My day job is, mostly, being a consultant (I’m also a speaker and a salary negotiation coach), usually for tech or marketing firms. Most of my clients are in a situation where the company founder is doing the majority of the sales but isn’t typically someone who would identify themselves as a salesperson. They’re excited to be doing whatever amazing work their company does, but they struggle to fulfill the dual role of doing the work and bringing in the sales to keep their business running.
I help them develop a better sales strategy and better processes so they’re able to make a big, beautiful living. Most often, they’re in a position where they’ve struggled with their business development efforts, or most of their business has come from their personal network. They’ve gotten to a certain size but now they need to put some strategy around their sales practice and that’s when they call me in.
I’ve been in sales forever. My first job was working in the rental office of an apartment building after class when I was in high school. I had to sit in a little office and wait for people to come in for a showing and they couldn’t find an adult who was willing to do that. I could sit and do my homework when there weren’t any prospects and show them an apartment when there were. It was a pretty awful job, but I thought it was great! Plus, people always thought I was older than I was—and who doesn’t find that appealing when they’re 17?
I worked there for eight years and by the time I left I was running the sales training, the sales internships—there wasn’t anywhere higher for me to go.
After that I founded a tech company—which was eaten by the recession—so I got a job selling high-end IT consultants to enterprise companies. It felt like a nice combo of the sales I’d always done in the tech space and that’s basically what I’ve been doing ever since.
My most memorable caffeine experiences are the opportunities to meet people for coffee—typically at the Ancora on King before COVID. I’d book myself solid, meeting with someone on the hour for multiple hours in a row. I actually came up with a formula for what I drank when I so wasn’t bouncing off the walls—a coffee, followed by a chamomile tea, followed by a smoothie.
My current caffeine of choice is a London Fog which is an Earl Grey tea steeped in milk, with lavender added.
My favorite place for caffeine was the Common Ground in Middleton, which, sadly, is now closed. I used to bring my kids in there and bribe them with whatever they wanted to eat and drink so I could get some work done. The people were so nice and it was a lovely place.
The person I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with is my husband. I really like my husband—I’m super glad I married that guy! Since COVID I don’t think we’ve been anywhere without our kids. I’d like to just sit there with him without any other distractions.
World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine: the clarity to consistently make the best use of my time and talents. So often I have what I called “popcorn ideas”—all these things I’d be able to do if there were 35 hours in a day and 100 weeks in a year.
I tend to be kind of impulsive, to think, “This is a good idea; sure, I’ll do that!” Which is kind of like pursuing something with no evidence it’s a good thing to pursue. I’d like to do a better job taking the time to understand the best uses of my time.