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Breaking Boundaries: Exclusive Insights from Industry Leader and Innovator Heather Goodchild (Part I)

How can resilience and adaptability pave the way for a successful career in medical device sales or any other industry?

In this captivating episode, hosts Anneliese Rhodes and Cynthia Ficarra welcome Heather Goodchild, Vice President of Professional Business at Color Science. Heather’s journey from working alongside a dermatologist as an esthetician to achieving a prominent leadership role within the medical device industry is nothing short of remarkable. She generously expounds on her career transition, discussing the challenges she faced in entering the world of pharmaceuticals and how she overcame them with determination and perseverance.

Heather’s story is a true testament to her grit and resilience, as she shares her journey of taking on new roles and responsibilities with unwavering enthusiasm and a can-do attitude. Her adaptability and problem-solving mindset have established her as a trailblazer in her field.

Gain valuable insights from Heather’s experiences in mentorship, leadership, and centering on the critical importance of believing in yourself and your team. As she offers actionable advice on how to navigate complex industries and excel in your career path, let this episode be your source of inspiration and practical guidance on professional growth in the medical device and pharmaceutical sectors.

Must-Hear Insights and Key Moments

  • Embrace Change: Transitioning from one career to another can be daunting, but staying open to new opportunities can lead to growth and success.
  • Persevere Through Challenges: Even when faced with obstacles, persistence, and problem-solving can help you navigate and overcome adversity.
  • Trust Your Instincts: Saying yes to opportunities even if you’re not fully prepared can lead to unexpected successes and personal development.
  • Seek Support: Surround yourself with people who believe in your abilities and can provide encouragement and guidance.
  • Stay Adaptable: Being able to pivot and adapt your approach, especially during uncertain times like the COVID-19 pandemic, is crucial for success.
  • Leverage Mentorship: Learning from mentors and leaders can offer valuable insights and help guide your career trajectory.
  • Propose New Ideas: Bringing forward innovative ideas and programs can demonstrate initiative and contribute to professional growth.
  • Build Confidence: Presenting ideas to a board or leadership requires confidence, which can be developed through experience and self-belief.
  • Learn Continuously: Continuous learning and professional development are key to staying relevant and excelling in your career.
  • Maintain Grit and Resilience: Facing setbacks with resilience and a positive attitude can propel you forward and help you achieve your goals.

Words of Wisdom: Standout Quotes from This Episode

  • In my role as Vice President, I’ve been hit with things that I never would have thought I would have to be challenged with. – Heather Goodchild
  • It’s good to be a mentor, but it’s also good to have mentors. Because they have the experience. They have different ideas. And then they believe in you and I. You need those cheerleaders behind you to push you forward to give you that support. – Lise Rhodes
  • In our jobs, there are problems everywhere. And there are some people who would want to just sit there and complain about it. But I love the approach that ‘We’ve got a problem. Let’s fix it. Let’s figure out how to make it better.’ – Cynthia Ficara
  • It was through listening to them, going to the people who have been there for a while, learning from them and being open enough to say ‘hey, I don’t really get it.’ And that vulnerability to admit that you don’t have it. People want to help you. – Heather Goodchild

About Heather Goodchild:

From the treatment room to the board room, for over two decades, Heather has devoted her career to helping people feel better about themselves by improving the health of their skin. In this endeavor, she has served as a senior leader for companies like SkinMedica and Colorescience, and advisor to skincare startups. Heather is known for creating and driving training, education, and strategic development programs that connect skincare to improved outcomes. Alongside her team of leaders, strategists, business development managers, and educators they are changing the experience of having advanced cosmetic treatments and services through healthy skin transformation that provides wearable multifunctional products which deliver immediate confidence and long-term visible results. 

She is a strong advocate for her fellow aestheticians as she firmly believes, Skincare IS a Service.

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Your experiences are important to us. Share how you’ve navigated catalysts for growth and personal transformation. Connect with us on social media or leave a review on your preferred podcast platform. Your feedback and stories inspire us and guide future episodes!

Blog Transcript:

Anneliese Rhodes: Good afternoon, ladies. This is Annalise Rhodes, and I’m joined by my co-host Cynthia Ficarra, and you are listening to the Secrets and Medical Device Sales brought to you by the Girls of Grit. Today we are hosting a very special lady. She absolutely epitomizes the word grit, and we are just so excited to have her with us.

