IAM1826 – Hard-hitting Serial Entrepreneur Leads the Charge in Helping Small to Mid-size Businesses Catapult in Growth Value

Podcast Interview with Judge Graham

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”:

The episode on CEO Podcasts features Judge Graham, a hard-hitting serial entrepreneur who specializes in helping small to mid-size businesses enhance their growth value. Judge has a successful track record of growing companies with minimal or no revenue and selling them for multi and hundreds-of-millions of dollars.

The episode highlights Judge's website,, which he established to lead the charge in assisting businesses in achieving substantial growth value, either by creating strong legacies or facilitating prosperous liquidity events. Judge has held key positions in renowned companies. For instance, he served as the Chief Marketing and New Business Officer at Ansira, the second-largest independently owned CRM and digital marketing agency in the USA. He played a pivotal role in the sale of Ansira to Advent International in 2016.

Prior to his time at Ansira, Judge was the Co-Owner and President of Sq1, which he sold to Ansira in 2015. He also had a previous role as the Co-Owner and President of Rassai Interactive. Throughout his career, Judge has assisted numerous small and Fortune 500 companies in achieving growth and success by identifying and capitalizing on opportunities to improve revenue and dominate markets through the integration of cutting-edge positioning, culture, technology, and sales.

The episode discusses CEO hacks, including a tool mentioned in Judge's book for managing finances, as well as a CEO nugget emphasizing the importance of continuing to pursue one's dreams and goals. Key themes of the interview include focusing on high levels of responsibility as a CEO and the significance of chasing one's path.

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Judge Graham Teaser 00:00

I tell a lot of people all the time I've got a really good EQ versus an IQ, but I'm not the smartest guy, but I make decisions fast. So, as I look at doing something, my level of execution and decision-making, I'll make 15 decisions before the normal person may make one or two.

And even if I make half of them wrong, I'm still going to be so much further ahead because how I'm operating with urgency and speed.

Intro 00:26

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 00:51

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've hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we're 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, just like you. What I like to call the CB nation architects who are looking to level up their organizations.

This month, we are focusing on CEO Hacks and CEO Nuggets. This is by far one of my favorite questions I asked on the show. In other words, I asked, what are the apps, books, and habits that makes you more effective and efficient. Those were the CEO hacks. Then I asked for a word of wisdom or a piece of advice or something that you might tell your younger business self, if you were to hop into a time machine. Those were the CEO nuggets. That's what we'll focus on this month and some of the top ones that can instantly impact your business.

I love all the questions, but with every episode, I thought I would walk away with something I could look at and implement right there to save the precious resources, time and money. Or I would also learn about the advice, tips and tidbits or tools of the trade on how to level up our organization. You'll hear some of these this month, so 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 and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Judge Graham of

Judge, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Judge Graham 02:26

Thanks for having me, man. Super excited to be here.

Gresham Harkless 02:28

Yeah, I'm super excited to have you. What I want to do is read a little bit more about Judge so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And he's definitely rocking and rolling it.

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Judge is a hard-hitting action oriented serial entrepreneur with a successful track record of growing companies with little or no revenue and selling them for multi and hundreds of millions of dollars. Judge started to lead the charge and helping small to midsize businesses catapult in growth value to create strong legacies or prosperous liquidity events.

Judge served as a Chief Marketing and New Business officer of Ansira, the second-largest independently owned CRM and digital marketing agency in the United States. Judge was part of the Core Deal team and instrumental in selling Ansira to Advent International in 2016. Prior to joining Ansira, Judge was the former co-owner and president of Sq1, which he sold to Ansira in 2015. He was also the former co-owner and president of Rassai International.

Judge has helped hundreds of small and Fortune 500 companies to focus on growth in the ability to identify and capitalize on opportunities to improve revenue and corner markets through the integration of cutting-edge position, culture, technology, and sales.

Judge, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Judge Graham 03:49

I am. Yeah. What an intro. Thank you so much.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 03:52

No problem. No problem. Definitely a tongue twister. But I wanted to actually hear a little bit more about your CEO story and what led you to start your business and all these different opportunities you've been working on.

Judge Graham 04:01

Yeah. So, I've been a serial entrepreneur my whole life. So ever since I was a little kid, man, second or third grade, my mom was an art teacher and she would get these really cool pencils. I don't know, we don't even use pencils anymore. You remember like the cool pencils that were decorated and they were like thicker. She'd bring a box of those home and I'm in second, third grade and she said, Hey, I'm going to give these to you.

