Transforming beliefs and behaviors is key to unlocking personal and financial success. With the right decision-making skills, emotional self-regulation, and resilience, anyone can have the life they want, not just dream of it. For this episode, meet Joan Pastor, a highly acclaimed clinical psychologist with 28+ years of experience in coaching, leadership development, brain enhancement, emotional self-regulation, and career and financial success. Joan specializes in guiding people to make optimal decisions, change their attitudes and behaviors, increase resilience and innovation, and acquire practical coaching and mediation abilities for personal and professional growth. Today, Michelle Seiler Tucker interviews Joan about transformational thinking. They discuss how converting dreams to promises can help listeners attain their desired life. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from one of the best in the field. Tune in now!
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Joan Pastor PhD Transformational Thinking On Michelle Seiler Tucker’s EXIT RICH Podcast
Every episode, we bring you a unique, profound guest that adds tons of value to your personal life and your business life. This episode is going to be no different. In fact, it’s going to be exceptional because we have the one, the only, the famous Ms. Joan Pastor. She is an award-winning, highly compassionate, and results-driven clinical psychologist with decades of experience in diagnostics, assessment-based executive career, and organizational coaching, also all areas of leadership, brain enhancement, and emotional self-regulation. We all need that.
Joan also specializes in all areas of career and financial success, transforming the beliefs and behaviors and building resiliency and innovation. She works with introverted and extroverted leadership development. Her expertise is focused on the best decision-making. How many times have we gone back and said, “Why did I make that decision? What was I thinking?” She also focuses on not just the best decision-making but practical life business coaching and mediation skills for all of us.
Joan, you should be in the White House because the White House needs mediation skills more than anyone. Joan says, “You can have the life you want. It’s not just a dream, it can be a promise.” Welcome to the show, Joan. We’re so excited to have you. I need you to tell my audience that you and I became fast friends after meeting. I’m excited to have you on the show and I can’t wait to get into all of your golden nuggets and share your value and work the wisdom. Joan has been in this arena forever.
Let me just preface this. We’ve all heard of coaches, life coaches, and business coaches. In fact, we have a business coaching program where we help our clients in what we call the Road to Exit Rich to get your business ready to sell and maximize value, so you can build a scalable, sellable, and sustainable business. With Joan, she’s the real deal. She has more experience than probably most of these business coaches. She’s older than them, so obviously she has more experience. She has a lot of ways there and works with some of the biggest companies like Boeing. I’m sure she can mention a bunch of others, but she’s got an amazing reputation. You should fasten your seatbelt and learn from Joan. It’s going to be a fun ride. Let’s get ready. Welcome to the show, Joan.
Thank you so much. It’s good to see you, Michelle. You’re one of my favorite people. You know that.
I’ll make it to the favorite. I’m always striving to be better.
Not necessary. You’re already excellent as you are.
Thank you. People say, “We show you excellence,” and I think the reason why some people are excellent and some are not is because they have a higher level of standards. I have a very high level of standards. I want to dig into Ms. Joan Pastor and find out a little bit about her background because we all were little girls and little boys at one time. What was Ms. Joan like as a little girl? I can’t wait to hear this.
What was I like as a little girl?
How did you get into psychology?
How do I make a long story very short? There were a couple of things. You know how it is. It’s like a perfect storm. You have this event then that event and that event, and it all says the same thing. For me, my path became pretty clear by the time I was 10 or 11 years old. Part of it was because I was very fortunate. My father had one of the most successful electrical contracting companies out of Detroit and in the State of Michigan.
If you’re from Michigan, we wired the Renaissance Center, the Lincoln Tunnels, and a lot of famous places. It was great growing up in that because I would go to the office and I fell in love with business. I loved the business but I loved especially the people aspects of it. I’d not only take the structure of the business and how you bring in contracts and how you execute them but also how to accomplish a project and get good results.
My whole family, I was the youngest of three. My mom and dad all saw very early on that I had both business-knows and people-knows. A few women back then at my age got support from the family, let alone the fathers or the men. At that time, it was the men to the boys, but even my brother was supportive. I started early on having this affinity for not only business and how business gets successful but people. How do people get successful with and in and through business? I felt the two go together.
When I was eleven, the last little piece fell together. When Martin Luther King was assassinated, I was in the car driving with my folks and I was in the back seat. That’s where the kids were all the time. I heard on the radio something about this. My mom and dad were talking about it in a low voice because it was an assassination. I said, “What’s going on?” They explained to me what had happened. At that moment, something clicked for me.
I realized my interest in business and people. This was like, “How do people come to think like they would take that action? How do people see the reality that they would do something like assassinate another human being?” A human being that my parents told me because I didn’t know him at that time said he was a wonderful man. I decided then, I was very clear, that when I grew up, I wanted to understand not only how the mind worked but also how reality worked. For that, either go into religion, philosophy, or psychology. I did all three but psychology became the focus of my career, and I love it.
