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IAM1919 – Co-founder Disrupts the Outsourcing Space

Podcast Interview with Brianna Carney

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”:

In this episode, the guest is Brianna Carney, the co-founder of CrewBloom.

Key points:

CrewBloom: CrewBloom is an innovative company disrupting the outsourcing space. They focus on connecting the top 2% of sales and support talent with roles at growing companies.

About Brianna Carney: As the co-founder of CrewBloom, Brianna Carney is at the forefront of this industry disruption, implementing strategies and operations to revolutionize traditional outsourcing.

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Transcription:

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Brianna Carney Teaser 00:00

I would tell my younger business self to just chill out. To be honest, there's a lot that we bootstrapped and so there were a lot of expensive mistakes.

A lot of things that we had to work our way through and time and, believing in yourself, it's really all that matters there, but you just have to go through those challenges.

Intro 00:20

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 00:49

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'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. Or what I like to call CB nation architects who are looking to level up their organizations.

This month, we are focused on innovation, disruption, women entrepreneurship, DEI, gig economy, remote economy, even the cannabis industry. Think about these industries and these disruptive technologies that really sometimes aren't as disruptive, but there are people that are just paying attention to what the market needs and they're providing that. So really think about the things that are quote and quote outside of the norm, but really help entrepreneurship to grow and fully develop.

I think it's an extremely exciting time when you're talking about any type of innovation or disruption, because I think that there are so many opportunities and needs that aren't felt that are starting to be filled by different groups, different organizations, or even different industries. So what I want you to do is sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 02:02

Hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Brianna Carney of CrewBloom.

Brianna, it's great to have you on the show.

Brianna Carney 02:10

Oh, thanks so much for having me. I'm excited.

Gresham Harkless 02:13

Definitely super excited to have you on. And before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about Brianna so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing.

Brianna is the co-founder of CrewBloom. They're disrupting the outsourcing space by connecting the top 2 percent of sales and support talent with roles at growing companies.

And it's so refreshing and exciting to hear about all the awesome things that they're doing in order to go farther. You have to have a team in order to do that. So I love that you all are helping to empower so many organizations and people to be able to do that.

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

Brianna Carney 02:44

I am. Yep.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 02:45

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

Brianna Carney 02:53

Of course, so, came to fruition pretty organically. I was at Amazon before launching and obviously, fortune 500 and large companies are dependent on global talent. So, after leaving Amazon, I spent a year traveling throughout Asia. Got to work, met my co-founder, and just been setting up to do better business and raise the bar in terms of offshoring talent ever since.

Gresham Harkless 03:21

Yeah, absolutely. And I imagine that you being able to find the right people and to have that top-tier talent is so important for organizations and businesses.

Brianna Carney 03:29

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Of course, yeah. Just looking at the amount of really disruptive founders that weren't able to achieve profitability given the cost of talent, we really felt it was important to raise the bar and empower companies to grow on scale.

Gresham Harkless 03:42

Yeah, absolutely. I wanted to drill down a little bit more, hear a little bit more on how you're doing and how you're raising that bar and helping to be matchmaker, so to speak, for these organizations.

And then, of course, the people that have that talent, could you take us through a little bit more on what it's like to work with?

Brianna Carney 03:56

Yeah, of course. So, typically we're working with small to mid-size SAS company. So the organizations have systems and processes. This isn't structures in place. They have sales or success leadership, and they're solely in need of the human capital to scale. So we acquired client opportunities in 3 ways.

So we have an outbound team that reaches out based on a lead that generated from a sales ops team. The sales ops team goes out and sources leads for job posts from craigslist and the reach out say, hey, I saw that you're hiring for client success managers. What would you think about hiring someone like me? I'm calling you from Malaysia and the cost of a grab to the airport is 6 dollars versus where you're at in Boston at 60.

They set an appointment and we have a senior BDR team that converts that. We also have an affiliate program. So, our existing clients are able to refer business to us and have an incentive for doing so. And then they also obviously have a technical marketing team that drives organics through the website.

Gresham Harkless 04:59

Nice. I definitely appreciate that. And so a lot of times people that have that need, they're reaching out to you and the team to understand, like, how they can fill those needs. But also, it sounds like as well to you're also reaching out to them sometimes.

Brianna Carney 05:12

Of course, it's a combination.

Gresham Harkless 05:15

Perfect, perfect. And what you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique in what I call your secret sauce. What do you call that for yourself personally or as a whole?

