Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with John Livesay, Founder of The Pitch Whisperer, located in Austin, TX, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Many sales teams in tech and healthcare, like those at Olympus Medical and Bausch+Lomb, came to me because they were tired of coming in 2nd place when they pitched to win new business. They were just seen as a commodity. They were pushing out facts that nobody remembered and were on a self-esteem roller coaster which caused them to burn out. I know how painful this can be because I was on it.

Having won salesperson of the year at Conde Nast and written four books on the power of storytelling as a sales tool, my keynote talk is the perfect combination of inspiring and actionable takeaways to get sales teams to win more sales.

After working with me, sales teams win without feeling pushy, and storytelling becomes part of their culture. One client said, "We won 3 new business pitches in a row after your talk." Clients find they not only win new business but do it by tugging at heartstrings that get people to open purse strings. Your team can become the one that tells the best story, wins the sale, and literally become revenue rockstars.

Tell us about yourself

What motivates me each day is helping sales teams tell better stories to win sales. When people become black belts in storytelling, they not only win more but get off the self-esteem roller coaster of only feeling good if they do win.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is giving my TEDx talk, "Be The Lifeguard of Your Own Life," which has over 1M views. The feedback that the impact my talk had on helping people embrace disruption vs. fearing it is wonderful for creating demand for me as a sales keynote speaker.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The hardest thing about being a business owner is to not take rejection personally. When you let go of your fear of rejection, you are more resilient and successful because you no longer look outside yourself for acknowledgment.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Start a podcast and interview potential or existing clients to create rapport and find out what they need. You are creating regular content while giving potential clients PR. My podcast, The Successful Pitch, has over 450 episodes and is heard in over 60 countries.
  2. Don't try to boil the ocean. Pick a niche and be known for one thing. I'm known as The Pitch Whisperer, who helps salespeople stop coming in 2nd place by teaching them how to tell stories that are compelling.
  3. Focus on your own progress, and you win! Stop comparing yourself to others and focus on improving your own offerings and skills.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

You don't take getting a red light personally when you drive your car. Don't take a red light or a no personally in business. No now does not mean No forever.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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