We have Heather Goodchild, and she is vice president of the professional business of color science. And Heather has an amazing story that she is going to share with all of you today. And I think everyone is going to pick up at least five different pearls from her talk today.

Cynthia Ficara: I’m very excited, Lisa, to get started with this interview.

And hello to everybody. So yes, Heather, let’s just dive right in. And can you tell us who you are and what it is that you do in your profession?

Heather Goodchild: Yeah. So yes, let’s jump right in. So who am I? I’m a mom. I’m a wife. I’m a sister. I’m a daughter. And I’m also the vice president of professional business at an amazing company called Color Science.

We are female-led, about 90 percent of our company is female, which is exciting, which I get is a little different here. Cause you guys are leading this amazing initiative to help step into roles that are traditionally held by men. And while 90% Of our organization is made up of females. Not all of those roles were previously held by females, right?

So it’s been an evolution like most brands. and it’s been exciting for me to be able to be in a sales role in an industry where we are selling things. We have B2B as part of our business. And, for me, it’s been really moving into roles that predominantly were once held by men. And now we’re getting to see that women are holding the vice president director, our CEO. 

It’s a phenomenal space to be in and I’m excited to be on the podcast with you today.

Cynthia Ficara: Well, thank And you mentioned these, this high role that you’re in now as vice president, but that’s not where you started. So could you please tell us how you got started, where you started, and how you got to where you are today?

Heather Goodchild: Yeah. So my story begins in college. I don’t know. It probably starts around the 19, 20-year-old timeframe where you’re going through it. Transition. I’d imagine similar to many of your listeners who are getting into device sales, and pharmaceutical sales. Maybe at 1 time, they thought they were going to be a doctor.

That was my story. I thought I was going to be a doctor, premed and then met some classes that helped me. realize that maybe that wasn’t going to be my track thanks to my mom. She said, you know what, if you’re not going in there, why don’t you go and get your esthetician’s license? And so I did, I was pursuing my undergraduate degree in business with a minor in health science.

So I didn’t lose all my science. and at the same time, I got my aesthetics license and started working alongside a dermatologist in a clinic. through college and then a bit after. So I started what we would say in the treatment room and that got me exposure to pharmaceuticals, the representatives who would call on our practice.

And we had an opportunity to move from Orlando to Tampa for my husband’s role. And I said, Why not? I’ll try pharmaceuticals. So that led me into pharmaceuticals focused on acne and then back over to the aesthetic side, which is where my heart is, with a startup company and skincare at that time. I was Skin Medica, and I was with them for gosh, 7 years.

Started in a territory, building out an expansion market, and then as the story goes, got opportunities to try a little, a lot of different things where a number of different hats and kickoff programs When I first met… ColorScience, I was at SkinMedica and we had acquired the brand. So SkinMedica acquired the brand ColorScience.

And then about a year later, Allergan had to come along and acquire SkinMedica and said, I’m not really sure what to do with ColorScience. So they spun it out. Investors who had invested in SkinMedica took it. Mary Fisher, who is our CEO at ColorScience, was the CEO at SkinMedica, and she went on to build and transform ColorScience into the brand it is today, and invited me to join her, and she’s a woman who would follow her anywhere.

So, that’s where I came from, and where I am now.

Anneliese Rhodes: Wow. That’s a great story. As you’re talking, it makes me wonder, how did it feel when you left the esthetician world and went into pharmaceuticals? Because obviously, you were younger, but it’s like something brand new.

You didn’t know anything about it. You didn’t kind of know, I’m assuming you had kind of the same call points, physicians, and offices totally. Yes, you worked in them, but it’s different when you’re on the opposite side of the quote-unquote table. How did that feel? Did it feel scary? Were you scared, or nervous?

What did you do? Like, how did you handle that moving straight into something brand new? So, like you said, I was,

Heather Goodchild: Young. I was 25, I believe at that time. and so I think I was young enough. To be completely naive to what I didn’t totally know. And I just remember my first day after several weeks of training, right?

Like then you get into the real world to go do this. We’ll get some back before our phones have GPS. Tom’s were a thing. I know I’m dating myself. Right. And I didn’t yet have a TomTom I was going to use. I forget what you go on, you Google your whole thing. It wasn’t Waze. It was Google

Cynthia Ficara: Maps or MapQuest. It was MapQuest. It was MapQuest.

