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IAM2087 – Speaker, Author and International Radio Host Helps People Elevate Their Lives

Podcast Interview with Sean Douglas

In this episode, we have Sean Douglas of the Success Corps. Sean, a U.S. Air Force veteran, TEDx speaker, Master Resilience Implementer, Suicide Awareness Trainer, Performance Enhancement Expert, International Radio Show Host, and Author, shares his inspiring journey from overcoming abuse and adversity to founding the Success Corps.

He discusses his unique approach to mentoring, focusing on tailor-made solutions to reduce anxiety, stress, and depression in personal and professional lives.

Sean also delves into his business strategies, including his method of standing out in the industry by offering personalized services and engaging in event aftercare.

Furthermore, he provides valuable advice for entrepreneurs and business owners, emphasizing the importance of resourcefulness, gratitude, and saying ‘yes' to opportunities.

Sean's story and insights offer motivation and practical tips for anyone looking to elevate their life and business.


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Sean Douglas Teaser 00:00

I tailor-made one on one and I'm sitting down with them and I'm giving them me. It's me. I'm connecting with them through me, eye contact, story, whatever, telling them exactly what they need.

Instead of just saying, here's my overarching one size fits all everything program. It's not going to work.

Intro 00:19

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 Harkness 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 00:46

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 Sean Douglas of the Success Corps. Sean, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Sean Douglas 00:56

Thanks for having me, man. I'm honored.

Gresham Harkless 00:58

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. I truly appreciate you, Sean, for taking some time out.

And what I wanted to do was read a little bit more about Sean so you can learn a little bit more about him and all the awesome things that he's been able to accomplish. And Sean Douglas is a U S air force veteran. TEDx Speaker, Master Resilience Implementer, Suicide Awareness Trainer, Performance Enhancement Expert, International Radio Show Host, and Author.

His why is why he's a suicide survivor who hit rock bottom with no purpose or passion. He believes that you were created for a purpose, and once you unlock your true potential, you will elevate your life, which is why he founded the Success Corps. In a highly interactive and engaging environment, utilizing online mentoring sessions and face to face workshops, Sean provides a framework for success to millennials.

Up to 50-year-old professionals, military veterans, speakers, entrepreneurs, and business owners that reduces anxiety, stress, and depression in your personal and professional lives. Sean, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Sean Douglas 01:58

Dude, let's do this.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 01:59

So I wanted to give you the mic, so to speak, and hear a little bit more about your CEO story and what led you to start your business.

Sean Douglas 02:05

When I was in fourth grade, My older sister and I were abused by our stepfather many times. He would control my mother by taking all of the money that she would earn. She worked two jobs to support us. And then as I grew up, I just, I liked doing my own thing. I got fired from jobs. Like I tried to work at McDonald's for a little bit and I didn't quite work out.

I tried to work at this other job. I didn't quite work out. So I just always wanted to be in business for myself. I joined the military. And I see a need where there's the list club and office club and all that out base, they need DJs. I'm like I can do that. So I started DJing and then I was like, this is awesome.

And that opened the door to my first real business, which was an entertainment company.

Gresham Harkless 02:46

Yes. It's been obviously incredible that you've been able to have that experience and being able to help. other people out from, the difficulties that you might've gone through, but it seems like it might've also made you stronger and made you stronger, not just for yourself, but also it seems like for the people that you work with. Is that correct?

Sean Douglas 03:01

Absolutely. Yep. 100%.

Gresham Harkless 03:03

Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to drill a little bit deeper to hear a little bit more about like how you serve the clients. How do you help these people that you work with?

Sean Douglas 03:10

Yeah. So I always ask myself three questions. And the first question I always ask myself is, what am I willing to do more of?

Nowadays, all we hear is you gotta Target market, you got to niche down, you got to do this, got to do this. But back in 2004, when I first started my first business, or even when I was a kid, yeah. So who I serve if there's no one in the driveway, I'm knocking on their door. So if they need sound, if they need DJ, if they need whatever I'm knocking on their door, but I always ask myself three questions.

