IAM1632 – CEO Makes an Impact to Community through Yoga

Podcast Interview with Caren Plummer

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”: Speaking with Caren, it was so powerful to hear how powerful an impact our passions, gifts, and even organizations can be for ourselves but also other people's lives and building those communities. For Caren, it was Yoga and she used it as a way to tackle community causes. We spoke about vulnerability, authenticity, and staying true to self. Even how losing her father and taking a passion of her father and making an impact on the DMV.

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Previous Episode:


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Caren Plummer 00:00

You know, as a CEO or as an entrepreneur, your goal is to kind of be authentic to yourself. You know, if you're stepping out into this space and stepping onto your platform, let's say, and you're not attaching to that authentic version of yourself, you're gonna be able to be seen through pretty quickly, and chances are your community's not gonna support you, right?

Intro 00:20

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

Gresham Harkless 00:47

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and we're doing something a little bit different, this year with some of our episodes. We're repurposing some of our favorite episodes around specific topics related to entrepreneurship. This month we're focusing on entrepreneurship and community. Us, We, our, together, and we're gonna look at entrepreneurship and industries and different types of entrepreneurship and ultimately what that really means. But we're also gonna delve deeper into the importance of community networking niche communities and how that supports being a CEO entrepreneur and business owner. So sit back. And enjoy these special episodes around entrepreneurship and community. Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Caren Plummer of CP Yoga. Caren, it's great to have you on the show.

Caren Plummer 01:33 Thank you. It's good to be here.

Gresham Harkless 01:35

Yes. Super excited to have you on and before we jump into the interview I want to read a little bit more about Karen, so you can hear about some of the awesome things that she's doing. Gratitude, service, and the importance of community is what drives and inspires Caren of CP Yoga. Her vision was to create a welcoming space for all people to explore their physical and mental well-being through the power of movement, while intentionally giving back to the community through fundraising and campaign awareness. Over the course of 2021, she and her community raised $8,000 and worked with 11 different organizations serving 11 different causes. She has grown her community and following from three to 90 unique members all motivated to make a difference and impact on the community that surrounds around them. Caren, super excited again to have you on the show and even more excited about the work that you do. Are you ready to speak to the I am CEO community?

Caren Plummer 02:22

I am. I'm looking forward to it.

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Gresham Harkless 02:24

Let's make it happen then. So to kind of kick everything off, I know I touched it a little bit, but I wanted to rewind the clock, and hear a little bit more on how you got started, what I call your CEO story.

Caren Plummer 2:32

Yeah, that's beautiful also as you read my bio, it's just like, made me move. It has been such an incredible journey. I have been teaching yoga in the Washington DC area for six-plus years. Primarily in and out of studio spaces. And then obviously the pandemic hit, which kind of gave us all a different lens to look through. One of the things that I immediately realized was that Yoga was so much more than just a practice for myself. It was a practice that helped draw people together as a community. And during the pandemic, early-stage community was like the one thing we were all missing. We were all experiencing one and the same, but we really weren't able to come together and really share that experience together. So, I started CP yoga as a means of moving my own body, and connecting with other people, and then saw the opportunity to use it as a platform to help us kind of give back to the community.

People wanted to be active, they were engaged, they wanted to make a difference and this was a good place to start, I guess. Then when you think about the journey and kind of community, we think about like CP Yoga, it was a journey. It started as just giving people a place to practice and then realizing that people wanted to actually pay me money to teach them virtually. And I've been incredibly blessed to have been employed from a nine to five in a separate space, which is tech sales. And I didn't feel compelled to take people's money to be able to give them the opportunity to move. So what I did was realize that there's a place here for us to fundraise for important organizations, local organizations, and a means of helping better the community that we're all gonna step back out into once the pandemic was over, which we have but there's still a lot of need that exists out there. So a great opportunity to get people motivated to actually make donations and become more consciously aware of some of social issues and some of bigger issues that plague our city and need our support.

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Gresham Harkless 04:21

Yeah, absolutely. And, that's what I, truly believe is like at the essence of entrepreneurship is being able to see a problem and create that solution and do it. Especially I always say like, in your own lane, in your own way.

