Branding Room Only Interview with Precious L. Williams: Life's a Pitch
Precious L. Williams, aka the Pitch Queen, is a respected coach, speaker, and best-selling author. As the Founder and CEO of Perfect Pitches by Precious, LLC, she teaches professionals how to sell with storytelling and develop the proper mindset for communication. Precious is a 13-time national elevator pitch champion who has appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank, CNN, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Black Enterprise Magazine.
In addition to helping women entrepreneurs and business leaders, Precious also works with sales trainers, where she helps sales teams develop killer communication skills, craft messaging, and build effective sales programs. Her impressive list of clients includes top-tier brands such as BMW, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Google, NBC, and Harvard University, among others.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- How Precious L. Williams defines her brand and her elevator pitch
- Embracing boldness in any environment
- Why gratitude is essential for growth
- Precious’ journey to becoming a pitch master
- The biggest mistakes people make when pitching
- Handling feedback and understanding business mechanics
- Some of the primary benefits of entrepreneurship
- Supporting and celebrating other women in business
- Precious’ unique value proposition that she brings to the table
In this episode:
The ability to pitch effectively is a crucial skill for any executive, as it allows them to synthesize information and present it engagingly and attractively. While it is often associated with official business pitches, personal pitches are equally important. Effectively conveying your brand is a factor that separates successful individuals from those who are struggling to get started. So what do you need to know to pitch your brand effectively?
In this episode of Branding Room Only, Paula Edgar speaks with Precious L. Williams about pitching and developing a personal brand. They discuss Precious’ personal story and how she defines herself. The two also dive into supporting other women, taking feedback, expressing gratitude, overcoming obstacles, and more.
Resources mentioned in this episode
- Paula Edgar
- Paula Edgar on LinkedIn
- Perfect Pitches by Precious
- Precious L. Williams on LinkedIn
- Precious L. Williams on Instagram
- Perfect Pitches on Facebook
- Perfect Pitches on Twitter
- Precious L. Williams’ Amazon Book Page
- America’s Real Deal
- Savvy Ladies
Sponsor for this episode
This episode is brought to you by PGE Consulting Group LLC.
PGE Consulting Group LLC is dedicated to providing a practical hybrid of professional development training and diversity solutions. From speaking to consulting to programming and more, all services and resources are carefully tailored for each partner. Paula Edgar’s distinct expertise helps engage attendees and create lasting change for her clients.
Paula Edgar: Hi everyone. It is Paula Edgar, the host of the Branding Room Only Podcast, where we talk to industry leaders and influencers about how they built their brands, the skills, the experiences, and the challenges they have had with brand building, as well as their reflections on other people’s brands. So I’m very excited today to have Precious L. Williams with me as my guest today.
And let me give you a little background about Precious. Precious L. Williams is a 13-time national elevator pitch champion. She has also been featured on Shark Tank, CNN, Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine, Essence Magazine, the movie Leap. And her current clients include BMW, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Google, NBC Universal, Federal Reserve Bank, Intuit QuickBooks, Yelp, Harvard University, and so many more. Precious is a dynamic international professional speaker, effective corporate trainer, and four-time number one bestselling author. Precious, I am so excited to have you here with us today on the Branding Room Only Podcast. Welcome.
Precious Williams: Hey girl. I’m too excited already. Ready to jump up and act up.
Paula Edgar: Well, as you know, ’cause you have listened to some of the podcasts already, thank you for being a listener. Dope, dope, dope. I start off with asking our guests to tell me your elevator pitch.
So Precious L. Williams, what is your pitch?
Precious Williams: Where does the money reside? Money reside? Where the money reside? Money reside? Well, you know where the money really resides – it’s in residing and creating a killer pitch that pays and slays. Hi everybody. My name is Precious Williams. I’m the proud founder and CEO of Perfect Pitches by Precious.
I’m known as the Killer Pitch Master, a k a, the Pitch Queen. And I’m literally hired by the biggest companies in the world, entrepreneurs, speakers, and authors to really teach them the art and science of the killer pitch, whether that’s your elevator, your media, your investor, your sales, your speaker or your interview pitch.
And I literally show how a pitch can take you everywhere you want to be. So you’re like Visa from way back when. Again, Precious Williams, proud founder and CEO Perfect Pitches by Precious, international professional speaker. Four time number one bestselling author, and the GOAT when it comes to pitching.
Paula Edgar: I love it so much. I love it. Cause I was like, I mean, no pressure, but I mean, you do talk, you’re the pitch master, so I’m expecting the master pitch to come out and
Precious Williams: I’m expecting you to come. Correct. If you don’t, I’m, I’m gonna be looking at you behind the scenes. I’m gonna be at you like I used to be in law school.
Paula Edgar: You did not disappoint at all. And I am impressed and so pitches, in my opinion, particularly I speak to folks about elevator pitches are the sort of entree way into showing somebody what your brand is if they don’t know you, and so, I wonder for you, how would you describe what a personal brand is?
What’s your definition?
Precious Williams: My definition of a personal brand is what would people say about you when you’re just not around? Like how would people describe you? Not what you do, but you. And so what I’ve been blessed to know that my personal brand is energy. My personal brand is being bold and badass about what I do.
My personal brand is about overcoming any and all challenges that probably would’ve laid out 99% of people. And also my willingness right now, you know, in the last few years is to be more compassionate and understanding, especially in a pandemic economic downturn, social unrest, inflation, recession, monkeypox.
