I AM CEO PODCAST

IAM987- Marketing Expert Focuses on Restaurant and Food Brands

Podcast Interview with Christina Orso

Christina Orso is a Boston-based marketing expert who focuses on restaurant and food brands. As the former marketing director of a well-known restaurant group, blogger, and influencer, she decided to go out on her own to work with multiple brands on all things digital marketing. Christina helps her clients with a variety of marketing efforts, including social media, photography, influencer collaborations, email marketing, and much more.

  • CEO Hack: (i) Book- Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau (ii) Taking breaks after a couple of hours to be more productive
  • CEO Nugget: Just go for it and network as much as possible
  • CEO Defined: Doing something I'm passionate about and that's helping brands grow

Website: http://christinaorso.com/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/christinaorso
Facebook: www.facebook.com/christinaorsomarketing


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[00:00:20.89] – Intro

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gretsch values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

[00:00:48.50] – Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Christina Orso of Christinaorso.com. Christina, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:57.70] – Christina Orso

Thank you for having me.

[00:00:58.79] – Christina Orso

Super excited to have you on. And before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about Christina so you could hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Christina is a Boston based marketing expert who focuses on restaurant and food brands. As a former marketing director of a well known restaurant group, blogger, and influencer, she decides to go out on her own to work with multiple brands on all things digital marketing. Christina helps her clients with a variety of marketing efforts, including social media, photography, influencer collaborations, email marketing, and much, much more. Christina, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

[00:01:32.50] – Christina Orso

Yes. Let's do it.

[00:01:33.59] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Let's do it then. So to kick everything off, I I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit here a little bit more little bit more about how you got started in your CEO story.

[00:01:42.40] – Christina Orso

Sure. Yeah. So like I like you mentioned, I was full time with a restaurant group in a marketing role. And all the while, I had, you know, worked with various companies as kind of side hustles, you know, helping them with their marketing and kinda getting a feel of, like, what it would be like to work with a variety of brands. I have an incredible mentor who was my former boss of the company I was with before who kind of encouraged me to do what I had always been curious about form an agency of my own, working with multiple brands, restaurants, and food brands. And, after many, many conversations and exploring the idea of finally going out on my own, it was about a six month period where I had told my former boss, I think I'm gonna do this.

And then less than three months later, it was like, okay. I'm pretty much jam packed. Like, I have to quit my job now. So, yeah, I've just I had a food blog when I was younger. Always just really enjoyed a huge foodie myself, very interested in restaurants. But on the marketing side of having a blog, I really learned the ropes of marketing without, you know, having a marketing background or education. So, yeah, now I work with a ton of restaurants in the area and a couple of food brands, and it's all in the digital marketing world.

[00:02:57.40] – Gresham Harkless

Nice. I definitely appreciate that journey. And I think so many times people don't realize all the steps. Like you mentioned, you know, having a food blog when you were younger and all of those things to me, I don't know if you feel the same way, build up into who you are and what you end up being. So when you were able to have such, you know, rapid success, it wasn't just because you woke up one day and said, hey, I wanna start this business. It's because you sounds like you've been, quote unquote, training for it for a while.

[00:03:20.69] – Christina Orso

Yeah. It's really interesting if you think about it because, yes, you do see people's businesses on a very surface level. You're like, oh, and you don't really think about how they got there. And the behind the scenes of, you know, me starting my blog at twenty five years old and doing it for fun and writing because I was passionate about the restaurant industry. I even had no idea back then that it would turn into a, you know, an actual business ten years later.

[00:03:42.40] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That's one of the the beautiful things about especially, you know, in this past year, but definitely in in in many years that to come, I imagine too, there's so many things that are rapidly changing that a lot of times it sounds like, if we go through, you know, with our passion, sometimes we we, try those things out. They can manifest themselves into things we never could have thought of when we started.

[00:04:02.30] – Christina Orso

Yeah. I totally agree.

[00:04:04.30] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper here a little bit more on how you're working with your clients. Could you take us through a little bit more of that?

[00:04:11.00] – Christina Orso

Yeah. So for my restaurant clients, everyone is local. I work with them as in a digital marketing sense. The primary service that I offer is social media. I'm also unique as a business owner because I do photography as well, and there are often people who do what I do who contract out the photography. But I do both. So it's photography, social media, influencer marketing, email marketing, a little bit of website stuff, copywriting.

