01:43 - 01:44

Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

I'm ready.

01:44 - 01:53

Gresham Harkless

Awesome, let's do it. So to kick everything off, I want to hear a little bit more about how you got started. Could you take us through what I call your CEO story? We'll let you get started with all the awesomeness that you're working on.

01:53 - 04:37

Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

Yeah, it's really short. I'm gonna keep a long story short. I got tired of being around people who were sleeping on me. So No, the reality of it is, you know, like, you know how Taraji P. Henson started her movement saying there were no black therapists, right? Here it was, I was a black therapist, I am a black therapist, right? Licensed professional counselor. So I'm trained to see pathology as it sits in front of me. But what was even more interesting was I wanted to do career development and they are very different to other people when it's like career and mental health are really intertwined. You can't have 1 without the other. I mean, there is literature that dates all the way back to like 1952 about this. So I was working in spaces and places for people who knew that I was a counselor but wanted me to be in different roles.

So for me, it was like the coolest way to kind of develop this mentality of becoming like the Nike of mental health and career development. Like, let me show y'all how to do this. This is kind of fun. So they were leveraging the reality that I was affiliated with the military. They're like, hey, we need women veterans. We want to talk to women veterans of color. We want them to do things. And it just opened 1 door after another. And I think the aha moment for me was when I helped a veteran-owned company that was speaking clear English to me, but not to the managing director that I was under. So I was translating it, and we ended up winning a $250,000 grant. And it was to really help with the federal and state technology partnership.

And I was looking at it from the strategic plan that the company had organized saying, Hey, we want to implement more technology. And I'm like, well, what if instead of just implementing it in the organization within our physical space, we actually think about putting that in our programming? And so it was a great way to leverage that mental health background of listening 80%, talking 20%. But being 100% self-aware, to say, Okay, I figured out how I can actually help people with some of the challenges because the person was brilliant. But you know, the thing about brilliance is there's a fine line between genius and insanity. And so having that experience of counselling the criminally insane to mother and daughter teams, it's like, I work with people all day long.

So tactical disruption was really how I am as a person. Our tagline is boldly editing workplace italics, which is just people, culture and organization. So it was like a no-brainer that hey, I'm a mental health coach and consultant, like, But I'm telling people this and they're still like, we want you for the job. Okay, great. But in my mind, these are projects. I'm not really an employee because I'm in a state of self-actualization. So I realized there's a way to help other people do that. And 1 of the routes I found was through career development. Now, some people will say it's entrepreneurship, it's economic development, but it's self-actualization. We all need to do things that make us happy.

04:38 - 05:02

Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that's 1 of the most powerful words. And I think that's something that when you are able to kind of self-actualize or get to that moment in that space. That's when really phenomenal things happen. Because I say so often that so many times we end up running other people's races, not running our own. And when you start to understand what that is, and you understand what your race is and how exactly you can make that happen and how it manifests itself, that's when everything kind of flows from there.

05:02 - 05:03

Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

I agree.

05:04 - 05:14

Gresham Harkless

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So I know you touched on it a little bit about, you know, tactical disruption, exactly what you're doing, how you support clients. Can you drill down a little bit more to let us know exactly how that process goes and who exactly you connect with?

05:14 - 08:42

Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

Sure, so we do like one-to-one mental health coaching. Now HIPAA is rolling out. I'm not HIPAA. Let me not say that There is a rollout of new telebehavioral health laws that are coming into play but what I found was If I went through organizations like the depression and bipolar support alliance, they're like 35 years old They do peer support groups, right? So some of those sessions are free But really it's a resource that deals with people who have a likely Experience So it's being able to tell that experience, putting truth to it, but with people who have been through it, because sometimes people don't realize counselors, like there's a real journey to becoming a psychotherapist, like a real journey. It's like, no, we have to try on many personalities.

And you know, we've dealt with a lot of types of personalities to be like oh I get it we get it right because we're here to coach you. What I found was they wanted to move a women veterans of color group online but they don't have any people of color in the organization who speaks to that audience. And so we developed a really dope relationship and I said, hey, let me do the campaigns. So they pay us upfront, we create the campaigns, we're speaking the language of the population. And then on the back end, I'm running those peer support groups every Sunday at 6 pm for them, but it's twofold. So I'm certified as a veteran peer support specialist. So it's like, hey, I'll share my story. I married a narcissist. I'm like an empath. It's crazy. You know, I had, you know, that gives you PTSD.