Caren Plummer 04:32

Yeah, a hundred percent. I think you know, as a CEO or as an entrepreneur, your goal is to be authentic to yourself. You know, if you're stepping out into the space and stepping onto your platform, let's say, and you're not attaching to that authentic version of yourself, you're gonna be able to be seen through pretty quickly, and chances are your community's not gonna support you right. So I've had to be incredibly vulnerable, I've had to share a lot of really personal things about myself to help build this community and to help continue to get people inspired by what it is that I'm bringing to the table each month. I really do lean on understanding kind of what's either happening from a current events perspective, what is near and dear to me and what I believe my most authentic self can be when I'm bringing these organizations to the forefront of my platform. But I think you can't do what you do, you can't be an entrepreneur unless you're true to yourself. So staying in your lane is important, I'm not gonna step out and try to be a videographer or be some type of like political force, that's not me. What I do is inspire people through movement and encourage people through intentionality. That comes direct hand, in hand with yoga. And it's been a really, really incredible journey so far to be able, to do that and to see people's lives, not just the organizations, but even the groups that I'm working with. People becoming more consciously aware of the things they're really passionate about has been really, really rewarding.

Gresham Harkless 5:56

I wanted to drill down a little bit more. I know we touched a little bit upon CP Yoga and how you're serving your clients. Could you take us through a little bit more on what that looks like, and how you're serving the clients you work with?

Caren Plummer 06:05

Yeah, absolutely. So, today the way that CP yoga is structured is that I identify a different organization each month that sort of resonates with me, resonates with the community. So, I'll give an example, last month was January, the first month of the year. And I actually lost my father to COVID in December.

Gresham Harkless 06:22 I'm sorry.

Caren Plummer 06:22

Which, you know, a lot of families have gone through this. It's something I'm kind of processing. But he was an avid golfer. I really, really believed that golf had the capability of teaching us a lot of lessons. So I can just tell you how many times I've been on a golf course and how many spans I've taken, and honestly, I don't play golf now, but I definitely learned some etiquette and all that good stuff while I was out on the course. But because he was such an avid golfer and because this was so personal to me and really authentic to myself, we paired up with first TDC, which is an organization that is focused on empowering youth through the game of golf.

Golf is an expensive sport. It's not something that everyone has access to. But it's something that has gained its popularity and notoriety through really impressive athletes that are out there. And this is a means of helping enable those kids to have that opportunity to know and play the game of golf. So again, incredibly authentic to me having to be very vulnerable, having to share. What I did is I reached out to the organization and we ended up partnering together by way of an event that took place on the 30th of January, and we've raised for that event like $5,000 and I know that is single event and it is very personal and I'm sure that's part of the reason why. But basically, all of the money that comes from the registration fees, which I work directly with an organization called Moxi. They are here in the DMV helping give a platform for instructors. I work directly with them to secure the space, and then I do all the marketing, all of social pushes, all that good stuff to draw people in.

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Gresham Harkless 07:50

Speaking of your own way, what I want to ask you is what I like to call your secret sauce. And this could be for yourself, the organization, or a combination of both, but what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

Caren Plummer 08:02

Yeah, I think what sets me apart and makes me unique is my journey, like how I've got to where I am today. For a little bit more context, of course, if you do end up on my website ever after listening to this, you'll see this all in its fullest form. What yoga was able to do for me is able to create a space where I did feel more empowered, more in control, be able to address some of my emotions, grief, et cetera. And I think because of my attachment to it, what I knew it could do for me, I was able to, two weeks into the shutdown or lockdown, say we're all gonna need this, right? And I had already been vulnerable. I've been vulnerable. I believe in vulnerability as a guiding light, right? Like we should all just allow ourselves to feel and be more sensitive and more available to our emotions. And you know, I turned on my Instagram live one day and I was like, let's see, no one will come. It's fine. And what I saw is that a lot of people were coming and a lot of people were experiencing similar feelings. Stress, grief emotional distress. And so I think it's, understanding what drives you. And understanding how this one thing, whatever it is that you're passionate about, helps ground you. And then understanding that it's likely that other people feel the same way. And so I think for me, it's my life experience that is my special sauce that has allowed me to continue to show up for not just my community, but to show up for you know, individuals and to show up in a very authentic way. And I know I've already used the word authentic and vulnerable so many times, but if we're talking about ingredients that kind of make up that sauce. It's life experience, vulnerability, and authenticity that has kind of gotten to me where I am today. I don't think that there's anything else that I kind of suggest as like the reason why we're here today other than that and just love and support from the community that's around me.