At that moment I realized that I was in sales. I said wow, I've got 30 pencils, what am I going to do with all these pencils? And I would sell them for a dollar to 2 at school. Automatically, just when I was a little kid, it went from pencils to watches, to beepers, to selling knives door to door to home security systems. So I've always had this entrepreneurial bug, right? My first company I started in college and literally grew that company and almost didn't graduate and I've really never looked back.

Gresham Harkless 04:52

Nice. And yeah, for me, it was potato chips for you as pencils. So I appreciate that entrepreneurial story. It's awesome to hear how that light just switches once you get that opportunity, you just do whatever is natural to you.

Judge Graham 05:02

Yeah, totally 100%.

Gresham Harkless 05:04

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper and hear what you have going on your website. I think you're doing a lot of things to help out a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners.

So could you drill a little bit deeper and tell us how you serve the clients you work with?

Judge Graham 05:13

Yeah. So I just wrote a book called Scale with Speed. That book is meant to help entrepreneurs, business owners, really cut through the bullshit, right? There's so much noise in books and there's so much theory and you'll listen. I'm a real guy, right? I've had huge mistakes. I've had huge failures. I've been at the lowest lows and I've been at the highest highs and I know what it's like to chase the mailman for a check. I know what it feels like not to make payroll. I know what it feels like to take huge risk to have to manage your family and get support to go through those kinds of things.

So after I reached this level of success that I've reached, I wanted to go on a mission to help. I believe that the backbone of America is small businesses, right? And entrepreneurs and we're in such an exciting time more than ever that there's so many entrepreneurs and technology has allowed us to move so fast and have so many opportunities that I want to be a Sherpa or a shepherd along this path to help individuals go from, zero to 10 people to 20 people to a thousand people.

I want to use the real practitioner experience I have, to help them address those things because there's a lot of entrepreneurs that stay up late at night. They can't sleep. They have friends or they have family that's supportive, but they don't get it. I want to be able to talk to say, listen, I know exactly where you are, and this is the mistake I did, and this is how you should look at it. I want to help them grow and scale. So that's what I'm doing.

Gresham Harkless 06:47

Nice. And definitely appreciate that. It is definitely for somebody to reach the level of success and be able to say, I want to help pay it forward. I want to try to help other people out. And you writing that book and, we're definitely going to feature that on our CEO bookshelf. So definitely looking forward to hearing a little bit more about, how exactly you're doing and some of those hacks that you have for us.

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I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. This could be like something that you feel distinguishes you or your organization. So do you have a secret sauce for us?

Judge Graham 07:10

So Yeah, I think the secret sauce for me is speed. My book is about, man, I move so freaking fast. I I tell a lot of people all the time, I've got a really good EQ versus an IQ, right? I'm not the smartest guy, but I make decisions fast.

So as I look at doing something, my level of execution and decision-making, I'll make 15 decisions before the normal person may make one or two. And even if I make half of them wrong, I'm still going to be so much further ahead because of how I'm operating with urgency and speed.

Gresham Harkless 07:42

I love that. I love that. And it's funny, I used to play Madden all the time and anytime somebody would burn somebody like a wide receiver, he would always say speed kills. And it does because you can get so much more done in a short amount of time that somebody else might take 10 times as much time to do.

Judge Graham 07:57

Yeah, totally 100%.

Gresham Harkless 07:58

Absolutely. Now I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This could be an app, a book, your own book or a habit that you have, something that would make people more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Judge Graham 08:10

Totally, and this is in my book and it's a free tool that you can get on my website. It's called the money sheet.

Gresham Harkless 08:15

There you go.

Judge Graham 08:16

I've got a bunch of hats and different things. I've created this and I made it silly, right? I made it in your face. I've got another hat, that's a huge dollar sign, but it's called the money sheet. What it does is it allows you to spend 75% of your day on the top six to eight priorities that you have to do that day to get you closer to your monthly revenue target, right? People spend so much time on non-revenue generating activities, whether they're looking at social or they're doing what I would call busy work or, hey, let's call a meeting to have a meeting.

People need to focus on revenue. And so my hack is, I don't care if you're selling freaking popsicles, phone cases, consulting, whatever it is. You need to get your revenue, right. You need to get yourself and everyone in your organization spending 75% of their time on it. So I created it. You can download it. It's a digital version. It's a physical version and it's a mental, tangible reminder every day to get your money, right?

