If there is anyone whose actions match up with their words, its Danielle Cobo. She not only believes in uplifting women of all different backgrounds and walks of life, but she puts action behind making those women even more effective in the spaces they are in. Danielle believes every woman has the power to step into their dream job, earn the salary they are worth, and live the life they desire!
With over 14 years in medical sales experience, including 7 years as a senior sales leader for a medial aesthetic Fortune 500 company, Danielle mastered interviewing techniques to uncover top talent, accelerated onboarding, built cohesive teams, and developed personal branding for career success. Danielle offers comprehensive workshops for organizations and individuals focused on personal branding, building confidence, work/life balance, developing high-performing teams, exceptional customer service, leadership development, accelerated new-hire onboarding, and coaching professionals through the interview process to step into their dream job and earn the salary they are worth.
If you thought she couldn't get any busier, Danielle is also a published author, and each week Danielle interviews inspiring women who have overcome adversity and leveled up their careers and life. Listeners learn how to eliminate the inner critic that is holding them back from pursuing their dream, how to build their confidence,
create healthy boundaries to transition burn-out to re-energized, and gain clarity on how to accelerate their career.
Read more about Danielle's experiences in her Spotlight interview below! You can also connect with Danielle on LinkedIn HERE and follow her on Instagram: @TheDanielleCobo
1. Rarely is someone's journey linear. Can you explain what you wanted to be when you grew up and how your career landed where you are right now?
Initially, I aspired to be a real estate agent. Then I realized realtors work weekends so that I moved on to another dream. My mom had a very successful career in pharmaceutical sales. She modeled drive, perseverance, commitment, empowerment, and success. In high school, I decided to follow in my mom’s footsteps and pursue a career in medical sales, and I started working full-time in retail sales- I loved it! Through college, I worked full-time and was committed to breaking into medical sales right after college. Eventually, I spent over 14 years in medical sales, among the most recent 7 years leading a team for a Top 100 company. I earned four back-to-back Presidents Club and Manager of the Year. Three months after my husband returned home from serving a year deployment overseas, the pandemic hit, and my mom committed suicide. I was sad, confused, and exhausted, so I created a vision board and, on the board, hung a quote, “People don’t get promoted for doing their jobs well. They get promoted by demonstrating their potential to do more.” I decided to leave the company I was with and started to pursue new opportunities. While I was looking for a new position, I found myself mentoring people that reached out to me on LinkedIn on how to interview for the job of their dreams. I supported multiple people in getting their dream job, and everyone said, “you need to be a career coach.” I thanked them for the compliment and still looked for a position working for a corporation. Every night I prayed to God, “open the doors you want to open and close the doors you want to redirect me to something greater.” Then a recruiter and I talked about a position, and I shared my passion for mentoring and leadership. She said, “you need to be a career coach.” So, I took a risk, stopped interviewing for companies, and pursued my passion for supporting others to gain clarity on their career, create balance in their life, level up in leadership roles, attract their dream job and earn the income they are worth. I get to make an impact, and I love what I do!
2. Which single word do you most identify with?
3. What was the most defining moment in your career?
The most defining moment in my career was interviewing for a rep position for a Fortune 500 company and receiving an offer for a leadership position. When someone saw my power before, I believed in myself. During my interview, I reviewed a business plan for a National Director of Sales Training position that I wanted to create for a former company that I worked with. The hiring director looked at me and asked, “Have you considered a management position?” I responded, “Yes, however, I don’t have direct management experience.” A week later, I presented a 3-hour presentation on my leadership style and SWOT analysis of the team for 6 of the executive team. I ended up getting the job and 2 years later lead a team to #1 in the nation. I’ve learned through the experience to say “yes” and figure it out later. If someone believes in me, then I need to believe in myself.
4. What do you think holds women back from fulfilling their greatest potential and going after their dreams?
The stories we create in our mind on why we can’t pursue a position, won’t succeed, underqualified, too old, too young, etc. My fear of starting a business was fear of failure, being judged, and not knowing my power as a leader. I believed my success was based on awards, moving up the corporate ladder, and sales rankings. Other people believed in me, but I didn’t believe in myself. I’ve learned to open my heart, be vulnerable and connect with people. When I let my guard down, I learned to love myself and see the power I had inside to impact the world positively. The only thing holding us back from greatness is ourselves.
5. How do you believe leaders in the workplace can be more inclusive for women?
Establish emerging women leadership programs within the organization. Offer flexible working hours and PTO for self-care, family doctor appointments, and school schedules. Provide trainings on how to create balance in your life and thrive at work. My favorite and most requested workshop to deliver is “Burn-out to Fired-Up.” Offer trainings and how assumptions of capability and capacity can be decremental to an organization.
6. Favorite ice cream flavor?!
7. Describe a time when you were underestimated in your career/life. How did you react? What did you learn?
In 2019, my husband deployed for a year, our twin boys were 1.5 years old, and I was leading a team across 5 states with 60% overnight travel. People always assumed that I was too busy, and I noticed reduced requests to support special projects and invitations to events. During a conversation with our VP of Sales, I asked him what I can do to be more involved with special projects. His response “I assumed you were too busy.” My response “Assumptions can be detrimental to someone’s career and life. Time management is a strength of mine, and it’s up to me how I balance my time. Allow me to say yes or recommend someone who can support you.” I learned as a leader to never assume anything. Give people the opportunity to say yes or no. I also learned to be aware and speak up for myself.
8. What is your “outlet” that you use to ensure you have a healthy work-life harmony?
My outlet is riding my peloton and being present with my kids. We commit to going on an adventure every weekend exploring Florida. Creating balance in my life is a priority. My morning routine starts with riding my peloton, making my bed, listening to a podcast or inspirational video while getting ready, and enjoying breakfast with my kids.
9. As someone who worked 5+ years as a Capital Sales Specialist in a male-dominated industry, where only 7/100 of the sales force were women, how did you establish your credibility and trust with people who led in the majority?
In the beginning, I held a lot of insecurities for being among one of the few females and the youngest rep in the sales force. I learned the value of knowing your business, stretch beyond your comfort zone, date people outside your company, bring girlfriends on company presidents’ trips until you’re in a long-term committed relationship, stand for your values, speak up, and believe in yourself.
10. What advice would you go back and give to your 20-year-old self?
To release your guard, open your heart, be vulnerable, don’t hold on to negative emotions from your past, believe in yourself, and pursue your goals. Perfectionism is procrastination and fear of judgment in disguise.