Did you decide that at the age of twelve?
I didn’t know what it was going to evolve into but I was pretty clear from that point on, then things continued to unfold for me into my teens and stuff. The other part of it was that up until about eighth grade, I would say shy, which I think I was but I was pretty introverted. I know that now because I enjoyed people but I got my energy from going into my brain and figuring things out. That’s a key sign of an introvert. I got much more energy from that. Now, through a lot of hard work over decades, I would say that I’m ambidextrous. I get more energy from people. I get more energy from you, Michelle.
I think I’m ambidextrous too. I told you I’m extremely extroverted. You could see I am and people can see I am, but I also have to have that downtime where I’m introverted. I don’t want to talk on the phone. I want my quiet time so I can reflect. Thank you for sharing your background and I will congratulate you on knowing what direction you want to go on so early in life and the great support you have with your family. I’ve got adult clients that don’t know what they want to do. It’s important to have that clarity.
One of the big reasons I wanted to have you on, not only are you my friend but you have a tremendous amount of experience in business, mergers and acquisitions, private equity companies, capital companies, etc. Most of our readers are business owners, existing business owners, some startups and always looking for great advice in business. I thought, “Who better than Joan to bring on?” I know you’ve had a lot of experience working with venture capital companies to build their startups. Can you share some advice? I know we have a lot of startups reading from all over the world.
That’s wonderful because I’m giving a talk on Global Cultural Diversity in Amsterdam in July 2023. Global Diversity is a key special interest of mine. Venture Capital, the way that started was funny. When I first started out way back when, there was no such thing as coaches. It wasn’t called coaching. My first work was with startups but we didn’t call them startups. We called them small businesses that needed funding and I just happened to fall into medical practices. Not so much psychologists like myself but like doctors because a lot of doctors and stuff don’t want to be business people. They’re bad business people.
I know. I have medical clinics and I work with a lot of doctors.
It’s not their cup of tea. They were delighted when they had somebody with a medical background that loves business and loves to grow them. I did a lot of that in my early years. I would have to say back in the 1980s and 1990s, then big projects and companies came along. I got away from it for a while, then it came back right before the pandemic. It was very interesting and I was very fortunate.
I finished a huge contract with a Fortune 50 company then the pandemic hit. Everybody was shutting down except startups. People who were back in the pandemic will know this. If they were doing a startup then, for some reason, we don’t know why but three things happened that were so odd. Nobody expected a pandemic. 1) The stock market soared. 2 and 3) Everybody wanted to buy and invest in startups. It was interesting because I had a client. I was very blessed. I had done a lot of work for the Department of Defense under the Clinton Administration. Not just in Clinton, especially in the Clinton Administration.
The person who was the deputy director of the National Security Agency had retired young, then he became a very successful venture capitalist. A partner with a very successful company that’s, to my opinion, one of the only incredible VC firms out there. There are a lot of people out there who call them coaches that are not. There are a lot of people out there that call them VC people that don’t know what they’re doing. There are a lot of startups that don’t know how to run a business. They have a technology or they’re a doctor.
That’s what happened. I got a call from my old client and his name was Bill. He said, “What are you doing?” I said, “I’m looking for work.” It was 2020, the beginning of the pandemic. He said, “I’ve got a job for you.” I said, “Great.” He said, “Have you worked with small companies before?” I said, “Yes, but long ago.” He brought me in. They referred me to one of their companies and had put in the initial investment, so series A was done but they weren’t sure that the chief executive team was going to be the right team or the best team, which turned out to be far from the truth.
It turned out to be an excellent team. It’s just that we had the CEO and the CTO, who were the two major people at that time. This was a technology that they were starting up and developing. It happened to be very brainy people but they were willing and open to learning. I went on and my job was to act both of them and to teach them all the ABCs of how to communicate and come across to build decks and to sell.
In such a way, it’s called collaborative selling, which is saying, “What is the benefit to the client? How do you talk about that in a very specific customized way to each client?” On top of that, each of them needed some work and wanted some work on their presentation skills. It’s not unusual. At that time, it was on Zoom. How do we talk to people about investing in our company? Both to clients and other VC firms, with the pandemic and we only having Zoom and all this, we started working together. Working with the CTO was different from working with the CEO because of the kinds of challenges that the CTO gets. He’s the tech guy. This was the technology that they were creating. When they had all the questions and were concerned about the technology, they went to the CTO.
He would get asked, “How come and how do you think?” We had to do a lot of conflict management training. How do you diffuse people who are trying to accuse you of not knowing what you’re doing and don’t understand the technology but they’re supposed to? Why should they spend money on you and all this? The CEO had a different purpose and that was he had to sell the whole vision. The purpose of the company and the vision. It’s not just what we worked on and what the product itself was going to do but who would be servicing and also the culture. He was very clear about the culture that he wanted to create and it was a great culture. It’s served him well. It’s served him well because it fits for younger generations and investors and he’s younger himself.
