IAM1701 – Coach Helps Seniors as a Patient Tech Support

Podcast Interview with Abbie Richie

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”: Abbie understands the power of tech and helps empower and support seniors to bridge that gap. She spoke a lot about how “giving” and “serving” helped her to orient herself. I love also how powerful it is that we learned the power of finding and serving niches.

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Abbie Richie 00:00

As a CEO, and as an entrepreneur, you end up doing a lot of things you don't want to do, right? You just do it by nature. But if you are passionate about the core mission of what you're doing, that's gonna propel you and to really make sure that you keep feeding your passion, because that's gonna give you the energy to do what you do great.

Intro 00:21

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 I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we are repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories, topics or as I like to call them, business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners, and what I like to call the CB nation architects who are looking to level up their organizations.

This month we are focused on technology. We're a technology company that does dot, dot, dot. Technology is no longer an afterthought or something that you might do and is actually a core part of your business. If you are a real estate investor, you're using it. If you're a financial firm, if you're a cleaning company, author, speaker, you are using technology. If you are in any business, you are using technology, and if you're not, then you're probably going to be disrupted by an organization that is.

So this month we are going to look into purposing episodes that are around technology, whether that be firms or organizations that are actually using and investing in technology as a core part of their products and services or potentially those individuals that are using and leveraging CEO Hacks and CEO nuggets that center around technology and sharing ways that we can leverage it as well. Remember that you are a technology company that does dot, dot, dot. Sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I am CEO podcast.

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Abbie Richie of Senior Savvy. Abbie, it's great to have you on the show.

Abbie Richie 02:17

Thanks for having me.

Gresham Harkless 02:19

Yes. Super excited to have you on, and before we jump into the interview, I want to read a little bit more about Abbie so I can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing.

And Abbie is the host of Senior Livings Foresight's newest production, Tech Tuesdays on LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube. Senior Savvy with Abbie Premiering in 2022 on Saltbox tv. The founder of Senior Savvy has been featured on the List tv, ABC, Fox, USA Today, and Yahoo News. You can reach out to her online and on social media where she shares more tech tips via Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Abbie, appreciate you for taking some time out to be on the show. Are you ready to speak to the I am CEO community?

Abbie Richie 02:57

I am. Let's do it.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 02:58

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

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Abbie Richie 03:05

Great. Well, I started this company in 2018. It was after I was unemployed for about seven or eight months, and that was a big surprise to me. My last company I was with for 15 years, and I was a partner and completely surprised in 2017 when I was let go, but I knew that I could only do something that I was truly passionate about and so I searched and searched and I served. That was one thing I did. I served and I have found over and over when I'm kind of lost, when I give, when I help someone, it helps get me oriented to where I need to be.

Several months into my unemployment, I just found myself helping my in-laws. They had just downsized and they needed help with their technology. Then their neighbors and then their neighbors. And then I found myself in this position over and over again helping an older adult with technology. And I thought, you know what, I like this. So one day in January of 2018, I thought to myself, I'm gonna see if this has got legs. And I called five senior communities in my area. I live in Scottsdale, Arizona, and there are many of them. I called them and I offered a free workshop. I had never taught it. I had never written it. I just knew that if there was a need I could do it. And the name of the workshop was Cell Phone Secrets for Seniors, and by the end of the week I had three bookings and I knew it's got legs.

Gresham Harkless 04:43

Nice. I absolutely love that. I especially love, you know, services and like kind of leaning into your passions and your gifts and being able to help serve others. So many times with our organizations, we forget that at the heart of it, is at being a service.

So I wanted to drill down a little bit more, hear a little bit more about your brands, all the awesome things you're doing to help serve, and how that first class turned into all the awesome things you're doing. Could you take us through that and what you feel kind of even sets you apart and makes you unique?

Abbie Richie 05:08

Yeah, so probably the cornerstone of what we do is we teach workshops now. The workshops lead to private sessions. That all just took a huge 360 during COVID and we ended up taking all of our services, on video and connecting remotely with people. This really extended our reach significantly. So we went from maybe serving seven communities here in Scottsdale to serving seven states, and then a couple of years later serving every single state in the nation. And just in these last couple months, we went global, which is amazing.

So we do workshops. They're on Zoom, they're on tech basics. We focus on the basics. We don't get complicated. We keep it simple because we know that when our students learn the basics, they have a foundation and then they can begin to build from there. And that foundation brings confidence, it brings empowerment, and it allows them to search for things and work independently. So we do these workshops. We also do tech cafes and these are often in person in the community. It's sort of like our version of a genius bar, community has us come in, maybe it's once a week, maybe it's once a month, and the residents sign up for an hour I'm sorry, a half hour of one-on-one tech support on their portable device, and they'll bring it to the library or the computer room and we help them.

We answer their questions and they don't have to leave their community for help. And then additionally we do one-on-one tech support. It could be in person and it can be remotely.

Gresham Harkless 06:43

Nice. I absolutely love that because for lack of a better term, it sounds like you meet people where they are, whether you're talking about at ethnic communities or you know, virtually or doing these classes as well too. People have the ability when it can be sometimes frustrating and, I imagine something you don't even wanna do, but it's so necessarily important I think for everybody, especially for your target segment, to be able to be empowered and have all those great benefits.

Awesome. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I wanted to ask you for what I call a C E O 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?

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Abbie Richie 07:17

Okay, I started doing this in August. I've got two kiddos, one in seventh grade, one in ninth grade. They go to different schools in different places, at different times. I find myself in the car driving, and at first, I was really annoyed. Ah, it's just like an hour here, an hour there driving around. But I revamped that and instead I listen. I listened to audiobooks and I've found that that has had such an amazing impact on my growth.

