Healthy CEOI AM CEO PODCASTLife Style

IAM2124 – CEO And Founder Empowers People To Embrace Their Natural Form And Celebrate Their Unique Bodies

Podcast Interview with Susie Taaffe

In this episode, we have Susie Taaffe, CEO and founder of Skanties, an anti-shapewear brand dedicated to empowering people to embrace their natural form and celebrate their unique bodies.

Susie discusses her journey of soul searching, unexpected divorce, and finding purpose in serving others in a passion-filled way.

She emphasizes the importance of the message over product sales, and her approach to problem-solving as an engineer.

In addition, Susie shares the importance of emotional regulation and taking time to reflect as a CEO, celebrating achievements, and managing stress.

Website: Skanties Anti-Shapewear
Instagram: Skanties
LinkedIn: Susie Taaffe

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Transcription:

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Susie Taaffe Teaser 00:00

It's more, it's like an invisibility cloak. It's like a cloak that you put a confidence pants or something that you put on. So then that you don't have muffin top, you don't have chafe, you're breathing freely. So then you can get about and go about loving your body and being on your day, as opposed to be reminding of those three things that might start to shut that negative chatter cycle because we all know it's hard to spiral out of that cycle.

Intro 00:25

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 00:53

Hello, Hello, Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Susie Taaffe. Susie, excited to have you on the show.

Susie Taaffe 01:01

Thank you so much, Gresh. So excited to be here.

Gresham Harkless 01:04

Yes, I'm excited as well too. And you're doing so many phenomenal things. We had a great conversation. So obviously before we jumped into the interview, I want to read a little bit more about Susie so you can hear about some of those awesome things. And Susie is the CEO and founder of Skanties, Anti-shapewear, dedicated to empowering people to embrace their natural form, reject unnatural beauty standards, and celebrate their unique and beautiful bodies.

Susie is at the forefront of the anti-shapewear movement which rejects prolonged body compression in the use of non-breathing synthetic materials that can have harmful effects. With her decade experience working as an engineer and having designed and manufactured her own maternity clothing brand, Susie successfully launched Skanties in the Australian market in 2019 as a single mother of three children. Having launched Skanties in the US marketing in 2023, Susie continues to expand this global movement, remaining dedicated to helping women reclaim their feminine power through fashion and to empower people to love themselves from the inside out.

And I absolutely love the conversation I had with Susie and she has a awesome energy and a really, really inspiring story. So I think we're really gonna love this interview and hearing about all the phenomenal things that she's doing. And I think one of the things that really stood out to me is that she's really mission-driven. She mentioned in something that I was reading before we did this interview that she wanted to help people feel better and found her products and services as a way to do that. So Susie, excited to have you on the show, even more excited about all the awesome things you're doing. Are you ready to speak to the the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Susie Taaffe 02:35

Definitely ready to speak. What you got?

Gresham Harkless 02:37

Awesome. Let's get started then. So to try to kick things 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.

Susie Taaffe 02:47

I suppose it started with me soul searching, an unexpected divorce, and then me soul searching about what is this, what's life about? What are we here for? What is it, what are we doing? And from that I found that we're basically here to make out to serve others but at the same time in a passion purpose-filled way. So I started to look at my life and I was saying what can I do that can help other people but also makes my heart sing? And obviously when you're happy and purpose-filled, then your energy becomes infectious.

So whatever you're doing, and if you can then add in the serving of others to help others. And I actually, it's really interesting because I was talking to someone and they were talking about there's a Japanese saying and they say we've got it all, us Westerners, we've got it all wrong. When we feel bad we want to go out and buy something and we do that consumer sort of dread thing, lead thing and the Japanese they have a saying it's if you feel bad or feel I had a bad day he said go and help someone else and he said that's going to make you feel like it's giving me goosebumps right now because that's something that's going to make you still feel good tomorrow there's no purchase regret on helping another person so I suppose it's the same premise that if you can do something every day that can help someone else, you're going to feel good in your heart.

So I looked at my life. I was currently, I just had, I was a newly single mom. There were 5, 3 and 1. My expertise was in, we call it FIFO engineering. So where you fly in, fly out. So it's two weeks on, two weeks off and into like far Western Australia, which is far Western Queensland, which is like middle of the desert. So with kids that age, that wasn't an option, but it also and I was looking at my line timeline of life like it didn't I could do it but it didn't make my heart sing like I know I was helping probably maybe someone's gas burner down the street down the road somewhere but it wasn't a direct impact and so my product Skanties.

