Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Carole Mahoney, Founder of Unbound Growth, located in Shapleigh, ME, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Unbound Growth, a scientific sales development firm, eliminates the guesswork of how to hire the right salespeople and develop quota-busting sales teams using a cognitive behavioral approach that is driven by data that delivers predictable revenue.
We analyze and compare over 282 different sales attributes to design sales development programs for small, mid-size, and enterprise businesses that install the right mindsets, behaviors, and skill sets that align with how your buyers make decisions.
As a result, sales executives have cut their hiring times in half and achieved up to a 91% success rate with new hires, and lead their current sales teams to 130-160% of quota in less than six months with a 98% annual customer retention rate.
Tell us about yourself
I started my business during the Great Recession of 2007 after I was laid off from my corporate marketing job in finance. While I had a five-year plan to start my own consultancy, circumstances led me to do it in 6 months.
My first motivation was to replace my lost salary, there were no jobs, and I had a family to provide for. Eventually, when the economy turned around, I said no to job offers because I couldn't give up the freedom I had to make my own choices, schedule, and income. My family is still my primary motivator- but not just to be able to provide for them but to be the example to my kids that anything is possible.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My proudest moment was when Harvard Business School asked me to coach their Entrepreneurial MBA students in sales. For the past few years, I have learned as much from it as they have from me.
My most recent big accomplishment was writing my first book 'Buyer First' which is due out in Sept 2023 and is written for the business owner who sells or the salesperson in a company who has tried every methodology, process, tip, trick, and hack to get more clients and customers, but don't realize that it is their mindset towards sales that gets in their way.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a business owner is also the greatest thing - independence. You have the freedom to do what you want; no one tells you what to do, which makes it isolating when you aren't sure of what to do. As a business owner, it is a massive head game of self-doubt, imposter syndrome, and ADHD. Ironically, the very things that make it hard are what make it great.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Know what drives you to put your feet on the floor every morning. Write down a purpose-driven, meaningful goal, and put a timeline and action plan together.
- Find a supportive person or group to share it with and make yourself accountable.
- Practice self-care as if your life depended on it because it does. The better you take care of yourself, the better you can show up for others.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
When I first started my business, I had a strong disdain for sales and salespeople based on my previous work and personal experiences. Most of the struggles I had in my business in the early years were a direct result of that mindset toward sales. I would avoid what I needed to do because it was uncomfortable. My results changed as I did the personal work to shift my mindsets and behaviors. Embrace sales as something you do with other people, not as something you have to do to them.
Where can people find you and your business?
Learn more about me on LinkedIn.
Schedule a time to talk on my personal calendar here.
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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