20150511_180808_resizedIn 1988 I first launched my training business as ExecutivEdge using the marketing slogan Local, Affordable, In-House Training.  It was an immediate success.  I offered in-house sales, customer service and management skills training to local businesses.  Over the next three years I conducted more than 600 group workshops.  Individuals began asking me for personal coaching long before the current coaching movement got started.  By my fourth year companies in other states were hiring me and I was sponsored as a keynote speaker by a drug manufacturing company to conduct continuing education programs at pharmacy conventions throughout the U.S.  This was the beginning of a long, enjoyable, rewarding – and interesting career.

As a child, I dreamed of being a teacher.  I excelled in public speaking through grade school, high school and college.  I was a finalist in a statewide high school public speaking contest (pictured above).  During my university undergrad years I took classes on communication, writing, persuasion and public speaking. Between ages 16 and 31, through high school, college and after college, I worked in a number of sales, customer service and management roles – giving me enough background to understand each position from both a practical and training perspective.

A huge influence was my first job after college.  I saw a newspaper ad hiring for a company that offered public speaking and self- improvement training and my heart jumped.  I KNEW that was the job for me.  The organization was the best known training company in the world, although training had yet not exploded into a multi-billion dollar industry.  During my two-years with the company I was mentored by some of the greatest teachers and sales professionals in the world (I’m still connected with Jim G. and Vic D. on LinkedIn).  That was really the key to my success – learning how to sell training.  Without that skill, my career would not have happened.  Having to sell training on a 100% commission basis was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

So, to answer question # 1, that’s HOW I got started.    Next question to come –How  do you get business?