What have we gone through in the last few years? And so, I hope, and I know people say this about me, but it’s really my energy and how I make others feel around me. I don’t come in as the… it’s just like she’s really like that in real life. I’m like, yeah, I am. You didn’t meet me years ago when I was a robot.
Oh, yeah. I remember those days.
Paula Edgar: Authenticity is an important part of personal branding and I do think that you know, for all of my listeners, I’ve known Precious for years, and in all of the iterations of Precious, she’s always been authentic. And I think that that is important in terms of your brand building.
So tell me, how would you describe yourself in three words or phrases?
Precious Williams: I would describe myself as bold,
And just energetic.
Paula Edgar: Bold, vulnerable, energetic. I love it. And for those of you who are not watching this on YouTube, Precious took a moment to reflect and close her eyes and I was like, her eye makeup is killing it. Right? I was like, yes. Speaking of branding. So, I love those three words and I love that you, even though I’m sure you, you know, in your pitch, you could just said the pitch master, right.
Killer pitch master, so lemme get it right. But I love that you reflected and actually took the time to think about it. So to that end what is your favorite quote?
Precious Williams: Mm, my favorite quote, I actually have two. One is fortune favors the bold. So if you gonna do it, do it big. And my second one, this is my own original Dream Big, Ask Bigger.
Paula Edgar: Dream Big, Ask Bigger.
Precious Williams: Yeah. When I entered my forties, and this has been such a great decade so far, but when I tell you it’s not enough to just dream big, it really isn’t, and I’m very big picture.
I’m not details, I’m very big picture, but I need to start asking bigger of everything around me, even myself. So I’m not walking in and asking for peanuts. I’m asking for it all. You know what I mean? And I don’t have a problem with walking away. I have no problem with understanding and knowing my value and just ’cause you can’t see it today, keep watching long enough and you’re gonna realize you should have took me before.
Because the price does go up based on what my clients are doing. So you don’t have to believe me…
Paula Edgar: Yesterday’s price is not today’s price…
Precious Williams: Yesterday’s price is not today’s price. And I find that when people, like, they may find me and they’ll keep watching, like every day, I’m like, yeah, but there’s a reason why.
I remember the days my phone didn’t ring. I remember the days when people turned their back on me. I remember all of that. And so today, if I could just be an inspiration and don’t just ask for the bare minimum. At 44, I wanna ask for it all, and I may not get it. But I get something closer to it. Then if I’d have just said, well, you know, maybe they ain’t got it.
Or, you know, maybe they don’t think… I’m not worried about what you think. I got the credentials and what people say, the receipts. Young people say, the receipts, I got all receipts. What you got? Social media is not receipts to me because I can, we can lay it down. When you see me at events, you know, I’m behind the scenes.
Y’all, I’m here, y’all, y’all about to go on stage. What outfit should I work? Like, I want you to see what it, what real looks like versus, I just hopped on a jet. Okay, that’s great.
I’m the main character of this story, so you going to see, there ain’t nobody you can’t touch if you know what you bring to the table.
Paula Edgar: Wow. Ugh. What you bring to the table and, and knowing your own value. And this is something, I mean, you know, many of the folks that I speak to when I speak are, you know, people of color, women.
And when we have the conversations about your personal brand and, and your value proposition and sort of that self-awareness and self-advocacy, it becomes a challenge because society doesn’t say you can be big and bold. You can ask bigger. It doesn’t say that. And so it’s refreshing to hear you say it and encourage folks to do so because I think it’ll be inspirational.
Precious Williams: Oh, most definitely. And your personal brand is not, to me, it’s not based on the material things. I remember when I walked outta darkness and it doesn’t seem that long ago, and I’ve had a lot of dark, dark moments. And hearing my Heavenly Father say, your second chapter’s gonna be better than your first.
And I would meet people from my past and I’m like, you’re so different now. And I’m like, really? And they’re like, yeah, you actually sitting and listening. If somebody says, oh, I’m fine. I’m like, well, what does that mean? I need to know a little bit more. Like I call people, not for birthday, I can call for birthdays, but I’m like something in my spirit.
Every morning I wake up and I ask God to tell me who to reach out to. And I will text them ’cause you know, I get up early in the morning. You know how we do when you get up early in the morning and I’ll say, sister, I see you. I don’t care what’s going on in your business. I don’t care what’s going on in your career.
I don’t care what’s going on with your family. I see you and God sees you. Keep going. Reach out, ask for help. I see you. And I was with my Spelman sister and we saw Avatar on Christmas day. And when we got to the part of the movie where the child said, I see you. I was like, oh my God, I’ve been saying that for the last couple of years.
I’m sitting here with my Spelman sister. She said, you always are like that. I said, yeah, ’cause I shouldn’t have been going through the things I went through, but I didn’t know who my friends were because my friends didn’t even know who I was. And so I want people to know even the darkest moments, there are people who love you.
And whether you’re failing or you’re succeeding, they still need to hear from you to know if they can help. And so I want women, our queens especially to know I see you ’cause God sees you too.
Paula Edgar: I mean, I think it’s such a blessing to be able to go from test to testimony. And for yourself to have had so many tests and to have such a rich and robust testimony from it.
And to be able to draw on those experiences and to pull from the energy and from the Creator and to be able to say I knew I deserved and I’m claiming it, you know, regardless of what your vision is for yourself, clearly you are meant to be an instrument of God to be able to tell your story. So, I mean, I already knew I was gonna get emotional.
Precious Williams: Girl. I’m over here like this. Like Woohoo.
