About Susan Ershler
International Speaker, Business & Sales Executive, Author, Mountain Climber
Susan Ershler tours the world speaking about her life journey and sharing with others her secrets for success, determination, and achieving seemingly impossible goals.
Susan’s record would be remarkable enough if it only detailed her business achievements. During her 23-year corporate career, she has held a series of increasingly responsible executive positions in the sales divisions of Fortune 500 companies. She led teams to sales records, beating quotas from $1 million to $600 million. Ending as a vice president of sales for a multi-national telecommunications corporation, she was responsible for their fast-growing Internet division. She also worked at US WEST, United Technologies, FedExKinko’s, and GTE (Verizon). During her business career, she earned 11 annual President’s Club sales awards — the top honors awarded to the sales people in these companies.
But as she was marking these achievements, she and her husband Phil, a professional mountain guide, were climbing the Seven Summits — the highest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents.
That remarkable journey culminated at the top of Mount Everest on May 16, 2002. With that climb, she and Phil became the first couple in history to climb the Seven Summits together. They’ve written a book on their adventure, Together on Top of the World: A True Story of Love and Courage, published by Warner Books.
That feat earned them world-wide media attention, including Good Morning America, CNN, The New York Times and many others. As Alex Ward of the The New York Times put it, “Surmounting Everest’s 29,035 feet remains one of the great mythic achievements, an undisputable display of skill and courage against ice and rock, bottomless chasms, body-numbing temperatures and tent-shredding winds, all in an oxygen-deprived danger zone. Ms. Ershler worked hard to get there.”
Not a professional mountain climber, Susan trained by climbing the 35 stories in her high-rise office building on her lunch hour for a year — with a 40-pound pack on her back.
Susan tells her electrifying story to audiences with clarity and passion. She lifts her audience’s ambitions by showing them how hard work, dedication, perseverance and a total commitment to excellence can pay off in reaching seemingly impossible goals.
Her leadership message begins with visualizing a goal, no matter how difficult or out of reach. She continues with techniques to improve focus and discipline and shows how essential teamwork is to achievement. And she concludes with a passionate affirmation of the value of life and the thrill of celebrating your success from the top of the world.
Susan’s message stands apart for its credibility and power. Having climbed the mountain — in work, and in the world, Susan Ershler is the real deal.
Personal Best, Professional Best
I learned an important, simple truth from our quest to reach the top of Everest: to achieve something that seems impossible, you’ve got to first set the goal, then prepare, then keep going until you get there. My husband Phil and I were the first couple to climb the Seven Summits not because we were superhuman, but because we were humans who kept going. I believe that’s what achievement is made of. Personal and professional successes go to those who show up and do the work — until they reach their goals.
Fit for Business
How do you achieve your dreams in both your personal and business life — especially the ones that seem impossible? In my talks, I share my road-tested methods for combining a demanding job with a fulfilling life, while still achieving all that you desire.
Seven Summits of Sales
“We don’t climb alone, and we don’t sell alone.”
Before I started climbing mountains I climbed sales ‘summits’ for over 20 years, culminating in $600 Million sales goals as a Vice President in Sales. My mission is to help others avoid the crevasses and achieve their professional and personal dreams. This talk focuses on the particular challenges of sales teams with stretch goals to meet and how to help them reach the top year after year.
Reaching New Heights:
Everest & Beyond
When Phil and I stood on the top of Mount Everest in 2002, it was the realization of a dream that had begun more than a decade before. Illustrating my talk with slides and stories from our climbs of the highest mountains on each of the seven continents, I help audiences discover how to set impossible goals and reach them despite the odds.
“Motivational and engaging, Sue weaved a captivating story of reaching summits and exceptional sales goals that inspired our customers and partners to take on bigger challenges and face them head on. She gained instant credibility with the audience, having walked in our shoes. And she provided valuable tools to help all of us reach our goals.”
– Kim Hawley, CEO, Attenex Corp.
“Sue’s presentation was an outstanding story where we share the excitement of her journey to the summit and how this experience is related with our business, specifically in terms of setting goals and teamwork. She is truly an inspiration for all of us!”
– Business & Marketing Officer, Microsoft
“Susan’s ability to relate the challenges, risks and rewards of climbing to the business world were invaluable. As we set out to reach new peaks, we will reflect upon her words of encouragement and structured approach to reaching our goals.”
– Regional Vice President, IBM
“The feedback from our customers was overwhelmingly positive, citing both an entertaining and aspirational experience. Susan has the highest recommendation from us.”
– Vice President, Westinghouse
“Surmounting Everest’s 29,035 feet remains one of the great mythic achievements, an undisputable display of skill and courage against ice and rock, bottomless chasms, body-numbing temperatures and tent-shredding winds, all in an oxygen-deprived danger zone. Ms. Ershler worked hard to get there.”
– The New York Times