I AM CEO PODCAST

IAM1639 – Founder Helps Businesses Grow Their Investment

Podcast Interview with Barrett Y. Bogue

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”: Barrett has a great pulse on the military-connected community and how powerful it is when you are connected and entrenched within the community you can go deep in being able to serve them.

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Previous Episode: https://iamceo.co/2021/03/01/iam931-founder-helps-businesses-grow-their-investment/

Transcription:

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Barrett Y. Bogue Teaser 00:00

Start small, think big. Definitely like I said earlier, date your business idea before you're ready to marry it. And be intentional and purposeful in what you're doing.

Intro 00:11

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. Gresh 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.

Gresham Harkless 00:38

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 in 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 and I have a very special guest on the show today we have Barrett Bogue of Evocati LLC. Barrett, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Barrett Y. Bogue 01:23

It's great to be here. I really appreciate the opportunity to come and talk with future and current CEOs.

Gresham Harkless 01:28

Definitely, definitely. And you're doing so many awesome things. I truly appreciate you, for hopping on as well. And what I wanted to do is just read a little bit more about Barrett so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Barrett is president and founder of Evocati LLC and marketing consulting firm that helps businesses grow their investment in the military-connected community.

Prior, to founding Evocati, he served in executive leadership roles in the federal and nonprofit sectors, including the US Department of Veteran Affairs. He served six years in the US Marine Corps Reserves and was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. Barrett is a 2009 President Management Fellow in 2019 Scholar with a George W Brush Institute Stand two Veteran Leadership Program.

He lives with his wife and daughter in Fairfax, Virginia. Barrett, thank you for your service. And are you ready to speak to the I am CEO community?

Barrett Y. Bogue 02:13

Yeah. I appreciate it. Gresh, let's get going.

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Gresham Harkless 02:16

Let's do it then. So, to kind of kick everything off, I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit here, a little bit more on how you got started.

Could you take us through your CEO story? Well, how did you get started with your business?

Barrett Y. Bogue 02:24

Yeah. So Evocati really started as an idea working through the nonprofit, and federal sectors. I kept hearing from our partners at the time. How much they struggle to reach the military-connected community.

They would have, a great mentoring program or a great scholarship program and they would come to us and say, can you help us do this? And I thought, well, I could teach people how to do that and in some cases do it on their behalf. So that was the business idea. And so Evocati started as a side hustle.

I had one pro bono client while I was working full-time my good friend Todd Connor, former CEO at Bunker Labs, he called it being a third shift entrepreneur. So, if you're listening and you're working full-time and you're thinking about starting that side hustle, let me tell you, it can be done and it's a great way to test your business idea.

So we did that and it worked out great, to the extent where I quit my job and said I'm gonna do Evocati full-time. And that was in 2018. And thus far we've been able to serve about six or seven clients in reaching the military-connected communities.

Gresham Harkless 03:32

Nice. I definitely appreciate that. I appreciate how everything started and how you've been able to grow it.

And I think so many times, as you said, we think that we have to go from zero to 60 and we don't realize that there are steps, there's a process to it, as you said, started out with an idea, became a side hustle, and then you went into it full-time. So I love to hear that transition. Of course here, you know, all the awesome things that you're, you're doing to help serve the community.

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Barrett Y. Bogue 03:52

Yeah. Look, the best way I can describe it and how Bunker Labs taught me is when you're an entrepreneur, it's gonna feel like you're climbing up a mountain. And typically when we have that illustration, you're climbing straight up a mountain. But that's not the case. In reality, being an entrepreneur, when you climb a mountain, it's got switchbacks.

Okay, sometimes you gotta go down to go up to make that summit, and that's the journey of an entrepreneur. I'd stress with you and your listeners.

Gresham Harkless 04:17

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So I want to drill a little bit deeper here, a little bit more about your business. Could you take us through exactly what you do and how you serve the clients you work with?

Barrett Y. Bogue 04:24

So Evocati is like you described at the beginning, we're a marketing service firm. We are a service-connected disabled, veteran-owned small business, and we're licensed to operate in Virginia. Our clients typically operate in the metro DC area and serve the military, connecting the community as a whole.

Our ideal client is the nonprofit, the federal proprietary executive who has a programmer initiative that they want to do within the military-connected community. So when we say military-connected community, we're talking about the military family. We're talking about active duty spouses the 22 military veterans in America, their spouses, and their children as well.

Evocati has three different lines of business. We have Evocati creative, which is the marketing side of the company. And if you have a social media platform, or if you have a program that you wanna market out there to the public or to a subset of the military-connected community in general, we can help you do that.

