IAM2134 – Understanding the 8 Business Pillars: 2. STRATEGY

Special Episode by Gresham Harkless Jr.

In this special episode of the I AM CEO podcast, Gresh dives into the critical pillar of ‘strategy' as part of an eight-pillar framework for successful business development.

Gresh emphasizes the importance of having a strategy to turn ideas into actionable plans and achieve business goals.

He outlines the entire set of eight business pillars—entrepreneurship, strategy, product/service offering, people, operations/legal, visibility, finance, and technology—offering a high-level overview of each.

Gresh also discusses the significance of market understanding, SMART goals, and KPIs to improve execution and achieve long-term success. Tune in to learn how to leverage these pillars and elevate your business from a builder to a luminary.


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Intro 00:00

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast, and this is a special I AM CEO podcast because we're going to be focusing on the eight business pillars. I hope you get to enjoy kind of take in a lot of these different pillars that came from the 1600 plus episodes we did at the I AM CEO podcast, which became the 16 themes, which eventually now became the eight business pillars. That can help you level up your business.

And really what we're trying to do is increase the business success rate. And this is going to eventually become a course. So you hear some of these snippets actually be in that course and that library of content and information we're going to put together to help you level up.

So sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:38

All right. So for this next episode, I'm going to focus on the pillar of strategy. So you've gone through the first pillar, you have entrepreneurship and the journey. You understand a little bit about strategy, which I'm going to talk about today.

Then we'll go a little bit more into your offering your product or service. Number four is going to be the people, the human part of business. Number five is going to be operation slash legal side. Number six is going to be visibility. Seven financial eight is technology.

So I just want to give you a quick recap about each of the different pillars as I go down and delve a little bit deeper into those. Of course, I'm always looking for feedback. If you feel like a pillar is missing or something that should be nestled into something, please definitely do this.

But this is just going to be a quick high level overview of the strategy pillar. And the reason that strategy is so important is because there's a quote vision without action is merely a dream.

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And one of the things that I think sets really entrepreneurial people apart is it's not necessarily coming up with the idea. And even me, when I started my business I Remember one of the jobs that I left one of my bosses said that you're definitely an ideas person. And I took it and I still take it as Hey, I'm more than an ideas person.

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I'm an execution person. So I've been trying to really focus on execution, but know that I am an ideas person. I have breakout room. A tremendous amount of ideas. I can't even execute on all the ideas that I have. So that's why it's so important that you have that strategy in place so that you know this is exactly how you're going to execute on what those things actually are.

And I think that is what's going to separate people because you can have ideas. You can literally go into Technology, which is another pillar in all these different tools and softwares that are coming about with A. I. But even things that have existed before to help you to develop what those ideas are going to be.

The question is, how are you going to execute it? And execution is all around the strategy. The strategy is basically, I think, creating a clear Idea of how exactly you're going to reach the goals and aspirations that you have within your business. So think about things such as developing a strategy, developing a business plan.

Even though there's obviously a lot of. Pros and cons of being able to create a business plan. Just know how important it is to create a plan so that you increase your likelihood of success. There's even statistics that say the more time that you spend writing down your goals or writing down your vision is going to increase the likelihood of that success happen.

Know that many things, go into that you're planning process where you're trying to understand exactly where you want to be. 1 of the big things that I talk about a lot around when I say everybody is a media company, when you go through that course and understand exactly what that looks like.

You understand that I often say that you can have the exact same business as somebody else, which you might execute it in a completely different way largely because you have different goals and different aspirations.

Somebody that has a digital marketing business that wants to drive home, thousands of clients is going to look at it differently from someone that wants to have maybe just a solo business and be a solopreneur and just do a lot of consulting to other entrepreneurs and business owners versus somebody else that doesn't really want to do anything but of course, and just teach all their information.

So each of these three people have similar businesses, similar ideas, but they're executing completely different ways.

So your strategy is going to be a hugely important thing. And the big thing about strategies, I think a lot of times people will downplay the importance of being able to take steps ahead and plan what that is. Don't get me wrong. You're not going to necessarily have all the things in place, which is why there's a big argument about the business plan.

Why having the 30 40 plus Page business plan. A lot of people scarf it because you get books like the lead startup by Eric Ries . I always forget how to say his name. It talks so much around putting something out there essentially. Doing it in a minimum viable product and MVP so that you can get market feedback from that market feedback.

You go from there. So my thing about strategy is not necessarily the same strategy has to be long and extensive, but you want to actually have a plan in place.

