010 — Joe Made a Shift From Working at a Fortune 500 Company To Start Is Own Business

In this episode, Christina interviewed Joe Sulima. He left his job at a fortune 500 company to start his own company to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses. 

Let’s look at how he did it.

Questions and Answers

00:34 what was your job at the fortune 500 company 

01:07 what made you decide to switch

08:38 what did you do to prepare yourself for the shift

11:17 did you have any mentors

16:07 what were the challenges 

24:59 what is your perfect pitch 

32:36 what do you help with, who are your ideal clients, how do people find you

34:27 any tips or advice

Links and Resources

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Read Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Christina Hooper: Hey, busy business people. I am here today with another entrepreneur taking action Joe Sulima. He left his job at a fortune 500 company to pursue starting his own consulting business, focused on helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses. And I'm going to get the scoop on how he made that bold shift.

[00:00:18] So to kick things off, you were working in a fortune 500 company and shifted into running your own business, what were your job responsibilities like before you made that shift, like, what did you do with that company? 

[00:00:41] Joe Sulima: That's a great question. You know, I've had different roles within corporations. In the last one, I was actually a regional vice president of sales.

[00:00:48] So I was responsible for a team of about 12 salespeople and a few independent people that worked for me that were, they weren't exactly employees, but they were independent. And I ran a region in the New York, New Jersey, [00:01:00] Connecticut market. I ran a division for a fortune 500 company and we did about $50 million in sales.

[00:01:06] Christina Hooper: Oh, awesome. So like what made you decide to make that switch? Like, you know, you're in this fortune 500 company you're leading a sales team, you had financial stability, I'm assuming, in that company, and obviously entrepreneurship is full of insecurity and instability, especially when you first get started, like what made you decide to do that? 

[00:01:25] Joe Sulima: You know, that's a great question because I, I did have some of, uh, the good fortune of working for a good company with the expense reports and the expense accounts and able to go out and have a good time. But the challenge was, I still work for the man. You know, every day I got up, I had to wear the typical new suit and tie.

[00:01:42] Obviously I'm not wearing that these days because of the entrepreneurial lifestyle gives you some freedom. But, you know, I had to be the office at a certain time. I left at a certain time, you know, I had to work evenings and weekends. And there were times where I, you know, quite honestly had to cancel vacations because a project came up and I was [00:02:00] living for, you know, somebody else's dream.

[00:02:01] I was building somebody else's business. And as successful as I was in the corporate world, the amount of money I was making at that level was a fraction of what I could make working for myself. If I was doing it that same productivity level. Plus the freedom. Really ultimately what made me decide to get out of the corporate world is the freedom to work on my hours.

[00:02:20] You know, the lifestyle I wanted, whether it's just work more, to make more money, to work less, but really it came down to freedom and that's what made me made that change. I'm tired of working for the corporate corporate world and want to do something for myself. 

[00:02:32] Christina Hooper: I think that's one of the smart reasons to make the switch.

[00:02:35] Like I talked to so many people that are like, I'm working, you know, too much. I want to open a business so I can work less. And you know, I think what you said is true. You can work more and make more or work less and make less, like you're not always, especially in the beginning. You know, you're not gonna leave that 40 hour a week job or 60 hour a week job, and then work 20 hours and make more money.

[00:02:55] Like you're probably gonna work twice that to start with, O that was my experience after I left [00:03:00] corporate world and, you know, exited cubicle-ville for my own business. It's like you work a lot more hours to start with until you learn how to build a team and be a little bit more scalable. Um. 

[00:03:10] Joe Sulima: Well, that's what I tell everybody.

[00:03:12] If you're looking, just because, you know, you want to make more money and work less hours and you want that freedom and security. Well, you're probably not going to get that right away. You know, it's, you know, you go kind of two step back to go three steps forward kind of thing. And if you want the security of a job and the security of the income and all that, then yeah.

[00:03:30] Probably stick with your corporate job, because it does take a little bit of a, of a mind shift change, and you will work longer hours in the beginning, but you know, you're do, you're building something for yourself and that's kind of what I always tell people when I'm talking to them is when you, if you're going to make that change, you don't want to make that leap.

[00:03:46] Remember why you're doing it. There's gotta be a big enough why and a strong enough why, and it's not going to just be money, it's gotta be something else in the beginning, for me it was freedom. It really was a freedom to come and go as I please. Uh, in the beginning, yeah, I would have made more money sticking [00:04:00] with the corporate job and in the beginning, I'll have to admit, sometimes I scratch my head and think, Boy, did I really do the right thing?

[00:04:06] But you know, doing it a couple of years now, and the amount of money is one thing, but it's the freedom and the amount of people I can help, the change I can take in somebody's life. When you work for a corporation, you're not really making meaningful changes for the most part, for people.