So it's all things under the digital marketing umbrella, and each restaurant that I work with has different package of what their needs are depending on what they offer and who they already have in house. So I kind of come in and fill the gaps. But for every restaurant, it's photography and social media at the very minimum.

[00:04:54.50] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That makes so much sense. And I can imagine, you know, and correct me if I'm wrong, especially for these strong, you know, I guess, image heavy personal personal, personal, social media sites, like, you know, Instagram and probably Pinterest and sites like that. You the imagery is so, so important so that you're able to kinda have that perspective when you're also managing the post. I mean, that seems like it can go hand in hand.

[00:05:17.60] – Christina Orso

Yeah. Definitely. I mean, for restaurants and food brands, we eat with our eyes. I mean, the first thing when you see something, you're like, now I have to go get that. And the purpose of, you know, the benefit of having a Facebook and an Instagram is that we push those photos out, you know, to make people drool and wanna come right over.

[00:05:32.89] – Gresham Harkless

Exactly. And so, would you consider that to be what I call, like, your secret sauce, the thing you feel kinda sets you apart and makes you unique? Is it that ability to couple both of those to be able to to get those people to drool and actually come in for your brands?

[00:05:46.00] – Christina Orso

Yeah. I I think having come from not only having a food blog and taking a ton of pictures, you know, before it was cool to take pictures of your food, I was doing that. And then everyone would make fun of me and stare, you know, flash would go off the table. And now it's, like, now that I do this for a living, I'm, like, I told you guys this will be important one day. But, yeah, I mean, I think really being able to capture an image and make it say wow on, you know, the Internet is is crucial.

And I think that's where a lot of these restaurants are lacking on their social media is they're not putting, you know, consistently delicious drool worthy photos. And, you know, not everyone not everything is gonna be hashtag food porn, but, you know, present it in a a beautiful curated way on your feed is is very important to get people in the door.

[00:06:30.89] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. And that's absolutely huge. I love that you you've been able to kinda couple both of those, and you were ahead of your time, it sounds like as well too.

[00:06:36.60] – Christina Orso

Yes. Without even knowing it.

[00:06:38.30] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Exactly. That's why a lot of times we just have to do what feels right. If it feels right, just take a picture, then then you go forward, and next thing you have your agency and everything.

[00:06:46.19] – Christina Orso

Yes. Definitely.

[00:06:47.69] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. But I I love that you said we as people, because I think that so many times, especially related to, like, digital marketing and so many things, in business in general, we forget why we're doing what we're doing, and we're doing it for the clients. And you said that phrase eat with your eyes because I think that basically puts the, the client, the consumer, the customer that can come in at the forefront. I think so many times we forget that in our businesses.

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[00:07:11.00] – Christina Orso

Oh, I agree.

[00:07:12.80] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. 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 app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:07:25.39] – Christina Orso

Sure. I have a couple of things. So the first book that, like, really, really helped me, is called it's called Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau. So even though it when my full-time job, my former full-time job, I had side hustles all the time. I didn't even know what it was to call it a side hustle. But this book teaches you how to take your side hustle side hustle into an actual business. And I was kind of already, you know, feeling out the idea of doing this when I found this book. But I still, to this day, will go back to the book and, like, just reread certain sections Because it reiterates, like, if you have a passion or a hobby that you're really into and you can make money out of it, like, here's how you can do it, and here's how to stay organized and the steps that you need to take.

So I love that book. But, like, an interesting tip that I've kind of learned along the way is to get to know yourself as a person as far as when you are productive. Most people think, like, coming from a nine-to-five job that when you go out on your own you need to wake up at the same time you used to and start your day and finish your day around the same time. And, of course, you can do that. But I think it's really important to start to recognize, like, when your peak productivity is. For me, when I was younger, I was a night owl. But as I've gotten older, I've become more of a morning person.

But I also recognize that if I get up early and churn out a couple of hours of work, I burn out quickly as well. So I try to, after a couple of hours, take a mini-break, go for a walk with my dog, and run some errands. Because if I sit at my desk and turn out six hours, it's just not as effective if I take breaks. So I have a very high and low type of productivity, but I recognize that and I just go with it instead of forcing myself to get things done in a certain time block, if that makes sense.

