Elizabeth Pearson joins Collin Mitchell in this episode of the Sales Hustle podcast as she digs into her sales story background. Let’s hear from Elizabeth as she tells how to be authentically connected to what you’re selling.
Elizabeth Pearson is the Founder of Elizabeth Pearson Executive Coaching. She provides leaders and teams the support they need to rise to the next level in their personal and professional lives through Executive 1:1 coaching, In-Residence coaching for organizations, Team workshops and retreats, and Keynote Speeches. She is an expert on achieving more success with less stress, guilt, and uncertainty. Elizabeth inspires clients to crush goals and rise to a higher level in their careers or businesses.
Elizabeth is also a Contributing Experts: Executive Coaching at Forbes Coaches Council.
You can learn more about Elizabeth Pearson on her website at https://www.elizabethpearson.com/. There free helpful content and videos and the website that you can check out.
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Episode 72 - Elizabeth Pearson
Collin Mitchell: [00:00:00] Welcome to the sales hustle. The only no BS podcast, where we bring you the real raw uncut experiences from sales change makers across various industries. The only place where you can get what you're looking for too. Uh, your sales game today's episode is brought to you by sales cast sales cast helps sales professionals transformed the relationship building process and win their dream clients.
[00:00:30] I'm your host, Colin Mitchell. What is happening, uh, sales hustlers. Welcome to another episode. I've got a fantastic guest for you today. We're going to be talking with Elizabeth Pearson. She writes for Forbes and entrepreneur, and is a coach for chief and works with C suite women. And we're going to dig into her sales story.
[00:00:51] And we've got a topic that we have put together for you, Elizabeth. Thanks for coming on this. Thanks for having me call him. So give us the short version of your sales story.
[00:01:02] Elizabeth Pearson: [00:01:02] Um, I started right out of college college as an intern for vitamin water and smart water, and then Rose in the ranks with that company until it was sold to Coke and then worked with some national accounts with Coke, and then kind of did the same thing with a few other small brands like Pirate's booty and skin fix.
[00:01:20] And then one day I woke up and I said, what am I doing? Right. I was chasing all the wrong things. And while I love that those brands and I loved. The art of selling. I actually really enjoyed it. I never, um, saw it as something to be embarrassed of. We're kind of ashamed of that title. It still didn't feel like it was authentic to me.
[00:01:39] And, um, kids will kind of do that to you as well. I had a couple of daughters and they're looking at me like, you know, why is mommy crying when she has to go on business trips and things like that? It was just because I just didn't what they were paying me. Didn't match up with what it was costing me. So it was costing me, my integrity and my authenticity.
[00:01:59] So I literally blew up that life. We left from Chicago, moved to California, quit my job and decided I was going to be a coach. And here we are today.
[00:02:12] Collin Mitchell: [00:02:12] Wow. Okay. So was you, were you planning to get into sales, uh, after college or did that just kind of happen by accident
[00:02:19] Elizabeth Pearson: [00:02:19] now? No, because sales was for slimy people.
[00:02:22] Sales was for people who weren't smart enough to be lawyers or doctors. That's always what I thought. And the wonderful thing is, is that I had some incredible business mentors, um, right out of the gate, the founders of vitamin water worked very closely with us and gave us the attention. That, you know, a young sales person needs to really believe that you can, as you say, get shit done.
[00:02:47] And I really started to bleed those brands. And when I was authentically connected to those brands, I got massive sales. So then I loved it. And the money was fantastic. That was one of the only jobs. Where there really wasn't a cap on what I could make. I wasn't commission-based, but I could blow away my bonus every year and then earn above and beyond my bonus.
[00:03:10] So I love that idea.
[00:03:12] Collin Mitchell: [00:03:12] Yeah. Okay. So tell me about being authentically connected to what you're selling. And it sounds like maybe you have experience of when that was the case and when it wasn't.
[00:03:24] Elizabeth Pearson: [00:03:24] Yeah, for sure. So the early days of vitamin water and Smartwater, I mean, they're just great brands. I, yeah. I didn't get it in the beginning.