Paula Edgar: Yes, but I’m gonna stay focused because…Let’s stay focused, queen. I have questions to ask you.
Precious Williams: So ….
Paula Edgar: I love music. And so I ask all of my guests to tell me what their hype song is.
And this is a two-part question, because a hype song can be like what you play when you’re going on stage to be like, I’m ready I’m hyped up. Or it can be, oh my goodness, I’m feeling terrible today. I need to be hyped up. And it can be two different songs or the same song. What’s your hype song?
Precious Williams: You act like I listen to one now, you know, I got…
don’t play with me. So before I go on stage, I listen to Bad – Michael Jackson Nuff said, we ain’t gotta go. You can be bad in Brooklyn. Come on now. Number two, Nicki Minaj – Moment 4 Life. Yes. When she said this very moment, I’m king in this very moment, I slay Goliath with this sling, with this, with this sling.
My sling is pitching. That’s my, I can slay anybody with that. Number three. Eminem – Lose Yourself. That third stanza. Cause right before I go on stage, I’m like, you know…”I cannot grow old in Salem’s Lot So here I go, it’s my shot Feet, fail me not, this may be the only opportunity I got”… and that’s happened so much in my life.
I ain’t had no money, I ain’t had nothing and I’m going hard and I’m gonna walk out as champion and a song that I, you know, used to listen to all the time, the gospel songs. I did not like gospel songs until I was at rock bottom. I swear I never liked them growing up. No Weapon.
No weapon formed against me shall prosper… and Jonathan McReynolds – Comin’ Out. I’m coming outta all that darkness to be light again, and I’m, but no weapon. I don’t care what people say about me. They obviously don’t know me, but hip hop is how I get on stage, because a lot of us from the inner city, when you finally, you make it and you’re dealing with two different, it’s like … The double consciousness happens and then going back to gospel, like, you know what? No matter what happens, He’s with me and if I make a mistake, he gonna correct them. And I’m waiting.
Paula Edgar: And to be open and, and present. You know, I was talking about this in therapy the other day that, you know, in therapy they said, you know, you have to go back in order to figure out where you are right now and you should try to forecast where you wanna go. My therapist is always like, you have to stay present.
Have to stay present. And for me it’s, it’s, it’s hard because as an entrepreneur, what’s next? What am I gonna do next?
Precious Williams: Girl, come on now.
Paula Edgar: And going back can be really, sometimes really sad, like the things that I have gone through. And so I imagine you have that experience too, but the present, and I’m sitting here really feeling honored to be in present right with you…
I’m present with Precious. In being grateful, in having gratitude. And I found that one of the biggest pieces of how I build my brand is to stay in gratitude even when things are challenging,
Precious Williams: You know, when I was homeless for those two years. You know, I was so like, you know, I tried to take my life for my 30th birthday, so to see 44 is like what?
And to be where I am. When I remember how upset and how angry and how I left people hanging, I thought about all those mistakes. But in those two years of being in the Bowery Mission Women’s Center, well, we didn’t have television, you didn’t have your cell phones. It was really growing together as sisters and we all came from different walks of life.
And so when I walked in, people were talking about, oh, she was on Shark Tank. I don’t want to hear about Shark Tank cause I’m homeless. I don’t like, I know that’s the biggest thing y’all ever think I will do. It’s not. And, and, and over six, the first six months, you know, realizing that my accomplishments are not… they’re great.
That’s what I’ve done. It’s not who I am. And that is what our Heavenly Father was teaching me. Like, take all of that. I’m still gonna survive. Right? And your second chapter’s gonna be better. So when people are like, oh, that’s probably the best thing you’ll ever do, just get a job or whatever.
And I’m not hating on jobs. But just because you can’t see it, you can’t put a limitation on Precious Williams. I’m not gonna be an attorney again. But what I will do is if I’ve learned anything about communication, if I’ve learned anything, I’m gonna faith this till I make it. Not fake it. I’m gonna faith it.
And to all the people who diss me in the past, you gonna see me again and, but you’re not gonna see me the same way. I learned to go where I’m celebrated, not tolerated. And so if I feel like a certain energy is coming at me. I don’t have to stay. But sometimes you have to go into other places for people to truly see who you really are.
And so I left St. Louis, Atlanta, DC… I mean, you get kicked outta Georgetown that still sounds horrible today, but today it’s like, ha, don’t mean nothing to me. All of those things that went wrong to fall into place and we have our queen Fantasia, sometimes you gotta lose it all to win again, and I had to get… God had to rid everything from me, everything, all physical possessions, all people, for me to be like, hey, you gotta be built up from the inside out. And so I had to confront childhood trauma. I had to confront, and I’m not saying I’m not, I’m still a work in progress. I still, like, I wasn’t emotional the way I am today.
And I think that when people meet me, I’m the emotional speaker. Yeah. I’m a I’m gonna kill it. Yeah. But you’re gonna feel the emotion more so than the technician or the tactician. You’re gonna feel someone who’s like, yo, I remember. I ain’t there no mo, but don’t ever confuse me with someone who had the perfect life.
My pictures are perfect. I’m a work in progress.
Paula Edgar: Oh, you said so many things just now that I’m like, well first of all, faith it till I make it. I am stealing that. Not fake it until you make it, but I love faith until I make it. I love that.