[00:09:10.50] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That makes perfect sense. And I appreciate you for sharing that because I think so many times we hear that, you know, so and so gets up at 3 AM and, you know, they do this, that, and the third, and we automatically hear, like, okay, that's the recipe Right. For success, so I have to be able to do that. But I think that a person who can be successful isn't doing it because they heard somebody else do it. They did it because that was what worked for them. And if we listen to certain, you know, successful people, we'll hear that, so this so and so works up at 3 AM, where another person might wake up at nine and stay up until 11:12, or one. And that's when we start to understand we just lean into ourselves.

[00:09:46.79] – Christina Orso

Right. Exactly.

[00:09:48.39] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. And I love that book as well too because I think, so many times we we forget that some phenomenal things that are created are because people are passionate about them. And especially in this day and age where you can start to connect on kinda direct to consumer and direct to the people with people that things that you're passionate about, here's where brands, opportunities, and businesses can grow from there at a time, before where it wasn't necessarily as possible.

[00:10:13.50] – Christina Orso

Right. Yep. Definitely.

[00:10:15.70] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. 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 hop into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

[00:10:27.60] – Christina Orso

Sure. So my previous answer was knowing when you're most productive is kind of part of that. But I also think that, like, what I would tell my younger self and what I would tell anybody that's kind of curious about starting a business is just go for it. I mean, I was very resistant to starting a business just because I of those little things of little fears of, like, what am I gonna do for health insurance? What if how am I gonna go with not getting a paycheck every two weeks? All those, like, little insecurities that you have, you need to throw them in the trash and just do it, just go and just figure it out along the way.

There were there's gonna be a lot of questions and uncertainties in your first couple of years of business. And you can get off to a rough start, but have a mentor, and ask tons of questions. There's so much information on the Internet. Network as much as possible and just go. And I think too many people, including myself, spend too much time worrying about it not working out, and you just have to figure it out along the way. I mean, if you put your mind to something that you wanna do, you'll figure it out.

[00:11:30.29] – Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. And I think there's a quote that kinda came to mind when you were saying that. I think it's, you know, somebody's trying to take off the fly, and it's like, what if I fall? But then the alternative is like, but what if you fly? And I think if we never try that, then we never have that opportunity to see those things come to fruition. And as you said, you know, even in your hack, I think so many times we forget too that our trying doesn't have to be mortgaging our house or taking out a hundred million thousand dollars, whatever loan to make that happen. It can start as a hustle, things that you're interested in, and start to grow from there as well.

[00:12:05.70] – Christina Orso

Exactly. Oh, yeah. I think that I mean, I came up with the craziest, like, reasons of why I shouldn't start a business, why it was too risky. And when I look at back at that now, I, like, left myself. I'm like, what was I thinking? I had no idea.

[00:12:16.89] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. But I think it's something that, you know, we all kind of experience, you know, in addition to, like, imposter syndrome and all those things that sometimes kinda come up that stop you before you even get started. Syndrome and all those things that sometimes kinda come up that stop you before you even get started.

[00:12:26.50] – Gresham Harkless

I think if we can, tap into, you know, people like yourself that have had those fears and had those frustrations, myself included, and decided to do it anyways and, you know, are in a better place as a result of it, hopefully, it can help inspire so many other people.

[00:12:40.00] – Christina Orso
Exactly.

[00:12:41.39] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, Christina, I want to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different, quote, unquote, CEOs on the show. So, Christina, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:12:52.89] – Christina Orso

For me, it's about doing something that I'm super passionate about, but also that is helping brands grow. When I see the impact that my team and I can make with just simple things like improving the photography or creating a consistent social media feed, things that I am excited to do every day when they make a difference for a brand. That's the whole reason why I started a business. It wasn't for those selfish reasons of wanting to make more money or go out on my own as much as it was to work with a variety of people, network like crazy, and make a difference.

[00:13:30.39] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That's phenomenal. And I think that when we have that, our mission, our vision, our why, you know, as our North Star, as far as what it is that we do, then it starts to help everything, you know, align. And I think so many times we get caught up in what exactly we're doing. But the impact piece that you spoke to really rings true for me because I think when you start to kinda stay in your zone of genius, do things that you're passionate about, and you're able to make an impact, that's when things go to another thing go to another level.

[00:13:57.10] – Christina Orso

For sure.

[00:14:01.00] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, Christina, truly appreciate that definition, and I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is just 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 hold of you and find out about all the awesome things you and your team are working on.