[00:04:20] But when you're working for yourself and you're consulting with people, whether they're business people or relationship coaching, or whatever kind of coaching you're doing, you're making a difference in somebody's life. And that is life changing. That really is life changing for somebody, because then you have a big enough why to move forward.

[00:04:36] Christina Hooper: Yeah, I think those are all such powerful reasons. So it's like, I know listeners as you're, as you're hearing this and you're going through this. There's a lot of really powerful things into to what he just said, you know, rewind it, watch it again if you need to, because it's like I do, I talk to business owners all the time that, you know, in the early days they made that leap and they made it for the wrong reasons.

[00:04:56] You know, they were expecting to work less. They were tired of their boss telling them what to do [00:05:00] all day long. And it's like, you know, you trade a boss for clients. It's like, you still have somebody telling you what to do all day long. The only difference is you have the option to say no, but if you say, no, you lose the money.

[00:05:10] You know? So it's like, it's not that simple. It's just going off and being like, I just want to work and do this thing all day long, many business owners, especially the ones who are successful they don't even do the work that they set out to do to start with anymore. They hire a team and now they're running a company which is a whole different skillset, you know?

[00:05:26] Joe Sulima: Exactly, you know, when you start with, you know, you're kind of doing everything and you do have to make that shift of from employee to now self-employed because in the beginning, you're not quite a business owner yet, you're self-employed and you're, you know, you're kind of the chief cook and bottle cleaner all at the same time in the beginning until you kind of get things going, which is helpful because you know, all aspects of the business.

[00:05:49] And then when you do bring on your first team member, since you've already been in that role, it's easy to help, tell that person what they need to do to get successful to the the next level, but it's a journey. Entrepreneurship can be a journey [00:06:00] and it's a great journey to get out of your corporate world and build something for yourself to give yourself that kind of freedom.

[00:06:06] But it's not overnight, you know, there's different steps to it. You know, the first step is get to the level where many people I work with still have full-time jobs and they're trying to make that, you know, challenge to getting to that position of, well, I want to do this full-time so how do you structure that? So going from the corporate world to doing this part time, until you get to the level where I tell people you really want to have enough money set aside that you're, you're making enough twice your current salary, because this, way that it gives you some cushion.

[00:06:36] Too many people just say, I'm going to quit my job, and then the financial challenges come in and then you take clients on just for the money that really aren't the right clients for you. And you know that, but you take it any way, because you need the money, as you ease into it on a part-time basis, it makes it a lot easier to kind of get rolling get a couple of clients under your belt, then, you know, whether it's three months, six months, nine months, then you can get to that level.

[00:06:57] And there's different levels. First it's replace your current [00:07:00] income, whatever that might be. You know, the next number that people want to get to is that I want that $10,000 a month number.

[00:07:05] Right. Everybody wants to get that to their business. And then from there, depending on what kind of business you're in and where you want to go, it could be, I want a hundred thousand dollars a month. Right. But now that's a whole nother level with another set of challenges with putting more team people in place.

[00:07:19] But that's also something to keep in mind when you start out, what is it that you're wanting to get to? You know, is it just to replace your current income? Is it, you know, a $250,000 lifestyle business where you're only working, ya know, 30 hours a week this way, you know, you know how to position yourself when you get out there and what tools and things you want and need because too many gurus are out there sharing with you, what you should be doing in your business, but you need to decide what you want in your business.

[00:07:45] Like for me, it wasn't about the money. It was the freedom to work for myself and worked longer hours at times, but it was still freedom. So for you, you have to look at what is it you're looking for. Cause if it's strictly money, you're probably going to work a lot longer to [00:08:00] make more amount of money, especially in the beginning.

[00:08:02] Christina Hooper: Oh yeah, definitely in the beginning. I mean, I know for me it was more potential. Like, you know, I started looking at these people that had been working at the company for, you know, 50 years, 40 years and they were approaching retirement and it's like, they hit a ceiling and I was like, Hey, there's a ceiling here.

[00:08:18] There's only so much I'm ever going to make, working this job. Like there's only so much I'm ever going to do. Like, I have a limit to my potential. I was like, and that was when it kind of had that wake up moment. Like, I don't want to be limited, like, I've got lots of potential, let's go do it. You know? So for me it was potential, but yeah, it was the same thing. And like, how did you prepare yourself or test the waters?

[00:08:38] Like what did you do to get ready to make that leap from working in the company to full-time in your business. 

