I AM CEO PODCASTTech

IAM880- Entrepreneur Generates Marketing Content Through AI

Podcast Interview with Sid Bharath

Sid Bharath is an entrepreneur and SAAS marketing consultant. He works with software startups to help them identify their best growth channels and scale up in a data-driven and systematic manner.

He was the #7 employee and VP of Growth at Thinkific, where he was in charge of growing the MRR. During his time, they 20x the MRR and reached more than 6,000 paying users.

He's also known as a marketing consultant who has worked with amazing companies in San Francisco like ShareDesk, Olark, LemonStand, CartHook, ReCharge, and many more.

He is the CEO and Co-Founder of Broca, an AI software that generates marketing content, such as ad copy and blog posts. Previously, he was a marketing consultant for numerous high-growth tech startups.

  • CEO Hack: Being clear on what to say and not to
  • CEO Nugget: Don't worry about the things that are beyond your control
  • CEO Defined: Define a vision for the future you want to see and enroll people to achieve it

Website: https://www.siddharthbharath.com/

LinkedIn: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/sidbharath
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Siddharth87


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Transcription

 

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00:02 – Intro

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

00:30 – Gresham Harkless:

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I had a very special guest on the show today Sid Barath of Braca. Sid, it's awesome to have you on the show.

00:38 – Sid Bharath:

Hey Gresh, thank you so much for having me.

00:40 – Gresham Harkless:

I'm excited. No problem. I'm excited as well to have you on and hear about all the awesome things that you're doing. And before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Sid so you can hear about some of those awesome things. And Sid is an entrepreneur and SaaS marketing consultant. He works with software startups and helps them identify their best growth channel and scale up in a data-driven and systematic manner. He was the number 7 employee and VP of growth at Thinkific, where he was in charge of growing the MRR. During this time, they went 20 times the MRR and reached more than 6,000 paying users.

He is also known as a marketing consultant who has worked with amazing companies in San Francisco, including Sharedesk, Olark, LemonStand, CartHook, Recharge, and many, many more. He is the CEO and co-founder of Braca, an AI software that generates marketing content such as ad copy and blog posts. Previously, he was a marketing consultant for numerous high-growth tech startups. Sid, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

01:37 – Sid Bharath:

Yes, I am. Thank you so much, Gresh.

01:38 – Gresham Harkless:

No problem. I appreciate you. And to kick everything off, I wanted to kind of rewind the clock a little bit here, a little bit more on how you got started. Could you take us through what I call your CEO story when you get started with the business?

01:48 – Sid Bharath:

Absolutely, yeah. So, well, right now I'm running a startup called Braca, which as you mentioned is an AI software for generating copy and ad copy and content. I got started with this earlier this year because prior to that, I was consulting for various companies as a marketer. During my consulting and marketing days, I realized that a lot of marketing is based on content, which is creating content for your blogs your website, and your ads. And it's very time-consuming to create that content. Especially if you want to create really good stuff. And I've always wondered if we could use AI to do it. And this summer during the pandemic, a lot of my clients decided to cut back on ad spending, and marketing spend.

And so I found myself with a lot of time on my hands because I had less work to do. And I said, why not start this, try to build an AI software that can do this? Because it's been an idea I've been thinking about for a while. I know that a lot of other marketers have had the same problem. And so that's how I had the idea and that's how I decided to start building it.

02:42 – Gresham Harkless:

Nice. I absolutely appreciate that. And I think so many times, you know, I heard it and I read it even before the pandemic happened. A lot of times when you have those disruptions in the economy, a lot of times there's a lot of really great opportunities that come out about it and you seem to have had it in the back of your head. And then, you know, when that opportunity presented itself, it seems like you've been able to grow something phenomenal.

03:02 – Sid Bharath:

Absolutely. And I think this is true for many other folks today as well because, with the pandemic, a lot of people lost jobs or like laid off and are paused for work. And so people have been starting online businesses, e-commerce stores, online courses, software companies, that kind of thing.

03:16 – Gresham Harkless:

Yeah, absolutely. So I know you touched on it. I read a little bit too. Could you take us through a little bit more about Braca and what exactly and how exactly it works for the clients you have?