I'd actually created for myself about 8 years ago and I'd never really thought of them as a commercial viability. I just made it was like it was at the end of my maternity clothing manufacturing career when we were shutting down that business, I quickly was like, I just need something, basically. The original pair didn't look anything like the final pair, but I wanted something. At the time, I got terrible chafing, which I can promise you makes you feel awful about yourself. There's nothing that, no good story is going on in your head when your thighs are chafing.

I can promise you that so I'd made something and then a few people had just spoken to me about stuff and about how did I wear skirts all the time and you don't get chafing? I said I do I wear these and at the time there was nothing that you could actually buy and so because it's such a shameful topic I suppose that I love that we're starting to talk about it more but it's so shameful it's not you don't sit around having a cup of tea talking about how bad your chafe was so it wasn't a conversation that women were having.

So I didn't even know that I was the only one who had it. And that was a light bulb moment. There's other women that get that. And I know how precious my product was to me. And I thought, okay, this is an idea. You could actually make this into a big, like a global expansion to actually help. This would make other women who get your same problem, that would make them help them feel better. And so yeah, that's where I actually thought, yeah, let's have I know I can be helping about themselves.

Gresham Harkless 06:15

Yeah, and appreciate you sharing journey. So I wanted to drill down a little bit more into what you're doing at Skanties, how you're making that impact and how you're helping people there.

Susie Taaffe 06:26

Yeah. So we actually ended up adapting what I originally created. I spoke to heaps of women to find out exactly, to make sure. And I actually ended up encompassing more problems that women face that I don't personally face. So I ended up being able to roll the product into like a 3 in 1. So it stops chafe, but it also stops muffin top at the top. And it also has a big cotton panel. So it's actually like cotton underwear mashed up. So it's really hygienic and lots of women are susceptible to infections if they have anything synthetic. So it's really like a mashup of three issues women face. So it's picking from everything. And I suppose though, but we're Skanties.

What I think is our driving force is that anti-shapewear movement. So yes, we've got a product, but the product is really just a tool. So what the app, so Skanties is really about teaching people to love themselves as they are right now and to reject societal norms of shapewear and some of them have even two pairs of shapewear. Like after COVID I'm like what are you doing to these poor women? Like their form is actually beautiful. If you look at the sculptures of Venus and the goddess of beauty, she is not wearing two pairs of Spanx. You know what I mean? She's pervy and gorgeous and beautiful. So that is our messaging more.

And then the Skanties are really just a tool. So you can, it's a little more, it's like an invisibility cloak. It's like a cloak that you put a confidence pants or something that you put on so then that you don't have muffin top, you don't have chafe, you're breathing freely. So then you can get about and go about loving your body and being on your day as opposed to be reminding of those three things that might start to talk that negative chatter cycle because we all know it's hard to spiral out of that cycle. So it's sort of like, yeah, they like the invisibility of those issues. They disappear and then you can just go on being who you are.

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Gresham Harkless 08:18

Yeah, that makes so much sense. So would you consider that to be what I like to call your secret sauce? It could be for yourself, the business or a combination of both, but isn't that ability to recognize that? But of course be able to execute on that with your product and the mission and the vision. Do you feel like that's part of your secret?

Susie Taaffe 08:33

100% it's definitely the secret sauce because I actually don't even care if I sell product. If I can reach someone with this message and they can turn their brain and change the conversation they're having, then I'm successful. So it is totally the secret sauce.

Gresham Harkless 08:50

Yeah, that makes so much sense. And I almost wonder, as I know you have that background I read in your bio of being an engineer, I've always seen engineers as the ultimate consummate problem solvers. Do you feel like that's been like you? It sounds like you you you heard this. You see this and you're like, oh, this is a problem. This is a problem. You're like, I'm going to create and solve something for this. You feel like that fuels you and has helped you be able to say, hey, let's have these tough conversations and let me also start to change the narrative from there.

Susie Taaffe 09:17

Oh, I definitely have an engineering brain. I'm always trying to solve problems. It's always people are coming to me like, okay, what's your problem? Okay, yeah, let's do that, that, that, that, that, that, that, that, that, that. Yeah, definitely. I can't stop solving problems actually.

