We’re pleased to have a friend of the team on the podcast this week, Scott Leese. In this episode, Scott brings amazing insight into how he dealt with serious health issues and used his motivation to climb the ladder in his sales career, as well as how you can replicate his process. Not just that, Scott has some interesting ideas on how you can find your sweet spot and the part of the market that suits you best. Stay tuned if you want to find out how Scott worked out where his strengths are best utilized, so you can do it too.
In This Podcast You’ll Learn:
Climbing The Career Ladder From The Bottom
Appreciation Vs Ambition
Follow the podcast:
Subscribe on iTunes.
Subscribe on Spotify.
Scott Leese: You know, I think it was honestly survival instinct more than anything. And it was the first time that I learned and figured out I need very small micro goals. Right. It was a huge mistake to try to think like, okay, when am I going to get out of the hospital? Or when, when is this sickness going to go away? Right. It needed to be, how do I get through the next hour? Cause then I know the doctor’s going to come talk to me and I can get an update. Yeah. How do I get through the next a block of time before I can have my next dose of medicine or whatever. Right. How do I get through till tomorrow because tomorrow, there’s a particular procedure we’re going to try. So, you know, it’s really, really important in goal setting too.
Have a big huge audacious goal. Right? But you’ve gotta be able, I think to show progress and that, that progress reinforces that you’re on the right path.That you’re succeeding. And I’m somebody who has typically had a hard time in my life feeling like I’m making progress until the pay off is there. That was the first time in my life where I was able to focus on these more, you know, small scale kind of goals. And I think that combined with the survival instinct is really what kept me going, you know?
Climbing The Career Ladder From The Bottom
John Barrows: So you’ve been through a lot in your life, what kept you moving at the low points? Especially through the health issues, it’s hard to think of anything else when your health isn’t right.
Scott Leese: I’m on two different minds about this. Number 1, there’s nothing more humbling than being on top of the world and suddenly being dropped to the bottom When I was playing professional soccer, I’m six foot two, I, I weighed probably about 190 pounds and you know, in a span of two months I weighed about 140. I couldn’t move from the hospital bed to the restroom without assistance. So I had humility thrust upon me.
Luckily I think for me, I accepted that particular lesson. I don’t know that I’m special in that regard, but, it would be a shame if you go through something like that and you don’t have a bit of a different perspective. So I was already humbled. I have nothing. I am nothing.
Feeling like I’ve got to build this thing from scratch. So that’s the first piece to answer to your question. The second piece is that I did not fancy myself as a front line worker, a front line thinker, a frontline leader, if you will. And so I needed to move up the ladder as fast as possible. And this is an important thing because I took steps backwards financially, time and time again. So not just to get into sales, I was a number one sales rep in the company. I moved backward because I wanted to be a sales manager. I was making good money as a sales manager and moved a bit backward to become a senior sales manager.
So I left a senior sales manager role to take my first VP of sales role at a tiny little company where I had no guaranteed commissions or we didn’t have a product hardly built yet, right? Then I left that gig and went to another VP of sales gig, right? So every time I made all these bets on myself, right? And then I finally got a VP of sales gig that gave me equity.
Well then I left that game that was doing really well and I got a bigger salary and more equity. But I had to start all over from scratch. So I kept being willing time and time again to go a step backwards or to knowing that the reward later on would be larger.
Appreciation Vs Ambition
Scott Leese: Well, I think there’s a difference between appreciation and wanting to do even better. If I got deep into my psychological background, I’d be thinking to myself you might have an issue walking away from that or going after something bigger and better than that. Because if you might view it as a little bit disrespectful or not showing appreciation to where you came from. I don’t think those two things have to be mutually exclusive.
I think you could be extremely grateful for the upbringing you had and the opportunities that you had and some of the people that you grew up with while also being like, how can I elevate this whole group from where we are now to this next level? And how can I elevate myself? How can I give my kids and even better opportunity and a more stable home than what I came from?
I’m not saying it’s easy by any stretch of imagination, but I just don’t think that they need to be mutually exclusive. I appreciate my parents and everything that they did and the stability that they provided for me, they kept me financially above water, through my health issues and all this kind of stuff. I love them and can never repay them back for that.
But my mission since I got started on this is I’m trying to change the game financially for myself and for my kids and my wife and the next generation. And I’ve been trying to elevate friends around me for 15 something years now. You know, I give Richard Harris sh*t all the time because Richard is somebody who, you know, he’ll tell you too. This is not really putting him on blast, but like I will outwork him.
I am more ambitious than he is. I am more competitive than he is. And so I push him a little bit and you know, he pushes me to calm down and take care of myself a little more, which I need. And so there’s good balance there. But uh, I am, I guess my point is that I appreciate everything I have, where I came from. I also want more, I want to provide more for other people, especially those closest to me. And I don’t feel guilty about that. I do practice gratitude.
Not as much as I should, but the answer is yes. So for a few years now, my wife and I do this exercise where we write down all our accomplishments for this particular calendar year. And then write out all the goals that we have for the next year. I try to make a point to reach out and thank those people around me.
I try and offer my time for free, stuff like emails, phone calls, text messages, introductions to people just to help them out. I got provided opportunities even to get the sales job for the first time and I get to give those opportunities back to people. So that’s my way of showing gratitude is to try to give as many people the opportunity that I’ve had.
That’s a wrap. Join us next time
If you made it this far, you’re the best. Thanks for reading and listening to this podcast. We hope you gained a ton from it and will listen in next week too. Don’t forget to check out our recent podcast episode highlights too.
If you have some feedback for us, connect on LinkedIn. And don’t forget to share the podcast on social media.