The reality is it's just, you know, I had a human experience, but I wanna talk to people who understand what that human experience is like when you're wearing this uniform when you don't have an opportunity to be as vulnerable as others because it comes with a lot more. Specifically, like my MOS is Psyop. There are not a lot of females that are qualified to be Psyop. Additionally, there's not a whole bunch of minority women who are in Psyop. So it comes with its own implied social responsibilities. And I'm always up for a challenge. So we do the campaigns on the front end, we do the peer support groups, and then what happens is we end up getting people who go, hey, you know, I love this, but I read about your company and I need help with this career piece.

So it's like, Hey, we're doing something for an organization in the midst of doing for the organization, we're using that appreciative inquiry framework. So we're looking at their team dynamics so we're kind of helping them have transparent conversations and highlighting because remember, We're trying to see pathology as it sits in front of us like, hey, that person might be struggling. You might want to help your buddy out. You know, so there's a new camaraderie that gets created there. But then whoever the primary is, you know, they'll end up calling and I love it. Like they'll be closer like, oh my God, I love talking to you. You're like my personal therapist.

I'm like, hey, I'll send you an invoice. So paying for those campaigns up front gave us an opportunity to really give away free therapy and just peer support style where you drop into a room that's HIPAA compliant and you talk to me as your a counselor for 30 to 50 minutes. I will cut you off at 60. So you talk to me and you just get some stuff out because if you speak it you know what ends up happening is You really start to normalize your experience. You start to de-stigmatize yourself and then the healing starts to happen because when you give life to something, it's available now for you to really watch it grow.

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08:43 - 09:15

Gresham Harkless

Yeah, that's extremely powerful. And I think that so many times there's not always, I guess, space that's created. And for that to happen, whether we're talking about organizations or as individuals or a combination of both, I love that you have created those, obviously, now, I guess, virtual opportunities, but definitely, ways in which people can let a lot of that stuff out because I think in correct me if I'm wrong Sometimes that is what happens with mental health where it's sometimes not talked about, it's not addressed, it's not looked at and a lot of times it can be bottled up and manifest itself in not-so-great ways I guess you could say. 

09:15 - 09:17

Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

Oh, definitely, definitely.

09:18 - 09:27

Gresham Harkless

Awesome, so what I wanted to ask you for is what I call your secret sauce. This could be for yourself, for your business, or a combination of both. But what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

09:28 - 10:15

Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

I'm talented and confident, but like I understand that I'm a black intellect and I think sometimes I'm not dealing with people who understand what that is. So it's like, yeah, keep trying to put the box on me, but that's why I agree that I am tactfully disruptive. Like, you know, and just like, you know, I'm not just giving you like this framework for a company, I'm giving you this concept that that's who I am as a person. It's not about the right questions, but it's about being in those environments and really helping people understand that we can do this caring relationship as long as we're creating win-win strategies that allow for us to recognize self-actualization is not possible if pathology is present. So if we're not moving together as a team, something is sick within the body of what we're trying to do. So let's fix it.

10:15 - 10:26

Gresham Harkless

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. What's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

10:26 - 11:05

Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

I read 25 pages a day. I don't care what it is. I just read 25 pages a day, primarily because I'm working on my PhD in business psychology. And so I switched programs halfway through. So going from counselor education and supervision that came so naturally to me, like I would devour those books to reading something that is not as natural to me. It's like, what the hell are they talking about? So I got in the habit of saying, okay, I'm gonna read 25 pages a day until this is like a second language to me. Like it's so natural that like People would think I was a genius and it's like, nope, I just learned to be disciplined.

11:05 - 11:15

Gresham Harkless

I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be like a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client or if you hopped into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

11:15 - 11:22

Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

Recognize what the standard is because it might be less than what you require of yourself.

11:22 - 11:32

Gresham Harkless

I definitely appreciate that. And 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 Ariel, what does being a CEO mean to you?