Gresham Harkless 09:30

Yeah, I love that. And then that ends up creating like a great product. But again, it ends up creating like a whole I'm going to use the word movement around all the things that you're doing.

Susie Taaffe 09:38

Yes. Yeah. Definitely. I suppose because each thing is an individual problem. That's why I say is that's just a tool for those three problems, but there's so many more problems within the barrel, the cooking pot of what we have there. So it's not just that just ticks the physical problems and so you don't have to think about them but that's what I love to solve the problem. That's loving to solve the problems from an emotional and a mental and a physical spiritual way as well.

Gresham Harkless 10:04

Yeah, so I 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 even a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Susie Taaffe 10:15

Okay, definitely surround yourself with other people running businesses. That's my hack because they always know you don't know what you don't know and they can condense a book that might take you a week to read into one coffee. Do you know what I mean? They'll tell you the bits that are relevant and I also think that there's a lot of synchronicities as well. Someone knows what you need to hear at the right time and you probably have something that you know that they need to hear.

So I think definitely connection with other people doing the same thing. But in different businesses it doesn't matter. It just seems to happen. I've just started working with a great friend who's in a completely different industry. I can help her with her business and she helps me with mine even though we know nothing about the respective industries. So that definitely. My two books is Deescalate. How to Deescalate an Angry Person by Douglas Noll. It's really about listening.

It's about hearing what people are saying and it's listening without words basically and then how to emote back to the person who's speaking how they're actually feeling and I've only just recently met Doug and I've been practicing it on people and on my kids and it makes people feel heard. So I think the number one thing we want in this world is to feel heard and valued. Feeling heard is the first step in feeling valued. And I think it's just a fantastic book that everyone should read.

And then as we were talking about the atomic habits, I've only just picked that up and it's about to become my bible. I just think it is the way, especially for someone like CEOs and someone like me, I've got stuff going on all in my head, head, head. I've got all these things, but it's like a recipe for how to insert the bits into where you need to in your day and create a routine, which basically just line drop for success. So I'm super excited for 2024 into an action that book.

Gresham Harkless 12:09

Yeah, I absolutely love that. And so I wanted to switch gears and go into what I call a CEO nugget, a little bit more word of wisdom or piece of advice. It might be something you would tell your younger business self if you were to hop into a time machine.

Susie Taaffe 12:21

I was gonna hop into a time machine. I always think would I have done anything differently? And the answer is always no, because you have to learn your lessons and stuff, and I'd rather learn them when I did than learn them down the track. So I think everything has been on the path has been there perfectly. I think the biggest nugget is it's going to be hard, but you can do it and it's how you pick yourself back up, which is the golden nugget. Yeah, you can give amazing advice for when you're doing well but it's when things are tough and I think breathing is really good.

Breathing and also take if you feel stressed and overwhelmed I think like a 5-minute meditation or 15 minutes if you've got that just to reset can it changes or maybe and ground and get your feet in the ground. Do your meditation with your feet in the grass if you can or somewhere outside. I think those little tips because you've got to bring yourself back down to keep going. So I think it's that real emotional regulation. But yeah, don't be afraid to take 5 minutes or 15 minutes out to meditate and close your eyes and just regroup yourself, I think would be my golden nugget.

Gresham Harkless 13:26

I love that. And especially because I think so many times when we're going through this journey of life and even business, I love that you talked about in the hack about being around people that are going on that journey and having those conversations even if they're not on the same exact industry or same exact path because I feel like when you go through the first valley sometimes the valley after that and valley after that. You're like, am I doing this wrong? But if you have an understanding or a lot of times with conversations with others, you realize that you're not doing it wrong.

Sometimes that's just part of the journey. That's how it goes. And it starts to normalize that, but never feels good, but you start to say, look, okay, this is part of the journey. You feel like you're not doing it wrong, but I love the practicality of being able to take time, take a breath to breathe, to regulate that energy and that those emotions that you talked about, because that allows us to really come back and realize, hey, it might just be a bad day. It's not a bad life. It's not a bad business.