[00:08:44] Joe Sulima: That's a great question. I mean, I'm lucky that my wife really asked me a question one day that really sat with me, it was, if you can do anything, what would you want to do with your time? And almost, almost immediately it came to mind, well, I want to help people with sales because that was my background. That's what [00:09:00] I help people with. And I just saw so many people do it so badly, whether it's real estate people and not all of them, but just my experiences in retail environments. And I would see so many different ways that can fix that.

[00:09:11] And to me was easy because I've been doing it for so long, you know, I just wanted to help people do that. So first I, I figured out, well, what market do I really want to work and where can I make that difference? And two now with the internet, it just makes it so much easier to go into Facebook groups or to do some very inexpensive advertising to test the water, you know, for 10 bucks a day, you can do a couple ads out there, whether it's Facebook or Instagram with whatever it is you're trying to sell, whatever product or service it is and kind of test the market.

[00:09:39] So that's what I did first. I, you know, had a small budget of less than a thousand dollars, uh, to test the market over a couple of months of different ad angles. And then I started going to LinkedIn. And just direct message people I'm thinking about doing this, you know, what challenges are you having that I might be able to help you with and just really did some very inexpensive market research.

[00:09:58] And that's kind of what [00:10:00] got me going to the point where, okay, I know there's a need in the market for what I have to offer. It's just a matter of exactly, you know, how to position that, is it one-on-one with entrepreneurs or is it going to midsize companies offer bigger training program? So once I kind of did some initial outreach, whether it was LinkedIn, whether it was surveys on Facebook groups or whatever it was, that's kind of how I got the idea of, okay now I know there's a need for what I have to offer.

[00:10:25] And then it just started small, you know, networking with people you know on, on different Facebook groups, in LinkedIn and saying, Hey, this is what I do. Anybody need any, any help with this? Or do you know anybody who needs this? And I started really organically with, you know, going very inexpensive on ads and just putting more time into it than money because I wanted to test the water first before testing any kind of real paid advertising.

[00:10:50] And that's how I started. I had a regular day job. I had to really do it under the radar because when you work for a fortune 500 company, you can't really be all out there. Hey, look what I'm doing. [00:11:00] Uh, especially with my customers with LinkedIn. So I had to really do it under the radar to get it going. And that's how I started, you know, a couple hours every night until I got my first client and then my second client.

[00:11:11] And then before, you know, it, my little side business was making as much as I was making as my full-time job. 

[00:11:17] Christina Hooper: And did you have any mentors or anything that taught you that strategy? Cause I mean, I'm going to tell you, that's the kind of stuff I hear from people that are multimillionaire, like top of the industry type of people.

[00:11:28] That's the advice they're giving people all the time. And I mean, like, I like to refer to it as a coming soon strategy, essentiallylike, before you even build the offer. Like we use this for like, even something as simple as like an ebook or a PDF checklist somebody's downloaded all the way up to like a consulting program or a course, like bill just a quick coming soon.

[00:11:47] It can be a Google doc, it can be a Google form, it can be a quick little landing page. You just say, Hey, this is coming, who's interested? And get out there and talk to people and go see, and then bill the offer once you've gauged interest, [00:12:00] like another, some, one of the advice that, um, I heard recently from Kasim Aslam, he was one of the top like Google ad agencies, um, in the world.

[00:12:08] And that's the advice he gives. He's like, he says, he's never built anything until he just puts it out there and test it. And you did that before you even launched a business.

[00:12:17] Joe Sulima: Yeah. I mean...

[00:12:17] Christina Hooper: Wow.

[00:12:18] Joe Sulima: Ya know, one of my mentors was Dan Kennedy who, um, you know, he's my first sales mentor and, you know, it was a salesman first. And, you know, my biggest challenge was I was a horrible sales person, so I needed a lots of leads.

[00:12:29] So I went to a marketing person because I assume, Oh, if I had enough leads, some people would buy until I can get my sales skills up. So my marketing skills certainly out, I'll wade my sales skills in the beginning and then kind of flip-flop, but I, you know, that he was telling his approach is, you know, Get the marketing up there first, you can always learn the other skills first, but now test mark and see, and there's, you know, organic marketing isn't that difficult.

[00:12:53] And I know there's a lot of experts out there who charge thousands and tens of thousands of dollars for organic marketing. [00:13:00] Uh, and I personally, I, you know, I never spent that kind of money on it because I don't think it was warranted because there's so much information out there. But Really comes down to basic sense, as you build relationships with people, you find out, Hey, you know, this is who I am, this is what I do. Uh, do you have any need for something like this? Or, you know, if you're in a market where you kind of know they have a kind of need, you know, what kind of need is if you have and how would you like to have that solved?