03:26 – Sid Bharath:

Yeah. So we target mostly large advertisers, agencies, and big companies who are spending a lot of money on Google ads specifically. What we do is we connect with a Google ads account, we figure out what are the best-performing ads, and then we use AI to generate new variations on top of that, that you can test. So it's basically like a really rapid testing tool because if you have like a thousand ads running,

it's just very time-consuming to keep writing new variations for them every week. So ours will just spit out new variations. You just choose which ones you want and you click it and it goes back into your Google ads. So that's kind of like the first product. We want to expand that into various other ad platforms and also like eventually into content, blog content website copy, and so on.

04:06 -Gresham Harkless:

Yeah, absolutely. And I almost think and definitely correct me if I'm wrong. And 1 of the opportunities you have or I think we all have with doing digital marketing and digital content are you really get to tap into that data, but to really be able to kind of synthesize that and understand that, which it sounds like the AI kind of fulfills that gap. It allows you to be able to do that a lot more rapidly and increases your likelihood of being successful.

04:28 – Sid Bharath:

Absolutely, like a lot of digital marketing today and in recent years has been around figuring out, looking at data understanding what's working, and expanding on that. The problem is as humans, we're just very, we're not very good with data in general. Right. And, and computers are a lot better at crunching data and figuring out the insights from it. As humans, we can take care of the creative aspects of things. So we can still set the tone and the brand and the creative strategy, and then let the AI use data to figure out how to actually implement that stuff and execute it.

04:55 – Gresham Harkless:

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that's, yeah, like you said, that's where AI really gets the shine is it takes all that data and information and synthesizes it and does it like at a snap of a finger when a lot of times you can end up spending a lot more time and a lot more energy and maybe not get as much of an impact as you hope to have. So I appreciate you for creating that.

05:13 – Sid Bharath:

Yeah. And, you know, like a lot of people think, oh, AI may replace humans, but I don't see it that way because I still think humans can take care of the creative side of things. And AI does all the other work that is just hard for humans to replicate.

05:24 – Gresham Harkless:

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that, to me, that's, you know, having a certain mindset where you don't think either or you think both, how can both, you know, humans and AI kind of co-create to be able to reach whatever goals the organization might have?

05:38 – Sid Bharath:

Exactly, yeah. We see AI as a tool that augments your skills and capabilities as a marketer or a copywriter.

05:45 – Gresham Harkless:

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

05:55 – Sid Bharath:

I think it's my ability to connect with people. I have over the years built up a lot of connections with marketers in various industries, in agencies, with VC investors, and with people who I would hire into my company to help build this company. And so that ability to just like, I hate to use the word network, but to network and to maintain like this really good, you know, set of contacts, I think is a very unique and special ability for me.

06:24 – Gresham Harkless:

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that at the end of the day, to me, that's 1 of the best currencies, so to speak, is to be able to have those connections, to be able to know the right people, to be able to know quality people as well too, and to be able to have that Rolodex, for lack of a better term, to be able to kind of call upon. So you being able to kind of create those connections, create those relationships, I think helps you out obviously in the present time, but can always help you out in the future as well.

06:50 – Sid Bharath:

Absolutely, yeah. It's just always good to, the way I go about it is, that I'm always just trying to be helpful to people, give advice, and do a lot of free consultations with companies or help people connect with other people. And so people remember that. And then when I need something or when I need help, I reach out and I'm getting, you know, now we have like a network of people who are potentially mentors or advisors, potentially employers, investors, that kind of thing.

07:12 -Gresham Harkless:

Yeah, absolutely. You have that giving mentality and it starts to bear those fruits a lot of times later on and years and years later at some moments. So definitely appreciate that. And so I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple book or habit that you have but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

07:33 – Sid Bharath:

Yeah, I think it's just being extremely clear on what to say no to. So, you know, as a CEO, there's so many different things that you can and some things you should be doing, and there's many things you can be doing. And so you really want to, what I try to do is I list them into different buckets. So what are things that are super important and that can only be done by me? What is super important but either doesn't really require my presence or I just don't want to do it or I'm not good at it, in which case I will delegate that to someone else. And then what are things that are not important in which case, it's just like we leave it on the wayside for now. Because, you know, right, when you're starting a company, especially you really want to focus on what's important.

08:16 – Gresham Harkless:

Yeah, and I think that's what gets the needle moving. And I think so many times people don't do that exercise. So I'm glad you gave that kind of visual of having those 3 different columns, so to speak because I think so many times, like for example, sometimes they might be going through emails and you get caught doing that literally all day, which a lot of us could cause we get a lot of emails, but is that helping you to move the needle forward? And I think really be able to do that exercise and understand those things that you and only you can do. And you do better than anybody else versus those things that can be delegated or those things that maybe aren't even as important that you have to do.