We worked together. It’s a time-intensive process, I coached them for six hours a month for a year and a half. After the first four months, PBS approached them to do a segment on one of their shows where they are like the spotlight for new and upcoming companies. Since I had worked in entertainment and had done some directing and stuff with documentaries before, they had me take charge of that project as well. That was a whole other piece that we did.
It was a lot of fun for me, especially but it was fun for them too. I got to teach them how to be in front of the camera and then how to talk, walk, and chew gum at the same time. At that time, everybody was wearing a mask. You couldn’t memorize and you had to be spontaneous. We were very pleased with what we came up with. It’s funny because it’s still relevant now. I don’t want to say how much money they have but a lot. They surpassed their goal for their Series B. I don’t know if they’re doing this Series C yet. I’m not sure they need to.
We’re in the weeds now. The readers tune in to specifics. They love stories and case studies but let’s show them some specifics. If there’s a startup wanting to start their business or let’s say they’re already a year or two in or they’re trying to raise venture capital and raise funds, what are the three biggest tips that you would give them? Starting with who is most important, second most important, and then third most important so they have some real takeaways here.
I’m going to put myself in the shoes of my VC clients. I have a couple of firms now that I work with and what they look for. First, not everything is a product in startups. Some of them are products with services but there’s usually a product. What is the product and does the product fit? It’s something that’s going to excite the market, move it forward, and people will be able to grab that and get that pretty quickly. First and foremost, what is it? That now these days is technology, so what is the technology that’s going to make an impact?Everything is a product in startups. Click To Tweet
I would assume, what is the USP or Unique Selling Proposition, and what is their market position? How competitive is their space?
Yes and no. There are two ways to look at that and this is important. Sometimes, we get VCs that say, “You’re the only one.” Certainly, what makes you unique in the market? Find out what everybody else is doing, then what are you doing that’s different and unique and is going to stand out in a positive way that pushes your product forward.
On the other hand, we found out because one of the companies that I’ve worked with is in a pretty competitive market. I used to be very active in the National Speakers Association. It’s where I learned my craft of speaking. I’ve done keynotes, training, and facilitation. One thing the founder of NSA, Robert Cavett, said, “The problem people have is that they think there’s only a pie and you have to keep cutting the pie smaller and smaller. When there’s a lot of people, you make a bigger pie.” In other words, if there’s a good product out there, being in a competitive market already tells people that the world is ready for it and they want it. It’s just a matter of how to position yours so it stands out.
It depends on what you’re doing. When you talk about a bigger piece of pie, Walmart is a bigger piece of the pie but trying to go into brick-and-mortar now, retail, etc. You got to service a nichè. You’ve got to have enough working capital. When I invest in businesses, which I do all the time, I look for that nichè. What’s unique and what’s different for them?
You did ask about the top three, and I want to give the other two very quickly but they’re critical. The second thing I would say that’s most important is that the executive team has to know. They have to be willing to learn and grow fast and have to be able to sell. To sell collaboratively, to sell by showing value, providing value, and how they’re going to do. We turned the strategy on its head, which leads to the third item.
The third critical thing is that there needs to be a good working relationship between the VC firm and the startup. What I see too much is that VC firms tend to buy, and I do not agree with this class. If they’ll do this, they’ll do smorgasbord. They’ll buy a bunch, throw money at it, then they’ll throw them out there and see who survives. It’s the survival of the fittest. The ones that are surviving on their own throw a little more money and the ones that aren’t, they lose them. They let them go.
That can be a risky game but I’ve got enough deep pockets. How much are they investing from the beginning? I’m sure it’s not a huge amount but I don’t like that strategy either.
It’s dumb. You’d be amazed how many VC companies do this and big VC companies too. They don’t care because then it becomes a write-off.
What’s their average spend? Is it $1 million per company? Is it less or more?
I think that a real key side is that if a VC company is interested, you’ve got to be able to show them through your product but also through your skills that you’re going to be able to get not only through Series A but also Series B and whatever series after that. Whatever is needed, there’s a point when it begins to snowball on itself and that’s what happened in the firms that I’ve had.
You get them going on how to talk about themselves and how to market themselves. That’s what I mean by selling. You also have to know how to shift your communication style. Even though the CEO might not deal with all the technical conflict issues that the CTO might get, at times, they’re still going to throw them at him. He has to know how to diffuse people who are upset and nervous and who are like, “No, this will never work. What proof do you have?” The third is there has to be a good working relationship with your VC folks and your investors. You have to be in alignment.
