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Showing posts from September, 2016

100 Strangers, 100 Days – A New Journey to Inspire

Yes, that’s right… today’s Wednesday, and I “missed” yesterday’s blog post. Actually, that was on purpose because I’m shifting blogging back down to ONCE a week – weekly on Wednesdays. Why? Because I have started a little side project called 100 Strangers, 100 Days.
You might be able to guess what it’s about already… I’m meeting 100 Strangers over the course of 100 Days. I started last Saturday, September 17th. I should be wrapped up with my 100th Stranger on December 26! How wild is that?
This little project (I laugh as I type “little” because it’s actually, I think, quite a big undertaking) came to me as I was hiking on Stone Mountain that Saturday morning for the sunrise, as I often do. As I walked, I realized a gentleman who was walking beside me for the last 5 minutes. I told myself I might as well say hello to him, and then, the lightbulb came on…
Everyone is fascinating and has some story to tell. I’m fortunate and grateful to have met some really amazing people. These amazin…

Role of A Startup Advisor

Over the last year or so, I have become an Advisor for a couple startups. It’s been a great experience for me to teach and continue learning as an entrepreneur. I do meet with several startups and entrepreneurs weekly, but not officially as an Advisor save for a couple.
During (and especially after) Body Boss, I realized the importance of having Advisors. Advisors help startups and the executive team navigate the go-to-market waters bringing specific experience to the table – industry, technology, etc. With that comes connections, too.
The role of a startup Advisor includes: Guiding the startup on its directionProvide valuable insight into the industry, competition, market, etc.Share connections to move the company forward – prospects, new hire candidates, otherEstablish cadence around metrics for progress In exchange for devoting time and attention (and reaching success, hopefully), startups typically provide stock or cash to Advisors. This ensures both parties are aligned on objecti…

Book Review: The Challenger Sa

It took me a little longer than I thought, but I just finished Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson’s The Challenger Sale.
Another great book recommendation from a sales rep who was actually selling to me. This book builds on the SPIN Selling as the next big innovation in sales.
Needless to say, I learned a lot from the book, and enjoyed it immensely. In fact, after just reading the first few chapters, I started to hack my selling style immediately to be more Challenger-oriented.
What was interesting was that out of the different selling personas, the Relationship Builder typically had the lowest sales success. This was daunting for me as I typically harp on the importance of relationships, and though, I do take on several attributes of a Challenger (like teaching and tailoring, especially), I still may be very Relationship-oriented.
Here are my take-aways from the book: In today’s noise-filled world, Challenger sales reps focus and drive value for prospects from the get-go. They are foc…

Avoiding Sales Management Sins of Rapid Growth: 6 Take-Aways from TAG Panel

Yesterday, I attended my third Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Sales Leadership event. This event was all about the pitfalls (“sins”) of managing a high growth sales team. (Highly relevant for me as we grow at SalesWise.)
The panel featured: Mark McGraw of Sandler Training (moderator)Gavin Harris, VP of Sales at SalesFusionAdrian Fallow, AVP of Pardot (Salesforce)Earne Bentley, Director of Sales at Origami Risk My main take-aways: The 3 Sins of sales management (from Mark): (1) Poorly designed selling philosophy (culture). (2) Too tolerant of mediocrity. (3) No system for selling or managing sales.No surprise the panel touched heavily on instilling and persisting a great sales culture. Common phrases throughout the panel included: “surround yourself with top talent”, “raise the bar”, “do not tolerate mediocrity”, “structure”, “understand a sales candidate’s ‘fire’ or motivator”, and “on-going training”.“Think like a big company” – this really hit home for me as I have been rath…

Seize the Opportunity

Second straight post I want to share a story with you I’ve heard a couple times. But more recently, heard it from a fellow entrepreneur friend with a slew of great opportunities coming one after the other. And yet, he hasn’t grabbed any of the opportunities yet.
What are your thoughts? How do you relate? “Parable of the Flood” by Author Unknown A man was trapped in his house during a flood. He began praying to God to rescue him. He had a vision in his head of God’s hand reaching down from heaven and lifting him to safety. The water started to rise in his house. His neighbour urged him to leave and offered him a ride to safety. The man yelled back, “I am waiting for God to save me.” The neighbour drove off in his pick-up truck.
The man continued to pray and hold on to his vision. As the water began rising in his house, he had to climb up to the roof. A boat came by with some people heading for safe ground. They yelled at the man to grab a rope they were ready to throw and take him to…

Go With the Flow

Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Chicago for a photoshoot (yes, I was the talent – surprise!). I also used it as a chance to get away. When my colleagues found out, they wished me luck, have fun, and should be great. My response: “yeah, we’ll see”.
Not sure why I responded that way, but one of my colleagues laughed and shared with me the below story to which I very much relate to (and not just because the setting is China).
What are your thoughts? How do you relate?  “We'll See” by Author Unknown   Once upon a time, there was a farmer in the central region of China. He didn't have a lot of money and, instead of a tractor, he used an old horse to plow his field.
One afternoon, while working in the field, the horse dropped dead. Everyone in the village said, "Oh, what a horrible thing to happen." The farmer said simply, "We'll see." He was so at peace and so calm, that everyone in the village got together and, admiring his attitude, gave …

Respond by Shifting Perspective

Talking to a friend recently we laughed about my run-in with a rabid wolverine feline (“domesticated cat”) and then coming face-to-face with a home intruder at 4AM – these all happened in May 2014. 
We talked about this notion of reframing/ shifting the perspective to turn something negative into something positive. Indeed, I did just that turning both events into blog posts with lessons for entrepreneurs.
Steve Jobs’ famous Stanford Commencement Speech in 2005 included this:  “You can't connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path.” Steve’s point alludes to the opportunity to “shift perspective” – what happened cannot be changed. Trust in the opportun…

Taking Time Off Is A Constant Practice

Last week, I posted one of the most important blog posts since I started except… I lied. I didn’t quite take that vacation/ break.
I haven’t taken a vacation in quite a while. Even in late December and early January when I went to Orlando and San Fran for family vacations, I worked. A lot. This past Thursday, I still ended up working 6-7 hours even after everyone at work messaged me to get offline.
It’s a hard to be “okay” to turn off. Early in the week, I handled several marketing tasks, but I hadn’t finished any of my sales and customer success tasks. These efforts boiled over into Thursday, my supposed time off.
Having lived through the roller coaster of Body Boss and then last year’s anxiety-filled summer, knowing to turn off and actually doing so is a work-in-progress. In fact, like working out, exercising vulnerability, speaking, writing, etc., taking time off should be a constant practice.
Harvard Business Review has a great article about resilience – “Resilience Is About …