Susie Taaffe 14:18

Yes, definitely. Definitely. You need to take a step back sometimes and look at the bigger picture and also celebrate where you've come from. I think we as CEOs never ever do that enough. We are always looking at the next peak. How am I going to get up there as opposed to turning around and actually saying, oh wow, I can see. Yeah, that was a tough year, but look what you put in place and look how you managed to get through that. And actually really take time to, yeah, we're so busy chasing it out. And we keep moving the goalposts to where we want to be. And we need to say, actually, no, you've got that goal. You just moved it. So I think that's good too.

Gresham Harkless 14:52

Yeah. So I want to ask you now, my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And our goal is to have different quote unquote CEOs on the show. So Susie, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Susie Taaffe 15:02

Oh, being a CEO means chaos. Chaos, but a privilege to be able to do what I do and share what I can share. It's an absolute privilege to be able to be creating this movement and being at the pilot seat of it all and being able to direct where it can go and just the expanse of it all. So that's really exciting.

Gresham Harkless 15:29

Yeah, I love that. Susie truly appreciate that definition. Of course, I appreciate your time even more. So what I wanted to do now is pass you on mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you want to let our readers and listeners know. And of course, how best people can get a whole view, find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.

Susie Taaffe 15:47

Oh, thank you so much, Gresh. It was a great conversation. We are at skanties.co, and our Instagram is just Skanties, S-K-A-N-T-I-E-S, all around Facebook and TikTok. We're learning TikTok. I'm an old generation. I'm an old generation on TikTok. So my daughter won't teach me the noises apparently. It's embarrassing.

Gresham Harkless 16:11

No, that's funny. Of course, we'll make it even easier by having links and information in the show notes so that everybody can get a hold of you. But I truly appreciate all the awesome things that you're doing, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Susie Taaffe 16:22

Thank you, Gresh, for having me. It's been great.

Outro 16:25

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by CBNation and Blue16 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.

00:00 - 00:24

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Susie Taaffe: It's more, it's like an invisibility cloak. It's like a, it's like a cloak that you put a confidence pants or something that you put on. So then that you don't have muffin top, you don't have chafe, you're breathing freely. So then you can get about and go about loving your body and being on your day, as opposed to be reminding of those 3 things that might start to shut that negative chatter cycle because we all know it's hard to spiral out of that cycle.

00:25 - 00:52

Intro: 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.

00:53 - 01:01

Gresham Harkless: Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I Am CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Susie Taft. Susie, excited to have you on the show.

01:01 - 01:03

Susie Taaffe: Thank you so much, Gresh. So excited to be here.

01:04 - 01:34

Gresham Harkless: Yes, I'm excited as well too. And you're doing so many phenomenal things. We had a great conversation. So obviously before we jumped into the interview, I want to read a little bit more about Suzy so you can hear about some of those awesome things. And Suzy is the CEO and founder of Scanty's, anti-shapewear, dedicated to empowering people to embrace their natural form, reject unnatural beauty standards, and celebrate their unique and beautiful bodies. Susie is at the forefront of the anti shapewear movement which rejects prolonged body compression in the use of non-breathing synthetic materials that can have

01:34 - 02:11

Gresham Harkless: harmful effects. With her decade experience working as an engineer and having designed and manufactured her own maternity clothing brand, Suzy successfully launched scantes in the Australian market in 2019 as a single mother of 3 children. Having launched scanties in the US marketing in 2023, Suzy continues to expand this global movement, remaining dedicated to helping women reclaim their feminine power through fashion and to empower people to love themselves from the inside out. And I absolutely love the conversation I had with Suzy and she has a awesome energy and a really, really inspiring story. So I think we're

02:11 - 02:35

Gresham Harkless: really gonna love this interview and hearing about all the phenomenal things that she's doing. And I think 1 of the things that really stood out to me is that she's really mission-driven. She mentioned in something that I was reading before we did this interview that she wanted to help people feel better and found her products and services as a way to do that. So Susie, excited to have you on the show, even more excited about all the awesome things you're doing. Are you ready to speak to the High MCO community?

02:35 - 02:37

Susie Taaffe: Definitely ready to speak.

02:37 - 02:47

Gresham Harkless: What you got? Awesome. Let's get started then. So to try to kick things 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.