I agree with that. I invest in companies. I would add a fourth one there. Get your messaging right. Be able to articulate what you do and how you do it within a very short period of time because I’ve sat on the pitch deck similar to Shark Tank, and I’ve sat on a lot of other panels at different masterminds. I invest in businesses too. Joan, the thing that frustrates me is as I’m sitting there 35 minutes later, I still don’t know what they do.
You’ve got to be able to, in 5 to 10 minutes, narrow that down, get your messaging crisp, and be able to deliver what you do, how you do it, how it’s unique, and why the marketplace needs it. I’m walking out of some of these pitches and I’m like, “What did they do?” We’re so in the details and they need to be high-level. We need a high-level view. If we’re interested, then we’ll start those bigger conversations. I always say, “The devil is in the details,” then we’ll start this much higher level of conversations and get down into diligence but have your messaging down. Have it precise and crisp.
Michelle, I agree with you so much because sometimes I will take a company on. It’s not worth it. I don’t want to work with a failure. If the people are not open to learning, that’s critical but the first thing I have to look at is the deck. What is their current deck? I can’t tell you it blows my mind. Not just startups but I look at the messaging decks of even well-funded companies and I wonder, “How in the world did they get funding?” It had to be the charisma of the person or it had to be the project itself, which is the case often. I look at the messaging and I agree with you.
There are two different types of messaging. There’s copywriting, messaging on paper, then there’s the verbal pitch. I find that sometimes the paper is better than the verbal pitch. If you’re not a good pitch person, you should get somebody who is.
I agree. Either you need to develop those skills yourself or you can have someone in there that is going to be a representative.
The same thing with writing. We have Mitch on our team. I’m going to give a shout-out to Mitch. He’s brilliant at writing pitch decks, business plans, and things like that in our company. He is working with our clients now to write their business plans and their pitches because we are so good at it. He’s so good at it. I thoroughly recommend that. Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.
I would agree. Sometimes hire a strength besides yours because they might bring another perspective. You can have compatible strengths.
Also, research your competitors. I see so many entrepreneurs starting new companies and they have no idea what the competitive landscape is. If you’re going to go into business, you need to know your industry and that competitive landscape. It’s great to learn from your competitors. To me, sometimes, it’s even better to learn from companies that are not your competitors. Look and see how does Disney World do it?
I think Disney World needs an overhaul when it comes to organization. How does Disney World do it? How does Universal Studios do it? How does Priceline do it? How does Amazon and Apple do it? Look at some of these gigantic brands and learn from other companies and see what you can extrapolate and adapt and bring into your company.
Also, when you’re hiring, you want to consider. A lot of times technical people will hire other technical people and they don’t know how to hire someone who’s less technical. One of the biggest gifts is to be able to translate technical information into information that a non-technical person who has money can understand. A lot of times, I have to teach people how to translate techniques into everyday language. It’s hilarious because you and I, Michelle, we might talk from a business standpoint, how does this product or the service provide value? They get into the bits and the bytes and all this technical stuff and it doesn’t mean anything. You have to be able to not only know who your competitors are but also know how they’re translating their product and their service.One of the biggest gifts is to be able to translate technical information into information that a non-technical person who has money can really understand. Click To Tweet
Sometimes, I have to say during the pandemic, there were some buying and valuations of companies that were going on that were purely in motion. There were some companies that were bought. They got hyped up and that is something we have to look at now. More than ever, people have been buying on emotion, especially in the last few years. 2022 and 2023 are going to be interesting. I think people might be getting a little bit more realistic and down to earth in terms of where’s the economy go to.
I know something that they have always made, Joan. People don’t buy things. They buy people, number one. Number two, they buy an emotion, not a logic. Sometimes in the larger tech businesses, they’re using a lot of logic because they’re not going to run a check for $100 million without intense due diligence, QAVs, logic, etc. I find on the smaller businesses, it’s about emotions.
Even in big businesses. You said earlier when you were introducing me that I do believe that people can have the life they want. It’s funny because when you make it together with the client, one of the first things I’ll ask them at some point in the first meeting is, “If I had a magic wand and I’m your fairy Godmother, I could wave it and you could have whatever you want, what comes up for you over and over again? What are the things you want?”
It’s funny because a lot of times people want things that they also feel guilty about. You’d be amazed how many people have blocks to wanting a lot of money or money is less important but they want to have enough time with their family and how they can do that and run a business at the same time. They think it’s impossible. A lot of times, people don’t even know clearly what they want.A lot of times people want things that they also feel guilty about. Click To Tweet
That’s why I said it was so great that you knew at a very young age what you wanted. Sometimes I think we’re related. When you say you wave the magic wand, I do that for buyers, sellers, employees and partners. I’ve been doing that for decades. As far as I know, we’re related somewhere somehow.