[00:13:23] And that's kind of just how you do some quick market research and it doesn't have to be expensive. It doesn't have to be time consuming. And you know, one of the things, your first opportunity or your first idea might not work. You know, and that's why they have to kind of look and say, Hmm, my first idea was, um, it was years ago and it was now it's actually coming around, it actually might be a good idea.

[00:13:44] Well, one of my first ideas was to teach business owners how to be sales managers and how to manage their own sales teams. Well at the time, business owners didn't want to manage their own sales teams. It was just a bad idea at the time. Now it's changed. And actually it is, [00:14:00] it is actually a decent business, but at the time it was beafore it's time.

[00:14:04] One of the other ideas I had is back on, this is going back probably 15 years or so to help internet businesses kind of grow their business to the next level and put operations and things like that behind the business. Well, 15 years ago with the internet business was about, you know, I want to work four hours a day on the beach with my laptop.

[00:14:22] Ya know, I'm not interested with operations and all that. It's Hey, you know, beachfront with my laptop, even though it's changed again, where there are now internet businesses doing a million dollars a week and those kinds of things are needed, but that's just kind of an example. You need to test the market with your idea.

[00:14:38] And your first idea may not be that home run. So you may have to try second idea or third idea or after your first idea gets rolling. You may realize, boom, not as profitable as I thought, or I don't like it quite as much, and then come up with a second idea, but the thing is to start, just get out there and start, try something.

[00:14:55] Do it. Don't wait any longer. You can consume information [00:15:00] forever without actually starting anything. Stop consuming, start going out there and producing and just make some offers.

[00:15:07] Christina Hooper: Well and be willing to talk to people. I think that's probably one of the biggest things I see that holds people back. Like, I mean, I've built my business starting 15 years ago or so on business networking.

[00:15:17] I was part of BNI in my local area and it's like just getting out and talking to people. And, ya know, started getting asked to go teach it local business development centers and chamber of commerce and teach on topics, cause I was just out there being a helpful human. I was putting stuff out in the world and seeing what happened. Um, that's why ETA was born.

[00:15:32] I was just trying to be helpful, human and help other people be a helpful human. So it's like just not being afraid to go talk to people. I think like you kind of have the super power for that, that drove you into doing things. Maybe you didn't realize. Even we're as awesome as what they were when you first started getting into them that a lot of business owners don't do.

[00:15:48] I mean, there was a lot of good nuggets in that. Again, I'm going to encourage people, listen to this over and over again, because there was a lot of good nuggets in that. Um, now we talked kind of about some of your super powers and things that set you up, you know, kind of for success [00:16:00] in this, but let's talk about challenges.

[00:16:02] Like, you know, obviously you did a lot of things, right. And a lot of things just kind of worked, but I'm sure not everything went right. And what were some of the challenges that you had to overcome and like, what did you do?

[00:16:11] Joe Sulima: I'd say one of the biggest challenges for us was really finding out the market that can help because I knew who I wanted to help.

[00:16:17] They didn't necessarily want my help. So I really had to change the market a little bit. You know, when I first started, it was just local business owners and it was anybody who had a need. And that's really not the market that had a need. Um, most people don't like sales or they think that they don't have a sales problem.

[00:16:33] So they don't really need any help with that. Or they think their team is operating fine, so they just didn't need any help with that. So that was the first challenge is really finding the market because in my opinion, everybody knows, needs to know how to sell. And if you're a business owner and you have a team, everybody needs to know how to manage the team.

[00:16:48] But, you know, that's like saying, well, everybody needs to lose weight. It's not the case. Right. You know, uh, there's some people that know they need to learn how to sell better. It's your point, you know, go out and talk [00:17:00] to people, learn how to talk to people without coming across as that, you know, salesy or sleazy salesman.

[00:17:05] I mean, that's one of the big things that I had to overcome is people look at it as, oh, you're a sales trainer. Well, you know, that's kind of, you know, a different approach. So I had to figure out, you know, one who the market was I wanted to talk to that wanted my help. So I'd say that's where I made the biggest mistake.

[00:17:20] And I spent way too much time in the wrong market. And that's, I'd say one of the biggest mistakes is I should have just dumped that market, this idea isn't working, I need to move on to the next market and get rid of that market. So that's probably one of the thorns in my side that will always stick out as I just waited too long to switch markets.

[00:17:40] Christina Hooper: I think that happens to just about everybody. They end up in the wrong market and it takes them a little while. Like, I think most people somewhere along the way, they hear the term niching and niching down and just, and that's usually when they start to really think about, well, who do I like to work with?

[00:17:53] But most people try and work for anybody and everybody. And they go for people that are, you know, not even problem aware [00:18:00] yet and try and pitch a solution. And that's like, it is so hard to go after people that aren't even problem aware yet. So once they're problem aware, getting them into solution aware is pretty easy, but before they even realized they have a problem, oh man, marketing is hard.