Gresham Harkless 09:17

There you go. And it's a quick kind of reminder that you forget that you're in business usually to buy or to make sales essentially. So you want to make sure that you get really focused on those certain things that definitely appreciate you for creating that so that people can remind themselves of that. And even the hat so that they know it and can wear it on their head.

Now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. This is a word of wisdom or a piece of advice, or if you can jump into a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Judge Graham 09:41

I would tell my younger business self and even my older, right. Is continue to chase your path, your dream, right? I know everybody says that, but what I mean by that is, when I was younger, I cared so much about what other people thought, right? And, you start to surround yourself with who you become, right? So advice would be, if you're seeking advice, make sure you're seeking it because people love to give it without seeking, right? And make sure you're getting advice from someone who is either done or exceeded what you're wanting, right?

Anything else besides that is noise and you got to push it away, and I think that's even for the younger audience out there. That's so hard because of social media. Haters to me are a sign of success, and I've got a lot of them. When it's tough reading some of those comments and seeing people say certain things and are trying to give advice, but you've got to push through that. You've got to believe in what you're doing, and you've got to seek out advice and listen to people that have done what you have or more.

Gresham Harkless 10:45

Absolutely. That makes perfect sense. You got to make sure that you put blinders on so that you're so laser-focused on your goal that you know nothing else, whether it be the haters on social media or whoever isn't going to get in your way as far as reaching your past. I think that's a phenomenal CEO nugget.

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Judge Graham 10:57

Yeah, it's so important. So many people seek advice when they should be seeking counsel, right? Big difference. Counsel is somebody that knows it and can help and advise, anybody can give it to you.

Gresham Harkless 11:09

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Again, walking in the path of somebody that's done it. So, if you want to be like this person, you're going to read their book and listen to their videos. You're going to listen to their podcast, do all these things so that you continue to go down the path of what you're trying to do.

Judge Graham 11:21

Yeah, and I believe mentorship is so important whether it's following a guy like me or there are thousands of people, right? I think to find somebody that you know even if you can't pay them and they're giving out free videos like I do, listen to those nuggets, take them and implement them. It's really important.

Gresham Harkless 11:38

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Awesome. So judge now I want to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition for what it means to be a CEO.

We're hoping to have different quote and quote CEOs on this show, but I wanted to ask you specifically, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Judge Graham 11:51

It means in a heightened level of responsibility. What that means for me is, I believe you're not a real company until you have a team, right? You can be a sole entrepreneur, and you can make a lot of money, but when you become a real CEO, you have this responsibility of customers, team members, and fiduciary, and somebody like me, I take that with a lot of gravity.

I think it's really important, when people say, hey, sometimes it's lonely at the top, it can be right? But you have a responsibility to grow and do right for your customers. You have the responsibility to grow and do right for your people. So I think to me, it's a heightened responsibility that you got to take seriously and it's so much fun, right? If you're passionate about what you want, you do and you love it and you love building people and you love building a product or a service that is actually doing something great.

It's an amazing journey. Yeah, absolutely.

Gresham Harkless 12:47

It's like when the stars align and everything just goes specifically right here. You're following a path that you want to go around. You're doing something that you love and then you have a team in place that's rocking and rolling as well, it's definitely like a special moment.

Judge Graham 12:58

Very much so. Yeah.

Gresham Harkless 12:59

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Judge, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule. What I wanted to do was pass you the mic just to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers and our listeners know how they can get in touch with you, get a copy of your book and all that great information you have.

Judge Graham 13:12

Yeah. Great. Thank you again for having me on. Best place to go is and you can find all my social handles are pretty much at Judge Graham.

Also, my new book scale with speed is at or, and listen, the book is a game changer. It's 206 pages. I literally wrote it to be a practitioner's guide, I have 8 to 10 supplemental downloads that come with the book like the money sheet and a bunch of other things that literally, as you read a chapter, you can dive in and start taking action.

The whole book is a formula. It's called speed. Which is to start with your end game, pick your niche, execute with speed, energize your culture, and dominate your top priorities. If you follow this formula and put it into practice and create a habit, you'll get successful. So get the book, check it out. It's an easy read. You can read it on a coast-to-coast flight or I created speed reads. You can read it like on a Dallas to Houston 45-minute flight.

Gresham Harkless 14:08

Nice. Awesome. I have a copy as well too, not a hat, but I definitely have my copy. So make sure you go and pick it up. So again, I appreciate you Judge. I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Judge Graham 14:17

You too, man. Have a great weekend. Thank you for having me on.

Outro 14:20

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at 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 This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. 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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