It’s interesting because a lot of times, it’s not a practical answer but they had to go with what their vision is and that excites emotion. The emotion and vision go together. If you don’t feel it in your body, it’s okay if it’s a picture that you see because somewhere attached to the picture are your emotions. It’s important to begin to develop that clarity because I’m a strong believer that the clearer you get your vision, the details, and the focus, the clearer and faster things have a way of coming together. You have to commit to the vision. You have to be able to commit that this is what you want to do. A lot of times, we say we want it then when it starts to happen, we panic.
They panic from fear. I tell my clients, “You’ve got to get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” but they tend to panic. You have to have your why. I think that you and I should do another episode on clarity, on vision, and goals because I talk about my GPS Exit Model, where I tell my clients, “Not only do I want to sell your business now, you have to have a GPS Exit Model. You have to know your destination. You don’t get in a car without a GPS and start driving because you end up driving around in circles.”
You need to know your GPS Exit Model and where you’re starting from. Where are you currently located? What’s your time frame? We should have an episode just on clarity because that would help so many entrepreneurs and individuals as well to get crystal clear. That’s hard. I always say when you’re in your fog, it’s foggy.
I have a whole thing that I demonstrate around that. You and I think so much alike. I agree with you 100%. That’s all I can say.
We need to do that. Let’s recap the three things because sometimes people forget. What are the three things again that startups should do? The same bullet point, not the details.
Number one, product or service has to hit.
You’ve got to have a winning product or service, number one. Number two?
Something that people can get. Sometimes they didn’t know they needed it but once you tell them, they get it. it’s moving from plastic saran wrap to plastic baggies color coded.
I do that.
Number two is you have to know how to use what I call collaborative sales skills. Collaborative consulting, where basically you’re looking to see, “Is this company a good fit for our product, whether it’s a VC firm to invest in or a company that might want to invest or put some money in for your product?”
Acquire a percentage of the company. Number three?
I did have a third and probably the most important one of all, which is the relationship with your VC. I discovered a lot of times even the VC firms, I respect. They get so busy themselves. They’re not out there buying everything under the planet. They’re selective but they’re still so busy. They begin to lose phase.
Also, as part of my contracts, I often make sure that there are regular meetings or that part of my contract allows me to talk to both sides. Both parties, the startup, the CEO but also the partner who’s representing the VC so that I can make sure that each one feels they’re on the same page with each other. If there are some concerns and stuff coming up, I’ve got to know that I can either communicate on their behalf or I can bring the three of us together to discuss. That has worked so well. That has been so instrumental but it doesn’t take a lot of time either.
Number four that I added was to get your messaging right. Moving on a little bit. Kimberly had a question. I’m going to tweak this question a little bit. One of the key areas is coaching C-levels, owners, VCs, business owners, private equity, etc. How does a strong startup or existing business organization culture attract and retain top talent?
It has become critical.
How do they do it?
I’m trying to think of the name of the company. It’s an automobile company. They’ve started coming out with their own cars. One of my clients discovered it. He said, “This is the culture I want.” A lot of times, we might say it’s a Millennial culture but it’s not. People of all ages and generations enjoy this culture. People work long hours because they love it so much and they’re having so much fun. There’s time in there. You don’t have to prove all the time that you’re working. It’s about working smart and not so much hard but in the startup, you’re going to need both. You’re going to have to work smart and hard. There’s a lot of support and brainstorming together. This is a more collective organizational culture. Younger people, I would say all people, want their point of view heard. They want their input heard.
Even if it’s a silly comment, you’d be surprised. I’ve said many times, “Give me your silly, stupid ideas. I want the stupidest ones ever.” You’d be amazed how that can be a spark for somebody else in the group while they’re laughing. They go, “We can’t do that but what about that?” It’s called hitchhiking and brainstorming. You hitchhike much better and get much better ideas when you’re laughing and having fun than when you’re serious.
Be supportive of people’s ideas and sometimes some people aren’t better at good ideas than others. Everybody has their area where they can contribute good ideas. You want to find that and bring those out. In a couple of the cases, we’ve had people whom we weren’t quite sure what to do with them and where their best fit was in the company. Their personalities and ability to work with other people and if you ask them to do something, they got it done. It was so good that it was like, “We don’t know where we’re going to put you but we’re not letting go of you. We’re keeping you.” Eventually, you find a place where you’re like, “This is the place you fit where you can shine even more.”Everybody has their area where they can contribute good ideas. You want to find that and bring those out. Click To Tweet
I experience the same thing. You bring somebody in and you put them in this box that you think they’re going to fit best. You then start working with them and start getting another talent and their broad reach. I’ve done that and said, “You’re not this but you should be this because that’s where your skills and talents are.” I could tell that’s what they’re most passionate about too.