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The first one is what am I willing to do more of than anybody else? What am I willing to do more of people in the same space as a podcast host, as a speaker, as a person playing music at a wedding, as a DJ, what am I willing to do more of? So I started talking with the clients. I started what's your favorite songs or what's your, what's this for you?

And what does this look like? And how does this going to be a success? What does success look like for this event? And I just kept asking all these different questions and I would notice the same questions coming up. I took notes for everything. I took notes if I had an interaction that was amazing or gone bad.

If I had a success here or a failure, I took notes on everything. And so I figured out what I was going to do more of than anybody else. And then the second question is, what am I willing to do differently? If everybody's doing the same thing, you're not going to stand out. So how do I differentiate myself?

What makes me different? How do I separate myself from the rest of the pack? How do I stand out? You have to answer this question. And sometimes it's why I know my target market. Or I niche down. Got it. It can be a lot of different things, but you need to figure out what makes you different because it's not about doing things better than anybody else.

That just becomes a race to the bottom. And I'm not just Oh, I have my program. Here's my program. Just take my program. I tailor made one on one and I'm sitting down with them and I'm giving them me. It's me. I'm connecting with them through me, eye contact, story, whatever, telling them exactly what they need.

Instead of just saying, here's my overarching one size fits all everything program. It's not going to work. It makes sense.

Gresham Harkless 05:05 

Yeah, it makes perfect sense. So now I wanted to ask you I think it was your number two question, which is what I call your secret sauce and kind of like your differentiator, what you feel like sets you apart.

And you might already touched on that, but what do you feel is your secret sauce.

Sean Douglas 05:16

As a speaker? How I differentiate myself is I specialize in event aftercare. A lot of speakers will show up, collect the paycheck, deliver their little bit, their one hour deal. And they are. They didn't converse with them after their talk.

They didn't even eat lunch with them. They do their bit. I'm out. So what I do is I specialize in event aftercare where I have lunch with the people who were in my talk, right? I have lunch with everybody there. I'm connecting with the event organizer. I'm building relationships. Months later, right? We connect on social media.

We connect through email. Some people even have my cell phone number. They can just call me anytime. So people will grab my business cards, but that's a one way communication. They grab my business card and I'm hoping that they'll call me. I need to get their information as well, because I know I'm going to follow up and I know I'm going to call them.

That's just one, that's just one as a speaker, as a radio show host. So my show is on blog talk radio. My show is live. It's a live online radio show that people can actually call into the show. So I don't know too many podcasts that are doing that, but they can call directly into the show. And then, it has literally.

The radio show feel to it. And it's a live online show.

Gresham Harkless 06:28

Now I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And the CEO hack might be an app or a book or a habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Sean Douglas 06:39

Man. I thought about this question, man, I kind of like agonize over it.

I'm like, there's so much, it's not just like one app, right? It's not just, I don't, I'm not a real big app user. I love deltas. App where I could just like log in right on my app and change my seat and do. And that sounds cool, but and a hat. So there's a book called play bigger by Christopher Lockhead.

It's how pirates dreamers and innovators create and dominate their own categories. So in that book, Christopher Lockhead talks about creating a category that only you play in. It's about category design and drives company culture. And how you do that is you create a problem that only you can solve. So you frame the problem in a way that people can receive it, you condition the market to receive that problem and go, Oh my gosh, I didn't even you're right.

I didn't even know. I didn't even know that was a problem. I've been doing that all the time. I didn't even know that was a problem. You know what I mean? You condition the market to receive the unique problem that you created. And then you created the solution to solve that problem, right? So it's just it's being a disruptor, it's being an innovator, so I talked to Jeff Hoffman, who is the founder of priceline. com. I had a chance to sit down and talk with them, about this. And he says, I was in an airport and I missed the flight because there's one person at the counter checking everybody in. This is stupid, man. I can check myself and I'm already here.