[00:18:14] They're not Googling, they're not searching. They're not looking for, you know, they're not looking for the medicine to solve the problem.

[00:18:20] Joe Sulima: Well, you know, anybody who says that I can help everybody, you know, and this comes up a lot in some of the different disciplines of, whether it's like coaching or personal development.

[00:18:31] Everybody needs my help. Well, now not everybody does or not. Everybody thinks they do, and everybody wants your help. Maybe they need it, but they don't necessarily want it. So yeah, if they're not problem aware, it's very, very difficult to get to that level. So it needs to be somebody that really understands, you know, I've got a problem.

[00:18:46] I may not know how to solve it, or where to go, but I realized that, okay, XYZ is happening to my life and I need to fix it. And you know, that's key. That's a great thing you, you hit on that if they don't have that awareness of it, you know, I always [00:19:00] tell people there's, there's only two people that we can't work with.

[00:19:03] You know, those people that don't know they have a problem or those people that don't want to fix that problem. That's it, you know, there has to be a problem or there has to be something going on where they, you know, things are okay, but they'd like to ge better. And if there's not a problem going on there, then it's really not somebody that you can really help.

[00:19:18] And again, that's probably the other mistake is I kept trying to help people didn't want my help. I knew they needed my help. They just didn't know. 

[00:19:26] Christina Hooper: Yeah, it's a lot harder to sell to them in that situation. If they don't know that they need that help. If they're not looking for that help, if they don't want it, like your sales process gets so much longer in that situation, it's not that you can't close them.

[00:19:39] But, I mean, it becomes instead of a matter of a week or two, it becomes more like a matter of a few months to a year to get them warmed up enough to be like, okay, yeah, maybe you were right, ya know.

[00:19:49] Joe Sulima: Yeah, and there's that, you know, that's just, there's different processes for things of that. And there's people that are in that level, then you have the warm them up and that's a whole nother process you have to put in place.[00:20:00] 

[00:20:00] And, and then there's differences a personality. I mean, I'm an introvert by nature. So for me to be able to go out there and be successful with sales, I had a really changed, you know, how I approached it. And I have some good friends that are extroverts. Well, they have their own set of challenges because extroverts, they talk a lot.

[00:20:16] They're very friendly. They're outgoing, but they don't know when honestly, when to be quiet, let your customer talk. So there's challenges, no matter what kind of personality trait you have. As an introvert you know, there's ways I was able to overcome. But I, I run into that all the time with business owners or people want to go into business and, oh, I just can't go into sales.

[00:20:35] I'm an introvert or I'm quiet or I'm shy, or, you know, I don't want to be around people and that's okay. There's ways you can use that to your advantage. Like for me, you know, and here's the tip I'll share with anybody that's an introvert. Learn how to ask good questions. Because if you learn how to ask really good questions, you wont have to talk much because the person you're asking the questions to, people like to talk about themselves, And that's one way to kind of [00:21:00] overcome that.

[00:21:00] Just come up with some great questions and let your customer and your prospect talk for you. And you wont have, you won't have as nearly as hard a time as you think you will. Once you have some good questions that will do the talking for you. 

[00:21:11] Christina Hooper: Oh I know, that was one of the strategies I started using very early on. It's like, I'm very introverted too.

[00:21:17] And it's like, even when I would do presentations, like I would hyperventilate, I'd get up in front of a room of like 40, 50 people. And I start hyperventilating, but as soon as I would ask, like, okay, just go around the room and everybody tell me really quickly what you do, like, you know, what's your business, who's your ideal client?

[00:21:31] Like, just do that real quick. And once they did that, it was so much easier. Cause now I'm just having a conversation.

[00:21:37] Joe Sulima: Exactly.

[00:21:37] Christina Hooper: I don't have to have a pitch. I can just talk. And it was so much easier to do it that way. 

[00:21:42] Joe Sulima: Absolutely, It's all about having conversations with people, having conversations, finding out what kind of situation they're in, if they need some help and then saying, Hey, you know, I think I can help you.

[00:21:51] Would you like to know more? It doesn't have to be any more complex than that, but I say that's one of the challenges I see, especially with new entrepreneurs is they're [00:22:00] afraid. Ya know, they're afraid of how to talk to people, what to say. Well I don't have enough experience and there's all these reasons that hold them back.

[00:22:07] But you know, that's one of the great ways to go overall. All that is just ask great questions and be out there with an attitude of I'm not here to sell you. I'm here to service you. I'm here to help you. And that makes all of the nervousness go away from those sales conversations. 

[00:22:22] Christina Hooper: Yeah. I mean, absolutely.