[00:14:14.60] – Christina Orso

Sure. Yes. So to learn more about me, my website is www.christinaorso.com, just my name. My Instagram is the same thing as Christina Orso. I'd love for you to follow along.

[00:14:26.39] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. And we will have the links and information in the show notes as well too so that she can see all the awesome things that Christina is doing and, of course, some of that hashtag food porn as you mentioned as well too. So truly appreciate you for taking some time out and and all the awesome work you're doing, and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

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[00:14:42.10] – 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.

[00:00:20.89] - Intro

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gretsch values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

[00:00:48.50] - Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Christina Orso of Christinaorso.com. Christina, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:57.70] - Christina Orso

Thank you for having me. 

[00:00:58.79] - Christina Orso

Super excited to have you on. And before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about Christina so you could hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Christina is a Boston based marketing expert who focuses on restaurant and food brands. As a former marketing director of a well known restaurant group, blogger, and influencer, she decides to go out on her own to work with multiple brands on all things digital marketing. Christina helps her clients with a variety of marketing efforts, including social media, photography, influencer collaborations, email marketing, and much, much more. Christina, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[00:01:32.50] - Christina Orso

Yes. Let's do it.

[00:01:33.59] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Let's do it then. So to kick everything off, I I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit here a little bit more little bit more about how you got started in your CEO story. 

[00:01:42.40] - Christina Orso

Sure. Yeah. So like I like you mentioned, I was full time with a restaurant group in a marketing role. And all the while, I had, you know, worked with various companies as kind of side hustles, you know, helping them with their marketing and kinda getting a feel of, like, what it would be like to work with a variety of brands. I have an incredible mentor who was my former boss of the company I was with before who kind of encouraged me to do what I had always been curious about form an agency of my own, working with multiple brands, restaurants, and food brands. And, after many, many conversations and exploring the idea of finally going out on my own, it was about a six month period where I had told my former boss, I think I'm gonna do this.

And then less than three months later, it was like, okay. I'm pretty much jam packed. Like, I have to quit my job now. So, yeah, I've just I had a food blog when I was younger. Always just really enjoyed a huge foodie myself, very interested in restaurants. But on the marketing side of having a blog, I really learned the ropes of marketing without, you know, having a marketing background or education. So, yeah, now I work with a ton of restaurants in the area and a couple of food brands, and it's all in the digital marketing world. 

[00:02:57.40] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. I definitely appreciate that journey. And I think so many times people don't realize all the steps. Like you mentioned, you know, having a food blog when you were younger and all of those things to me, I don't know if you feel the same way, build up into who you are and what you end up being. So when you were able to have such, you know, rapid success, it wasn't just because you woke up one day and said, hey, I wanna start this business. It's because you sounds like you've been, quote unquote, training for it for a while.

[00:03:20.69] - Christina Orso

Yeah. It's really interesting if you think about it because, yes, you do see people's businesses on a very surface level. You're like, oh, and you don't really think about how they got there. And the behind the scenes of, you know, me starting my blog at twenty five years old and doing it for fun and writing because I was passionate about the restaurant industry. I even had no idea back then that it would turn into a, you know, an actual business ten years later.

[00:03:42.40] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That's one of the the beautiful things about especially, you know, in this past year, but definitely in in in many years that to come, I imagine too, there's so many things that are rapidly changing that a lot of times it sounds like, if we go through, you know, with our passion, sometimes we we, try those things out. They can manifest themselves into things we never could have thought of when we started.

[00:04:02.30] - Christina Orso

Yeah. I totally agree. 

[00:04:04.30] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper here a little bit more on how you're working with your clients. Could you take us through a little bit more of that?

[00:04:11.00] - Christina Orso

Yeah. So for my restaurant clients, everyone is local. I work with them as in a digital marketing sense. The primary service that I offer is social media. I'm also unique as a business owner because I do photography as well, and there are often people who do what I do who contract out the photography. But I do both. So it's photography, social media, influencer marketing, email marketing, a little bit of website stuff, copywriting.

So it's all things under the digital marketing umbrella, and each restaurant that I work with has different package of what their needs are depending on what they offer and who they already have in house. So I kind of come in and fill the gaps. But for every restaurant, it's photography and social media at the very minimum.

[00:04:54.50] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That makes so much sense. And I can imagine, you know, and correct me if I'm wrong, especially for these strong, you know, I guess, image heavy personal personal, personal, social media sites, like, you know, Instagram and probably Pinterest and sites like that. You the imagery is so, so important so that you're able to kinda have that perspective when you're also managing the post. I mean, that seems like it can go hand in hand.