You’ve got to create that environment where people are comfortable bringing ideas or saying no to an idea. Maybe I present an idea and somebody says no to it. I know I listen. Not all CEOs are open-minded but I’m very open-minded. They might have a better idea, so I tell every CEO, “Listen to your team.” Not only listen to your team but if you’ve got a general service, ask them questions. Ask everybody from all levels questions as it relates to your company.
Not only that and I teach this. There’s a process I teach in decision-making that everybody who wants to should include their input and you have to be clear about who’s going to make the final decision. Sometimes it will have to kick up to the CTO or the CEO or someone right underneath them. Sometimes it could be a group decision. That’s where the executive team has to be clear with their people. A lot of people understand that. A lot of people don’t want to be responsible for the final decision because they know ultimately of expertise.
It’s like in our company. I’m the final decision but I take everybody’s input, and then make a decision from there.
It’s just when people feel heard.
Let me tell you, sometimes they get a lot of great ideas. I’m like, “You’re right, let’s do it that way.” I have a team member who says, “I’ve been doing this.” I’m like, “That’s great. How can we not communicate that with the rest of the team?” Sometimes they’ll have a great idea, but then they’re not communicating that. Only they are benefiting from that idea. You need to communicate and share people’s great ideas because a lot of team members have great ideas. They’re just not always comfortable sharing them because they feel that they’re going to be knocked down or rejected.
I tell you, Zappos does that very well. Zappos has a huge culture around employee input. Their motto is, “Create a happy experience.” Something about happiness.
I told this story, and it’s so funny because one of the ladies answered the phone and this happened years ago. She was like, “What can I help you with?” “I need pizza. I want to order a cheese pepperoni pizza.” She goes, “No, we’re Zappos.” She goes, “We know that.” It was her and a bunch of her friends and they were out. They’re at Santa Barbara or somewhere in California in one of those parks. They said, “We’re drunk. We need pizza. You’re the happy company. Make us happy.”
She looked at the lady’s name. She looked at the computer and found out that she was a good client. She’s like, “Where exactly are you? Hold on, please.” She calls a pizza place because that’s exactly what they order. She goes to the other line and says, “Your pizza will be there in ten minutes.” That’s empowering your people to make decisions, and I think that’s a culture that a lot of us should strive to get to, for sure.
You also said one of the things you specialize in and I think we already talked about this a little bit. How do you help your clients to maximize their relationships with the key investors and vice versa? You talked a little bit about that already but I would assume it’s a lot of follow-up, staying in touch, and updating them on what’s happening in the business. Would you agree to look at that?
First, one thing I’ve discovered is that it’s unique for every company. It’s not like I can say, “Do this one thing.” There are some general things, certainly. You have to be able to tailor or customize your message to the client. How you get the clients can vary widely. I’ve seen people get clients where they do these big meetings like 20 people from 20 different companies pitch their companies.
Most people don’t get anywhere with that but it’s still a good idea to do it because you get to practice your messaging and your communication skills. You get used to how you come across on camera or in front of an audience or whatever. Generally, a lot of it is targeted. You have to be very clear about who is the demographic that you want to go after. Who’s this product going to serve? Who are the companies that are the companies that would make this product or would benefit the most if the product was made? You can go after them. A lot of times, they can also recommend you to investors that specialized in their arena. I got to tell you, a lot of it is networking.
That’s how you and I met, networking.
It’s who you know and who you know. It’s one of the things that I’ve done with the VC firms, and a lot of times, different partners. You might have seen big VC firms where there might be a number of partners, say 4 or 5, then there are people that are secondary partners. They all have their own portfolio companies. I’ll get to talk to them and I’ll find out that a partner who has nothing to do with the company I’m working with but they have people that they know come from a background that they would probably know investors that specialize in the area of the company that I’m working with. I’ll pick right up as the consultant. I’ll say, “Good, who are they?”
It’s like, “Here you are partners in this company, the same VC firm but everybody acts like it’s their own independent business, which is fine.” You’re an entrepreneur in a VC firm with your own portfolio. They help each other. You’ve got to talk to each other, the partners, and you’ve got to share who your clientele is and who your network is. It’s interesting because you would think that that would be done naturally. It also is interesting how many people in VC firms happen to be men. Men tend to do things on their own. They put their blinders on and they’re successful techies. It’s like, “We’re going to do it ourselves or whatever.” They don’t think about asking for help.
There’s been a number of times where I have had to say to other partners, “I just spoke with so-and-so and they’re looking for so-and-so.” They’ll go, “Yes.” It’s funny because they will think and they’ll go, “I do know somebody that might be like that.” It’s the partners within their own firm cross-referencing with each other. It’s hilarious.
You get that especially when the partners are all very successful, powerful, and strong in their own right when they came on. They tend to be used to. It’s the same problem you have in big companies. The higher you go in the company, you got there because it was your own resilience and strength or whatever you get up there then you forget. I do have people here that I could maybe develop relationships with and network that are not going to try to sabotage me. They would be a mutual benefit to everybody.