[00:03:32] I kind of let some other people, um, dictate what I thought about the brand. And when that, for that period of time, I struggled in selling it because the thing is, is that your client or your customer knows they can smell it from a mile away. If you're not really drinking the Kool-Aid right. If you don't really believe in it, if it's not something you're pushing on your friends and family, something, you would feed your children.
[00:03:57] They, they can smell it a mile away and they're going to call you on it and they're not going to buy it, but once it's
[00:04:03] Collin Mitchell: [00:04:03] closed, Huh it's called commission breath. Yeah.
[00:04:09] Elizabeth Pearson: [00:04:09] 100%. They knew that I was sitting across from them for self-serving reasons, versus I think this is a great product and I think your customers need this product.
[00:04:20] And here's why, so once I really educated myself, On why the brand was very different than what existed at the time. And I started drinking the brand and the only water I ever drank was Smartwater. And I felt better. My skin was clear, it was working. And I was like, okay, well I just, I won't be resistant to this anymore.
[00:04:40] If this is the opportunity in front of me, I will go wholeheartedly. Um, and then later on in my career, I worked for a larger food manufacturing company and Pirate's booty was the brand that was acquired by them. And I love that brand. I mean, that was an amazing brand, but I was tasked with selling some other brands of which I won't mention, but they were.
[00:05:02] Dusty on the shelves, if you will. And I had to sit there and try to sell it to people and I felt icky and they could tell, and they didn't buy it. And so that was when I knew there was something to really believing in only selling products that I used religiously myself.
[00:05:19] Collin Mitchell: [00:05:19] Yeah. And there's, there's a, there's a bit of a debate on this with, within the sales community.
[00:05:23] Like, do you need to be passionate about what you sell? I believe you do. And you can find passion in a lot of different ways. Like, even if it's a product that you don't necessarily need or take yourself, um, there could be another reason or a why of why you're passionate about doing what you do. Um, but it sounds like really being connected.
[00:05:43] To the brand and believing in the brand or the product is, is what you found to be really important in order to be successful in sales
[00:05:50] Elizabeth Pearson: [00:05:50] 100%. And there was a very big range of what I could sell when I believed in something. And I felt like their customers needed it versus what I was just trying to hit a number or I was trying to make bonus.
[00:06:05] Collin Mitchell: [00:06:05] Yeah. Yeah. And, and, and prospects are smart. Like they know. If you're in it, just for the commission or the result or the bonus or whatever the case is, or if it's something that you really care about or that belief you really believe in. Um, so what would somebody do? What would you say for somebody that maybe is kind of feeling that way?
[00:06:28] Like, I'm not super passionate about this, but it's paying the bills, but I'd like to be doing better, not quite hitting bonus. Like what, what sort of advice would you have for, for, um, I'm assuming there's a lot of people that might be in that position. Leave.
[00:06:41] Elizabeth Pearson: [00:06:41] Create an exit strategy. It's never going to work.
[00:06:45] You can try to force it and override what your guts, telling you what the direction your soul is pushing you towards. If you keep trying to have your rational survival brain say we have to stay here because it's paying the bills. Yeah, that is dying. A slow death, Collin. I mean, your, your integrity has gone.
[00:07:05] Your authenticity is gone. It's okay to say, I'm not saying like light a match to whatever you're doing, right this second, but start creating an exit strategy that will give you life throughout as well, because you know that it's not forever, you're on your way out. Right? The next thing is on its way, but the worst thing you can do is have inaction and try to force something that doesn't feel good.
[00:07:30] Collin Mitchell: [00:07:30] Yeah. And you all with it and you experienced this firsthand. I mean, you, you mentioned that, you know, even though you were making were out, maybe on the other side of his word, you were making good money, but it was costing you personally more than, than what it was bringing in costing you, your. Your integrity, your, your authenticity, you talked about crying when you're going on trips, like talk, talk to me a little bit more about some of that stuff.
[00:07:54] Elizabeth Pearson: [00:07:54] That's one thing too, that clients come to me and they say the same thing, you know, I've climbed this ladder and, and at this point they're making upwards of 500,000 base, right? So this is a big, this is a big pivot and this is very scary to think. Well, so now I'm just going to walk away from this. Well, yeah, because it doesn't matter.