08:49 – Sid Bharath:

Yeah, and you could do this on like a daily basis or a weekly basis, but set aside some time every day, a week to do this exercise. Look at your entire task list or things to do for the week, and put it down in this exercise. And for the stuff that ends up in your bucket for what's really important that you only can do or should be doing, make sure you have the priorities right within that as well. Like what is the number one thing? What is the number 2 thing? And try to get at least 3 of those done.

09:14 – Gresham Harkless:

Yeah, That's so huge. And I think there's a Steve Jobs quote and I don't know if you've heard it, but he said, he said, focus isn't about the things he says yes to, it's about all the things he said no to because I think so many times we forget about that and really working at being able to kind of, kind of trim the fat, so to speak, so that we can really focus and be as effective and efficient as we were capable of being.

09:35 – Sid Bharath:

Absolutely, yeah. You know, like if you're just taking on too many things, then you either don't do the stuff that you should be doing well enough, or you're just like you're all over the place and then really nothing moves forward.

09:48 – Gresham Harkless:

Absolutely, absolutely. And so I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be 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.

10:01 – Sid Bharath:

I would say don't worry about the things that are out of your control. Bad stuff is always going to happen. Stuff is going to hit the fan. There are always reasons for you to be anxious or worried, especially when you're in the early stages of your startup and there's like a lot of make-or-break periods. But think about like all of this stuff that's happening, what is in your control and what's not in your control. And just whatever's not in your control, just don't worry about it. Don't get anxious about it. Don't waste your brain cycles or worry about it unnecessarily.

10:35 – Gresham Harkless:

Yeah, that's extremely powerful. And I had an internship and I remember my boss used to always say, control what you can control. And I think that you kind of touched on a point that I think is so huge that a lot of times we forget about the energy that we have or the time that we have and energy that we're spending on worrying or energy that we're spending on trying to figure out if something's going to work right or you know staying up and all that. That's the energy we're taking away from creating solutions from you know problem-solving doing all those things So if you have to choose 1 or the other, why not choose to be in that place and to be in that mindset to kind of create those solutions and that opportunity?

11:09 – Sid Bharath:

Exactly. Yeah. And like, you know, something bad may be happening and you're worried about it, but then if you spend all that time worrying, you're not actually fixing it, right? Especially if it's something that you just can't control and there is no fix, don't worry about it. Like what else can you be doing that can offset the bad stuff that's happening right now? That's what you should be thinking about.

11:27 -Gresham Harkless:

Yeah, and I mean, I think that hits home with even what we kind of touched on as well too, about the pandemic in and of itself, like trying to control those things that are outside of what we can. But that's why I love your story and how you've been able to start this because it's right in line with this nugget because rather than worrying about those things that are happening, why not skate to where the puck's gonna be? Why not do the things and how things are changing and create something that can provide as much value and opportunity for people?

11:50 – Sid Bharath:

Exactly, yeah. Like when I lost my marketing clients during the pandemic, I could have wanted it and I could have been like, oh no, what's gonna happen to me and try to like win them back and stuff. But I just accepted the fact that there is a global pandemic. There's nothing I can do about it. And it was a clear sign that like this could happen again, you know, like it's, it's not, it was not sustainable for me to continue doing what I was doing as a consultant. And so I had to build something that could stand the test of time. It could be. Withstand, sort of black swans like this.

12:17 – Gresham Harkless:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I think that you said it so well like this is not the first and last time. So those things will happen and it's all in not so much, you know, you being able to control those external factors, but you to be able to control yourself, your mindset and your efforts and what it is that you're doing that. So truly appreciate that nugget. And I wanted to ask you now 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 Sid, what does being a CEO mean to you?

12:48 – Sid Bharath:

Well, being a CEO means to me to define a vision for a future that you wanna see and to enroll people into that vision to help you build that future.

12:59 – Gresham Harkless:

That's extremely powerful. And I think that it's so powerful because it has within it the opportunity for you to kind of predict and create that future and to be able to find that team and those people that can help you to have that come to fruition. And I think so many times we see success or we see being a CEO or an entrepreneur or whatever as a 1 definition or 1 way that you can do that. But once you kind of start out with creating that and then getting the people that believe in that and you can empower, that's when things really go to another level.