Precious Williams: Faith it. That vision He put in our minds is still there. I thought it was gonna be, I thought it was gonna be big time in my twenties… try to be dead. In my forties I can absorb so much more. I understand why things didn’t work out now. Yeah, some, I understand why the mother I had, I understand why I had the father I had. I understand why things… because in my forties, there’s so much you’ve been through that you can look out. I can look out with love now. When I see women and men hurting and yes, am I the killer pitch master still? Heck yeah. Girl, I put on stage to do battle. I’m not worried about who is a bigger name than me. That means nothing to me. Your bigger name. I’m a celebrity of Perfect Pitches by Precious, and I’m gonna show you why I’m the best in the world of what I do. If you need to be associated with those people, that’s great.
I’m gonna show you how to ball when all odds are against you.
Paula Edgar: So Precious, I mean, you’ve, you know, talked about some of your story and some of the sort of hills and valleys. But I’m really interested to know, because I’ve known you in iterations from law student, lawyer, brand, you know, sister bar member, like all of these things, right?
And then now talk to me about how you went from those things and then all the valleys that you, you were in to being the killer pitch master, how did this happen? What is the story?
Precious Williams: The story really starts with my grandmother, Precious Dolores Williams, who died 23 years ago this month. My grandmother was always beautiful to me. But when I lived with my grandparents from 15 to 18, my grandmother, I don’t know how to explain it. She loved me to life. I felt abandoned and unwanted, but she beat it into me with love that Oprah’s gonna know your name, when you speak people pay attention. Your presence.
You’re a teenager, you are a child and people listen to you. So, you know, even getting to be the killer pitch master, I forgot all the talents I had and all the trauma, drama, and stress of it all. But when I, you know, wanted to start my first company, Curvy Girlz Lingerie, you know, nobody was trying to invest. I mean, and our friend of 20 something pounds, you can’t compete with Victoria’s Secret.
I said, who said I wanted to? Ok. I didn’t. But, in that journey, I realized that as I was talking to my family and friends, they couldn’t see it for me, and it took a faith moment of going to an event I couldn’t afford. Crain’s Small Business Awards, New York Small Business Awards. And just know and just let God lead me.
And I found myself in front of the producers of MSNBC. Don’t know why. Bladder full. And I pitched for my life with no money … And whatever came out of my mouth, they were like, yes. And now next thing I know, I’m on Your Business with JJ Ramberg, used to come on 7:30, you know, Saturdays and Sundays.
But never once did I ever think when they came pick me up in the Cadillac Escalade and took me to Rockefeller… it’s a childhood dream, and then going on set and meeting the investors and just being like, no one thought I’d ever be here, not even me. And I pitched and in 54 seconds it was over.
$500,000 just like that.
Paula Edgar: That quick.
Precious Williams: That quick.
Paula Edgar: Wow.
Precious Williams: And then they told me enter pitch competitions. Well, there’s no way you could beat Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia… Baby, I’m a 13-time national champion out of 14 tries. I thought I heard somebody talking. I thought I heard somebody say something.
No, you couldn’t have. In fact, my last one was 10 years ago, Black Enterprise National Pitch Competition, which I won on May 16th, 2013. So out of hundreds of thousands to the top 10, to the top five to number one. In Columbus, Ohio. So that’s how the killer pitch master came along and people wanted to throw money at me after every competition.
Like, hey, could you teach me? I’m thinking it’s natural. I’m like, sh, nobody told me. Then I took on 10 beta clients and the next thing I know, they all won. What? Okay, so then Perfect Pitches by Precious is born, but queen we gotta be honest about business. Sometimes where you start, you cannot sustain that forever because people started to look at me as only, oh, if you wanna go on Shark Tank, or oh, if you wanna win pitch competitions, girl, that that dries up, especially with women, ’cause they’re like, oh, I don’t look the part…so I’m like, okay. So what I started to do, and I encouraged this for all entrepreneurs, I started asking questions on social media, not for money, not for anything. Stay curious. And that’s when I realized people were pigeonholing me into, I only do one type of pitching. So that caused me to go deeper in.
Some people are scared to to pitch because they don’t know how to speak. Ah, I’ve been speaking since I was 16, so I created the BookedandBusy Speakers Boot Camp. Some of them were like, oh, well, you know, you know, this media pitch coach or this, I said, wait a minute. There’s six different forms of pitching and I’m a phenom in all of them.
So there’s your elevator, your media, your investor, your sales, your speaker, and your interview pitch. What did that do? It also made me attractive to other organizations like, I don’t have an Ivy League degree, but I’ve taught at Harvard and Columbia. I don’t have, I don’t have the things that they say I did, but I also teach at Babson College now ’cause I have my JD.
And what did that also open up to? When people said, there’s no way I can get in corporate America ’cause you know, listen, I don’t have a great track record in corporate America because… and yet look at my clientele. So when I opened up my mind, when I stayed curious and I started to realize if I stay in this little box, Shark Tank’s not always gonna be around.
People aren’t gonna be pitching for competitions, but I had to educate, but I had to be educated. And so that’s how I got here and that’s how I got on stages around the world and in the colleges and universities and all this other kind of stuff. Woo. That was a journey, right? I know.
Paula Edgar: But I mean, a journey that I think is instructive for anyone who’s listening in terms of the staying curious and curiosity.
What I’m realizing is aligned through pretty much all of the interviews I’ve done is that folks who have gotten and who have elevated their brand and been consistent about it, stay curious and that helps them to innovate. I mean, literally that they are, they’re hand in hand because if you don’t, if you only stay in the ethos of what you know, right, then you’re actually sort of curtailing yourself as opposed to being curious and being open to learning and having that growth mindset is absolutely what I’ve seen as a success factor that people should be thinking about. Okay, so you kind of answered like three of my questions at one time.
