Dear Fellow Business Owner,
It took me almost dying on the side of a mountain for me to get my sh*t together and build the company I always dreamed of.
It was the winter of 2006, and I was thoroughly fed up with my business.
We were making some money but it seemed to go out faster than it came in.
Just a few years prior I was bringing in a healthy six-figure salary from my corporate job. Now here I was struggling to pay the rent on our one-room training facility and wondering every month whether there was enough left over to get a paycheck for myself.
I had used up all my savings and I was quickly maxing out my credit cards.
That wasn’t even the worst of it — although that part did suck big time.
The worst was that I had started to hate going to work.
Every day I got up, put on a suit, patted Gracie, my beautiful Ibizan Hound, on the head, and drove my eight-year old Nissan Altima to our little building.
Once there, I taught my Sales Magnetism class to a group of local entrepreneurs. The students were very nice and engaged but, by this time, I’d taught that same class at least 40 times and I was bored out of my skull.
I’m not the kind of person that does repetitive tasks well. At all. I truly hate it.
So, here I was doing a job I hated and making almost no money doing it.
It was so bad I often fantasized about getting my corporate job back. In the back of my mind I knew there was no way I could go back to the politics and bullsh*t of the giant insurance company I had worked for. But the thought of a steady paycheck was so seductive, I almost called my old boss.
Instead, on the day after Thanksgiving of 2006, I took my last credit card with an available balance and bought a ticket to Sedona, Arizona. I rented a dumpy little hotel room for the last week of the year, determined to never, ever have another Thanksgiving where I felt I had so little to be thankful for.
During the days in Sedona, I attended a spiritual retreat to see if I could reconnect with the person I felt I’d lost over the last few years.
In the mornings and afternoons, I hiked in the cool desert, searching for an idea that would get me back on track to the life I so desperately wanted – a life of adventure, travel, and making a deep impact on my clients’ lives.
I remember the exact moment it all clicked for me.
I was hiking up to Cathedral rock and the path was pretty rocky and difficult. At one point, I came around a corner and was faced with a very step rock face.
I am not a rock climber by any stretch. But I figured that must be the path up to the summit so I started climbing.
About 50 feet up, clinging to a tiny handhold and with only one foot on a small outcropping, I was stuck. The rock face was getting steeper and I didn’t have the strength to climb any more. And I was up so high, I wasn’t sure how to get back down.
So I did the thing they tell you never to do when you’re up that high.
I looked over my right shoulder.
I had a moment of sheer panic at how far up I was. Then I swung my head carefully to the left. I saw I had veered off the real trail that lead up the mountain about 10 yards before I started climbing.
I was in the wrong place! A little deviation from the path had put me in a very precarious position.
At that moment it hit me – I was going to die on this rock face. Here I was halfway up the cliff with no ropes, no more strength in my arms and no one to get help if I fell off the rock.
I was screwed.
So I did the only thing I could thing of – I started scrambling sideways towards the path, hoping I could climb down there and get back to civilization in one piece.
Miraculously, I climbed safely back down to the trail. Once there, I easily walked the rest of the way up to the summit of Cathedral rock.
As I sat on top of the rock, looking out over the red sands of the desert, I suddenly understood what had gone wrong in my business. And I knew exactly how to fix it.
I got into trouble with my hike because I set off without a plan. Sure, I had a goal – climb Cathedral rock. But I didn’t have a map and I didn’t know the path to get there. As a result, I ended up in a potentially dangerous position, alone and out of resources.
It was exactly the same with my business. I had been running it for years without a plan.
I had a goal – make a lot of money. But I didn’t have a map of how I was going to do that. And I ended up in the same predicament – stuck in a place with no money, no hope and no clear way out.
As I sat there, thinking through what I could build if I had a map, a blueprint for the ideal business, I got more and more excited.
I practically ran down the mountain and back to my hotel.
All the way home, I visualized the parts of my perfect business. When I got to my room, I scribbled down my ideas on a sheet of hotel stationery. From there, it was easy to write out the map I was going to use to create my perfect business.
It’s been a few years since I wrote that plan. The one I actually put in place.
And I am living the life I wrote about.
I travel the world at least 12 weeks per year. I’ve traveled to over 25 countries and 43 states. I get to fly first class (yes that was in my plan!). I have wonderful relationships and the best friends anyone could ask for. I have clients I simply adore. I can’t wait to start work each day because it is fun and exciting. I get emails every day from clients telling me how powerful our programs are and how their lives have been transformed.
Every single thing I wrote down in that plan is coming true.
Now, it is time for that to happen for you.
It is time for you to live the life you most deeply desire.
This website is dedicated to helping you do just that.
Lisa Magnuson is an expert in corporate strategic sales and TOP Line Account™ revenue building. As a respected sales consultant and author, Lisa works with clients to build successful strategic sales programs that drive revenue from large new accounts and enable growth from existing high value customers.
Lisa brings over 30 years of sales and sales leadership experience to her engagements. She has worked with corporate clients, large and small, across a broad spectrum of industries including high technology, healthcare, software, manufacturing and professional services. She also draws on her background from holding executive positions with Xerox Corporation and IKON Office Solutions as well as serving on several significant and high profile Boards including the Portland State University Foundation Board of Directors.
Barbara Weaver Smith
Dr. Barbara Weaver Smith is founder and CEO of The Whale Hunters® and co-author of Whale Hunting: How to Land Big Sales and Transform Your Company, based on the collaborative culture of the Inuit people who engaged their entire village to hunt whales. Barbara teaches small and midsize companies to make more money through bigger sales to bigger customers. She supports her clients’ success with a steady stream of new content for face-to-face and online engagements.
Barbara is in her third career. She was a professor and college dean, then president of a statewide nonprofit agency, before taking the entrepreneurial plunge in 1994. Her eclectic background has given her 17 years’ experience in leading diverse groups of stakeholders to create fantastic, purposeful projects for business, education and communities. And she has raised much more than $100 million in gifts, grants, and earned income to get them properly off the ground.
An experienced salesperson and marketer, Lisa Dennis is president and founder of Knowledgence Associates. Pairing hands-on marketing and selling of information and high technology products and services, with end-user system enhancement and design experience for marketing and sales applications, she understands what the customer imperative needs to be for communicating information about products and services to varied audiences.
Her forte is an ability to strategically see the big picture, and implement solutions using process and training to scale an organization’s usable knowledge.
In a world of information overload, shrinking attention spans and intense competition, Anne Miller helps individuals and corporate teams close deals, create change, and get results by sharpening their demo and presentation strategies stories, skills, authority and confidence.
Coach, seminar leader, and speaker to clients in media, digiital, financial, and professional service industries, Anne is also the author of the cult book, "Metaphorically Selling: the power of metaphor to sell, persuade & explain anything to anyone." Her motto is "Words Matter - Make What You Say Pay!"
Laura Posey is the author of three books, "How To Plan Your Entire Year On One Sheet Of Paper", "Six Secrets Of Sales Magnets" and "Mastering The Art Of Success".
She is an international speaker and consultant who is sought out for her expertise in strategic sales and marketing planning.
Laura got her start in business selling cutlery door to door. She has sold everything from cars to insurance and has a pile of plaques and awards for her accomplishments in sales and sales management.
Realizing that sales success starts with successful strategies, Laura developed expertise in strategic planning and has planned long-term strategies for Fortune 100 companies down to fresh start ups.
Laura spends her free time traveling the world, playing golf, hiking and learning new languages. She is fluent in English and German and is currently brushing up on her French in anticipation of a month in the south of France.
Laura travels extensively and her home base is in Richmond, Virginia.