13:28 – Sid Bharath:

Absolutely, yeah. I mean, you look at what like Elon Musk or Bezos and Jobs and all these folks did, right, like Bezos envisioned a world where everyone was buying things online and he went ahead and created it. And Musk envisions a future where we're a multi-planetary species and he's going ahead and creating it. No matter what people say and how much they try to, you know, put him down or say it's not gonna work or it's just impossible. And it is, it's crazy to think that you can build, create a multi-planetary species, but he's going ahead and doing it and that's what it means to be a CEO.

13:58 – Gresham Harkless:

Yeah, absolutely. And there's this, I don't know if you've ever seen this, this Will Smith video, and he always talks about like, you know, impossible and what that means. And he said there was, you know, once a time when you would think bending a piece of metal and flying it across the world is something that is impossible and never would happen, but we fly on planes all the time now. And that has come to fruition. So a lot of times those people that kind of see things in a different way and are bold enough to kind of take the actions to do that are those people that are really the trailblazers and the people that are innovators. Absolutely.

14:30 – Sid Bharath:

Yep. And you need a team of people as well, right? You need to bring on. And if you look at the way Musk has gone about it, like even Tesla, it was started by a few other people and he came on and he led as a CEO, SpaceX, he brought on a whole bunch of like folks who actually know about rocketry and, and spaceships and, and, and he's built that.

14:48 – Gresham Harkless:

Absolutely. Yeah. Success is definitely a team sport. So you can go much farther if you have a team and you're able to kind of empower and embolden and enlighten that team as well. So Sid, truly, I appreciate that definition and I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know and of course how best they can get a whole view and find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.

15:09 –  Sid Bharath:

For sure, yeah. You know, for anyone listening, thinking of starting a business, or just starting out, What I'd like to say is that now is as good a time as any. There's so much opportunity right now, despite what's happening around the world. In fact, because of what's happening around the world, there is opportunity. And things are gonna go bad, but don't worry about that stuff. Just be very specific and clear about what you want to be doing and building for the future. Focus on what matters most. Don't worry about what you can't handle and just keep working at it.

15:39 – Gresham Harkless:

Yeah, absolutely.

15:41 –  Sid Bharath:

All right. If you want to get in touch with me, if you want to chat, if you want some advice, or if you want to use Broca as well to help you with your marketing content, you can contact me, sid at usebroca.com. That's S-I-D at U-S-E-B-R-O-C-A.com. And the website is usebroca.com.

16:00 -Gresham Harkless:

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, I appreciate that, Sid. We will have the link and information in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you, but you're absolutely right that a lot of times when things are being flipped upside and down and shaken and stirred and all around, that's truly where opportunities come about. And I appreciate you for reminding us of that. I appreciate you for living that as well too and breathing that. And I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

16:22 – Outro

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

00:02 - Intro

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

00:30 - Gresham Harkless: Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I had a very special guest on the show today Sid Barath of Braca. Sid, it's awesome to have you on the show.

00:38 - Sid Bharath: Hey Gresh, thank you so much for having me.

00:40 - Gresham Harkless: I'm excited. No problem. I'm excited as well to have you on and hear about all the awesome things that you're doing. And before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Sid so you can hear about some of those awesome things. And Sid is an entrepreneur and SaaS marketing consultant. He works with software startups and helps them identify their best growth channel and scale up in a data-driven and systematic manner. He was the number 7 employee and VP of growth at Thinkific, where he was in charge of growing the MRR. During this time, they went 20 times the MRR and reached more than 6,000 paying users.

He is also known as a marketing consultant who has worked with amazing companies in San Francisco, including Sharedesk, Olark, LemonStand, CartHook, Recharge, and many, many more. He is the CEO and co-founder of Braca, an AI software that generates marketing content such as ad copy and blog posts. Previously, he was a marketing consultant for numerous high-growth tech startups. Sid, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

01:37 - Sid Bharath: Yes, I am. Thank you so much, Gresh. 

01:38 - Gresham Harkless: No problem. I appreciate you. And to kick everything off, I wanted to kind of rewind the clock a little bit here, a little bit more on how you got started. Could you take us through what I call your CEO story when you get started with the business?