[00:22:24] I know that's one of the biggest things that I try and do to, is just, you know, come from that place of being helpful and it just tends to work so much better. I'd say probably the other big challenge I see with entrepreneurs is they don't know how to explain what they do. Like in any kind of succinct way.

[00:22:38] Like everybody talks about that 60 second elevator pitch. It doesn't have to be a 60 second elevator pitch or a one-liner, but you do have to be able to very clearly say like here's who I help. And here's how I help them. And this is why I do it. You know, like if you can get those three things down and just have conversations with people, I think it just works so well.

[00:22:58] Joe Sulima: You know, you're so spot [00:23:00] on about that because people, you know, and especially in the coaching industry, there's some people out there that are teaching the, you know, I help blank to blank by blank.

[00:23:09] And say, well, once you're off, well, that's not your off, that's kinda more of like your slogan and your tagline and it's well, you, if you run into somebody at a party, oh, you know, I help entrepreneurs increase their business, you know, by implementing sales strategies that work or whatever it is that you do, you know, that's kind of just that quick conversation of what you do. And a lot of people get all tied up into that messaging where it's gotta be perfect and it's gotta be niched and specific, and it doesn't always have to be that way.

[00:23:35] It has to be open enough to say, Hey, I helped this person do this with this kind of outcome. To get people to say, oh, I'm interested in that. Tell me more. And that's really all it has to come down to, but people do get too freaked out about that. You know, the messaging has to be right on and the offer has to be right on.

[00:23:52] And when you're, especially, if you're going after a broad market, it doesn't always work that way. You know, if you're in the personal development or you're in weight loss or fitness, [00:24:00] you know, that's a very, very broad market. And to really niche down like, well, I help corporate executives want to lose that belly fat because they sit behind a desk all day.

[00:24:10] I mean, that's very specific, but most people aren't that specific, when you run into somebody, you know, on the street, you kind of tell them what you do. 

[00:24:18] Christina Hooper: Yeah. And I mean, a lot of times people get into all of their services and things, and it's like, I think, you know, go into the fitness space. When I have a friend that runs a gym.

[00:24:25] That's one of my best examples for that is, you know, he focuses on helping entrepreneurs that are busy. They don't have a lot of time, but they need to start making small, incremental changes towards improving their health. So his whole thing, all of the services and stuff are geared around doing that. And when you say that, well now, like, yeah, well, yeah, I don't have a lot of time to put into stuff, but I do want to start making some changes and it clicks. 

[00:24:47] Joe Sulima: Right.

[00:24:47] Christina Hooper: Ya know, so it's like having something that simple that it's like, well, yeah, that's me,...

[00:24:51] Joe Sulima: Yeah.

[00:24:52] Christina Hooper: You know, and that's all you need them to do is to be able to raise their hand and say like that to me, I guess now we've just got done talking about the perfect pitch.

[00:24:59] And my [00:25:00] next question was to tell you to give yours, no pressure.

[00:25:05] Joe Sulima: Well, and that's the thing, when you, when you this, when you're putting that kind of realization together, it also weeds out the people that you're not a good fit for, you. You know, so if I'm in one of the, I mean, I'm not in the weight loss industry and you know, I don't work with fortune 500 companies anymore.

[00:25:21] That's my background. But you know, when people ask me, well, what is it you do? Well, I help small to medium-sized businesses increase their sales through a proven sales process. And it's really that simple, you know, it's not any great detail. So I help you create a sales process specific for yourself, you know, and it depends if I'm working with coaches and consultants, which is really what primarily who probably 70% of my customers are, they're starting their business.

[00:25:45] You know, as I help you create that perfect sales presentation around your personal. Because I like working with people that utilize their personality to shine through because if you're extrovert. Yeah, we got to tone that down. If you're an introvert, [00:26:00] we have to put that up a little differently, but that's kind of what, you know, what I spend most of my time doing.

[00:26:04] And so, and if anybody checked out my site, that's what you'd see is nothing but sales, sales, sales, all about sales presentation and growing your sales team. Cause that's kinda what I like to help people with. And no matter what's going on in the economy, the best way to turn your business around, increase sales.

[00:26:20] Christina Hooper: Well, and I love that you talk about the personality to it. I think that's one thing so many people, they leave off of everything. They leave it off with their marketing. We leave it off with their sales pitch. They leave it off of their overarching, why they're even doing this in the first place. And that's your differentiator, that is the easiest differentiator in the marketplace because nobody else is exactly like you.

[00:26:39] Nobody else is helping the exact same audience with the same passion, the same skills that you're coming to it with the same approach. And they're absolutely going to be people that you don't want to work with, don't need to work with.

