I have been selling all my life.
5-year-old me gathered seeds from my mother’s four o’clock flowers and sold them to the neighbors. During grade school, I sold Current greeting cards to my teachers after school.
As soon as I was old enough, I sold chicken at KFC. In my senior year of high school, I made a bold career move and went to work at Country Kitchen for tiny pay and tips. I doubled my income.
As an adult with adult bills to pay, I decided to get some sales training to maximize my income. I learned that people buy from those they know, like and trust. This was good news to me because it was easy for me to get people to know, like and trust me.
An innocent misunderstanding that guided my career for the next few decades.
I see now that there is a world of difference between people naturally knowing, liking and trusting me and me getting people to know, like and trust me. I was grasping for something that was already mine if only I had relaxed into the knowing that I am enough.
Ah, the joy of being One with an environment that knows no grasping . . .
My job isn’t about getting anybody to do anything. My true work: being me. Then, a person likes me or doesn’t like me. They are drawn to know me or they aren’t. If they do know and like me, chances are good they will trust me.
When I first realized this, it terrified me. I was going to leave it up to chance? If I didn’t work at getting people to like me, then what if they didn’t? People buy only from those they know, like and trust. What if not enough people liked me?
The irony: people are far more likely to know, like and trust me when I am genuinely me. Whether or not they are conscious of it, people can feel that grasping energy of “I need you to know, like and trust me so that you will buy from me.”
Today, I don’t know if enough people will like me. Which is okay because that isn’t my part. I am doing my part by focusing on knowing, liking and trusting myself and that is way more than enough!
So now, my sales job description has shifted a bit. Without self-consciousness and grasping, I have more capacity to focus on the person in front of me. What’s going on in their world? What do they need? Might I be able to offer them something of value?
That feels good! I didn’t realize how creepy it felt to be selling me. I’m not for sale.
(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for returning to the joy of you”)
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