01:48 - Sid Bharath: Absolutely, yeah. So, well, right now I'm running a startup called Braca, which as you mentioned is an AI software for generating copy and ad copy and content. I got started with this earlier this year because prior to that, I was consulting for various companies as a marketer. During my consulting and marketing days, I realized that a lot of marketing is based on content, which is creating content for your blogs your website, and your ads. And it's very time-consuming to create that content. Especially if you want to create really good stuff. And I've always wondered what if we could use AI to do it. And this summer during the pandemic, a lot of my clients decided to cut back on ad spending, and marketing spend.

And so I found myself with a lot of time on my hands because I had less work to do. And I said, why not start this, try to build an AI software that can do this? Because it's been an idea I've been thinking about for a while. I know that a lot of other marketers have had the same problem. And so that's how I had the idea and that's how I decided to start building it.

02:42 - Gresham Harkless: Nice. I absolutely appreciate that. And I think so many times, you know, I heard it and I read it even before the pandemic happened. A lot of times when you have those disruptions in the economy, a lot of times there's a lot of really great opportunities that come out about it and you seem to have had it in the back of your head. And then, you know, when that opportunity presented itself, it seems like you've been able to grow something phenomenal.

03:02 - Sid Bharath: Absolutely. And I think this is true for many other folks today as well because, with the pandemic, a lot of people lost jobs or like laid off and are paused for work. And so people have been starting online businesses, e-commerce stores, online courses, software companies, that kind of thing.

03:16 - Gresham Harkless: Yeah, absolutely. So I know you touched on it. I read a little bit too. Could you take us through a little bit more about Braca and what exactly and how exactly it works for the clients you have?

03:26 - Sid Bharath: Yeah. So we target mostly large advertisers, agencies, and big companies who are spending a lot of money on Google ads specifically. What we do is we connect with a Google ads account, we figure out what are the best-performing ads, and then we use AI to generate new variations on top of that, that you can test. So it's basically like a really rapid testing tool because if you have like a thousand ads running, it's just very time-consuming to keep writing new variations for them every week. So ours will just spit out new variations. You just choose which ones you want and you click it and it goes back into your Google ads. So that's kind of like the first product. We want to expand that into various other ad platforms and also like eventually into content, blog content website copy, and so on.

04:06 -Gresham Harkless: Yeah, absolutely. And I almost think and definitely correct me if I'm wrong. And 1 of the opportunities you have or I think we all have with doing digital marketing and digital content are you really get to tap into that data, but to really be able to kind of synthesize that and understand that, which it sounds like the AI kind of fulfills that gap. It allows you to be able to do that a lot more rapidly and increases your likelihood of being successful.

04:28 - Sid Bharath: Absolutely, like a lot of digital marketing today and in recent years has been around figuring out, looking at data understanding what's working, and expanding on that. The problem is as humans, we're just very, we're not very good with data in general. Right. And, and computers are a lot better at crunching data and figuring out the insights from it. As humans, we can take care of the creative aspects of things. So we can still set the tone and the brand and the creative strategy, and then let the AI use data to figure out how to actually implement that stuff and execute it.

04:55 - Gresham Harkless: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that's, yeah, like you said, that's where AI really gets the shine is it takes all that data and information and synthesizes it and does it like at a snap of a finger when a lot of times you can end up spending a lot more time and a lot more energy and maybe not get as much of an impact as you hope to have. So I appreciate you for creating that.

05:13 - Sid Bharath: Yeah. And, you know, like a lot of people think, oh, AI may replace humans, but I don't see it that way because I still think humans can take care of the creative side of things. And AI does all the other work that is just hard for humans to replicate.

05:24 - Gresham Harkless: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that, to me, that's, you know, having a certain mindset where you don't think either or you think both, how can both, you know, humans and AI kind of co-create to be able to reach whatever goals the organization might have?

05:38 - Sid Bharath: Exactly, yeah. We see AI as a tool that augments your skills and capabilities as a marketer or a copywriter.

05:45 - Gresham Harkless: Yeah, absolutely. And so I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for you personally or your business or a combination of both. But what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

05:55 - Sid Bharath: I think it's my ability to connect with people. I have over the years built up a lot of connections with marketers in various industries, in agencies, with VC investors, and with people who I would hire into my company to help build this company. And so that ability to just like, I hate to use the word network, but to network and to maintain like this really good, you know, set of contacts, I think is a very unique and special ability for me.

06:24 - Gresham Harkless: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that at the end of the day, to me, that's 1 of the best currencies, so to speak, is to be able to have those connections, to be able to know the right people, to be able to know quality people as well too, and to be able to have that Rolodex, for lack of a better term, to be able to kind of call upon. So you being able to kind of create those connections, create those relationships, I think helps you out obviously in the present time, but can always help you out in the future as well.

