What is the most life-altering experience you have had?
It's difficult to narrow it down to one experience because so many have played a role in my evolution as a businesswoman.
I started my first business after leaving corporate America where I had been making a nice cushy living. Sales always came pretty easily for me when I was selling someone or something else. But for some reason, I could NOT get my head wrapped around selling ME... which was at the core of my brand new coaching business.
After making less than $20,000 in the first year of my new business, I was so scared. I didn't want to fail! So I buckled down to look at what I was - and wasn't - doing in my business so that I wouldn't have another awful year like that.
What did you learn about yourself after this experience?
That experience was a huge eye opener for me. It set me on a path of realizing that I felt different selling my "SELF" than from how I felt selling Oracle applications, technical training & consulting, or any other service that wasn't delivered by ME. I felt like a fraud, an impostor, and not good enough... and felt a low sense of personal self-worth despite my success in corporate.
Rather than standing in the truth of who I am, I let it mess me up big time, which took a huge hit on my confidence... and my results.
That realization of feeling a different level of vulnerability set me on a path of figuring out how to deal with it, and is now one of the main things I teach entrepreneurs today.
In a nutshell, what I discovered is that we each have hidden culprits that stop us from feeling confident about selling our services. And in the spirit of keeping business amusing, I've given them the acronym PIMPS. In fact, Savories are welcome to grab a recording of me talking about PIMPS and what to do about them here, because this realization truly changed my life.
How did this affect your business? Did this affect how you live life in general?
When I had this revelation, I was a franchise coach helping aspiring entrepreneurs launch businesses. Figuring out what held me back from selling myself actually made me become unstoppable; I went on to play a hand in the launch of 100 businesses and became a leader among my industry peers!
Then, I started to notice this same behavior in my clients. Once they got their business up and running, I watched them struggle with selling. Part of it was a skills issue because they'd never been taught how to sell. And some of it was this odd resistance to selling the service they'd dedicated their new career to.
So after spending 7 years in my first biz, I walked away to start The Biztruth from scratch.
(That may have been my second biggest life-altering experience because I walked away from a multiple 6-figure business, the credibility of having authored a book on how to buy a franchise, and the stream of referrals I enjoyed in my marketplace.)
If you could give your teenage self some advice, what would it be?
Watch out for Ego. Don't give a s*** about what other people think of you. Dream BIG!
What advice do you want to offer the Savor community?
Dare to go after things that scare you. Don't let fear drive your decisions or actions. Don't try to do it all alone... unless you have a LOT of time to figure it all out yourself and a LOT of money to make mistakes. Master the one-on-one sales conversation. It's what fuels your business, especially in the early years. Life is short so find ways to make your business and life fun!
Carolyn Herfurth is a business sales expert and Business Development Strategist with her company The Biztruth. She is a member of Savor's 7 Figure Club. As a speaker, she loves teach entrepeneurs how to "sell confidently, and close fearlessly." Carolyn has parachuted from an airplane TWICE! She currently lives in New York City.