11:32 - 12:06

Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

It means being thoughtful, present, and playful. That it's, you know, minding what matters and making sure that I am not killing myself in the process. Killing myself the moment I feel anxiety, recognizing that, having a level of self-awareness to know, hey, every time that person says that, that makes me uncomfortable. Something is happening here. You know what? When I'm creating this, I don't like the way it feels. Hey, when I created that, oh my God, my heart lit up. I felt great. I told myself I was a genius. Put that 1 out. That 1 feels good, you know? Like just that to me. Be playful, be present, but be productive.

12:06 - 12:44

Gresham Harkless

Nice. I love that kind of 3 aspects, kind of like the legs of a stool, so to speak, because I almost feel like if you don't have 1, then the entire stool kind of topples over. And I think so many times, again, as we kind of talked about, we're not only not, I guess, aware of those things, we don't really create that space and create that time in order to do that. And as you kind of touched on, you know, during a time like this, where everything has literally come to a pause, and kind of force that honest look at where you are and what you're accomplishing and how your mental health is, it is so important to happen that we kind of take advantage of this time as well.

12:44 - 12:48

Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

Definitely. I hope you've been taking advantage of this time. I know you've been working hard, sir.

12:48 - 13:04

Gresham Harkless

I've been working hard and I try to. You can't help but take advantage of the time because it's so much of a transformational time that everything that you do on a regular basis is not normal. So it kind of has been a very tactfully disruptive time, so to speak.

13:05 - 13:30

Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

I love it. You know, it has been though, right, because now people have really had to get some sense about themselves and for us to recognize wholeheartedly and realistically for the first time, common sense is not common because half of us have been living in isolation. So you know, now it's like people you can like you can almost feel it. It's so powerful people saying like, you know, those soul urges like people need hugs, people need people now.

13:31 - 13:42

Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. And we realized that we probably didn't have those human interactions that people, a connection that we had, we thought we were having everything, everybody to some degree was kind of just zooming through our last life, you can say.

13:43 - 14:43

Ariel Shivers Mcgrew

Yeah, I mean, I bet you If you put it out there and ask people after this interview, how many of you still interact with some of those people you see every day? I bet you like more than half would be like, I have it. And to be honest, I have peace now. You know, I have peace. I'm glad they fell off or, You know, I'm not sure, but my life has been redirected since then. It's almost like, you know, it's kind of like a power, right? Ghost died, but like, you know, it's a new season. This is a new type of game, right? Chess, not checkers.

So it's like, whoa, like it's a whole new scene, whole new cut, whole new mission. Like, it's like, what's about to happen? And I love that. I love that like you're literally getting to experience a redo right like if you didn't get if you felt like you weren't getting it right and you felt like you went through too much you know it's our modern-day biblical times The world has stopped for you to understand what you need in your universe to make some stuff happen. So I think that's pretty dope if you look at it that way. I don't know, I'm a glass-half-full chick.

14:43 - 15:54

Gresham Harkless

So am I. I'm very much that type of person too. And I think as you kind of touched on it's so important to be able to kind of take advantage of that time as well. Because I think a lot of times just like with everything else that's been happening, we can kind of just allow life to kind of happen and zoom through and wait to be patiently wait or anxiously waiting to the end when in reality this is the present that we have right in front of us. So like a literal present. Exactly. Exactly. Well, I definitely appreciate that, Ariel, 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 gain a hold of you and find out about all those things you're working on. Oh, thank you. We are a digital mental health coaching and consulting practice. We address the intersections. So you'll see that we use a lot of little wood figures because we recognize it's a personal journey. It doesn't actually come with a face. It's what you make it. But we wanna be here for you in the process. If you know any women veterans who need additional support, we run free emotional peer support groups every Sunday at 6 pm. The link is, you can find the link on our Instagram page. If you ever want to know what we're up to, just follow us on social.

15:56 - 16:21

Gresham Harkless

Awesome, awesome, awesome. And to make it even easier, we'll have the links and information and the show notes as well too, so that everybody can follow up with us. And I think obviously this is a very transformational time as we kind of talked about. And I think so many times we zoom over mental health, we zoom over checking in to make sure that you're okay. So I appreciate you for kind of leading that charge and making us remind and reminding us of how important that is as well. So Ariel, truly appreciate that and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

16:22 - 16:57

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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