02:47 - 03:25

Susie Taaffe: I suppose it started with me soul searching, an unexpected divorce, and then me soul searching about what is this, what's life about? What are we here for? What is it, what are we doing? And from that I found that we're basically here to make out to serve others but at the same time in a passion purpose-filled way. So I started to look at my life and I was saying what can I do that can help other people but also makes my heart sing? And obviously when you're happy and purpose-filled, then your energy becomes infectious. So whatever

03:25 - 03:51

Susie Taaffe: you're doing, and if you can then add in the serving of others to help others. And I actually, it's really interesting because I was talking to someone and they were talking about there's a Japanese saying and they say we've got it all, us Westerners, we've got it all wrong. When we feel bad we want to go out and buy something and we do that consumer sort of dread thing, lead thing and the Japanese they have a saying it's if you feel bad or feel I had a bad day he said go and help someone else and

03:51 - 04:21

Susie Taaffe: he said that's going to make you feel like it's giving me goosebumps right now because that's something that's going to make you still feel good tomorrow there's no purchase regret on helping another person So I suppose it's the same premise that if you can do something every day that can help someone else, you're going to feel good in your heart. So I looked at my life. I was currently, I just had, I was a newly single mom. There were 5, 3 and 1. My expertise was in, we call it FIFO engineering. So where you fly in,

04:21 - 04:53

Susie Taaffe: fly out. So it's 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off and into like far Western Australia, which is far Western Queensland, which is like middle of the desert. So with kids that age, that wasn't an option, but it also and I was looking at my line Timeline of life like it didn't I could do it But it didn't make my heart sing like I know I was helping probably maybe someone's gas burner down the street down the road somewhere But it wasn't a direct impact and so my product scanties. I'd actually created for myself about 8 years

04:53 - 05:20

Susie Taaffe: ago and I'd never really thought of them as a commercial viability. I just made it was like it was at the end of my maternity clothing manufacturing career When we were shutting down that business, I quickly was like, I just need something, basically. The original pair didn't look anything like the final pair, but I wanted something. At the time, I got terrible chafing, which I can promise you makes you feel awful about yourself. There's nothing that, No good story is going on in your head when your thighs are chafing. I can promise you that so I'd

05:20 - 05:47

Susie Taaffe: made something and then a few people had just spoken to me about stuff and About how did I wear skirts all the time and you don't get chafing? I said I do I wear these and at the time there was nothing that you could actually buy and so because it's such a shameful topic I suppose that I love that we're starting to talk about it more but it's so shameful it's not you don't sit around having a cup of tea talking about how bad your chafe was so It wasn't a conversation that women were having. So

05:47 - 06:15

Susie Taaffe: I didn't even know that I was the only 1 who had it. And that was a light bulb moment. There's other women that get that. And I know how precious my product was to me. And I thought, okay, this is an idea. You could actually make this into a big, like a global expansion to actually help. This would make other women who get your same problem, that would make them help them feel better. And so yeah, that's where I actually thought, yeah, let's have I know I can be helping p about

06:15 - 06:25

Gresham Harkless: themselves. Yeah, a and appreciate you sharin journey. So I wanted to drill down a little bit more into what you're doing at Scanty's, how you're making that impact and how you're helping people there.

06:26 - 06:54

Susie Taaffe: Yeah. So we actually ended up adapting what I originally created. I spoke to Heaps of women to find out exactly, to make sure. And I actually ended up encompassing more problems that women face that I don't personally face. So I ended up being able to roll the product into like a 3 in 1. So it stops chafe, but it also stops muffin top at the top. And it also has a big cotton panel. So it's actually like cotton underwear mashed up. So it's really hygienic and lots of women are susceptible to infections if they have anything

06:54 - 07:28

Susie Taaffe: synthetic. So it's really like a mashup of 3 issues women face. So it's picking from everything. And I suppose though, but we're scanties. What I think is our driving force is that anti-shapeware movement. So yes, we've got a product, but the product is really just a tool. So what the app, so scanties is really about teaching people to love themselves as they are right now and to reject societal norms of shapewear and some of them have even 2 pairs of shapewear. Like after COVID I'm like what are you doing to these poor women? Like their form

07:28 - 07:36

Susie Taaffe: is actually beautiful. If you look at the sculptures of Venus and the goddess of beauty, she is not wearing 2 pairs of Spanx.

07:37 - 07:38

Gresham Harkless: You know what I mean?