[00:08:16] Let's use that example say you're making 500 on your base, but for eight to 12 hours, five days a week, you're in resistance to what you're doing. That is the majority of your week. So what is that costing you? What is the price of your suffering is what I say to them. And if you, if you're suffering. Is worth, you know, is, is worth more than 500 grand or whatever are these, this money that you then can, you know, scrape together and go on a family vacation of which you're distracted the entire time, because you're working.
[00:08:52] Then if you really look at the scales, it's tipped in the wrong direction. So,
[00:08:57] Collin Mitchell: [00:08:57] and maybe it is worth it for you and, and you know, maybe, maybe it is. But it, it, I mean, it's got to take its toll on you at some point, right? Some, some people,
[00:09:08] Elizabeth Pearson: [00:09:08] your family, Collin, right? It's costing you, but like what does your spouse or partner get at the end of the day, they get whatever is left over.
[00:09:17] What are your kids? What version of you? Are your children getting? What version of you are your friends getting? It's not the optimal you they're getting. Whatever might be left in the cup, which is usually pretty dry by then. So it does kind of come back to this. Do you believe that you can make money doing something you love or do you feel like doing something you love is only for the weekends and the week
[00:09:43] Collin Mitchell: [00:09:43] making money?
[00:09:44] Yeah. This has gotta be really hard for people on the other side of it, that that are making the money right. To create that exit strategy. Um, so where does somebody like that gets started?
[00:09:56] Elizabeth Pearson: [00:09:56] Well, I mean, you know, I'm not going to push getting a coach, but like getting a coach helps an executive coach. Who's done it with other people.
[00:10:04] I mean, they're, they have roadmaps. They have ways to work through mindset blocks around feeling more comfortable leaving because if you are in resistance to this the whole time, and it's like, all I want to do is just get to the next thing. That's going to make me the same amount of money. So I'm whole as you.
[00:10:22] Well then. You're really focused on the wrong shit. So sometimes you need a coach to say, okay, well, we're not going to focus on the money right away. We're going to focus on what would feel good for you to do eight to 12 hours a day. Right? And most people will be like, Oh, well that, you know, I can't do what I love, because what I love is watching Netflix all day or something like that.
[00:10:44] It's, it's not that, I mean, maybe you can make, you probably review shows you there's a will. There's a way to everything.
[00:10:51] Collin Mitchell: [00:10:51] Definitely not going to get a 500 K base for that though.
[00:10:56] Elizabeth Pearson: [00:10:56] But at least there's runway. This is the other thing. I'm very entrepreneur focused and time you're working for somebody else.
[00:11:06] This. This is a veil of control that you have in security. You are never secure when you're working for somebody else ever. Yeah. So the only true way to take control over your earning potential is to work for yourself. The salary is the siren song that lures people in to making other people richer. So I get it that not everybody's an entrepreneur, but this whole 500 is all relative.
[00:11:35] Right. You could be making 500, you can make 5 million, but like at the end of the day, it's going to take a shift to get from one place to the other. Otherwise you're just to, you're going to tap out where you are and you're going to be miserable while you're doing it.
[00:11:47] Collin Mitchell: [00:11:47] Yeah. Yeah. So, and I think that, I think a lot of people may just need to wake up to the fact that like, Hey, there is some other options, you know, and, and, and, and really taking a look at, uh, your priorities.
[00:12:02] Um, I'm a big boy, like I'm. I've founded four different companies and I have three kids at home, so, and I never worked more than eight hours any day and I never work on the weekends. Um, and there's been moments where like, you know, did I totally love what I was selling or doing? No, not necessarily. Um, but now, um, I've experienced the difference of like really being connected and passionate about what I sell versus not.
[00:12:28] And it's like night and day, you know? Um, and, and, and I am a. Better version of myself when I go home. Right. And, you know, taking time off is not as big of a deal as it used to be. Um, so things like that, that, that just make a huge difference in your overall quality of life. And I'm a big believer that like, you know, a lot of people think to like get to the next level or to do better in sales or whatever it is that they do, that they need to get better at that part of their job, or they need to put more hours in.