06:50 - Sid Bharath: Absolutely, yeah. It's just always good to, the way I go about it is, that I'm always just trying to be helpful to people, give advice, and do a lot of free consultations with companies or help people connect with other people. And so people remember that. And then when I need something or when I need help, I reach out and I'm getting, you know, now we have like a network of people who are potentially mentors or advisors, potentially employers, investors, that kind of thing.

07:12 -Gresham Harkless: Yeah, absolutely. You have that giving mentality and it starts to bear those fruits a lot of times later on and years and years later at some moments. So definitely appreciate that. And so I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple book or habit that you have but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

07:33 - Sid Bharath: Yeah, I think it's just being extremely clear on what to say no to. So, you know, as a CEO, there's so many different things that you can and some things you should be doing, and there's many things you can be doing. And so you really want to, what I try to do is I list them into different buckets. So what are things that are super important and that can only be done by me? What is super important but either doesn't really require my presence or I just don't want to do it or I'm not good at it, in which case I will delegate that to someone else. And then what are things that are not important in which case, it's just like we leave it on the wayside for now. Because, you know, right, when you're starting a company, especially you really want to focus on what's important.

08:16 - Gresham Harkless: Yeah, and I think that's what gets the needle moving. And I think so many times people don't do that exercise. So I'm glad you gave that kind of visual of having those 3 different columns, so to speak because I think so many times, like for example, sometimes they might be going through emails and you get caught doing that literally all day, which a lot of us could cause we get a lot of emails, but is that helping you to move the needle forward? And I think really be able to do that exercise and understand those things that you and only you can do. And you do better than anybody else versus those things that can be delegated or those things that maybe aren't even as important that you have to do.

08:49 - Sid Bharath: Yeah, and you could do this on like a daily basis or a weekly basis, but set aside some time every day, a week to do this exercise. Look at your entire task list or things to do for the week, and put it down in this exercise. And for the stuff that ends up in your bucket for what's really important that you only can do or should be doing, make sure you have the priorities right within that as well. Like what is the number one things? What is the number 2 thing? And try to get at least 3 of those done.

09:14 - Gresham Harkless: Yeah, That's so huge. And I think there's a Steve Jobs quote and I don't know if you've heard it, but he said, he said, focus isn't about the things he says yes to, it's about all the things he said no to because I think so many times we forget about that and really working at being able to kind of, kind of trim the fat, so to speak, so that we can really focus and be as effective and efficient as we were capable of being.

09:35 - Sid Bharath: Absolutely, yeah. You know, like if you're just taking on too many things, then you either don't do the stuff that you should be doing well enough, or you're just like you're all over the place and then really nothing moves forward really.

09:48 - Gresham Harkless: Absolutely, absolutely. And so I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be 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.

10:01 - Sid Bharath: I would say don't worry about the things that are out of your control. Bad stuff is always going to happen. Stuff is going to hit the fan. There are always reasons for you to be anxious or worried, especially when you're in the early stages of your startup and there's like a lot of make-or-break periods. But think about like all of this stuff that's happening, what is in your control and what's not in your control. And just whatever's not in your control, just don't worry about it. Don't get anxious about it. Don't waste your brain cycles or worry about it unnecessarily.

10:35 - Gresham Harkless: Yeah, that's extremely powerful. And I had an internship and I remember my boss used to always say, control what you can control. And I think that you kind of touched on a point that I think is so huge that a lot of times we forget about the energy that we have or the time that we have and energy that we're spending on worrying or energy that we're spending on trying to figure out if something's going to work right or you know staying up and all that. That's the energy we're taking away from creating solutions from you know problem-solving doing all those things So if you have to choose 1 or the other, why not choose to be in that place and to be in that mindset to kind of create those solutions and that opportunity?

11:09 - Sid Bharath: Exactly. Yeah. And like, you know, something bad may be happening and you're worried about it, but then if you spend all that time worrying, you're not actually fixing it, right? Especially if it's something that you just can't control and there is no fix, don't worry about it. Like what else can you be doing that can offset the bad stuff that's happening right now? That's what you should be thinking about.

