Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jeffery Villegas, CEO of The Sales Rebellion, located in Orlando, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Sales Rebellion is a sales coaching, and development platform focused on changing the stereotype of sales through creative sales outreach and community-minded servant leadership. Our clients are Rebels… They're individual contributors and B2B sales teams who are looking to implement creative sales approaches and build thriving sales cultures.
Tell us about yourself
I've pretty much always been a Rebel... When I was 16, I flunked out of college and started chasing fleeting dreams, which I allowed to lead me to extremely dark places. These experiences hurt me and put my future in jeopardy. I allowed the world to tell me what it meant to be successful. I let the world tell me what was worth pursuing. Long story with many twists and turns... When I turned 32, I graduated Summa Cum Laude in the top 2% of my class with a Bachelorette award and special honors from the faculty. I double majored in International Affairs and Communication Studies with a specialization in Organizational Communication and Leadership. All the while launching the Sales Rebellion. Ultimately, my own personal experiences with transformation and personal development are what drive me to help others who are on the same journey.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a business owner, my proudest accomplishment has been building a business with a culture that prioritizes people in all we do. We focused on our mission and core values. We focused on building genuine connections with people and serving our community. And we focused on creating an amazing experience for our clients and our employees. We believed the rest would take shape. It has taken an immense amount of intentional leadership and learning, but I believe these things are required for building a thriving organizational culture where people feel valued and heard.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Since the Sales Rebellion began, we prioritized people, culture, and community. For 4 years, we've been on a mission to change the stereotype of sales. We've survived the pandemic, experienced basically 100% employee turnover, and made it through an enormous internal leadership transition. In all the hurdles that have arisen, I can tell you plainly that the number one challenge we've experienced is balancing the mission with financial sustainability.
When short-term needs create pressure, it can be very tempting to make a sacrifice in honor of the balance sheet. In fact, there's an opportunity to trade out your mission for a quick fix or a shiny object at pretty much every turn... Staying true to the mission is the real flex.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Cultivate strategic partnerships: Networks are one of the most important structures ushering us into the future. The value of strategic partnerships with other organizations that share your mission or core values cannot be overstated. These partnerships should generate revenue, reduce costs, or expand the reach of the mission.
- Track and communicate impact: In the same way that we would measure the lifetime value of a customer or gross margin, we can measure the impact that we are having on people's lives. QR codes, webpage conversions, click-through rates, and surveys can all be used to develop a clearer picture of the ROI or Return On Impact. Being able to communicate impact transforms your brand's position in the marketplace.
- Focus on long-term sustainability: You need a vision for sustainability across all areas of the business. Sustainability comes from creating independence through internal processes and making investments in infrastructure. These will help to protect the organization in the natural VUCA environment that the world is heading into.
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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