Heather Goodchild: Yes. I remember calling my husband on my second day in tears because my map quest had brought me to a location that was a house, not the actual hospital. I was supposed to be going in. I guess they have the same street name. I was so lost. I’m someone who can get lost in a parking lot.

So here is the reality of like, I knew skin, but I did not know how to route a territory. I did not know what I was doing at all. And so it only took day two to realize like, wow, maybe I’m in over my head, but what I knew is. I will figure it out. Right? Like today was hard, but I was going to figure it out and I will get to tomorrow and I will know where I’m going and I won’t wind up at somebody’s house.

I will get to where I need to go and do what I need to do. But, yeah, so I guess the fear didn’t really set in until I was actually out. In the real world, doing it and then have the harsh reality of like, girl, you don’t totally know what you’re doing yet, but you believe in yourself.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It was like, I’ll cry through it and then I’ll figure it out. And then dead. Got to, rapidly grow to, at that time it was really quarter-based. So we were looking at rankings at a quarter. And so it was fast, one of the rookies that was fast growing, you got the accolades that reassured you that you were figuring it out.

Cynthia Ficara: What do you think you did to expand on that growth? not having, again, you come from the esthetician world into running a territory. Yes. You said you’d figure it out, but what did you do to figure it out?

Heather Goodchild: Yeah. And why would someone take a chance on me? Right. Like here I was going into a sales position role and didn’t have previous outside sales.

So how did I sell myself on that? I had some great people who were already in the industry guiding me and they said, you may not know how to go out and route a territory or how to sell, but you know, the inner workings of your customer. 

And so I really positioned that as yes, I don’t know this. I don’t have that experience yet. You can teach me that, but what I bring to the table is knowing the inner workings of the people that we’re calling on, and we’re trying to get our then prescriptions into and help them understand how that fits into what they’re offering their patients. That is a harder thing to teach than how to route.

Right? And so I think that is why they took a chance on someone who didn’t have the traditional background that they were looking for. The next thing was once. I realized I didn’t really know what I was doing. I had to reach out to the people who did. So I reached out to my team, my counterpart, and it was humble enough to just say help.

 I didn’t get this. What are some of your best How do you help me? Cause we didn’t cover this in our two-week training. We got into all of the features and benefits of the medications, got into all that, but we didn’t get into the reality of like really how to effectively route your territory.

 and so it was through listening to them, going to the people who have been there for a while, working with my counterpart who was representing other drugs, but was in the same market. and learning from them and being open enough to be like, Hey, I don’t really get it. And that vulnerability to admit that you don’t have it.

People want to help you as soon as you say like, I don’t think I’ve totally got it. People want to jump in and help you. It’s been my experience. Most people genuinely want you to win.

Anneliese Rhodes: Yeah, it sounds like you were basically saying yes to the job and then trying to figure it out along the way.

And it makes me think maybe that is again what you did when SkinMedica or spun color science off? Because That’s kind of scary. I like in that, just like you said, a startup, I liken that to either a company divesting, maybe their vascular part of their big brand, which I know a couple of big companies have done recently, and.

And, for the startup world, you leave a big company, you go for this kind of scary kind of unknown. That’s a scary jump. I mean, what told you that you were going to be okay, that you were going to navigate through it? I mean, tell us more about that.

Heather Goodchild: Yeah, I think you hit on something really important there, which has been.

 maybe contrary to what’s recommended these days is I did say yes and then figured it out. And that allowed me to grow within SkinMedica. So at that time, it was a privately held organization, small, rapidly growing, which meant there were opportunities, whether I brought them forward or there were expansion opportunities.

And maybe I hadn’t done that thing before. But I knew that, my heart was in a good place and that I’m their girl, right? I will help us figure it out. And so saying yes, helped me go from a rep to a training manager to being the 1st ever strategic account manager and building out that program to leading that program and then moving into director of training and education.

Within that 6 year time period. Well, actually, it’s 4 years from being a rep to that point. And then our again, coming along and purchasing us. For me, it was a little bit the opposite. So, here I had been in the startup world or privately held and then going into a Fortune 500 company that had. Really big processes and a lot more things that were actually scarier for me because I’ll share this story.

Cause it kind of crystallizes that movement is we had our sales meeting and we were a smaller team, probably a hundred in total. And our sales meetings were small enough. You don’t need a stage to get up when you’re doing training and education, right? And now you’re with this big company.

