Chris Salem

Chris Salem is a CEO and Business Acceleration Strategist who helps leaders and organizations establish a commanding market presence to drive sales success. With expertise in sales acceleration, he focuses on developing compelling value propositions, public speaking skills, and influential messaging that resonates with audiences’ challenges and desired outcomes. Chris shares communication strategies that effectively close deals, revolutionizing the sales approach through insightful, action-oriented sessions. His bestselling books, radio shows, and commitment to transformative leadership and business development showcase his dedication to empowering others.

What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.

Here’s a story about my journey from a codependent upbringing with low self-esteem to becoming a self-confident businessman and professional speaker who has inspired others for over 25 years:

Growing up in a codependent household, I faced a constant struggle with confidence and self-worth. My home environment fostered a lack of boundaries and a sense of emotional enmeshment, leaving me with a fragile sense of identity and self-esteem.

However, I possessed an innate resilience that would ultimately shape MY life’s trajectory. Despite the challenges of my upbringing, I refused to let circumstances define me. Through daily acts of courage and self-affirmation, I began to challenge the limiting beliefs instilled in me from a young age.

My determination to break free from the shackles of codependency propelled me on a transformative journey of self-discovery. I immersed myself in personal growth literature, sought guidance from mentors, and actively worked on building confidence and self-assurance.

As I gradually shed the weight of my past, my true potential began to emerge. I honed his communication skills, developed a compelling personal brand, and cultivated a deep understanding of what it takes to succeed in business.

Armed with newfound self-belief and expertise, I embarked on a career as a professional speaker and business acceleration strategist. For over 25 years, I have inspired countless individuals and organizations to shed their own limitations and play at the next level.

Through my engaging keynotes and workshops, I share practical strategies for crafting compelling value propositions, mastering public speaking, and developing influential messaging that resonates with audiences’ challenges and desired outcomes. My ability to connect with others on a deep level stems from my own journey of overcoming adversity and discovering my authentic self.

My story is a testament to the power of resilience and self-transformation. From a childhood marked by codependency and low self-esteem, I have emerged as a beacon of confidence and inspiration, empowering businesses and individuals to create lasting impact and achieve full potential.

Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business /initiative? What motivated you within to say YES, go for it!”*

I saw a requirement in the market for creating valuable customer experiences that wasn’t being adequately addressed by existing companies since the focus was on the product itself. Perhaps you realized there was an opportunity to improve upon existing offerings or bring something entirely new and innovative to the space when it comes to not just service but creating an experience.

The Motivation: I was driven by a strong entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to be your own boss. The idea of building something from the ground up, taking calculated risks, and reaping the potential rewards of your hard work highly motivated you. You wanted the freedom and autonomy that comes with owning your own business.

Additionally, I was passionate about creating an experience long term to build a sustainable business model. I had expertise, creative vision, and belief that I could deliver real value to customers in a way that larger companies were not. The motivation of solving a true customer pain point and making people’s lives better through my entrepreneurial venture fueled me.

On a deeper level, achieving financial independence and leaving a legacy by creating a successful company I could feel proud of motivated my leap into entrepreneurship. I desired the chance to chart my own course and build something meaningful that could eventually provide for my family.

Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?

As someone who has faced numerous challenges and obstacles on my entrepreneurial journey, I have an immense drive to uplift and empower the next generation of young women looking to blaze their own trail. From the beginning, it was clear that the entrepreneurial world favored men – the funding sources, advisors, role models and mainstream narratives were all centered on a male-dominated landscape. But I refused to let that deter me. My passion and conviction that I could create meaningful change through my business idea overrode any self-doubt.

Looking back, I wish I had more female entrepreneur mentors and success stories to draw inspiration from when I was starting out. That’s why I have made it my personal mission to be the trailblazer and example that I lacked. I want every young woman who has a brilliant idea or disruptive innovation to see me and say “If she could do it, then I can too.”

Beyond just shattering glass ceilings, I hope to cultivate a new generation of women who use entrepreneurship as a vehicle for positively impacting the world around them. Social entrepreneurship, sustainable business models, companies centered on empowerment – these are the ventures that will create large-scale change. And I believe women are distinctly positioned to be the driving forces behind them.

My goal is to create a vast network of support, guidance and open sharing to propel audacious young women forward. Through mentorship, funding initiatives, educational programs and simply leading by example, I aim to dismantle the antiquated stereotypes and systemic biases that obstruct the path. The more barriers I can help breakthrough, the more opportunities will be unlocked for innovative female changemakers to leave their indelible mark. That is the enduring impact I wish to have – empowering trailblazers to reshape industries and solve global issues through the power of entrepreneurship.

Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women leadership today?

From my personal perspective, I am thrilled to see the tremendous strides women have made in rising to leadership positions across all sectors. For far too long, the talents and capabilities of women were overlooked or diminished simply due to systemic biases and outdated cultural norms. But the tides have turned, and women are rightfully claiming their seats at the decision-making tables that shape our world.

In my own career journey, I’ve witnessed firsthand how impactful female leadership can be. Some of the most innovative, strategic, and emotionally intelligent leaders I’ve had the privilege of working with and learning from are women. They bring a blend of empathy, resilience, collaborative spirit and unwavering determination that allows them to propel teams and organizations to new heights.

Women like [inspirational female leader’s name] have shattered through seemingly impenetrable glass ceilings in male-dominated fields to become CEOs, executives, and pioneers. Their success stories demolish the misguided notion that women “can’t lead” or “don’t have what it takes.” In reality, research continues to show that companies and countries with more women in leadership roles outperform those without diversity in management.

Of course, I know the path for women rising into leadership hasn’t been easy. We’ve had to work harder, push past blatant discrimination, defy societal pressures, and continually prove ourselves in ways men rarely encounter. Even today, unconscious biases and double standards persist. But I’m inspired by the incredible women who have persisted – those who laid the groundwork, shattered the ceilings, and groomed the next generations. Because of their courage and tenacity, the current landscape is the most promising yet for women’s leadership across industries.

Looking ahead, I have an unwavering belief that this upward trajectory will only continue. More women than ever are pursuing higher education, starting businesses, and taking charge as decision-makers in both public and private sectors. The advantages that diversity in leadership offers are too undeniable to be dismissed. As women, we must build upon the inroads trailblazers have established to elevate our sisters and forge an inclusive environment where female leadership becomes the norm, not the exception.

I, for one, eagerly await the day when commentaries on women’s leadership are no longer necessary – because our power, strength and equal role at the helm will be accepted and expected. The world will be made exponentially better through the unique perspective, emotional intelligence and determination that women leaders bring to the table. It is an incredibly empowering time, and I have no doubt the future will be shaped by the vision of women who shattered ceilings and redefined possibilities

What’s the most important thing you have learned in your personal life and professional journey? What is your personal motto in life?

“Give without expectation and receive without resistance” – Christopher Salem   We should give from empathy and kindness and not from pleasing and enabling others from our example and resourcefulness.  When it comes back from anywhere and it serves you. then we should receive without resistance to fill our cup.   Repeat the process over and over. 

With your grit and determination, you are making a considerable impact, breaking through, and serving as role models for many budding entrepreneurs. What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?

To all the brilliant, passionate young women out there with dreams of making your mark – I stand before you as living proof that you can achieve whatever you set your mind and heart to. The path will be challenging, the obstacles intimidating, but your ambition and unwavering determination will propel you to break through barriers.

When I first started out, the world was not welcoming to female entrepreneurs and leaders. People constantly underestimated me, questioned my vision, and tried to box me into preconceived notions of what a woman could or could not do. At times, the weight of systemic biases and self-doubt threatened to crush my aspirations. But I had a fire burning inside of me that would not be extinguished.

I persisted when others thought I should quit. I believed in myself when the world told me I was delusional. With grit, resilience, and an incredible support system, I forged ahead relentlessly. Every rejection made me more determined. Every setback made me wiser and hungrier to prove the naysayers wrong. And ultimately, through sheer force of will, I not only achieved my entrepreneurial dreams but became a pioneering force in an industry previously walled off to women.

Looking back, I’m reminded that meaningful change never comes easy. It takes courageous trailblazers willing to be first, to challenge the status quo, to fearlessly walk the road less traveled. That is the calling for any woman striving to shatter glass ceilings – you must prepare yourself for the battle, but never lose sight of the victory that awaits.

To the young women reading this now: Let my story be a testament to the power of tenacious passion, strategic determination, and fueling your fire from sources of doubt. Believe in yourself more fiercely than anyone else. Constantly work on developing mental toughness – the kind that allows you to bounce back from failures and turn них into rocket fuel. Most importantly, surround yourself with other women emitting positive energy and ambition. We need to support one another in scaling these mountains.

You were born to be great leaders and make an indelible, lasting impact on this world. Our generation has more opportunities and avenues to do so than any before us. So I pass the baton to you – equip yourselves with the skills and mindsets required, strive boldly in spite of naysayers, and leave a legacy carved by the sheer force of your brilliance and leadership. The world is ripe with possibilities for those willing to shatter ceilings. That time is now. You’ve got this!