So, which is, which is great. But I wanna get into this and it’s a, I think good pivot from talking about having done pitches in all those different areas of six different areas of pitching that I just learned from you. What are the mistakes that people make when they are, when they are, and I’ll even say, I say building the brand, but what, however you wanna take this, if you wanna talk about mistakes people make when they’re doing their pitches or doing, you know, self advocating right?
Or self-promoting. Answer however you’d like. I wanna hear your thoughts.
Precious Williams: So the most common ways that people go wrong in pitching – number one, they’re just boring. They went to the Google School of Pitching. I do this to help… really? really? I want people to know there are many ways to skin a cat, that ain’t one of ’em.
So if you are boring or you are robotic at it, there’s no personality, no energy, no funk, no flavor, no noise. And yes, this is for my introverts too, who are like, oh, I don’t have your personality. I was like, girl, when I started, no one had my personality and they thought I would never win. Being a visionary changes that.
Okay. So being boring and just going by the numbers. Yeah. Number two. When you don’t bring any of yourself to the table, like I think people’s origin stories, it doesn’t have to be these long, drawn out things, man, I started Curvy Girlz Lingerie ’cause I was dating a very famous Hollywood actor. I was 327 pounds.
Still to this day, cannot understand what he saw in me but you know, if times got right, I need to be right. And let me tell you, Victoria’s Secret, don’t make nothing in my size. I cannot put on perfume and make up and think that’s gonna work. Mm. Right. So, you know. Number three, when you change your language, you have to change the game.
So people are using language they’ve seen other people use, which is average, rampant and ordinary. Imagine when I said going from plus size women to full figure divas and plus size fashionistas. I was on Shark Tank. People were like I said, I’m like, Drake, I got bars for days. You don’t want this.
Really don’t. And yes, I can say that to the sharks ’cause I know who I am. Right? And so changing your language around what it is you do. Yes. There are attorneys out there. Yes, there are sales professionals, finance professionals, accountants and stuff like that. But imagine if you came in like, I’m a firefighter.
Do I look like a firefighter? No. But if you’re in certain types of insurance, you’re putting out family fires, you’re putting at all kinds things, you see the difference. Now you’ve got me intrigued, right? Another thing that I see people do all the time is, especially with speakers, they’ll adopt the personality of a different speaker and think that’s gonna change things.
It’s not. It’s not. It’s not. As a speaker as a DEIA practitioner like you have to bring you to the table. So if you go into all these courses, you learn all these things, you take all these pictures, their success is not imputed to you. I’m sorry. It’s just not. So being able to synthesize and bring your own funk, flavor, noise, and energy changes everything.
So those are the most basic, oh, I should say. Finally, you have no substance. And it’s obvious. Yes. There’s no substance to what you’re saying. Why do you think I bring up numbers? Because a story is great. Numbers show that you really about that life. When I say over 40 million women size 14 or larger are just like me in the United States, and we all want pretty underwear, 40 million, I didn’t even know, they run right in front of you.
You just can’t see. You can’t see me.
Paula Edgar: Woo. I mean, well, those are some key…
I’m so happy you brought up substance and did not let that one go because you cannot build a brand on the empty bucket. You can’t. Right. You, you can’t. You, at some point you’ll be found out, right?
Precious Williams: Yeah, I think a lot of people are found out. They’re just not being brought up online about it.
Yeah. It’s a lot of people that do not have substance and they don’t even know it. Because they’re the get rich quick scheme ways that they don’t even know that they’re looking on social media and it’s the look of everything, the drip of everything. I don’t own any Balenciaga, Gucci or whatever, but when I come in this place, you going to think I do.
Paula Edgar: You know, you just reminded me of, I had a client about a year plus ago who said, we are bringing you in because we had a bad situation.
And basically it was like I was coming in to fix something that had gone wrong and the persons that they had had before did not have substance, but, they had brand, and the brand got found out that there was no substance underneath it after they presented and put in and did their stuff.
And when the person said, you know, we’re bringing you to fix, and I was like, well, that’s more money. It’s like right…where if I have to clean up and I have to serve…
Precious Williams: I mean, you’re telling the truth. And I love that you told that story because that happened to me recently.
I was on a three day pay speaking tour in Cali, Orange County, LA San Diego.
Paula Edgar: I know. We were there the same time. I’m so mad we didn’t see each other.
Precious Williams: I’m so mad, girl, I was over this catamaran in San Diego. See you did me dirty. No, but anyway. And one of the things that one of the hosts said to me was, we were almost gonna cancel you based on someone before you.
They spoke word for word with everything that was on their audio. Like it was no change, like, like everything was the same. So we thought you would be like that. Thank God you weren’t. Thank God. You can speak to, and these were multi-million dollar CEOs and so imagine, I didn’t know that until afterwards.
And they were like, thank you that you adapt. You know exactly what to do. We were, we were gonna cancel you. I said, well, I’m glad you didn’t. They said your agent fought for you and said, you are not the same. And I thought about that and I said, mm. Another thing that you just said, queen, that really brought something to me, as great as we all are, all the guests you’re gonna have on this show, including just how dope you are.
And you’ve been so dope since I was in law school. You’re not always gonna get it right. Facts. I, I need people to understand in business, if you think everything you’re gonna do is gonna pop off, ’cause you see that’s what, that’s what you’re told by case studies. I want you to know, for every case study there are 10 things that went wrong.