07:38 - 08:09

Susie Taaffe: She's pervy and gorgeous and beautiful. So that is our messaging more. And then the scanties are really just a tool. So you can, it's a little more, it's like an invisibility cloak. It's like a cloak that you put a confidence pants or something that you put on so then that you don't have muffin top, you don't have chafe, you're breathing freely. So then you can get about and go about loving your body and being on your day as opposed to be reminding of those 3 things that might start to talk that negative chatter cycle because we

08:09 - 08:17

Susie Taaffe: all know it's hard to spiral out of that cycle. So it's sort of like, yeah, they like the invisibility of those issues. They disappear and then you can just go on being who you are.

08:18 - 08:33

Gresham Harkless: Yeah, that makes so much sense. So would you consider that to be what I like to call your secret sauce? It could be for yourself, the business or a combination of both, but isn't that ability to recognize that? But of course be able to execute on that with your product and the mission and the vision. Do you feel like that's part of your secret?

08:33 - 08:50

Susie Taaffe: 100% it's definitely the secret sauce because I actually don't even care if I sell product. If I can reach someone with this message and they can turn their brain and change the conversation they're having, then I'm successful. So it is totally the secret sauce.

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08:50 - 09:14

Gresham Harkless: Yeah, that makes so much sense. And I almost wonder, as I know you have that background I read in your bio of being an engineer, I've always seen engineers as the ultimate consummate problem solvers. Do you feel like that's been like you? It sounds like you you you heard this. You see this and you're like, oh, this is a problem. This is a problem. You're like, I'm going to create and solve something for this. You feel like that fuels you and has helped you be able to say, hey, let's have these tough conversations and let me

09:14 - 09:16

Gresham Harkless: also start to change the narrative from there.

09:17 - 09:29

Susie Taaffe: Oh, I definitely have an engineering brain. I'm always trying to solve problems. It's always people are coming to me like, okay, what's your problem? Okay, yeah, let's do that, that, that, that, that, that, that, that, that, that. Yeah, definitely. I can't stop solving problems actually.

09:30 - 09:37

Gresham Harkless: Yeah, I love that. And then that ends up creating like a great product. But again, it ends up creating like a whole I'm going to use the word movement around all the things that you're doing.

09:38 - 10:03

Susie Taaffe: Yes. Yeah. Def definitely. I suppose because each thing is an individual problem. That's why I say is that's just a tool for those 3 problems, but there's so many more problems within the barrel, the cooking pot of what we have there. So it's not just that just ticks the physical problems and so you don't have to think about them but that's what I love to solve the problem. That's loving to solve the problems from an emotional and a mental and a physical spiritual way as well.

10:04 - 10:14

Gresham Harkless: Yeah, so I 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 even a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

10:15 - 10:44

Susie Taaffe: Okay, definitely surround yourself with other people running businesses. That's my hack because they always know you don't know what you don't know and they can condense a book that might take you a week to read into 1 coffee. Do you know what I mean? They'll tell you the bits that are relevant and I also think that there's a lot of synchronicities as well. Someone knows what you need to hear at the right time and you probably have something that you know that they need to hear. So I think definitely connection with other people doing the same

10:44 - 11:21

Susie Taaffe: thing. But in different businesses it doesn't matter. It just seems to happen. I've just started working with a great friend who's in a completely different industry. I can help her with her business and she helps me with mine even though we know nothing about the respective industries. So that definitely. My 2 books is Deescalate. How to Deescalate an Angry Person by Douglas Noll. It's really about listening. It's about hearing what people are saying and it's listening without words basically and then how to emote back to the person who's speaking how they're actually feeling and I've only

11:21 - 11:53

Susie Taaffe: just recently met Doug and I've been practicing it on people and on my kids and it makes people feel heard. So I think the number 1 thing we want in this world is to feel heard and valued. Feeling heard is the first step in feeling valued. And I think it's just a fantastic book that everyone should read. And then as we were talking about the atomic habits, I've only just picked that up and it's about to become my Bible. I just think it is the way, especially for someone like CEOs and someone like me, I've got

11:53 - 12:08

Susie Taaffe: stuff going on all in my head, head, head. I've got all these things, but it's like a recipe for how to insert the bits into where you need to in your day and create a routine, which basically just line drop for success. So I'm super excited for 2024 into an action that book.