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So going back to that first pillar, what problem are you solving? Thinking about what that problem is, how you're going to actually solve them and what you want your business and organization to look like is going to be the next progression along the journey of being able to do that.

If you don't have an idea about what exactly that's going to look like, then that's going to leave you at a disadvantage. So. Know you can always kind of look into different things like your competitors and get an idea of exactly what they're doing to get in a better idea.

Sometimes the biggest, opportunity and I think honestly, this goes a little bit into the visibility piece that pillar, but it's not understanding exactly what's out there in the market because when you're trying to solve the problem, sometimes part of your strategy is going to be understanding what's out there.

Not necessarily so that. You can pay attention to your competition because I always say if you're running on a race, you can't lose, but so that you're able to get a better understanding of what you're doing is sometimes the best way to understand what you're doing is to understand what's out there because that's going to open up your doors and opportunity to understand what is your quote unquote secret sauce, the thing that you feel like sets you apart and makes you meet.

But it doesn't necessarily make sense to say, Hey, I'm going to create it. A social media site that is going to have groups that's going to have pages that's going to basically be large in the countries. And I'm going to call it book face or something along those lines. Something like that might actually exist.

So you want to make sure that you're paying attention to what's out there, not necessarily so that you can emulate what's out there, but so that you can say, okay, this might exist, but where is it?

Kind of falling short. Is it falling short in the way that it's marketed in the way that it's executed in its strategy in and of itself? Is it not serving the right clients? You start to have all these conversations, but that's where, understanding that the market understanding what's out there is such a big thing.

And anytime you want to create any goals, you want to make sure that the smart goals those smart goals are going to help you to increase your likelihood of success. And you want to make sure that KPIs that are with it as well. So those KPIs are gonna be ways that you determine what success is. That says it could be number of employees.

It could be your your market penetration. It could be your revenue. It could be your total annual revenue, whatever it might be. You just want to make sure that you outline exactly what that is so that you can go about execute upon that strategy and continue to monitor those results.

So again, the strategy part is not something that. You should gloss over, which is why I wanted to make sure that it was the second thing that I touched about because I think so many times we fall in love with the ideas that we have the ideas we're writing down on the napkin. Exactly what our vision is.

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And we're taking that idea and we're running with it. But how do we run with it? Run with it without a strategy, even if your strategy is just to say, let me put it out there and see what happens that in of itself is a strategy. I think it goes along the lines, although it's more technical upon the the framework of the lead startup where you're testing out, just see if the market thinks it's of any value, but know that strategy plays a really big part.

And a lot of times we will hear from people, especially on the show that talk a lot around where your business is ultimately trying to go what that looks like. Succession planning, those things. Are you setting up your business to sell? Are you setting up your business to hand down to your family?

What does that look like? All those things become a part of your strategy and it ends up being really, really extensive because it's ultimately deals. I think with where you are and ultimately where you want to try to go and everything in between that. But know that it can definitely be written in pencil.

It doesn't have to be written in. Ink or a permanent marker, you get to take those steps to see that come to fruition. So that's one of the big things around strategy. So again we're drilling down into each of the different business pillars. You're gonna see a lot of our content that's going to delve into that.

You can, of course, join our community. We're relaunching our community. So you'll be able to check that out to hear a little bit more about what it is that That we're doing and why we're doing it. But again, a lot of it is to increase that likelihood of success as much as it's great to listen to these episodes and hear all the things my goal was really to say, okay, if you're trying to increase your likelihood of success and you realize that you don't have a strategy, maybe you focus more on this pillar so that you can increase your likelihood of success, or maybe you understand.

That some other aspect or some other pillar is going to be more important for your business. And it's not to say that you do all the things. You just want to be aware of all the things very similarly to, I say, like going to the grocery store, figuring out what the ingredients are. You want to know all the aspects of business so that you can increase your likelihood of success even though you're not going to be focusing on.

Every single aspect. So this is Gresh signing out. I hope you enjoyed this episode and I'm looking forward to, delve in a little bit deeper into each of the different pillars.

Outro 09:24

Hello, hello, this is Grash again, and I hope you enjoyed that special episode of the I AM CEO podcast. Just like I mentioned in the beginning, we're really trying to Laser focus on these eight pillars and show you as a builder, how you can leverage these eight pillars and really level up there.

So it helps you level up your business and organization. So hope you enjoyed this episode and definitely please check out the show notes.

This is Gresh signing out. I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.


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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