So I was, you know, speaking and I did a debrief with a particular big client. And what was so interesting is they tell me great things and they said, you know what? Next time, we want you to go even deeper. They want deeper and deeper with you. So come up with another topic. We’ll bring you back.
But we want you to go so deep with them. And at first, you know, I’m gonna be in here like what you, I thought about it and it felt good. Because I don’t know everything. And sometimes you can be speaking and you’re in your zone and you’re observing everything. But there’s someone looking with a different eye.
So he could have said, we don’t want you back, ’cause, but he, he wasn’t gonna do that. He said, no, cause we loved you. He said, but we even need more and more. And you can do it. Right. And you know, so he could be in your feelings and he like, didn’t we say we want you back though? Run me my money, run me my pay.
Like run me my money and run me my faith. And I was like, yes. So you need people who are like, girl, that was fire and that’s fire for them, but go harder than that ’cause we want you hurt. And I was like, testing is part of this journey. Testing is a part of, you know, this… if this doesn’t work out, it doesn’t mean you’re dead in the water.
It means that’s part of business. So don’t let case studies, don’t let, all this stuff you see online make you think if you mess up or people aren’t attending your event. People, babe, that’s the nature of the game. Please believe. Please believe sometimes you may see it at events and everybody got a free ticket… but you. Oh, I’m sorry, let me…
Paula Edgar: I mean, it’s so true. Oh, you think I’m joking? I know, you know, I’m telling the truth.
I know, I know, I know. Listen, I, I am, I’m giggling. It resonated for, for something that I heard recently, but you know what also resonates is that what you’re essentially saying is, is talking about feedback.
And, constructive feedback is something that we all need. It’s not necessarily something we all want. Right. What? Right. But, it’s how we grow. Yes. How we grow. And I mean, I know that the Lord is speaking through you to me right now because I had a session that I did that, I mean, it went, you know how you get off the stage sometimes and you’re like, I killed that.
Right. Like, it was one of those where I was like, oh, okay. Y’all are welcome. I knew, I knew that it was great. Yes. And and, and people came up and said things to me, so I knew it went well. And afterwards, the organizer sent me feedback that they had gathered and I read the feedback and oh, it was like glowing and it was like two statements in there.
Two statements that was like, well, she talked too fast… and I was like, wait, wait. It was like, oh my gosh. And I thought to myself, number one, it’s feedback. I can, I’m from Brooklyn. We literally talk fast because that’s what we have to do. We are, we’re rushing. So I can hear that that’s feedback. Now again, what I was doing was hearing louder two things where I had like 200 other things that, that should have been louder. And I think that is how we have been socialized, to hear the negative, louder than the positive. And yet, I was in gratitude for being and knowing that I could take the feedback that was negative and hear and get a lesson from it as opposed to being like, oh no, they didn’t like me. Right? Cause we all wanna be liked, but nobody’s, it’s not gonna be the case where everybody’s gonna like you, to your point, … but there’s something that you can learn from every pivot, every bend in the road that we have.
Precious Williams: I mean, and you could also notice this, even if they wanted, you didn’t speak you, you spoke faster. That, that they didn’t leave. They like this.
Paula Edgar: All, all facts. All facts. And I’m going back to your point.
Okay, so … What about fun? What do you do for fun, Precious?
Precious Williams: Oh my goodness queen, when I tell you, I love spa days. I love spa days. So my friend Monica, she owns an insurance company in Boston. She’s coming here and we just going be together, getting, getting the works. Girl, I need that deep tissue.
I need that facial, I need, you know, I get it right. Relaxing, traveling, queen, as much traveling as I do for speaking, which I am blessed by. Yes.
You know, working with certain companies, they’re gonna have certain things for you. Right? So being able to travel and have the time to absorb it. Another thing, you know what gets me hyped? Boundaries. Oh. Boundaries. So as outgoing and gregarious, a personality as I am baby, I need time to go inward, to walk us beside the beach.
To eat good, not good food. And to breathe, my brain to breathe and not have to be on. Right? Because sometimes I think, you know, going through darkness and light, darkness and light. When I was younger, it was go, go, go. And now it’s like, hey even with all of this going on, I still need to go back to my room and center myself and walk alone. And just let it sink over me. It’s like the Year of 4 for Beyonce. You need that time to, it’s not achievements, it’s not accomplishments. It’s, I need to feel this moment alone. Another thing, baby, you know, I be hitting up them, them restaurants, you know, the nice ones.
You know what I’m saying? I like holes in the wall when I go places. I do like where do local, where, where do locals go? Yes. That’s where I need to go. And then I, I like, I you know, I like high class. I have an international palette. Listen, you know, I do. Let’s be very clear, very, very, very clear about that.
But I like eat all over the world it’s great. And another thing that really helps me unwind, which sounds so crazy, I love behind the scenes like, so the Michelin star chefs, right? And I like to see how they create a dish from scratch. Ballerinas, like how they break in their ballerina shoes, like, I like behind the scenes things, not when everything is picture perfect.
The most important things to me is to see how genius happens. You know, what things didn’t work out for, to finally work out. Right. So I even think about my law career. You know, I worked in some pretty incredible places, but I just never felt comfortable. Never had a job last longer than a year in my life.