[00:26:51] So being able to turn off the people that you know, shouldn't work with you. Ya know, like as bad as it is. I mean, like I see, um, one example that's really [00:27:00] obvious to explain that is like the people who use like, you know, swear words and curse words and stuff on their websites and stuff. That's not going to appeal to a wide swath of people, but like, you know, Gary Vaynerchuk, for example, I mean, he's not afraid to swear.

[00:27:14] And the people that have a problem with that are not ones that he would probably want to work with anyway, so it's fine. You know, he didn't have to be afraid to offend part of his audience cause the ones that would get offended are the ones he doesn't want to work with. I know that's a really bold example because that's one of those it's going to, you know, turn off a good swath of people, like very much, it's not usually an in-between thing.

[00:27:34] It's usually a very polarizing thing, but it's a good example. Um, ya know, and I think that's so true to not be afraid to, you know, turn people away that shouldn't work with you.

[00:27:45] Joe Sulima: Exactly 

[00:27:45] Christina Hooper: At the same time, you're getting better at using your own personality to attract them.

[00:27:49] Joe Sulima: Exactly. Because in most industries right now, in most things, especially if you're doing anything on Instagram and Facebook, it's a saturated market. You know, if you look into different awareness levels, [00:28:00] everybody you've seen your offer 10 times, you know, there's nothing out there that they haven't seen, but what's going to set you apart is really going to be that personal.

[00:28:07] You know, what's unique about yourself and, you know, using four-letter words all the time, you know, that's kind of been done. That's not really going to make you stand out anymore, but you know, like Facebook advertising, I work with a lot of people that are in the digital marketing space and they're selling their digital marketing services.

[00:28:23] Well, you know, there's a lot of people doing that in the agency space. So what sets you apart? Well, part of it is having a sales process that works, but the other part of it is in putting your marketing out there and you advertise now there is, what's different about you. So many times I will see, you know, people's websites.

[00:28:38] It's just this boiler plate website of, you know, digital marketing services without any personality. Well, to stand out you really have to have a personality out there. Obviously you've got that mastered, right? You have personality. I mean, people look at your site, they see your look. They look, they see that you're unique.

[00:28:53] You, that's a different kind of personality and those people that you're going to attract people that like that. And then there's some people that, you know, Hey, this person [00:29:00] isn't for me. But that's really, what's going to stand, stand you out and give you that unique perspective. And in today's marketplace, you need to have that, you know, that's why I tell everybody to have, what's unique about your offer.

[00:29:10] You know, what's unique about what you have to bring to the table. If you don't have anything unique and shouldn't, you're just another person or another company out there doing the same thing is going to be very, very difficult to make yourself stand out. Especially if you want to do any kind of premium pricing, because now you're in a commodity market and you've got to get out of that, thats for sure.

[00:29:29] Christina Hooper: Yeah, I know, I see that a lot, like kind of almost the franchise digital marketing model, so to speak. Cause I mean, you've got these big companies like HubSpot and StoryBrand and Digital Marketer and a bunch of other ones that they have their certification programs and you become a certified partner or a certified reseller or a certified coach or whatever.

[00:29:47] And you're selling someone else's intellectual property. And when you go to look at their websites, they all look the same because they're all selling the same core service. But at the end of the day, there's some very big personalities in there. You know, they work with different [00:30:00] types of companies doing the different types of people, in different types of companies, different industries, different sizes of companies, and they're bringing their own personality to the market.

[00:30:08] And I mean, two, you know, partner agencies might not do the exact same thing, but when you look at their websites, they look like they do, ya know, I mean, it's really like you start digging in. I have the advantage of being able to work with a lot of them, because I mean, we work with agencies at Content Ninja, one of my companies.

[00:30:25] Um, so I work with a lot of different ones and it's amazing. Like they're all reselling the same thing. And on the surface they look the same. But I get to start talking to them about producing content and it's like, wow. You're like completely different from that guy. Why don't you look just like him online?

[00:30:37] Joe Sulima: Well that's the thing is...

[00:30:39] Christina Hooper: So yeah.

[00:30:39] Joe Sulima: The entrepreneurs struggle with, if you look at some of the biggest companies out there, You can't think of apple without Steve jobs, right. Even though Tim cook is in charge now he's assumed some of that identity, but it's still Steve jobs. When you look at Tesla, it's Elon Musk. It's all about you.

[00:30:56] When you look at, especially now, I know it wasn't always the same with Amazon, but [00:31:00] now it's Jeff Bezos, right? So when you look at those companies, it's personalities, you know, it's all about the personality, even though they're billion dollar companies, it still starts with that personality. You know, too many people don't want to do that.