We have Evocati growth, which is the consultation side of the company. So what we've generally found is there are mid, to large-size companies that want to establish an internal program for the veterans who work there. A mentoring program or an employee resource group, they can join us as partners and we can help them establish that.

So we'll work for about 8 to 12 weeks, set up the program, set some KPIs, and then be on our way. And then finally, Evocati experience, which is our event planning side of the company. If you've got a great idea for an event you want to do, but you don't have an event coordinator you can hire us, to help you do that and be it virtual or in person.

They're all virtual right now, but I'm putting it out there when we're back to in-person. We can help you do that. We can also help you amplify, those opportunities in that event within the military-connected.

Gresham Harkless 06:07

Nice. I definitely appreciate that. And, and I don't know if you find this, when you work with your clients or even talk with your clients as well too, it kind of sounds like a lot, there can be a lot of overlap between each of those different pieces where especially if you're trying to grow, there are different ways that you can do it.

It could be, you know, growing yourself within your organization and how you're connecting with it military aspect, but also that marketing piece that you mentioned, that creative piece.

Barrett Y. Bogue 06:28

It does. And we started out having all three services combined. And what we found is, if we divided up on a cart. We're actually able to do more targeted marketing and SEO that way.

And also sometimes clients may come in and say they wanna do everything. And when we talk with them, we say, You're not built to do everything right now, but here's one slice that we can do and work on together and have some success.

And when you're ready to expand that, we can talk further. So we don't want to, I'm very big on not overselling our capability. I'm very big on trying to match opportunities with cost-efficient solutions. That's our mission, to provide cost-efficient solutions for anybody to grow their impact within the military-connected community.

Gresham Harkless 07:11

Nice. Yeah, I definitely appreciate that. And I think, yeah, absolutely. When people see the full menu, they always check all the above. But really having that opportunity to engage and have that conversation is really when you get to see what can make the most impact. And when you have those conversations, you really look at it, you can see what might fit in the best.

And, so I want to drill down a little bit deeper here, a little bit more what I call your secret sauce, and this could be for yourself personally or your business or a combination of both, but what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

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Barrett Y. Bogue 07:38

Well, so, the number one mistake that we see companies do when they want to target, the military-connected community is to hire one person to do all of the work. They'll bring in a retired colonel or you know, a retired captain or somebody enlisted and they say, you're wearing the veteran's hat in our company and you're just gonna do it all. Sometimes that is successful but it can also be entirely burdensome.

And our secret sauce is we're able to do that for your company at a fraction of the cost. Instead of hiring one expert full-time, you can outsource to us and we can bring on board multiple experts that we have at our disposal to help you maximize your impact within the military-connected community.

So that's the cost-efficient solution that we provide. And so, my five-second pitch is we're your company's fractional Director of Military and Veterans Affairs. So maybe you want to do this, maybe you want to implement a new program in the military community, or better yet, maybe you want to hire more veterans and you don't know how, if you want to have a space, safe space to operate in that world, and to do that without bringing somebody on full-time, then reach out to Evocati, and we can help you do that and explore that area at a fraction of the cost. And hey, the best solution is you don't need our help anymore because your entire team is empowered to do it. And you're in a better position financially to bring somebody on board full-time.

Gresham Harkless 09:06

Awesome. Awesome, awesome. So, 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?

Barrett Y. Bogue 09:16

Well, that's a great question. I'll give you a hack and then I'd like to give just one piece of advice that was really helpful for me.

I practice inbox zero, so, I firmly believe that if you can manage your inbox, you can manage anything, all right? Cause we're all getting inundated with stuff. So I practice inbox zero as a CEO. I end the day with zero unread messages. I have a set-aside time. What I call executive time throughout my day to check my inbox.

Because if you're working from your inbox, you're actually working on other people's priorities. You're not working on your priorities. So I set aside time, I check my inbox, if I read something, I need to respond to it right away. I do. But if I don't, I'll tag it, categorize it, and mark it to read for later.

And I've been doing that in all different roles in the federal, nonprofit, and now entrepreneurial sectors. And it's just been, a great benefit. So inbox zero, go check it out and implement it. If you've got 3000 unread messages, man, that makes me itch when I have like a single unread message now. So it's been wonderful, to follow that.

The last piece of hack or advice I would give you your listeners here is I started Evocati when I was 38. And I could not have started it and been successful at 28. So give yourself permission to date your business idea before you marry your business idea.