[00:12:55] And I totally disagree with that. I think it's more investing in yourself personally, um, because I'm only at work for eight hours a day, but I'm in full crush mode, the full eight hours because of, you know, what I do in my personal life and, and the happy, healthy habits that I've created in the family time and all of those sorts of things.
[00:13:13] Elizabeth Pearson: [00:13:13] 100%. I mean, and, and to your point, it will kind of ebb and flow, right. Some days. Like in the beginning when I was first starting. Yeah. I worked weekends. Right. I was doing, but I was building something for me. I wasn't building decks. I wasn't doing analysis of consumers for other people that were then going to dismiss it or click through it.
[00:13:33] I was building my website. I was building. Stuff for me. So it was a foundation, so it was still energy spent, but it was good. You know, it was for something that I could look at my children, my husband, and say, I'm, I'm all I'm out, you know, of whatever you're going to do today. Cause I'm writing a book, you know what I mean?
[00:13:51] Like I have to write today. So it's very different than. You know, I have to do whatever bullshit busy work my boss wants me to do so that he knows I'm working like it. That was the kind of stuff that was soul crushing. And so it's very different. But to your point too, I, you know, I get up every morning. I drop my kids off leisurely, go for a run in the woods, come here, do fun stuff like this.
[00:14:13] I might have a client or two, but I'm not, I'm not killing myself anymore. No way. Cause that would pop me too much. Right now I live very comfortably and I don't, if I want to make more money, I can. But right now I'm good. I know that that extra a hundred thousand isn't going to make me any happier.
[00:14:33] Collin Mitchell: [00:14:33] Now it, obviously, I'm going to take a guess here.
[00:14:36] It took a lot of work to get to that place. Right. So what are some things that people need to kind of like, think about or overcome to get to, to that mindset, that place where, uh, what you're talking about, which probably sounds pretty. Good to a lot of people that aren't experiencing
[00:14:54] Elizabeth Pearson: [00:14:54] that we have to start.
[00:14:56] I mean, and that sounds like such a cliche. You have to start and take baby steps, but I tell clients too, when they're, when they're trying to make a big pivot and they're facing a lot of resistance, you know, resistance will come. Anytime you try to grow outside of your comfort zone or you try to reinvent yourself, right?
[00:15:13] It's like when you go on a diet, how much resistance do you feel a ton in the beginning? And then you get over it and it, and it starts to get some momentum, but you have to start, even if it's 15 minutes a day, set the bar very, very low for 15 minutes. I'm going to do research on this company that I want to start.
[00:15:32] And then after 15 minutes, I will assess whether I want to spend another 15 minutes on this. And if I don't, I will walk away. But if you still assure, you know, Colin, right, those 15 minutes will add up and eventually it will start to carry you. And then the other thing is. Understand that the doubt that is going to come with this will be massive.
[00:15:53] So you have to get a support team. If you don't have a spouse or partner or some, another entrepreneur who's done it, or somebody else who's changed career paths, you're going to be dead in the water. So you need to get a support team. So I had coaches, I had like Reiki workers, right? Like for energy work, I had an unwavering spouse that was never going to let me go back.
[00:16:20] Um, and then I've had an amazing group of friends and I. I call it the wall of support. I put pictures up on my wall, kind of like a vision board of all these people that were rooting for me. And on the days when I was crying and I was like, what did I do? Right. Like, why did I leave this, this cushy job? I would look to them and I couldn't let them down.
[00:16:40] And I couldn't let my girls down. So whether it's virtual support or you have people there, you have to start taking action and you have to build up and tell people your intention and then make them hold you accountable.
[00:16:53] Collin Mitchell: [00:16:53] Yeah, no, that's huge. Getting started. Yes. But the support system is crucial because there's going to be times where it's extremely tough and you're going to be deflated and not motivated and second guessing and self doubt and all those things that every human being does.
[00:17:10] Um, and you know, you need that team to be like, it's okay. You know, you're committed. You're you're good enough. Like. T you're headed in the right direction. It's worth it. Um, all of those things that are going to encourage you to, to keep going and whatever those goals are. Yeah.