Brianna Carney 05:24

Yeah. So the secret sauce, we don't ever want to overlook the reality that the primary value proposition of offshoring is cost savings. That being said, however, we've all called a bank, an airline, gotten connected with someone outside the US and they just suck, right? They couldn't speak English. They had no instinct. There's marginal talent all over the world, but there's also cream-of-the-crop top performers. My team speaks instinctual. I'm just cream of the crop top performers, so we just have a radically high applicant rejection rate. I think that's really what sets us apart.

We just launched into beta last week platform that automates the applicant scoring process. So, taking a really holistic grab in a 90-minute window of what their specs and professional skills sets are, but also understanding their device requirements and typing abilities and Internet speeds. Those sorts of things, and we grab all that data and develop a candidate profile that we then there can share on to our clients.

It's essentially like tinder for talent selection. I think that the high applicant rejection rate and being a tech-enabled company are really what sets us apart.

Gresham Harkless 06:34

Yeah, I appreciate you sharing that and being able to aggregate all that data and information and be able to obviously, manifest itself into that profile that people can see, what's a great fit at all.

And it sounds like, I know you touched a little bit upon a lot of times the organizations, the businesses, startups potentially have this really phenomenal idea, but the gap isn't there as far as them being able to find the talent to be able to implement that idea. So being able to of course, to have those tools that you have, but also to be able to bridge that gap sounds like it's absolutely huge.

Brianna Carney 07:04

Yeah, we feel really strongly about what we do. My co-founder is actually in the Philippines. She's Filipino. So that's where we got our start. Majority of our resources are in the Philippines. But today we have folks logging in from 17 countries.

Everybody works remotely having a remote work model since inception. And has really paid off over the pandemic that we're all suffering from. So yeah, we feel pretty excited to be where we're at today. Obviously have a lot of growth and work to do, but I'm proud of my team.

Gresham Harkless 07:31

Yeah, absolutely. There's always work to do. I appreciate you mentioning that as well too, because I imagine there's this quote by Wayne Gretzky where he just says, a great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.

I imagine with the pandemic, a lot of things have moved where there's outsourcing and obviously virtually. So getting that opportunity to be where that puck is, it's absolutely huge.

Brianna Carney 07:49

Yeah, we just have to always try to see what tomorrow and the next year is going to bring and be 5 years ahead of the game.

See also  IAM893- Author Helps People Get Inspired to Make a Change

Gresham Harkless 08:00

So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and 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.

Brianna Carney 08:12

So I guess recognizing that I definitely know that there's always a lot of work to be done. I think my hack and kind of one of the biggest blessings or competitive advantages that I had out of the gate was my co-founder relationship. So, Kate is really the peanut butter to my jelly, so to speak, and that we're just really able to hone in and hold one another accountable for pursuing the best versions of ourselves. When we look at the impact our leadership team and contributors and supporters are having, I just would say my hack is just really knowing how to identify folks that are far more capable and brilliant than myself.

I think we fostered a pretty good human-centric work culture, which is really important. I think that we do a number of things internally. But I could just say we do a lot of really fun things, given a remote work model team, happy hours and dress up Mondays. We have team chill Saturdays. We have a huge crew gives back initiatives a recorder. We reach out in the community to help folks less fortunate than ourselves. My team has a monthly humble huddle. So we talk about comfortable with ways in which we fell short and what we didn't deliver or perform on.

We have an Elon Musk huddle once a month where everybody brings forth an awesome idea and the winner gets like a pizza party for their family, and then we implement those ideas and really foster a disruptive work culture. But yeah, I think those are a few things that I do that really stand out on a personal level. I think my hack is being a special olympics coach. I love coaching Special Olympics and I run marathons. So just getting out and I'm breathing fresh air into the body is my personal hack.

Gresham Harkless 09:46

Appreciate you sharing that. And of course, I think so many times we forget about that personal aspect. So I love how you added that in because I say we skip over the human aspect of business so many times. But hearing all those things that you do as a team, but also being able to lean on your things that kind of light you up as well to or how we ultimately like, reach that success and have the fuel to keep going as well.

Brianna Carney 10:06

Yeah, totally 100%. I sit on my team all the time. This just doesn't matter. Work is always second. What matters most is the humans that you love and getting out in the world and feeling good vibrations. But if we can show up and not hit our jobs every day and really deliver and pursue the best professional versions of ourselves, we'll be better neighbors and friends and sons and daughters and mothers and fathers.

So, yeah, it's really important.

Gresham Harkless 10:30

Absolutely. And that creates that domino effect because we end up being in a better, obviously, city or state or environment as a whole. Once you're able to do that on a smaller level, and it starts to create that domino effect, then you get to have that ultimately better world.