I thought something was wrong with me. No, it wasn’t. It was testing out the things that weren’t gonna work to figure out what does. Everybody’s not cut out to be an entrepreneur. Everybody’s not cut out to be an attorney. Everybody’s not cut out to do a lot of things but when you finally figure it out by staying curious, and I’m thankful that I lived to see 44 to understand that it wasn’t that I thought it was another race that some people said when I was growing up, it was, I did all the things ya’ll said I should have done and it never fit. And that’s okay because I get to do this. We’re in the middle of the afternoon.
If I was clerking for a federal judge… I’d be like so I’m gonna schedule this at a different time. You know, I can’t be on the phone right now. I’m talking to you because I am honored to be here and to watch one of my sheroes interview me.
Paula Edgar: You are so right. Number one. Shout out to the spa girls.
Cause I am definitely one. I was thinking as you were talking about one of the benefits that I have found in entrepreneurship and to your point, flexibility, definitely fun. But I’ve also, and maybe this is both, this is both entrepreneurship and also the pandemic, like the intersection of those of those, is that my boundaries are tight and my expectations are high, and so … how I travel. I’m always like, no, I’m not sitting there. Or I’m not doing this. And I remember before thinking like, who am I to say that that’s gonna be my standard? And I’m like, who am I not to say that’s gonna be my standard.
And I, you know, it’s funny because sometimes like, you know, people will be like, oh, you, you know, you’re, you’re in the front, you’re flying first class? And I was like, you know what when I was a kid, my grandmother used to be like, you have to get dressed up to go on a plane. It was a privilege to go on a plane, and people would show up on a plane in a way that they had to look professional. And my grandmother could never have imagined me having the opportunity or the means to even attempt to sit in first class. And so one of the things is like, it’s a promise to me and to my children and to all the people who think that they can’t, the should that the shoulds that they should be doing, that you absolutely should and you deserve to.
And if it’s what you want, then you should go get it. So I’m going to eat nice. I’m gonna travel lovely. I’m going to spa, I’m gonna do those things. Not just because I’ve earned it, which I have, but because why shouldn’t we? Why shouldn’t we? If we think that something is not for us…if it’s truly so, yes, but not because we haven’t had access to it before.
Like it’s not, that, that can’t be the case. And, as somebody who went to boarding school and from a very young age saw different class and, and how, what people had access to, I am determined to be like, listen. This is gonna be what it’s gonna be and I’m gonna own that. And so I love that you said that.
And I also am a fun, foodie, and spa girl.
Precious Williams: I know that. Yeah. You know, I be peeping at how you be traveling, queen. It is what it is as GloRilla and Moneybagg Yo said, it is what it is. I’m on what you on. And I will just say this cause I don’t wanna prolong this, but my grandmother saw this.
We rang the closing bell at Nasdaq and I remember seeing all these big time people being able to do it. And here I am doing it, you know, the chocolate drop of the group and you know, flying first class and going these places. And also if people wanna sit me somewhere, no, I don’t wanna sit there and I’m not, I don’t care who I’m with, I’m not gonna sit there.
Yep. And knowing who’s ever around me, they going, they gonna rock with me. So if I don’t wanna sit there ’cause it’s too close to the restroom or too close to the kitchen or too close to this. I understand how I move. So I’m not gonna sit there, y’all fall in line and then I’m gonna use y’all to tell them to move us somewhere else.
I’m telling you what I’m not going to do. I’m telling the waiter what I’m not going to do. Y’all know privilege. Yes. You got privilege to make sure we sitting somewhere else. Thanks.
Paula Edgar: I love it. And I’m glad you mentioned the ringing of the closing bell because I want to make sure that people know that you were a board member for Savvy Ladies, which is an organization that does fantastic work. Supporting women in financial literacy and
Precious Williams: Empowerment
Paula Edgar: …and in professional development and all that good stuff. Come on now. We’ll link Savvy Ladies in our show notes so that folks can know it. There’s such fantastic content, I’m a fan of the Savvy Ladies folks, and so I’m glad that you reminded me that I wanted to give a shout out.
Precious Williams: They’re also in the book. They’re also in my latest book. Like there’s several organizations I have on there that I want people to donate to. One ’cause I was a recipient of the things and to go from darkness to a board member. What, what?
Paula Edgar: Ooh, ooh, ooh. Full, full, full circle. The journeys. The journeys. I just had a moment like that recently where I thought about the trajectory where everybody who knows me knows that I love the New York City Bar Association.
Precious Williams: Girl, yes, we do.
Paula Edgar: And, that I remember walking into that building as a law student and just being in awe at the marble, like it’s a gorgeous, gorgeous building, and now when I walk in, I, every single time I walk in, because I’m on the picture as a board member, I take a selfie ’cause I’m like, this is surreal that I walked in there X amount of years ago, I guess.
Let me see. My daughter’s like 18, so about 18 years ago…and now a board member. And that is fantastic. Oh, and I’m speaking of, yes, my daughter’s going to college in the fall. Guess where she’s going?
Precious Williams: Where’s she going?
Paula Edgar: Spelman baby.
Yes. Yes. So she’s gonna be a part of the sisterhood and I’m so excited for her journey. And so I love that there’s these layers of connection because I have seen the sisterhood of Spelman show up. And show out.
Precious Williams: Wow! So, class of 2001 is when I came out full scholarship. I remember they used to have a book, ’cause you know this before pre-internet a week when I did this back then. But I remember getting a bulletin and sleeping it underneath my pillow at night and telling my guidance counselor, oh, you’re never gonna get in. Oh, you’re the smartest of the dumb here. Go where you are celebrated, not tolerated.