[00:17:26] Elizabeth Pearson: [00:17:26] And I always, I always ask clients too, when they're kind of, like I say, we're at the edge of the diving board, we're either going to jump or we're going to turn around and like sheepishly walked back.
[00:17:35] But I say to like this life that you're trying to leave or change. What's the alternative. If you don't keep going forward towards your passion, the alternative is where you are right now. And most of the time, that is the failure. Not that I went and I tried something and it didn't work out. Everybody will commend you for that.
[00:17:56] It'll be like, Oh my God. Well, at least you had the guts to do it. But the real failure is staying right where you are when you're getting the nudges. When you're getting the whispers of like, this doesn't feel like good enough. I feel like I could be doing more or it feels like I should be doing this great idea that I have, you know, like you do have to start, but then ask yourself, like, what's the alternative of going backwards and that's more uncomfortable than taking the next step forward.
[00:18:24] Collin Mitchell: [00:18:24] Yeah, no, I love that kind of mindset shift of, of, of viewing doing nothing as the failure rather than trying it. And maybe it doesn't work out and that's, that's totally okay. Um, but you'll never know if you don't at least get started and give it a try. Right. Right. So I think we've talked about a lot of things.
[00:18:46] Um, but I think the main kind of overarching thing here is like being passionate about what you do. Right. Being authentic to what feels good for you and not killing yourself, doing it, whether it's for you or for somebody else. Right. Right. Um, so how does somebody start that? Like has no idea, like, what am I, what am I passionate about?
[00:19:09] I don't know.
[00:19:10] Elizabeth Pearson: [00:19:10] That's the million dollar question, Collin, how do I find my passion? Right. Like put so much like pressure on it. How do I figure it out? Well, something that I do with clients, which is very basic is we, I have like an Excel template and I say, Write down brands. Maybe if you just want to go work for another brand, right?
[00:19:32] Like write down brands or companies that you love or you would aspire to work for. So we list those out and then we start looking at their existing skills. So then I have them make a list of accomplishments. What are some big things that you've done right? Personally and professionally, we want to kind of like bring everything front of mind so that it helps with confidence as well.
[00:19:53] And then we start connecting the dots and. Throughout this we're asking, do I feel like I have an entrepreneurial spirit? Most people entrepreneurs know they want to be an entrepreneur. People who do not want to be entrepreneurs, which is fine. They usually know that pretty straight off the bat too. So that's kind of like the first question is, do you have an entrepreneurial spirit?
[00:20:16] If it's no, then maybe you want to start a business, but you just don't want to be, you want to be a partner or you want to be on C-suite. You know what I mean? Like you want to be on an advisory board, something like that. But you kind of have to figure out whether you're going to start your own thing and were, or work for somebody else.
[00:20:31] If it's the latter, then start making a list of brands that you love. I say, look around your house. What clothes are you wearing? What food are you eating? What car are you driving? Like what services do you use list all those out. Because to your point, if you're not using it in your day-to-day life, it can be very hard for you to sell it.
[00:20:49] And it's going to be very hard for you to sell yourself to that company, to hire you. And then once you have that, then you can start connecting the dots between your existing skillset and then where the opportunities are within those brands.
[00:21:03] Collin Mitchell: [00:21:03] I love that exercise. So I'm curious out of people that go through this exercise with you that you've seen, like what percentage of them are entrepreneurial versus versus not, I'd say it's
[00:21:15] Elizabeth Pearson: [00:21:15] 50, 50.
[00:21:16] Collin Mitchell: [00:21:16] Yeah. Cause I think that's the first thing I was like, do I, do I want to do, you know, do something myself or not is probably the biggest question. And then once they figure that out, it's like, okay, I am, or I'm not. And then now, now what is it that I'm going to do, which is then equally as important, um, as whether you're entrepreneurial or
[00:21:34] Elizabeth Pearson: [00:21:34] not.