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You know what I mean? Yeah. He made the kiosks center in the airport. That's what he did. And then out of that, he says if I can check my own self in, I bet I could book my own travel. was born. You see what I'm saying? So he saw that he's I missed a flight and this is ridiculous. And so nobody was solving these problems.

He says, I'm going to solve this problem. So the advice that he gave me was get into an industry that interests you. Absorb everything about the industry, everything, read everything, know everything, and then find a problem that people frequently experience and solve it. And that's all he did. That's exactly what it is.

So there's one, one or two little hacks right there as a speaker indeed. com is the most underutilized tool that anybody's ever. You actually, for any business. It's grossly underutilized. For example, you make a profile on there and you can type in different keywords. So I type in motivational speaker. Why?

Because that's what people outside of the industry always use. It's a motivational speaker when not really as a transformational speaker, there's a business speaker, sales speaker, but they just type in motivational speaker. So I typed in motivational speaker, got a bunch of, of keywords and all that and download.

Email addresses and all that stuff from it. Then I typed in conference speaker and then I got a bunch of these, right? So what happens is I don't care that they're putting out a, an event or whatever, and this, and that's not what I care about. What I care about is the people on indeed that are putting out the job descriptions that are hiring for conference speakers.

I want that decision-maker. That's who I want to get to. So I can Google call for speakers or whatever and get booked. Got it. But this right here. And indeed, there's companies right now hiring for podcast consultant, health and wellness director. So if I want to go and be a corporate consultant and I know on Indeed, there's somebody hiring for a, a podcast, whatever the company wants to get into podcasting, I'm going to email that person with that job and says I'm not interested in that job.

Actually. I just want to show you what to do. I'll consult with you on two bases, this, that, and the other, whatever. So instead of getting 50, 000 a year for a full-time job, I'll show you how to do it for 10 grand and you can do it yourself. I'll consult with you. You know what I'm saying? On an ongoing support.

So you're using Indeed to find those keywords that companies are hiring for, and then asking to be a consultant, not an employee. But those are the decision makers that I want, that you can't

find anywhere else.

Gresham Harkless 10:23

Yeah. And I love those CEO hacks and I see overlap in them and in a way in which a lot of those people, when you're going on indeed.

com, they're looking for people to hire, but again, like you were talking about before you're creating a solution, which they didn't even know was a problem rather than having to have 50, 000 to hire somebody benefits, all of those things, you are able to help them solve the problem, doing it in an efficient way.

And maybe they can do something else with that additional revenue or additional money they had bookmarked from that. So I love that. And I love that CEO hack. So, now I want to ask you for what I call a. CEO nugget and the CEO nugget might be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice that you might have for entrepreneurs and business owners.

Sean Douglas 10:58

Man, I love this question because I asked the same question on my show. I'm like, give me some nuggets, man. Give me like, I want something, because everybody has so much knowledge. Like you can just Google anything you want, right? You can YouTube anything you want, but what I love about this question is that it's based on experience.

And it's dude. Don't do that. And it's usually rooted in failure, right? Don't do this because it's gonna suck, so my nugget, man, I'm just an overachiever. So I'll give you two quick ones. Okay. My mentor, Brock Thomas always drills it into us. He says, say yes and figure it out because when you say no, you close the door to new opportunities and new ideas that had you said yes, probably would have transformed your life.

So live your life by this principle, say yes and figure it out. Just go make it happen. Thank you. Forget the excuses. Just go make it happen. And the second thing that I believe is really, really, really important is that live a life of gratitude. Count three blessings a day, live a life of gratitude because this literally scientifically reduces anxiety, stress, depression, loneliness.

And that is some of the characteristics that we experience as entrepreneurs, right? Nobody gets us. We're an entrepreneur. Nobody gets us, right? Duh, because you're like the top, whatever percentage of people that. Don't want to live in a corporate fricking rat wheel, right? Corazon was going to get you, we get anxiety because we don't know where our next clients come from.