Brianna Carney 10:43

Yeah, I feel pretty lucky.

Gresham Harkless 10:46

Yeah, absolutely. You're creating that change. And so I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. This could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client, or if you were to hop into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Brianna Carney 11:01

Oh, so I think I would tell my younger business self to just chill out to be honest. Just there's a lot that we bootstrapped. So there were a lot of expensive mistakes, a lot of things that we had to work our way through and time and, believing in yourself is really all that matters there. But you just have to go through those challenges and believe that it's going to pay off in the long run.

So, we, over the past 2 years have been pretty fortunate. We were able to double revenue last year. I was trying to do the same this year, but the first few years were rough. We had some bearish growth. We built a product in the wrong language. And I just wish I would have been able to maturely address that with a little bit chiller energy.

Gresham Harkless 11:46

Yeah, and I appreciate you sharing that. I think so many times when you are very mission-driven, you have something that you want to do and implement and make a ding in the universe so to speak, sometimes we can beat ourselves up a lot, sometimes even those people that are around us because we want to see that come to fruition.

I think one of the things that I said to myself over this pandemic especially, is giving yourself grace for whatever happens. Continue to work hard and drill down, but don't beat yourself up because that's not going to help you get any closer to where you want to be sometimes.

See also  IAM124- Holistic Psychologist Helps Clients with Holistic Mental Wellness at Different Levels

Brianna Carney 12:15

A couple other things. Maybe I would have been a little bit more diligent, quite a bit more diligent with you want boundaries surrounding work life balance the amount of nights I just brought my laptop onto the couch and fell asleep on my laptop was probably not productive or healthy.

So, yeah, just really being structured and holding myself accountable that way. And then also just to all entrepreneurs, I think it's really important to not become emotionally attached to processes in the for profit space. Our oxygen is revenue, and if a process is making money, you have to be able to test that and identify that early on and adjust.

Gresham Harkless 12:52

Yeah, I appreciate you sharing that so much. And I say so many times we can get attached to the what instead of the how instead of the why I should say. I think when you have that mission of what you wanna do, so many times when we try out different processes or different things, we want to be able to pivot and change and not get as attached to that because that can not allow us to get to where our goals are.

But if we have that strong mission, as you talked about, and we understand that human aspect that you talked about as well, too, then you have that opportunity to set yourself up for success for the organization, but also ourselves individually.

Brianna Carney 13:23

Yeah, cheers. Well said.

Gresham Harkless 13:25

Absolutely. Perfect. Now, I wanted to ask you 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 the show.

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

Brianna Carney 13:37

I don't really consider myself a CEO. I don't know. It just sounds pretty formal to me. I guess I do make quite a few decisions. I just think as we're set the role of a CEO or a founder leader is just to be a true leader, to leverage emotional intelligence and to understand your team and, to execute your core values in the day to day practices like you're the example.

So it's really important that you take ownership of the livelihood of not only your team, but their loved ones. It's a heavy lift.

Gresham Harkless 14:11

Yeah, absolutely. Especially that emotional intelligence part. But I love that cheerleading piece because I think so many times in much of the same way, you have to be on a balance beam for lack of a better term and be able to of course drive things forward, but at the same time, make sure that you're supporting and support can be so many different things.

So trying to figure out how to understand what is going to support what or what decision to make or not to make is a lot. But I think if we understand that this is our mission, this is what we're set here to do, then that puts everything right in alignment.

Brianna Carney 14:40

Yeah, yeah. Well said.

Gresham Harkless 14:43

Absolutely. Brianna, 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 that you can let our readers and listeners know, and of course, how best they can get a hold of you and find about all the awesome things you and your team are working on.

Brianna Carney 14:58

Yeah, I was just like, shout out to listeners just like tuning into podcasts and different opportunities of growth and progress, such as your podcast is critical. So shout out again.

I'm here to help in any way possible. You can find me on LinkedIn. My name again is Brianna Carney. My email is brianna@crewbloom.com. You can follow us on social media. Yeah, most importantly, just feel we get yourself.

Gresham Harkless 15:25

Absolutely. Brianna truly appreciate that we will have the links and information in the show notes as well too. I love everything you're building and helping to connect that top-tier talent, with the people who need it as well, too.

But I think even more like hearing about your culture and hearing how it is to build that and create that so that we don't forget why we're doing what we're doing is maybe just as important. So I appreciate you for reminding us of that, doing that as well.

I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Outro 15:51

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 Harkless 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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