[00:31:12] And I know it's uncomfortable. It really is uncomfortable to be that, that face and that brand of your company, but to be successful and to really stand out, you really do need to, you need to stand out and not just hide behind the boilerplate templates out there for your website. You need to be the personality. Larger than life personality to be out there and give your opinion.

[00:31:33] And the people that resonate with you are going to resonate with you and want to work with you. The people that don't, well, they're not your customer anyway, you know, there's some people, some experts out there that I certainly do not resonate with. I just, ya know, don't like their attitude their, but that's what they want.

[00:31:48] They want to polarize in such a way that they don't want me as the customer. And they do a great job of it. You know, you need to do that as well. And that's one thing that really set you out and it makes it so much easier to have a sales conversation with people. [00:32:00] Once you're at that level. Because then you're kind of the expert, your personality is out there.

[00:32:04] They already kinda know you, to some extent, and you're already somewhat of an expert in their mind. So it makes it a lot easier to have those sales conversations versus if you were just, you know, I'm an XYZ agency that does X, Y, Z, like everybody else, you know, there's very difficult to stand out when you don't have that personality driven marketing in place.

[00:32:24] Christina Hooper: Oh, yeah, absolutely. So I know I've had you for like over 30 minutes now, so let's look at trying to wrap it up. What, like, let's hear your pitch a little bit. Like what do you help with? I know we've kind of talked about it a little bit, but let's sum it up. What do you help with, who are your ideal clients and how can someone find you if they want to work with you?

[00:32:42] Joe Sulima: Sure, the best way for a, to kind of discuss what I do.

[00:32:44] I have two main business. The passion business I have is I help entrepreneurs help create sales presentations. And it's basically a one-on-one sales coaching program instead of trying to just here's a modulated course and learn sales, it's one-on-one because when you're [00:33:00] doing sales presentations, you want to be able to practice them with somebody before you do them live.

[00:33:04] So that's why I do one-on-one coaching. So that's my passion business. I do one-on-one coaching with coaches and consultants really in service, service related businesses. The second one is I work with a bigger companies that are more, also in the service related business. Well, they already have a sales team and maybe they have two or three salespeople and they want to expand that team.

[00:33:24] Or maybe there's just hiring their first person because they don't want to do the sales anymore. I helped them actually build out their sales team, build out their sales processes, build out all the KPIs to manage their teams. Those are my two kind of businesses and that's kind of where I focus. Uh, all my time, the best way for somebody to kind of get in touch with me is just that my email address it's Joe, at joesulima.com.

[00:33:46] It's real easy. Um, again, you can find me on Facebook as well, and, you know, send me a message. And, uh, Joe Sulima is my Facebook page and I'm always in the process of, I'm actually in the process of updating my Facebook pages with some new content and things. [00:34:00] So if you're interested in sales, if you're interested in learning how to manage your team better, Uh, take a look at my Facebook information and you'll see a lot of great resources there and take it, use it, learn from it and implement it in your business.

[00:34:12] And I hope you make some money from some of my free contents. 

[00:34:17] Christina Hooper: And I will have links to all that, you know, down wherever you're watching this at on the internet and know we're publishing these podcast episodes out all over the place. So wherever you're watching it, there will be a link somewhere near the video.

[00:34:27] Um, so to wrap it up, do you have any final advice or tips? If anybody in our audience is looking at making a similar move out of that safety of the job and to the uncertainty of entrepreneurship?

[00:34:36] Joe Sulima: One I would say definitely do it. Don't wait anymore. It will never be a perfect time to do it. So you might as well just go ahead and do it now because times will never be perfect.

[00:34:45] But second, make sure you have that strong enough Why. Because as you go through some of the challenging times and you're like, geez, why am I keep doing this? I have a picture of my family. That's my Why, you know, my wife and taking care of my family. That's why I do it. That's why I go through the struggles.

[00:34:59] [00:35:00] And that's why I went through them when I started. Have to have that Why. And have a powerful enough Why, and that will pull you through those challenging times. And those are the two things I would say to any entrepreneur that's out there. That's trying to get their business started, or that are in the process.

[00:35:14] And they're not quite where they need to be. It's just keep going and have that struggle wine. 

[00:35:19] Christina Hooper: I love it. Absolutely. Awesome. Thank you so much for doing this today.

[00:35:22] Joe Sulima: Thank you.

[00:35:23] Christina Hooper: Um, entrepreneurs, this is your call to take action. Join our community at etatoday.zone and learn how to build a business that enables your lifestyle instead of taking over your life, until next time guys.

[00:35:49] Bye.

About Christina Hooper

I help you turn your Superpowers into Sales so you can build a business that enables your lifestyle instead of taking over your life. I'm also StoryBrand Certified Guide, BMS Certified Coach, and DigitalMarketer Certified Partner.

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