And now I’m having to step up onto a stage and that to me, like, was the perfect embodiment of going from something smaller into this larger organization and having to step up on stage and feeling those nerves and going, you know what, though, they acquired us for a reason, right?

Like we have something special to bring. and I was part of building that. And so. Don’t forget that as you’re stepping onto this new stage.

Anneliese Rhodes: Yeah, and you had a passion for the brand. Oh, absolutely. think all your listeners

Heather Goodchild: do, right? That’s why I don’t know that you can be successful in sales if you’re not passionate about what you’re representing and you’re educating on and then you’re ultimately selling.

Maybe for a little bit, but not long term. One

Cynthia Ficara: The thing in listening to you is each step that you take, it seems you went 110 percent and just jumped in and said, we’ll figure this out. And, did you have other people with that same approach or did they already kind of know where they are?

When you were the one that jumped in and said, I can help guide us a certain way, or you said you are the 1st strategic account leader. What was the title? You just said? I don’t want to say, strategic account manager.

Heather Goodchild:  So we’re putting out this program for how we handle these top partners? And what is that going to look like?

And You know, I think it was a mix in some cases. There may have been someone who said, we have this thing. We’re going to do it. We were tapping you on the shoulder. We want you to step into it. We don’t know exactly what it’s going to look like, but here are some ideas and then you go and figure it out.

There have been other times within my career where I’ve gone, Hey, here’s an opportunity. An example of that was, at the time we were doing great education for providers. So, the doctors were providing education for estheticians, but the practice managers who are so critical to retail and successful retail in the practice, there wasn’t much education.

So I said, Hey, what if we. Provided and created an educational program just for them and I brought it forward and they said, okay, great. Here’s 500. Try it and see. So I had to create the program. I had to do all that. So it was, bringing something forward and then being ready to. Say, okay, I’ll step up and execute it.

So both examples, whatever the case may be, you think, okay, how do you have the confidence in yourself or how do you have the gumption to just sort of go for it? For me, I had people who believed in me and surrounded me too. So I’ve been very fortunate. Mine’s not a constant story of right.

I had people who were in my camp who said, Yeah, you should talk to her or she’s going to be the next top, or she would be perfect for this because of X, Y, Z. So having people around me, even if it was just 1 person who believed in me also gave me that little boost that could tell me that I could do it too.

I think that part of it is part of some of the things they did for me when I was younger. I remember I was probably around. I don’t know, 12 or 13 years old and I wanted this desk because I don’t know, I wanted a desk in my bedroom to do my homework. I’m nerdy. I guess I want this place to hold my books where I can study.

And they said, okay, so they got me a desk and my dad said, but you’re going to put it together. So I had to figure out how to put this thing together and never put together furniture before. But I think it was some of those examples where they said, okay, but you’re going to do it. we’re not just going to do this for you.

And by allowing me to do some tough things or to figure it out, that’s where I started to gain confidence in knowing that I may not know how to do it, but I know I’ll figure it out.

Anneliese Rhodes: Your parents were empowering you at a very young age. And I love that. We talk about empowerment a lot in this podcast. And I think, and you also mentioned, you know, really having people that believed in you and that’s mentorship.

That’s leadership. I mean, we talk a lot about that in our podcast as well, it is really finding those mentors. It’s good to be a mentor, but it’s also good to have mentors because I think that they have the experience. They have different ideas and then they believe in you. You need those cheerleaders behind you to push you forward to give you that support.

So as you mentioned earlier on, before we started this podcast you had to sell a certain idea to the board of a company. Well, that’s pretty scary. I mean, to be able to go before a board and sell an idea that you alone came up with that takes a lot of gumption. so, I mean, I’d love for you to talk about that just a little bit with our listeners because that’s some big stuff.

Cynthia Ficara: Well, I’d like to add to that because when you said that it wasn’t so much that you had this idea, I feel that what you just described is seeing a problem, but approaching it solution-oriented and so, yes, if you could expand on that because I think that’s really important in our jobs, there’s problems everywhere and there are some people who would Want to just sit there and complain about it.

I love your approach that we’ve got a problem. Let’s fix it. Let’s figure out how to make it better. So yes, please expand.

