When I was growing up, I made several life decisions that have been principles I’ve followed throughout my life. I decided that . . .
- I was meant to be in New York (City) and have a powerful impact in the world, to really make a difference.
- In whatever I was doing in life, I wanted to always be challenged and growing, and to experience life fully. Since then, I’ve consciously put myself in new situations to keep growing. (Yes, it was uncomfortable.)
- I wanted to be able to talk with anyone about something substantive, no matter what their area of expertise, their career, where they came from, where we were or the situation. Good, interesting, thoughtful conversations have always been important to me.
- I would travel and live around the world.
- I’d meet and fall in love with a sailor.
I’ve accomplished all these, with some interesting detours along the way.
And orchestrated several career changes – from corporate sales top producer to selling skills consultant and advisor (selling to, and working for and with Fortune 500 and 100 companies), to author, to social selling and social media expert, thought leader and media authority (ABC, CBS, Fox News and CNN). I’ve mastered the change process and creating the confidence that goes with it. Every time I made career changes and took steps to advance my career, I realized that part of making BIG changes is expanding my courage, being confident (even if I didn’t always feel it), and being uncomfortable (again and again). My official bio is below.
Living and working overseas in Europe and Asia were also part of my life — near Nurnberg, Germany; London, UK; Okinawa, Japan; Rotterdam, The Netherlands – and traveled in all the countries surrounding those countries. Learning the languages to a conversational level made a huge difference in my experiences there. I also joined my husband Gus and a friend in the Caribbean when they sailed from New York to South America in Gus’ 41’ sailboat Wolftrap. (I’m a city person, and couldn’t bring myself to unplug from New York for a year). Some of us aren’t meant to do only one thingnin life.
It was a cycle: Take on a new challenge, settle in, achieve what the role required, be less challenged, more comfortable. Time for a new challenge, new role and bigger impact. Take on another challenge — this time building confidence in a new area and showing confidence whether I felt it or not. Settle in, achieve what the role required, grow less challenged, more comfortable (again). New challenge. Grow. Bigger impact. (again). Repeat.
Did I always have confidence and courage to do these things? No.
I learned how to create the confidence and courage. That’s what I show my clients now.
The Social Selling Challenge
And I took on the challenge when social media changed the world of selling and buying. I noticed my own challenges and how sales was changing. And I interviewed business owners and sales executives about their challenges. I found that the challenges were in 5 primary areas. So I created The Social Selling Blueprint and wrote my second book The New Social Selling Revolution with the solutions to those challenges.
Now after many years of experience taking clients and businesses to the next level plus teaching and guiding them to increasing their sales, I bring everything I’ve learned to my clients. This brings together my loves of science, art, creativity, design, orchestrating complex projects (on short deadlines), business, my insatiable curiosity, and my drive to make a positive difference. I’ve always been an early adopter of technology. And looking ahead at what’s beyond Social Selling.
If you want to bring me into your company, it’s my pleasure, and I’d be honored. And let’s talk. Let’s explore if it’s a good fit to work together, and the best workshop, coaching program (groups and 1:1) and masterminds for the outcomes you want.
Other things you may not know about me:
I’ve achieved many of the life goals I set early in my life. More are yet to come.
I’ve lived on our boat Wolftrap and commuted to midtown Manhattan from Stamford, CT part-time for several years.
We have a home in the Hudson Valley near Woodstock, NY (the famous festival was not held there). It was our week-end home for many years. I love the beautiful sunrises and sunsets we see from our deck.
I was a top producer in a company based in Manhattan where my sales territory was called “Midwest” and included Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico and the Dakotas. I redesigned the sales presentations to fit the cultures, from the 30 seconds you have in New York to get someone’s attention (and they buy that fast, too) to another city where they don’t do business until you talk politics and sports, and a state where they’re used to working by phone more than in person.
The first time I was laid off, the company told me that they had to lay off several people in that office, and chose me “because of all the people in the office, I was the most likely to find something else” (yes, really).
On 9/11, I was getting ready to travel to a client in Hartford, CT (Cigna) rather than going to our offices on the 93rd floor of the World Trade Center.
I paint watercolors and make hand-painted greeting cards and send them to people who have changed my life in a positive way.
I lived in London, and worked as a Speech Pathologist in a hospital in the East End (Cockney London), working with people who had had strokes, teaching them language again. One of the administrators was concerned that my clients would learn American English and develop an American accent because I was an American. (They didn’t.)
I’ve written two books on social media and social selling.
I love bluegrass music, bluegrass and Irish music festivals, and sitting on boats and wrap-around porches peacefully overlooking the water
I believe many people are settling for a comfortable, mediocre life – for many reasons, including not knowing what to do differently, not having the courage and confidence to make a change, not knowing about the “Crabs-in-a-Barrel Theory” and how it derails change, and wondering if the life of their dreams “will work”. I found myself in that situation more than once, and remembered my “life decision” at an early age to always be challenged and growing. I created the courage and confidence to make the changes. And now I am blessed to help other people do the same.
There’s a saying — “When one door closes, another one opens.” It doesn’t work that way. In between, there’s a Hallway — and it’s the Hallway that’s tough. I help my clients move through that Hallway with S.P.E.E.D.!
Jan Wallen Bio
Jan Wallen has orchestrated several career changes – from corporate sales to selling skills consultant and advisor, to author, to social selling and social media expert, thought leader and media authority.
She has given over 100 presentations and trained more than 1,000 professionals and salespeople at all career levels and technology experience — showing them how to get more clients and advance their careers. Jan’s style is engaging, encouraging and positive. She has endless patience, using the best practices methods for professionals and executives to learn. Jan’s presentations are interactive, with plenty of time for questions.
Because of her up-to-date knowledge and areas of expertise, Jan’s professional advice and expertise are sought after and sourced by publications and media including: NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox News, Business News Daily, the Business Insider, Shelley Palmer Blog, LinkedIntelligence, Entrepreneur Podcast Network, iCANny’s webcast , and radio shows including Into Tomorrow and BlogTalk Radio (Lead Generation and Prospecting), Significant Business Results (The New Social Selling Revolution), Smart Women Talk Radio (Turn your Connections into Clients) and Radio Jobline (Social Media for your Job Search).
Jan is a SCORE Certified Mentor and Counselor, and Board Member-at-Large at Lifetime Learning Institute at Bard College.