I agree 1,000%. I think a lot of individuals and entrepreneurs don’t even know how to network in a mastermind or different conferences and meetings that they attend. For me, I’ve always said that it’s not always who I’ve met. It’s who they know, who their circle of influence is.A lot of entrepreneurs don't even know how to network in a mastermind or in different conferences and meetings that they attend. Click To Tweet
That is why if you’re a startup, it’s okay to contact a potential investor that might not be quite in your area because most likely they’ll come back. I have a VC person who only specializes in medical technology. He was a doctor. He hasn’t practiced in a long time but he knows medical. He’s done extremely well with medical technology and medical inventions and interventions. It’s interesting because if you come to him and you say, “We’re doing this technology that’s going to transform food.” Food is related to health but it might still not be close enough. He might say, “No, that’s not my thing.” The next question out of your mouth would be, “Do you know of any other investors that are in the cross-section of medicine, food, and nutrition?” You have to put it out there.
One of the things I wanted to bring up, which I find so interesting and we don’t have a whole lot of time left but when you and I first talked, you were pretty big with Boeing and some other big companies.
A lot of big clients, like Pepsi Cola, Coca-Cola, Boeing, Nordstrom, and BB&T, which is now Truist Bank, which is huge in the Southeastern part of the United States. A lot of governments.
What I thought was most interesting and I want to go back to you is you said specifically at Boeing that you specialize in training introverts. I thought, “That’s so interesting.” I have one introvert on my team and I’m like, “I didn’t even know you could train introverts.” People are extroverted but you have this method that you use to get them out.
There’s a lot to go as people know but it’s a chain with Boeing because there are amazing, fabulous people in that company. I’m not going to get into the time but I should do a TED Talk or maybe when I’m much older, I can write a book, a paper, or something on how this all happened to Boeing because it’s what happens.
Organizations, if they have certain factors that come in, develop certain kinds of cultures. If you’re not a being or put on safeguards or boundaries on certain areas and some things run amok then other people react. Everything in the world is around balance. If some part of a company gets out of balance with certain people or a certain type or their thinking becomes limited and too extreme in one way, there’s always an automatic reaction to the opposite end. The life seeks to balance things out. The balance since Boeing got a little bit out of whack as every organization and every culture.
The pendulum swung from this end all the way to this end and a lot of stuff began to come out at once. It’s interesting. Let me say, this is a more spiritual philosophical thing but I see it a lot when it comes to organizational growth and cultures. What they have with Boeing is that a lot of times, we go back to vision. “What is it that you want?” They go, “This is what I want. I’m clear about it.” I go, “Are you sure?” They go, “Yes.” Once you commit, the universe will do everything in its power to support you.Once you commit, the universe will do everything in its power to support you. Click To Tweet
That also means that the things that getting in your way before, you’ve got to look at. If this has been your vision, how come you’re not already there. What happens is you have the stuff that has not been working often comes out into the open because you have to see it for what it is so you can get rid of it, transform it, make other decisions, or whatever.
You’ve become aware of not all the strengths but of the stuff that has been holding you back. Boeing had made a big commitment back at about 2014 to 2015 to transform their vision. It was interesting because it brought about a lot of good stuff that also brought a lot of stuff that had been buried underneath to the surface. It happens in families and in us as individuals when we are moving from one place and we want to move to the next level in our growth. What’s been stopping us in the first place? Whatever has been stopping us is going to most likely begin to emerge. It doesn’t have to be a horrible thing but things will come up that need to be addressed.
A lot of baggage is holding people back and they don’t realize it because they’re operating in the conscious and it’s all back here in the subconscious. They’re not paying attention to it and they make decisions from triggers and their baggage and they keep self-sabotaging it.
They do. It happens in a lot of companies, believe me. It’s a very hard thing to see because, after a while, you’re breathing contaminated air like it’s orange but you don’t even realize that orange is abnormal anymore. It seems the norm. Now you asked about introverted people and training them. I have discovered a process. I discovered it through my own work and also through the work I’ve been doing at Boeing. We are in the process of looking to see how we can take this. As I said, there are a lot of excellent people there who do want to collaborate and they do what’s best for the company, for the people in the company, for the clients, and the customers.
They’re as upset and angry about everything that’s happened as the world has been with stuff that’s happened in Boeing. A lot of times, you have a culture that’s aerospace. It’s going to be primarily engineering. There are a lot of people who came out of the military then there’s also a lot of IT. Everything these days in companies is technology-driven and AI-driven. You’ve got what I call technically trained professionals.