[00:05:17.60] - Christina Orso

Yeah. Definitely. I mean, for restaurants and food brands, we eat with our eyes. I mean, the first thing when you see something, you're like, now I have to go get that. And the purpose of, you know, the benefit of having a Facebook and an Instagram is that we push those photos out, you know, to make people drool and wanna come right over.

[00:05:32.89] - Gresham Harkless

Exactly. And so, would you consider that to be what I call, like, your secret sauce, the thing you feel kinda sets you apart and makes you unique? Is it that ability to couple both of those to be able to to get those people to drool and actually come in for your brands?

[00:05:46.00] - Christina Orso

Yeah. I I think having come from not only having a food blog and taking a ton of pictures, you know, before it was cool to take pictures of your food, I was doing that. And then everyone would make fun of me and stare, you know, flash would go off the table. And now it's, like, now that I do this for a living, I'm, like, I told you guys this will be important one day. But, yeah, I mean, I think really being able to capture an image and make it say wow on, you know, the Internet is is crucial.

And I think that's where a lot of these restaurants are lacking on their social media is they're not putting, you know, consistently delicious drool worthy photos. And, you know, not everyone not everything is gonna be hashtag food porn, but, you know, present it in a a beautiful curated way on your feed is is very important to get people in the door.

[00:06:30.89] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. And that's absolutely huge. I love that you you've been able to kinda couple both of those, and you were ahead of your time, it sounds like as well too.

[00:06:36.60] - Christina Orso

Yes. Without even knowing it.

[00:06:38.30] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Exactly. That's why a lot of times we just have to do what feels right. If it feels right, just take a picture, then then you go forward, and next thing you have your agency and everything.

[00:06:46.19] - Christina Orso

Yes. Definitely.

[00:06:47.69] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. But I I love that you said we as people, because I think that so many times, especially related to, like, digital marketing and so many things, in business in general, we forget why we're doing what we're doing, and we're doing it for the clients. And you said that phrase eat with your eyes because I think that basically puts the, the client, the consumer, the customer that can come in at the forefront. I think so many times we forget that in our businesses.

[00:07:11.00] - Christina Orso

Oh, I agree.

[00:07:12.80] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. 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 app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:07:25.39] - Christina Orso

Sure. I have a couple of things. So the first book that, like, really, really helped me, is called it's called Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau. So even though it when my full-time job, my former full-time job, I had side hustles all the time. I didn't even know what it was to call it a side hustle. But this book teaches you how to take your side hustle side hustle into an actual business. And I was kind of already, you know, feeling out the idea of doing this when I found this book. But I still, to this day, will go back to the book and, like, just reread certain sections Because it reiterates, like, if you have a passion or a hobby that you're really into and you can make money out of it, like, here's how you can do it, and here's how to stay organized and the steps that you need to take.

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So I love that book. But, like, an interesting tip that I've kind of learned along the way is to get to know yourself as a person as far as when you are productive. Most people think, like, coming from a nine-to-five job that when you go out on your own you need to wake up at the same time you used to and start your day and finish your day around the same time. And, of course, you can do that. But I think it's really important to start to recognize, like, when your peak productivity is. For me, when I was younger, I was a night owl. But as I've gotten older, I've become more of a morning person.

But I also recognize that if I get up early and churn out a couple of hours of work, I burn out quickly as well. So I try to, after a couple of hours, take a mini-break, go for a walk with my dog, and run some errands. Because if I sit at my desk and turn out six hours, it's just not as effective if I take breaks. So I have a very high and low type of productivity, but I recognize that and I just go with it instead of forcing myself to get things done in a certain time block, if that makes sense.

[00:09:10.50] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That makes perfect sense. And I appreciate you for sharing that because I think so many times we hear that, you know, so and so gets up at 3 AM and, you know, they do this, that, and the third, and we automatically hear, like, okay, that's the recipe Right. For success, so I have to be able to do that. But I think that a person who can be successful isn't doing it because they heard somebody else do it. They did it because that was what worked for them. And if we listen to certain, you know, successful people, we'll hear that, so this so and so works up at 3 AM, where another person might wake up at nine and stay up until 11:12, or one. And that's when we start to understand we just lean into ourselves.

