By Mandy Holmes
Photos by Claudia Johnston
As an international best-selling author, Jonathan Whistman is helping business leaders gain a powerful advantage that transforms their organization one relationship at a time. On top of that, his passion for adventure is undeniable. From backpacking to traveling by motor home, the explorer’s childhood began as anything but typical.
Growing up as one of eight children, Whistman’s childhood was anything but standard. Raised in central Washington on a fruit orchard, his family was intertwined with a religious cult that kept him sheltered from the community which deeply contributed to his worldview until his late 20s when he broke free.
“The catalyst for leaving was when my son was born 4.5 months premature and the doctors insisted that in order for him to have any chance to survive, he would need a blood transfusion,” Whistman recalls. “This was something the cult viewed as an unforgivable sin. It was this crisis that forced me to understand the difference between belief and how those beliefs play out in our life. Fortunately, I made the cut off from my family and it was many years before they would follow me out, gain their freedom and we could reconnect.”
Because of this unique experience, he has come to understand how beliefs form and the process of changing beliefs that don’t serve a person well.
In addition to writing The Sales Boss: The Real Secret to Hiring, Training, and Managing a Sales Team, Whistman is the founder of the boutique sales consulting agency, The Sales Boss Consulting Group which focuses on helping companies increase their revenue through a focus on the sales team and sales processes.
“Fundamentally, this [similar to my childhood] is the same challenge faced by companies, founders, CEOs and others that lead teams. They have beliefs, some of which they don’t even identify as beliefs because they’ve held them for so long; beliefs that need to be re-examined or changed in order to move their business forward,” he says.
His experience in doing this himself and facing the insecurities of the process has helped him guide other business owners through the often times difficult process of change.
Whistman stumbled upon The Sales Boss business idea thanks to the successes of other business ventures. Friends and colleagues asked him for assistance with their companies to improve sales and he found that he excelled in the area of consulting.
“I tend to be able to go into a complex setting and quickly see the 5% change that can be made that accelerates revenue,” he explains.
With every new client, Whistman watches his business evolve and what started out as a one-man show has grown into a team of six with the demand to grow. The force that drives Whistman is the fact that he is helping businesses help their families and contribute to causes that they are passionate about.
“Nothing happens until someone sells something, so helping people sell enables everything else for them. I love seeing someone transform their belief about what is possible,” he says.
In addition to a thriving career, The Sales Boss himself has enjoyed living in Phoenix thanks to the opportunity to meet his fiancee, Cassidy and her children and the variety of outdoor activities offered year-round – especially the trails. The avid hiker started with a 400-mile Camino de Santiago hike across Spain from St. Jean-Pied-a Port in France and has currently logged over 1,200 miles of hiking below the rim of the Grand Canyon. Up next, he and his fiancee plan to hike down to the base of Ribbon Falls to exchange their wedding vows in October. Whistman’s family also appreciates roaming around the country and have been to 19 of the 50 states.
Currently, he is working on a project with Rigetti Computing, who built one of the world’s first commercially available Quantum computers. The computers are said to be more powerful than today’s most capable supercomputers.
“[The work they are doing will] provide some of the solutions to the world’s largest challenges around global warming, disease, biology and chemistry,” Whistman says.
To Whistman, success is living authentically and having the freedom to choose who and what you spend your life on. From facing a challenging childhood to finding his place in Phoenix to writing a best-selling book, building his business and finding love, The Sales Boss is truly living out the practices he teaches to others.