12:09 - 12:21

Gresham Harkless: Yeah, I absolutely love that. And so I wanted to switch gears and go into what I call a CEO nugget, a little bit more word of wisdom or piece of advice. It might be something you would tell your younger business self if you were to hop into a time machine.

12:21 - 12:48

Susie Taaffe: I was gonna hop into a time machine. I always think would I have done anything differently? And the answer is always no, because you have to learn your lessons and stuff, and I'd rather learn them when I did than learn them down the track. So I think everything has been on the path has been there perfectly. I think the biggest nugget is it's going to be hard, but you can do it and it's how you pick yourself back up, which is the golden nugget. Yeah, you can give amazing advice for when you're doing well but it's

12:48 - 13:19

Susie Taaffe: when things are tough and I think breathing is really good. Breathing and also take if you feel stressed and overwhelmed I think like a 5 minute meditation or 15 minutes if you've got that just to reset Can it changes or maybe and ground and get your feet in the ground. Do your meditation with your feet in the grass if you can or somewhere outside. I think those little tips because you've got to bring yourself back down to keep going. So I think it's that real emotional regulation. But yeah, don't be afraid to take 5 minutes or

13:19 - 13:25

Susie Taaffe: 15 minutes out to meditate and close your eyes and just regroup yourself, I think would be my golden nugget.

13:26 - 13:52

Gresham Harkless: I love that. And especially because I think so many times when we're going through this journey of life and even business, I love that you talked about in the hack about being around people that are going on that journey and having those conversations even if they're not on the same exact industry or same exact path because I feel like when you go through the first valley sometimes the valley after that and valley after that. You're like, am I doing this wrong? But if you have an understanding or a lot of times with conversations with others, you

13:52 - 14:16

Gresham Harkless: realize that you're not doing it wrong. Sometimes that's just part of the journey. That's how it goes. And it starts to normalize that, but never feels good, but you start to say, look, okay, This is part of the journey. You feel like you're not doing it wrong, but I love the practicality of being able to take time, take a breath to breathe, to regulate that energy and that those emotions that you talked about, because that allows us to really come back and realize, Hey, it might just be a bad day. It's not a bad life. It's

14:16 - 14:17

Gresham Harkless: not a bad business.

14:18 - 14:43

Susie Taaffe: Yes, definitely. Definitely. You need to take a step back sometimes and look at the bigger picture and also celebrate where you've come from. I think we as CEOs never ever do that enough. We are always looking at the next peak. How am I going to get up there as opposed to turning around and actually saying, Oh wow, I can see. Yeah, that was a tough year, but look what you put in place and look how you managed to get through that. And actually really take time to, yeah, we're so busy chasing it out. And we keep

14:43 - 14:52

Susie Taaffe: moving the goalposts to where we want to be. And we need to say, actually, no, you've got that goal. You just moved it. So I think that's good too.

14:52 - 15:02

Gresham Harkless: Yeah. So I want to ask you now, my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And our goal is to have different quote unquote CEOs on the show. So Susie, what does being a CEO mean to you?

15:02 - 15:29

Susie Taaffe: Oh, being a CEO means chaos. Chaos, but a privilege to be able to do what I do and share what I can share. It's an absolute privilege to be able to be creating this movement and being at the pilot seat of it all and being able to direct where it can go and just the expanse of it all. So that's really exciting.

15:29 - 15:46

Gresham Harkless: Yeah, I love that. Susie truly appreciate that definition. Of course, I appreciate your time even more. So what I wanted to do now is patch in the mics, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you want to let our readers and listeners know. And of course, how best people can get a whole view, find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.

15:47 - 16:08

Susie Taaffe: Oh, thank you so much, Gresh. It was a great conversation. We are at scantes.co, and our Instagram is just scantes, S-K-A-N-T-I-E-S, all around Facebook and TikTok. We're learning TikTok. I'm an old generation. I'm an old generation on TikTok. So my daughter won't teach me the noises apparently. It's embarrassing.

16:11 - 16:22

Gresham Harkless: No, that's funny. Of course, we'll make it even easier by having links and information in the show notes so that everybody can get ahold of you. But I truly appreciate all the awesome things that you're doing, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of

16:22 - 16:25

Susie Taaffe: the day. Thank you, Gresh, for having me. It's been great.

16:25 - 16:54

Intro: 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 imceo.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.

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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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