[00:09:46.79] - Christina Orso

Right. Exactly. 

[00:09:48.39] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. And I love that book as well too because I think, so many times we we forget that some phenomenal things that are created are because people are passionate about them. And especially in this day and age where you can start to connect on kinda direct to consumer and direct to the people with people that things that you're passionate about, here's where brands, opportunities, and businesses can grow from there at a time, before where it wasn't necessarily as possible.

[00:10:13.50] - Christina Orso

Right. Yep. Definitely.

[00:10:15.70] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. 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 hop into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

[00:10:27.60] - Christina Orso

Sure. So my previous answer was knowing when you're most productive is kind of part of that. But I also think that, like, what I would tell my younger self and what I would tell anybody that's kind of curious about starting a business is just go for it. I mean, I was very resistant to starting a business just because I of those little things of little fears of, like, what am I gonna do for health insurance? What if how am I gonna go with not getting a paycheck every two weeks? All those, like, little insecurities that you have, you need to throw them in the trash and just do it, just go and just figure it out along the way.

There were there's gonna be a lot of questions and uncertainties in your first couple of years of business. And you can get off to a rough start, but have a mentor, and ask tons of questions. There's so much information on the Internet. Network as much as possible and just go. And I think too many people, including myself, spend too much time worrying about it not working out, and you just have to figure it out along the way. I mean, if you put your mind to something that you wanna do, you'll figure it out. 

[00:11:30.29] - Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. And I think there's a quote that kinda came to mind when you were saying that. I think it's, you know, somebody's trying to take off the fly, and it's like, what if I fall? But then the alternative is like, but what if you fly? And I think if we never try that, then we never have that opportunity to see those things come to fruition. And as you said, you know, even in your hack, I think so many times we forget too that our trying doesn't have to be, you know, mortgaging our house or taking out a hundred million thousand dollars, whatever loan to make that happen. It can start as a hustle, things that you're interested in, and start to grow from there as well.

[00:12:05.70] - Christina Orso

Exactly. Oh, yeah. I think that I mean, I came up with the craziest, like, reasons of why I shouldn't start a business, why it was too risky. And when I look at back at that now, I, like, left myself. I'm like, what was I thinking? I had no idea.

[00:12:16.89] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. But I think it's something that, you know, we all kind of experience, you know, in addition to, like, imposter syndrome and all those things that sometimes kinda come up that stop you before you even get started. Syndrome and all those things that sometimes kinda come up that stop you before you even get started. 

[00:12:26.50] - Gresham Harkless

I think if we can, tap into, you know, people like yourself that have had those fears and had those frustrations, myself included, and decided to do it anyways and, you know, are in a better place as a result of it, hopefully, it can help inspire so many other people.

[00:12:40.00] - Christina Orso
Exactly.

[00:12:41.39] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, Christina, I want to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different, quote, unquote, CEOs on the show. So, Christina, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:12:52.89] - Christina Orso

For me, it's about doing something that I'm super passionate about, but also that is helping brands grow. When I see the impact that my team and I can make with just simple things like improving the photography or creating a consistent social media feed, things that I am excited to do every day when they make a difference for a brand. That's the whole reason why I started a business. It wasn't for those selfish reasons of wanting to make more money or go out on my own as much as it was to work with a variety of people, network like crazy, and make a difference.

[00:13:30.39] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That's phenomenal. And I think that when we have that, our mission, our vision, our why, you know, as our North Star, as far as what it is that we do, then it starts to help everything, you know, align. And I think so many times we get caught up in what exactly we're doing. But the impact piece that you spoke to really rings true for me because I think when you start to kinda stay in your zone of genius, do things that you're passionate about, and you're able to make an impact, that's when things go to another thing go to another level.

[00:13:57.10] - Christina Orso

For sure. 

[00:14:01.00] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, Christina, truly appreciate that definition, and I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is just 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 hold of you and find out about all the awesome things you and your team are working on.

[00:14:14.60] - Christina Orso

Sure. Yes. So to learn more about me, my website is www.christinaorso.com, just my name. My Instagram is the same thing as Christina Orso. I'd love for you to follow along.

[00:14:26.39] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. And we will have the links and information in the show notes as well too so that she can see all the awesome things that Christina is doing and, of course, some of that hashtag food porn as you mentioned as well too. So truly appreciate you for taking some time out and and all the awesome work you're doing, and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

[00:14:42.10] - 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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