Heather Goodchild: And, it usually opens up, expanded opportunities that you go in with one thought and you didn’t even realize that could become so much more. That example became a national program that we did many times, a year more recently in my role as vice president of professional business. And for anybody who is leading a sales team, or maybe was part of a sales team at that time was COVID right? Where like the world kind of upended on us and we were going, Oh my gosh, what’s going to happen?

And so my approach to that was, really just connecting with our partners, our accounts, our partners from across the country at various different types. Because we call on, not all of our partners. Look, they’re not all the same specialty. They’re all recommending our products, but some are dermatologists, some are plastic surgeons, and some are med spas.

So they all looked a little bit different, but it was getting time to talk with them and really hear from them. What does their practice need in terms of support right now? And after about a month of that, I came away after a lot of calls and a lot of discussions going, wow, we’re going to have to change the way we’ve been doing things.

And that was a traditional rep to territory model. so you had a zip code, that you were assigned to and you had your accounts that you would open and your accounts that you would nourish and develop. And It was going, we’re going to have to do this differently because what they’re telling us is they don’t need a rep right now.

They need another level of business support that can be specialized enough to meet them where their business is right now, which meant that we couldn’t just send a generalist group out the way that we had, we had to really reorganize that. So I spent a lot of time, a lot of tears, a lot of soul searching, going through different and a lot of researching different types of models that have come before.

in thinking about how we would make that our own? You’re right, you can’t just go like, okay, guys, we’re now going to do this, right? I had to talk to our sales leadership team and get them on board and make sure they saw. The movement forward. Then once they were enrolled in it, it was okay. Now we’ve got to bring it forward to our executive team.

And then we’ve got to bring it forward to our board who, most of their portfolio companies had never operated and still don’t this day operate in the type of model that we’re in. So you’re right. It did take some courage and it took some what if this doesn’t work out for the type of soul searching through this?

And I think that is whether you are leading teams or you’re on a team where maybe your direction is about to change. It’s taking a step back and not getting completely caught up in all of it and going, okay, what’s really needed right now? What do my customers need right now? What does the company need right now?

What does my team need right now? What do they need from me right now? And. taking a few steps back from that to allow yourself to process and really think through it was such a game changer for me. And that very highly emotional, very scary time. And as a result, we haven’t looked back. Like, we are producing numbers.

We just hit numbers that were twice the size and an older model hadn’t even hit. So here we are more active than we’ve ever been before. And it was the courage of everyone on our team, including our investors to say, yeah, let’s try this. Let’s change this up. There’s no better time than right now to give this ago.

Cynthia Ficara: I see why you’re a VP because you have a vision and I think what better way than to bring people on board when you have a vision and come together and collaborate? And It’s just so impressive to hear you say that. And, one question I do have is I love how you can see this and go forward.

And I think there’s many people that are listening to this who have that same makeup as you, as far as I’m going to figure this out and we’re going to do this, but can you just tell us what happens when you go to figure it out and your plan doesn’t work? How do you pivot? How do you handle that? What do you do when your plan doesn’t go as planned?

Heather Goodchild: So that was a learning experience for me though I’ve been in this industry and in the sales world for about 25 years now. So it was a learning process for me to realize that if you’re going to try new things, you have to know that some of them aren’t going to work out. Not every idea.

Not every concept that either you have or someone brings forward that you believe in is actually going to work out and you’ve got to be okay with it. So the big thing is, once you start to have that feeling or the data is showing you, it’s not really working out, having the courage to go, you know what, this isn’t working out as planned.

So we have two options. We keep pushing it. Or we say we’ve got to pivot again. We’ve got to change this up. What is getting in and going, but what part of it? Is it the whole idea or is it a part of this that isn’t working that we need to tweak and we and we need to change up? And to me, that is almost the process of any that is business, right?

Because. If you’re not moving forward, you’re just staying still and doing what you did, you’re actually moving backward. And so to move forward, that means you’re going to have to be pressing on the gas pedal, pressing on the brake and it’s a start-stop and a change and you’re moving lanes.

And that’s part of going forward. It’s not a straight line. and so being okay with knowing that it’s not a straight line, but then also not going guys just didn’t work up. I’m going to blow the whole thing up. Maybe not. Maybe the whole thing won’t blow up. Maybe there’s a piece of that that you are able to take forward or there’s just a small tweak that needs to be made.

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The Girls of Grit Podcast
Breaking Boundaries: Exclusive Insights from Industry Leader and Innovator Heather Goodchild (Part I)