I'm so glad that, that I waited until I had built a network, and had a successful career in these two sectors before I founded Evocati. So if you still have that, that business idea, but you really enjoy the job that you're doing, that's, that's okay. Give yourself permission to wait until you really feel ready to take that leap.

Gresham Harkless 10:56

Would you consider that to be what I call your CEO nugget, which is kind of like that word of wisdom or piece of advice something you might tell yourself or you can tell somebody if they're a client.

Barrett Y. Bogue 11:05

I do. So when I started this business as a side hustle. I've had several other friends, colleagues, and just people through my LinkedIn network reach out to me and say, Hey, we've seen what you did, and I wanna do the same thing.

And so I tell them to start small, and think big. Definitely like I said earlier, date your business idea before you're ready to marry it. And be intentional and, and purposeful in what you're doing. It's gonna feel like you're taking on the world, and I promise you, you're not.

The last thing is to get what I call a kitchen cabinet. Your spouse, your significant other in your family. Talk to them about what you're interested in doing. They're gonna be the cheerleaders in your life. They're the ones who are gonna provide that feedback to you and encouragement and build that kitchen cabinet out before you even found an LLC or a nonprofit, alright.

Gresham Harkless 11:56

Yeah, absolutely love that, that visual, especially of the kitchen cabinet, because what you're trying to do, I always believe, at the heart of the business is minimizing your risks as much as possible and being able to have those significant others, those that you love and care about, that are gonna support you through those times.

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That may not be be less than ideal, which will come. It allows you to be successful. But as you talked about, taking courses, and doing so many different things, just increases your likelihood of being successful because you can really focus on it. Basically providing those products and services, being of service to the clients, and doing that great work.

And I think once we are able to take care of that cabinet, that kitchen cabinet that allows us to really be of service and be present.

Barrett Y. Bogue 12:32

It really is. And you're spot on with that. And I would just say to those of you listening and watching right now, that this idea started when I was 30.

So it's been baking for eight years. Really, before, I started doing it full-time just to kind of give you a concept. So don't feel discouraged if you're five years into it and you haven't done it yet. That's okay. You're still refining and investing in yourself.

Gresham Harkless 12:57

Yeah, absolutely. And, we often forget that the people that are the most successful are those that do the 10,000 hours that put in the time. And it doesn't happen overnight. The secret to overnight success, it takes 10 years. And we often forget that aspect of it.

Barrett Y. Bogue 13:09

We do. We really do, man. And I'm glad we have an opportunity, to emphasize that today.

Gresham Harkless 13:14

Yeah, absolutely. Because it's so important. And so now I wanna ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition, of what it means to be a CEO and we're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on this show. So Barrett, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Barrett Y. Bogue 13:25

Look, at the end of the day, I am a servant leader at heart, and so I derive satisfaction, value and feel accomplished when I lift others to success. So my role as, as CEO and president of the founder of Evocati is not only to lift, our clients to success, but our team as well. So I'm their biggest cheerleader.

I'm investing in them as much as I'm investing in the company. And so servant leadership is really what being a CEO means to me.

Gresham Harkless 13:54

Nice. I definitely appreciate that effect that we have, the domino effect that we have and we don't realize sometimes that we have, not just on our clients, but also on the team members that we're working with, the people that we even come across or might even have on a podcast.

We make that impact. And, it definitely creates that ripple effect that we often don't see all the time on every given day. So, I definitely appreciate that perspective, and, I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, Just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know, and of course, how best they can get ahold of you and find out about all the awesome things you're working on.

Barrett Y. Bogue 14:25

Yeah, Gresh, I appreciate it. So, if you're listening and you're thinking about starting a business and you're a military veteran, definitely check out the bunker Labs community. But if you're not a military veteran and you still wanna learn more, just find me on LinkedIn. Reach out to me.

I'm more than happy to talk to you about that process. If you wanna learn more about Evocati and the clients that we serve, just visit evocati.com.

Gresham Harkless 14:45

Awesome. Awesome, awesome. Thank you so much again, Barrett. We'll definitely have the links and information in the show notes. I love that visual about the kitchen cabinet, and having a kitchen cabinet is reaching out and, and getting help and finding out about those resources that can help us to be successful.

So I appreciate you for reminding us of that and doing it as well, and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

Outro 15:04

Thank you for listening to the I am CEO Podcast powered by CB Nation and 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. Don't forget to schedule your complimentary digital marketing consultation at blue16media.com.

This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harless, Jr. Thank you for listening.

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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(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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