[00:21:34] Yeah, for sure. And like, what do you, what do you really feel curious about drawn to? Do you have any friends that are doing something that you've always kind of envied like? Oh, I can't believe they get to be a travel writer and go around and do all this. Okay. Well guess what, you can do that too. Like it's never too late.
[00:21:52] Sometimes you might have to go take some courses. You might have to go back to school to actually build your experience so that you could start somewhere, but nothing is off the table.
[00:22:03] Collin Mitchell: [00:22:03] Okay. So now for those that are, um, trying to find what they're passionate about, and maybe they're just working for the wrong company, maybe they're selling something that just feels they don't, doesn't light them up.
[00:22:13] And they're kind of at a ceiling of how successful they could be because of that reason. And it's more of an exercise of figuring out, well, what am I passionate about selling? Maybe I'm not entrepreneurial. Um, and so the ones that are entrepreneurial, like, do you recommend them just. Diving in all in, or is it, you know, there's a lot of people doing this side hustle, dance of like still doing the corporate thing, testing it out on the side.
[00:22:37] W what, what are your thoughts around that?
[00:22:39] Elizabeth Pearson: [00:22:39] I think it really depends on your personality. If you're somebody it's like, if you were a smoker and if you can slowly go down and then quit, that's one personality type. Other people have to just go cold Turkey and rip the bandaid off. They have to burn the boats.
[00:22:54] Yeah, I was, I had to burn the boats. I had to say goodbye. There was no way. It didn't feel authentic to me to be doing both. But I had a spouse who made a great income. We had money saved. I had been crafting this plan for five years. So we had been saving for five years. Knowing that I was going to do my own thing.
[00:23:17] We didn't know what it was, but I hated working for other people and I was over it and I was sick of making rich people richer. Right. So that, that was our plan. And we worked with our financial advisor to save and know that. Right. So if you do want to just be done. My God, make sure you have the money to pay the rent, you know, in the mortgage.
[00:23:36] Like don't just be irresponsible. So create that plan. And then, but if you're somebody who can taper it down and like build the side hustle on the weekends and you know that eventually you'll be able to totally walk away, then that's fine. And if you're not sure which one of those you are. Ask your friends
[00:23:54] Collin Mitchell: [00:23:54] cause they will them.
[00:23:55] Yeah. Yeah, no, I love that answer. Um, an all in or all out type of guy like yourself, uh, just the, the side hustle or, you know, I just, I like to be committed to something and just give it my best and. I would say probably I don't, I wouldn't be the type to, to properly maybe plan it for five years, but, uh, I think I perform well when my back's against the wall, which that's a whole nother type of personality for sure.
[00:24:22] Um, you know, kind of like taking off with the airplane, figuring it out as you go sort of, uh, analogy, but, um, yeah, so, all right. Elizabeth. It's been fantastic. I love this topic. It was a lot of fun having you on, uh, any final thoughts, anything you want to let people know where they can find you all that good stuff.
[00:24:41] Elizabeth Pearson: [00:24:41] they can, um, get more like free content videos and stuff on Elizabeth pearson.com. I'm an incredibly spiritual person. So have an open mind. There's some like, kind of far out stuff there about manifesting and law of attraction. But if you're into that kind of stuff, I think that completely can make or break you in selling.
[00:25:00] And also if you're going to start something, is if you're on the right vibrational plane. Um, and then the last words would be that it's, it's never too late. I think a lot of people think that they've gone down one road too far to turn around, but here's the thing. If you're going the wrong way down a one way road, wouldn't you always turn around, like you wouldn't just keep going further.
[00:25:22] So you know, whether you're on the wrong road or not, and it's, nobody's going to come save you or push you to turn around and you have to do it yourself, but it's never too late.
[00:25:32] Collin Mitchell: [00:25:32] Yeah, I love that. Thank you so much. We'll drop the link to your website there in the show notes for everybody. If you're listening to the podcast, please subscribe.
[00:25:40] Write us a review. If you enjoyed today's episode and share it with your friends and we're listening for your feedback. Thank you for today into this episode of sales hustle. Are you a sales professional? Looking to take your sales career to the next level. If the answer is yes, then I want you to go over to sales, cast.com, check us out.
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