I get extremely motion sick. Literally, in anything that moves. Bus, boat, airplane, New York City cabs, regular cars (sometimes when I’m driving), and yes, even the train, that gentle old aunty of land travel. Some people take lip balm with them when they leave for the day; I pocket a few loose Dramamine. In fact, I need to take one sometimes just to plan my travel.
And yet, I go places anyway. I’ve taken a bus around rickety hairpin turns in Israel, a leisurely riverboat cruise through the Netherlands, and even a cruise through the Greek Islands (though I almost lost it all at the blackjack table, and I don’t just mean my chips).
I know plenty of people who get the same head-spinning, gut-churning nausea at the very notion of promoting themselves. It’s true.
Guess what? Doesn’t mean you don’t have to do it. Any more than I can get somewhere in real life without moving. I find ways to make it palatable, even enjoyable (yay drugs!). If I said, hmm. I’d like to avoid nausea at all costs, so I guess I won’t leave my house, well, I wouldn’t have much of a life.
And you can’t have much of a business, brand, or career without being able to tell people why YOU—why someone should listen to you, bet on you, invest in you, choose you.
Here are the three things people say to get out of selling themselves:
“But…testimonials! Can’t other people say it for me?”
Testimonials have their place. We all want third-party reassurance. But that doesn’t mean you get to go mum about who you are and what you offer.
“But…my work/reputation/experience speaks for itself!”
It stands for something, no doubt. It’s incredibly valuable. Your brand is in part what you’ve done, but also what you say about what you’ve done. It’s also your brand PROMISE—what you will do, deliver, create for the person who invests in you. Do you know what this? (Sorry, “great service” doesn’t count.)
“But…I don’t want to be salesy. It’s not who I am.”
The words “salesy” and “sleezy” sound suspiciously similar. It’s a shame that a few bad salespeople and sales tactics have spoiled the lot. Fact is, anyone who’s not in sales tends to, well, hate sales. Or think they hate sales. (Even some of the people who make their LIVING in sales think that.)
So, forget sales. Think of it as something you have no problem being: A better, clearer, more compelling communicator. Why wouldn’t you want to do that?
There’s one surefire cure to alleviate the nauseating effect of trying to put yourself “out there”:
Know what makes you different, and worth knowing, and share it from a place of giving, not getting.
Simon Sinek has famously said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Yes–100 percent.
But you also need to know how to explain to someone why they should choose you, based on who, what, and how you can help them, make their lives easier or better than they were before.
Do you think a first-grade teacher is worried the kids in her class will think she’s trying to “sell” them on reading? Of course not! You better believe she has to sell it. She has to make it appealing and fun and worth doing, to reward them for it, because it will change their lives.
That’s what you have to do. Get outside of your head, your ego, your fear, and focus on That One Thing that you know you can deliver, something the other person cares about (not just you).
Put THAT into words. And you’ll never loathe the “Why you” question again.
I’m about to launch my first-ever virtual workshop on JUST THIS TOPIC. It’s called the Why You Workshop, and it’s running for three consecutive Wednesday evenings: 8/10, 8/17 & 8/24 @ 7:00 p.m. ET. It will be held via phone (low tech!), and the calls are recorded (so you don’t have to be live on the call).
….Now, do I feel nauseous about the fact that I just asked you to check out something that I’m selling? That I just promoted a thing to you? Meh. Mild, tummy rumbling, but that’s ok. We should always have that inner gut check. After all, I had to get over this fear myself!
But I’ll tell you this: This work, helping people figure out their thing, which I’ve previously only done 1:1 with my clients, has been so rewarding and helpful, for me and them, that who am I NOT to tell you about it? It’s what I do, and I do it well. What am I going to do? Sit on it and hope you ask me about it? You won’t! I have to say it.
So I just did. And you can do the same thing in your business.
If this strikes a chord in you, seriously, sign up now—the calls include live Q&A and on-the-spot laser coaching and walk you through this process to land the right positioning. You’ll not only feel more confident every time you explain what you do…you’re less likely to lose your lunch or suffer fits of dizziness, loss of vision, you know. The usual.