11:27 -Gresham Harkless: Yeah, and I mean, I think that hits home with even what we kind of touched on as well too, about the pandemic in and of itself, like trying to control those things that are outside of what we can. But that's why I love your story and how you've been able to start this because it's right in line with this nugget because rather than worrying about those things that are happening, why not skate to where the puck's gonna be? Why not do the things and how things are changing and create something that can provide as much value and opportunity for people?

11:50 - Sid Bharath: Exactly, yeah. Like when I lost my marketing clients during the pandemic, I could have wanted it and I could have been like, oh no, what's gonna happen to me and try to like win them back and stuff. But I just accepted the fact that there is a global pandemic. There's nothing I can do about it. And it was a clear sign that like this could happen again, you know, like it's, it's not, it was not sustainable for me to continue doing what I was doing as a consultant. And so I had to build something that could stand the test of time. It could be. Withstand, sort of black swans like this.

12:17 - Gresham Harkless: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I think that you said it so well like this is not the first and last time. So those things will happen and it's all in not so much, you know, you being able to control those external factors, but you to be able to control yourself, your mindset and your efforts and what it is that you're doing that. So truly appreciate that nugget. And I wanted to ask you now 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 Sid, what does being a CEO mean to you?

12:48 - Sid Bharath: Well, being a CEO means to me is to define a vision for a future that you wanna see and to enroll people into that vision to help you build that future.

12:59 - Gresham Harkless: That's extremely powerful. And I think that it's so powerful because it has within it the opportunity for you to kind of predict and create that future and to be able to find that team and those people that can help you to have that come to fruition. And I think so many times we see success or we see being a CEO or an entrepreneur or whatever as a 1 definition or 1 way that you can do that. But once you kind of start out with creating that and then getting the people that believe in that and you can empower, that's when things really go to another level.

13:28 - Sid Bharath: Absolutely, yeah. I mean, you look at what like Elon Musk or Bezos and Jobs and all these folks did, right, like Bezos envisioned a world where everyone was buying things online and he went ahead and created it. And Musk envisions a future where we're a multi-planetary species and he's going ahead and creating it. No matter what people say and how much they try to, you know, put him down or say it's not gonna work or it's just impossible. And it is, it's crazy to think that you can build, create a multi-planetary species, but he's going ahead and doing it and that's what it means to be a CEO.

13:58 - Gresham Harkless: Yeah, absolutely. And there's this, I don't know if you've ever seen this, this Will Smith video, and he always talks about like, you know, impossible and what that means. And he said there was, you know, once a time when you would think bending a piece of metal and flying it across the world is something that is impossible and never would happen, but we fly on planes all the time now. And that has come to fruition. So a lot of times those people that kind of see things in a different way and are bold enough to kind of take the actions to do that are those people that are really the trailblazers and the people that are innovators. Absolutely.

14:30 - Sid Bharath: Yep. And you need a team of people as well, right? You need to bring on. And if you look at the way Musk has gone about it, like even Tesla, it was started by a few other people and he came on and he led as a CEO, SpaceX, he brought on a whole bunch of like folks who actually know about rocketry and, and spaceships and, and, and he's built that.

14:48 - Gresham Harkless: Absolutely. Yeah. Success is definitely a team sport. So you can go much farther if you have a team and you're able to kind of empower and embolden and enlighten that team as well. So Sid, truly, I appreciate that definition and I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know and of course how best they can get a whole view and find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.

15:09 -  Sid Bharath: For sure, yeah. You know, for anyone listening, thinking of starting a business, or just starting out, What I'd like to say is that now is as good a time as any. There's so much opportunity right now, despite what's happening around the world. In fact, because of what's happening around the world, there is opportunity. And things are gonna go bad, but don't worry about that stuff. Just be very specific and clear about what you want to be doing and building for the future. Focus on what matters most. Don't worry about what you can't handle and just keep working at it.

15:39 - Gresham Harkless: Yeah, absolutely.

15:41 -  Sid Bharath: All right. If you want to get in touch with me, if you want to chat, if you want some advice, or if you want to use Broca as well to help you with your marketing content, you can contact me, sid at usebroca.com. That's S-I-D at U-S-E-B-R-O-C-A.com. And the website is usebroca.com.

16:00 -Gresham Harkless: Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, I appreciate that, Sid. We will have the link and information in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you, but you're absolutely right that a lot of times when things are being flipped upside and down and shaken and stirred and all around, that's truly where opportunities come about. And I appreciate you for reminding us of that. I appreciate you for living that as well too and breathing that. And I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

16:22 - 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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