Mandi Graziano is self-proclaimed practical joker who has spent her career in sales. She has worn many hats, managing sales, events, marketing and accounts in the hospitality business. For the past 14 years she has helped others achieve success in this arena, as a coach and public speaker. Mandi is currently involved with two companies: Facetime Coaching Company, her longtime consulting business, and HPN Global, where she is Vice President of Global Accounts.
And because Mandi has boundless energy, she's recently published a book! Sales Tales: The Hustle, Humor, and Lessons from a Life in Sales is a collection of witty and informative business stories culled from her career. It provides honest, entertaining and helpful tips and strategies on how to build a sales career or business. This week we caught up with her, and asked a few questions.
What has been the most exciting or rewarding part of owning your own business?
Wearing PJs to work, working out when I want, seeing entrepreneurs actually implement the plans we discuss and watching them flourish and grow.
What motivated or inspired you to start your business?
I wanted to help people start or grow their own business. Many entrepreneurs don't have someone to hold them accountable or help them grow. I serve as a satellite director of sales or "boss" to help keep them moving toward the direction they want to be.
What is something you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
Don't hire a company in trouble. Dig deep into their situation before taking them on if you feel any pink flags.
What has been your company's “AHA!” moment?
I have those every day. I learn from my clients and get AHA's all the time...My brain operates on a constant search for an AHA moment. I am open to them and always seeking. I just had two about an hour ago. I am sure I will have a couple more between now and Friday:)
Do you have items, photos or mementos on your desk that inspire you each day?
YES. I have the Plain Dealer article that says BELIEVE IT--and a pic of Lebron James when he FINALLY brought Cavs a champ trophy, I have a black and white photo that says Purpose, I have a letter my mom wrote me several years ago on National Women's Appreciation Month that says, "Always trust your gut, it's the most valuable compass you've got", I have a pillow case tacked to my board that a client got me that says "Best [redacted] Author Ever." I have a picture of a woman with a View Finder--to remind me to always, always look for solutions and possibilities.
Do you have any advice for other women who are getting started in business?
Just start. Dip your toe in the water. If you have a little voice that becomes a big voice -- listen to it. It won't go away. If you don't take action, that voice will haunt you forever.