Gresham Harkless 09:54

Definitely appreciate you for being able to do that and reminding us of how important that is. 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?

Caren Plummer 10:11

Yeah. So what makes me more effective and efficient, I think is just blocking off time. I'm like a time blocker and blocking off time thoughtfully as it relates to some of the mini goals that I set for myself. So I think anybody can do this. Every month I sit down and I say, okay, here's what I wanna accomplish for myself this month. And it could be personal, business, whatever. Typically, it's a combo of personal and business. And it's not my nine-to-five business, like not what I do to pay the rent in DC, but it's usually related to how I can grow as a yoga instructor, how I can grow as somebody that's like continuing to run their own business and that mini goal usually like, feeds into that.

So one of the things that I do is I spend time writing down my goals, we talked about this. And I make it like a mini goal. So it's not something that's gonna like, change the world, but it's something that is small enough that it can become a habit. And I think the mini goals that create habit-forming behaviors are ultimately like what has helped me be more effective and efficient, with my time, basically. Because that's the one thing like, Having a job, teaching, and then also running this business. It's hard. Like it's a lot, you know, when I'm not saying anything that people don't know. If you have any hustles at all, side hustle, one or many, there's only so much time that you have in a day. So however you can figure out a way to really effectively use that in an impactful way so that you're able to achieve what should become habitual to you, that to me is key.

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Gresham Harkless 11:42

Yeah, that's huge. And, I love that being able to kind of set those mini goals and those mini goals help you to align with those habits that you'll have. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. This is a little bit more of a word of wisdom or piece of advice. I like to say it might be something if you were to hop into a time machine that you would tell your  younger business self.

Caren Plummer 12:00

Yeah. I would say that if you have something that is weighing on your heart, if you feel something so powerful you should listen to it. I think oftentimes we get to a space where we create self-doubt. We kind of discredit like the things that come to us, right? And the things that come to you from an intuition perspective, or the things that come to you in your sleep, or the visions that you have for yourself, it's very easy to dismiss them because they don't seem tangible and they don't seem real. And you know, what I was thinking and wanting to do, if I had not vocalized that appropriately at the right time, I might not be doing what I'm doing right now. So if something is weighing on your heart and you feel as if it's something that you would be fulfilled by doing, do it. Like, don't hesitate. Don't offer yourself the ability to talk yourself out of it. Give yourself grace to listen to it because oftentimes our intuition is a great guide, especially if it's something that comes to you more than one time. It's so easy just to say, nope I don't know why, why am I thinking about that? Like, oh, I must have, you know, ADD or no. Like, these are things that are coming to you for a reason. Listen to that. You can call it the universe speaking to you. You can call it Holy Spirit speaking to you. Call it whatever you want, but that thing that keeps coming to your heart, listen to it. Don't let yourself talk yourself out of your own path and your own journey.

Gresham Harkless 13:27

Absolutely appreciate that. And I wanted 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 and quote, CEOs on this show. So Caren, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Caren Plummer 13:37

Being a CEO to me means being a leader and being an inspirer, like somebody that can inspire. For whatever purpose. I don't expect everybody to be able to do the things that I do cause that's what makes me unique. But I do think it's just giving people the opportunity to be inspired and the opportunity to lead them in some way or another. The word leader is, tough because sometimes it gets again, pulled to the wrong connotations. I'm not here to tell anybody what to do. I'm here to guide people essentially. That's always been my nature, is being able to put myself out there to guide them into a space of inspiration. So, that's how I would define being a CEO. I think the yoga in me is like, ah, I'm just, I'm a voice and here to inspire. So that's all I can do.

Gresham Harkless 14:21

Truly appreciate that. Of course, I appreciate your time even more. So what I wanted to do now was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know, and of course how best they can get ahold of you and find about all the awesome things that you're working on

Caren Plummer 14:34

So you can follow On Instagram or you can look at my personal page. In the World of Yoga teachers, we cross over unfortunately or fortunately. Who I am as I teach is who I am as a human. So that is just Care_Plummer on Instagram. Otherwise, you can check out my website, which is

Gresham Harkless 14:53

Appreciate you, for your work, your time, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Caren Plummer 14:57 Yep. You too. Thank you.

Outro 14:59

Thank you for listening to the I am CEO podcast, powered by CB Nation in Blue 16 media. Tune in next time and visit us I am CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Check out the latest and greatest apps, books, and habits to level up your business at This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harless, Jr. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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