Did I ever dream to have my own business? No. And even less did I think I would quit my job to start a business!
I went to school for business administration; I wanted to do management in the fashion industry.
But I ended up doing something utterly different. Life sometimes gears you through a different path.
After an economic downturn, a recession hit, and I lost my job. I had no choices, so that’s when I discovered the sales section in The New York Times.
I landed my first sales job as a copier rep making $15,000 a year. They paid poorly so you could be hungry and make money on commissions. I had no idea what I was doing in sales, and all I got was one week of training.
I didn’t let that get me down and I hit the pavement as they called it back than and I played the numbers by networking, cold calling and knocking on doors. I did well with copiers and was nicked named “Deal a Day” for consistently bringing in new business.
I later moved on to Telecommunications. Not understanding technology, I had a very rocky first 7-months, and my job was in jeopardy.
Instead of giving up I read book after book and started taking tech courses. I managed to put myself into the #1 salesperson position year after year until I became the Director of Sales.
In that same job, I hired a team of rookies out of college and trained them to have a sales career. That’s how I got experience training people from scratch. Just as abruptly as I got into sales after fourteen years in the same job, I decided to quit and start my own business.
I started a business without a plan or resources. After being in sales for seventeen years, fourteen of those years in the same job.
I made great money, had freedom and was I respected as the best salesperson the company had. My goal was to stay at that job until retirement, that’s how comfortable I was.
The problem was that the company I worked for had no control over finances. The way they handled money was horrendous. We all knew it, but somehow we kept going on being in business, so we pretended it was not happening and that we would continue to have job security.
Yet there’s only so much a company will withstand when money is flying out the window because of mismanagement.
Eventually, I saw it coming, and I knew that this was not going to be my forever job…Does that even exist? A forever job. For 14 years, I thought it did.
When I woke up from that delusional dream, I fixed up my LinkedIn and decided to go out and start interviewing. I was pretty rusty, to say the least, I had not gone to an interview for years.
As I started seeing the outside world and realized that I would have to start all over again in a new job, with a new boss, new coworkers, and a new set of office politics, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t start over.
I had already gotten my feet wet a few years before when I wrote my book and started doing some sales consulting. I did it to test the waters but had no real plans of leaving.
So I thought to myself “that’s what I will do I will be a consultant!” I had all those years of experience, and I was sure companies would want to pick my brain to solve problems and pay to do it!
Also, to start a consultancy it does not require lots of capital. I started my business with a few hundred dollars.
So out of the blue, and with no plan or prospects, I said yes to ditching the 9 to 5! And that’s when Toral Communications Inc. started three years ago.
Even though I had all the years experience, I didn’t know how I would sell my services, how I would charge my clients and how much. The questions in my mind were endless.
When I was through being down on myself, I did what I always do. I started reading obsessively, and I soon realized that translating 17 years of sales and marketing was not much different at all to consulting.
I decided to package my services as I did at the job, I would provide proposals, and presentations showing how I would produce results.
Pricing was a tough one. Most people, when they first get into consulting, they feel that they should charge very low for their services. I was heading toward that rabbit hole, but I worked hard to strengthen my mindset and tell myself that I was worth a lot more.
And that’s how I priced my services. My primary function is as a technology consultant, but I also do sales and business strategy consulting. My first client for sales consulting I got from a post I put on Linkedin!
When I created my social media posts each one of them had a purpose and they attracted my ideal clients which got my business started.
A business owner sent me a direct message and said he had been seeing my posts consistently and asked that I help him save his company. His salespeople were not selling, and he was afraid they would go out of business.
After setting up a discovery call and qualifying the prospect to make sure I could help. I did something I had never done before…ever.
I told him I would put a course together to give his sales reps a step by step process to bring in new customers and close more deals. I also said I would do a live Zoom call weekly with the sales reps.
I put together a proposal I used the same format I had been using for the 14 years I was at the job. And I priced out the course for $8,500 and $3,500 a month for the zoom calls.
And guess what??? They accepted it.
This shows you that if you start high and believe in yourself, it can be done.
I also continue doing my technology consulting, but I use a different strategy. I provide free consultations and once the clients sign up to my recommendations, I get a percentage in residuals for the sales every single month.
As you can see, I got very creative in my role as a consultant, and for the last three years, I have made this happen.
I am not going to tell you that it was always easy, because fear and insecurities many times got the best of me. But I always brushed it off. I make sure to keep my belief in myself and the things that I’m capable of accomplishing.
My latest venture is creating the Women Entrepreneurs Collaborative. I have been doing training and coaching for three years already both for men and women, but I always noticed how women didn’t have the same confidence and self-worth as the men did.
Many women are afraid. And I noticed that there aren’t many support groups out there for women consultants, coaches, or service providers as I am. So I decided to create a collaborative of women.
A place where I can help women, package, price, and sell their services; be independent and free from the 9 to 5. I also wanted to make sure it was affordable and not overwhelming. And that’s how I came up with the Membership idea.
If you need help, with motivation, mindset, or just putting your business idea together, you should get on the waiting list, to get notified when the program starts. You can learn more here.
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