Gresham Harkless 07:46

I love that. And I'm a big believer in binaries. There's you know, hot and cold. There are good and bad. Sometimes by changing our perspective, it allows an opportunity that maybe we wouldn't have that existed.

Abbie Richie 07:59

Yep, absolutely.

Gresham Harkless 08:01

Awesome. So what would you consider to be, what I like to call a CEO nugget? This is a little bit more of a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. I like to say it might be something if you were to hop into a time machine, you would tell your younger business self.

Abbie Richie 08:14

So I would tell my younger business self to stick to your zone of passion because as a CEO, as an entrepreneur, you end up doing a lot of things you don't want to do, right? You just do it by nature. But if you are passionate about the core mission of what you're doing, that's gonna propel you and to really make sure that you keep feeding your passion because that's gonna give you the energy to do what you do great.

Here's one other thing too that I heard that I think rings true. Who were you? Who were you at seven or eight or nine? Who was that person, and what did that person love to do? Because I'm finding I'm back to that seven or eight or nine-year-old, which is on camera helping people, teaching, being passionate and just allowing myself to shine and hitching my own star instead of coming along and someone else's.

Gresham Harkless 09:13

I love that and, so many times I'll say if you run your own race you can't lose. And I love both of those nuggets because part of, you know, I think as you said, like being of service, when you were trying to figure out what to do, you went to be of service and sometimes we're of service to the thing that we would do if we would have to do it for free because we love doing it.

So I love how that has coupled with, it sounds like everything you've been able to kind of work on. Yeah, absolutely. So 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 and quote, CEOs on this show.

So Abbie, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Abbie Richie 09:46

Well, first and foremost, it means being a leader. You've got to display leadership to take ownership and to also guide and mentor. I find myself often in a position where I need to coach someone to greatness. And quite often that means allowing them to figure it out on their own instead of like swooping in and solving it. So that's truly what it means to me to be a CEO.

Gresham Harkless 10:13

I love that phrase, and I'm just gonna reemphasize that, coach somebody to greatness, because I'm a big believer in like helping people to be their own leaders, to figure out, to kind of even sometimes figure out more of themselves than they didn't even know and we see that as leaders.

So I love that definition because it really taps into that and in empowering others at the end of the day.

Abbie Richie 10:33

I wanna share one other thing that I just thought of this year which has been mind-blowing for me. So I've been looking to bring on extra people and instead of bringing on one extra person, I'm looking to bring on many people.

Because what's happened is when that one person has to take a break or can't be there. I've ended up being the backup person and I don't wanna do that anymore. That's why I've brought on multiple people and allowed them to share in the wealth. So that's been a huge game changer for me. I thought I needed one person, but having multiple people just expands the vision and allows for more work to come in.

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Gresham Harkless 11:14

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that like during this pandemic especially too, sometimes we've craved that connection. So I love that, you know, perspective and that add-on that you provided because it kind of lets us, be part of a team, work towards a mission and goal, especially when you have such a strong goal as you do.

Abbie Richie 11:31

Yes, yes. Thank you.

Gresham Harkless 11:33


Abbie Richie 11:34

And if I may share anything else with you, I do it. Wanna let you know, I do a lot of scary things all the time and that has had a really big impact on my ability to persevere through a more challenging times. So I do tend to take on the scary things first thing in the morning and just get them done. And I find that it really helps me manage my day better.

Gresham Harkless 11:58

Yeah, I think that's so huge, and I don't know if you feel the same way, but I almost feel like when you do kind of do the scary things, you lean more into, it's kind of like flexing a muscle, and once you start to work out that muscle, it helps you to tackle bigger and scarier and scarier things as that happens.

Abbie Richie 12:12

I also think a lot in terms of what can I do in this little teeny timeframe because sometimes with the kids, I'm out picking them up, I come back, I've got 20 minutes. What can I do with excellence in 20 minutes? Right. It doesn't seem like much time and sometimes it's not. But if I can just get my mind around it, as I could just focus on this one thing really well for 20 minutes, boom, I got it done.

Gresham Harkless 12:36

Yeah, and I think what we talked about before when you were mentioned the kiddos and being able to kind of listen to audiobooks, we sometimes can say, I don't have enough time. But sometimes that short period of time allows you to really laser focus and get those things done quicker, more efficiently, and it starts to create let's say it the mother of invention when you don't have as much time. The scarcity is the mother of invention, and so you have that opportunity to really use a scale from there and execute

Abbie Richie 13:00


Gresham Harkless 13:01

Awesome, awesome. Well, Abbie, truly appreciate all those additional nuggets and everything that you're doing. What I wanted to do now was pass you the mic just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know, and of course, how best people can get ahold of you and find out about all the awesome things you and your team are working on.

Abbie Richie 13:18

Thank you. You can always find me on my website, seniorsavvy.net. I'm very active on LinkedIn, Abbie Richie, so if you're on LinkedIn, you wanna DM me, please do so. And please let me know how I can help you and your organization. Every Tuesday I'm interviewing Tech Innovators on the Senior Living Foresight platform, so if you're involved in Senior living and tech, please reach out to me there as well.

Gresham Harkless 13:46

Absolutely. And to make it even easier, we'll have the links and information in the show notes. I think as you kind of talked about, you know, making sure that you're coaching someone to greatness extends to our team, but it also extends to the people that are around us. So I love that you have so many different ways, whether it be a client, customer, or somebody who's listening, you know, to all the awesome things that you're doing, you're coaching them to greatness. So thank you so much for sharing some of that coaching with us today, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Abbie Richie 14:09

Thank you. You too.

Outro 14:10

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. Check out the latest and greatest apps, books, and habits to level up your business at ceohacks.co.

This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless, 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(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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