And when I got in, I think these scholarships came from nowhere, and one of the, this is a real true story. Two, they’re like, what you mean Spelman ain’t give you no money? What’s the number to financial aid? Do you know I got that phone call within 15 minutes. What I was being offered from Spelman. Wow. In addition to every scholarship that I got, girl complain with me.
Wow. Complain with me. Like I’m telling you, you, you gonna have people that’s gonna fight for you when you let them know who you are and whose you are. And I had that talent way back when I didn’t know it cause I was a teenager.
Paula Edgar: Yes. Ah. I love it. I love it. I love it. I love it. Okay, so let’s, I close out the podcast with two questions, and one is, Stand By Your Brand.
What is your authentic aspect of your professional personal brand that you will never compromise on?
Precious Williams: I will never compromise on being all of me. All full figure diva plus size, fashionista, natural hair. But if I throw on a wig, please believe I will never walk in and just all black, because I think that I’m never going to be quiet.
Never going be in the background, baby. I’m in the foreground. What, what, what, what? What we talking about? What? I’m gonna come in as funky as I’m going to come in because I’m a professional. I’m professional grade. And I am so tired of watching people who don’t look like me, have that confidence because it’s, that’s impressed upon them.
I want it to be impressed on our little Brown boys and little Brown girls too. I will never compromise on being loud, ’cause I’m loud for a reason. Yes. And I’m teaching and training and I’m gonna make you laugh the entire time ’cause you’re gonna enjoy this.
Paula Edgar: Oh, I’m so glad you said that. Especially in light of what has happened recently in the news and talking about the quieting of Black girls and who have accomplished things. But I digress. The second, the second question I ask everyone, which is gonna be interesting because I mean, I literally know this happens to you all the time, is what is your Branding Room Only Moment? What do people come into a room, to a standing room only space only to see you do, and I know, I guess I know the answer.
Precious Williams: I don’t understand the question. Say it again.
Paula Edgar: What’s your magic? What is your special brand proposition that people would come into a room and there would only be standing room only to see you do.
Precious Williams: Be really me. When people come up and they’re like, oh my God, you can be you and do what you do.
Where the heck are you getting the biggest company? How are you getting through without the Instagram body? You are you! I didn’t even know you could be you and do this. I had presentations where I had one tooth in my mouth for like almost two years. They were like, wait, we not paying for that too? You know what we paying for?
You going shake them tables. If we wanted everybody else, we’d pick everybody else. You are you. You are brought in to shake the tables. You are brought in to bring your magic. You’re brought in for pitching. And now that I’m moving into, which is related to it. Rainmaking. Something I never understood when I was in law school.
I never understood rainmaking. Never understood it when I was an associate, I had a worker bee mentality. As an entrepreneur, you cannot have that. You gotta be in the king bee or queen bee position. You’ve got to know how to build relationships. You’ve got to know how to be authentic with your VIPs.
And so when things are happening, how do you make sure that they know and that they can move the chess pieces to your advantage because they’re not allies, they’re your co-conspirators. What? You know, rainmaking, I did that for Curvy Girlz. I do that for Perfect Pitches. And now as we transition into the Perfect Pitch Group, and I think that every law student, especially the Black law students you know, we need to get out of worker bee mentality.
We’ve been taught that’s what, no, no, no, no, no. I want you to walk in knowing. I won’t always be here, but what skill sets are gonna have people wanting to work with me? What different industries do I need to be around? Instead of just the legal, the legal thing? How do I make myself the only choice that matters?
Be a rainmaker and then you’ll be taught by me. ’cause I teach Rainmaking 101 From Day 1.
Paula Edgar: Oh, I love it. I mean, we could have a whole…
Precious Williams: Girl, you know, that’s my new book that’s coming out. And the new training I’m doing for attorneys, law firms and law schools: Rainmaking 101 from Day 1.
Paula Edgar: I’m glad that you mentioned it and I’m glad you pulled it out and, and whatever you need us to add in the show notes or talk about what we’ll absolutely put in there so that people can know where, how to find the information. And so tell me that, like if folks wanna connect with you or to stay up to date with what you’re doing, where should they find you?
Precious Williams: You can find me, Precious L. Williams, Killer Pitch Master, AKA, the Pitch Queen. My website is www.perfectpitchesbyprecious.com. On LinkedIn, which is another great place to find me, I am Precious L. Williams. #KillerPitchMasters so you know who you’re dealing with always on brand. On Facebook, I’m @PerfectPitchP on Twitter, I’m @PerfectPitchP and on Instagram I’m @PerfectPitchesP.
You can also check out the new show that I’m on on Fox Business called America’s Real Deal, where I went from to being the pitch trainer to the co-host with Marie Osmond and Janice Bryant Howroyd and David Meltzer. You can also check out the books that I’ve written, all five books.
You can check that on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Books A Million, walmart.com. And to get just a real taste of me, you can also always email me or just go to my website and connect with me. And if you wanna book me as a speaker, In all forms of communication: dynamic, a dynamic media personality, check me out on my website, www.perfectpitchesbyprecious.com.
Paula Edgar: Well, that was a perfect pitch to close Branding Room Only with Precious L. Williams. I’m so excited to have had you as a guest. Everybody make sure that you share and you like, and you rate the podcast because we are gonna continue to have content such as this, giving you deliverables, giving you take aways and mic drop moments and authentic people. And authentic, authentic relationships and authentic journeys. And so Precious, thank you for being here with me today. I appreciate you.