You put scientists in that category and finance people. My dissertation even found a correlation between the careers that people choose and the way that this introvert versus extrovert factor. The Research has shown that people are more introverted with communication skills. They would say they’re poorer. I wouldn’t say they’re poor but they’re different and be a way for people to be able to have a common language.
A common language that speaks in terms of a win-win. What ultimately is going to work that’s best for everybody? That’s what we want to shoot for. There’s a way not only to teach people. The first thing I tell when I get in front of engineers, IT people, and technical people is, “People are logical too. I’m going to teach you people skills. I’m going to teach you how people think, how people function, how people work, why they do what they do, and what you can do in response.”
There are some critical skills that if you get those down, they’re foundational. It will increase your chances of not only you being heard but also, they’re going to feel that you’re hearing them. That begins to build a different foundation and people are very excited. I also come from a place of accountability that ultimately, there’s only one person that shows up at any given moment, which is ourselves.
People are trying to run away from themselves and they’ll always be there.
Wherever you go, there you are. I think that it’s important to know that the results that show up around you, at some point, you could say, “It’s because of this. They did that to me and that didn’t happen.”
They’re playing the victim card or they’re still living in the past. They haven’t moved past it. That’s why I love Joyce Meyer so much because she’s identified it, moved past it, and not let it control her future. She talks about it openly. We are out of time, Joan. Any last-minute go-to nuggets you like to leave entrepreneurs or startups existing?
A couple of things. The two biggest things that you need to know to become a master in your own life are learning to listen and learning to learn. Those are the two biggest ones.
Learning to listen, which a lot of people think they’re good listeners and they’re not, and learning to learn. I have a new hire in my office and he says, “I’m loving learning to learn.”
To be successful in business, you have to love learning to learn. You’re going to have to deal with people, not just technology or whatever the product or whatever. It’s service driven, then you have to learn how to deal with the technology or as you said, Michelle, hire for your weaknesses. The people who love that stuff are good at it.
You don’t want to hire the same people. You don’t want to hire you and have all the same. You won’t ever grow that way.
No, I would say that in terms of revision, persistence is key, errors are going to come up, mistakes are going to occur, stuff is going to come and push down that you have to deal with. Know that and don’t give up. If it doesn’t work, try something new. Learn from what didn’t work and what did then try something new. The other thing is to know that you always have a choice. Sometimes it’s hard to make certain decisions.
I’ve had very successful people who started out with, “I want millions of dollars and all this stuff.” As they start getting all that, things start happening in their families. They start paying more attention there and they go, “I’m doing well financially now. I need to take a step back. I want to spend time with my kids. I want to make sure that I’m there while they’re growing up.” I’m not going to come back to wanting more money or whatever. Maybe there’s a way to have both at the same time. We can put that out there. You unfold and you change your values and what’s important to you continue to unfold and grow. It’s all good. Learning to trust your heart as well as your head is very key.
Joan, you’ve been an amazing guest. I would love to have you back on the show. I would love for the audience to give some suggestions that they would like Joan to talk about in the next episode. Send me your suggestions. She can talk about so many different things, M&A, when we go to sell a business, a merchitude, cultures, how to handle that, how you get everything that you want, the vision, the clarity, why most people don’t get it, and why some people do. Many different subjects she can talk about, so I encourage everyone to go and plug that. We’ll look at them and we’ll have her on again. Joan, thank you so much. How can readers get in touch with you?
My website is JoanPastorPhD.com and you can contact me through there, but the best way to communicate with me is through LinkedIn. Make sure when you go there, you’re putting in for Joan Pastor, PhD, Executive Advisory Services. The reason why I say the PhD is not only because I worked hard for those three little letters, but if you don’t put the PhD in there, there’s a cute guy in Brazil somewhere.
All our female readers are going to go research Joan Pastor without the PhD.
Thank you so much for being on the show. You added so much wisdom, so much value, and gave us different things to think about. I always say, and I didn’t say this but you know the saying, if you want different results, you’ve got to change your direction. It’s the same results, keep doing the same. 70% of business owners that have been in business for ten years or longer are going out of business. It used to be startups at great risk, not to existing businesses because they stopped doing what I call AIM, which is Always Innovate and Market.
Thank you so much for being on the show, Joan. We will have you back on. I can’t wait to hear everybody’s ideas of what they would love to hear you speak about. Thank you again to all my Exit Rich audience. Make sure you share this with your friends, your family, your co-workers, peers, or your entrepreneurial network. Knowledge is power, implementation is key. It’s what I always say. Make sure you get the message out there.
Michelle, I want to put a shout-out to you. Everybody, she knows her stuff. If you thought this was a good conversation, it has as much to do with the interviewer as it does with the interviewee. I want to give you a lot of credit, Michelle. I think you’re the real deal.
Thank you so much. I don’t like fakes, so I’m the real deal. Thank you again, Joan. I appreciate that. Until next time, we’ll see you all on the next episode.
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