We don't know where this leads going to generate from. And we got to have strategies, but that didn't work and we're failing. And it's ah, it's super stressful. So just three blessings a day, cut three blessings a day, live a life of gratitude. And I'm telling you, it's going to change

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your life.

Gresham Harkless 12:32

I love it. I love it. And Sean now I wanted to ask you for what is my absolute favorite question, which is like the definition of being a CEO. And we're hoping to have different CEOs on the podcast. So I wanted to ask you specifically, what does being a CEO means to you?

Sean Douglas 12:44

Yeah, it's Putting it all on the line, we hear a lot of times, from business daily and entrepreneur.

com and always Oh, the CEO is a freaking multi-billionaire, but his employee gets like 10 95 an hour, dude, that's cool. But for me, a CEO is number one, investing in their people, taking care of their people and overall, man, laying it all on the line. Just. Like you are all in on this thing.

You know what I'm saying? It's cool to be a CEO, of a Fortune 500 company or like Amazon or like that. That's great. You know what I mean? But really ask yourself those three questions I said earlier, what are you willing to do more of as a CEO? What are you willing to do more of?

What are you willing to do differently? And how are you connecting with your employees? How are you connecting with the people that, that you serve and how are you connecting with those that serve you? So man, it's just laying it on the line, man. Like you do maybe you're the first to go to the office and the last to leave.

Usually you are in your business when you're number one, when you're the only employee you know what I'm saying? And then when you get three, four, five or six employees, but it seems like you start to just be like, Oh, you guys got it. Yeah, you guys got it. I never want to be like that. I would never want to sit at the top of the floor in the ivory tower and be like I'm gonna leave because everybody else has got, I'm going to go toward Europe.

I still want to live a life of freedom, but I still want to make sure that my people know that I'm invested in them and invested in the company.

Gresham Harkless 14:03

Makes perfect sense. And I, yeah, I absolutely love that definition. So Sean, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule and speaking with us.

You have an incredible story. You've done a lot of incredible things. And what I wanted to do was pass you the mic to see if there's Anything additional you want to let our readers and our listeners know and how best people can get ahold of you.

Sean Douglas 14:19

Go make it happen. Stop the excuse.

Man, I hear it all the time and it's so frustrating. Like literally like during my active duty military time, like I'm building businesses like 60 hours a week in the military and I still find time to build three businesses. Like you can't tell me you don't have time. You don't have money. You don't have that.

Those are all resources. Build your resourcefulness muscle, right? Money is everywhere. Time is on you. So have strategies for time management, have strategies for energy management, have strategies that automate things. I have speaking leads that come directly through my email because I set up Google alerts.

Oh, there's another hack. Nobody even knows this. You know how many people that I know that don't even set up Google alerts? Like I get emails right to my phone that says conference speaker, call for speakers, call for presenters, like right to my phone. I never have to do anything. I have an abundance of leads because they're in my phone because I set up a tool called a Google alert.

You can set up an alert for everything. I set one up for myself so I can see if I'm in the news. So. There's no excuse. Like today, there's no excuse. You have YouTube, Google Pay for a mentor, pay for a freaking mentor that'll show you what to do. There's no excuse for you not to succeed, like there just isn't.

So if you wanna know more about me and what I'm about, you can find me at And I have a free Facebook group. Everybody hangs out and enjoys. Man, it's called the success core.

That's it, man. That's what I got for you.

[00:15:51] Gresham Harkless: I appreciate it, Sean.

And we'll definitely have those links in the show notes, but thank you again for all the awesome words that you gave us today, but also all the awesome things that you're doing to impact the world and truly appreciate it. And I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Sean Douglas 16:03

Thank you, man. I really, really appreciate you.

Outro 16:05

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 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 Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google podcast, and everywhere you listen to podcasts.

Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. 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(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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