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These Limiting Beliefs Are Holding You Back
If the very idea of sales and marketing makes you groan, know that you are not alone.
Conflicting beliefs about business, marketing, sales and money are very common. But if they are not addressed, if you take no steps to change these limiting beliefs, your efforts to build a life-sustaining business will ultimately prove unsuccessful.
Let me put it a bit more succinctly: sales and marketing are things you must do if you want to be in business. The quality of your work is completely irrelevant if no one knows about it and no one buys it. You may enjoy it, but it won’t pay your rent.
Or as James Chartrand of Men with Pens says, “[I]f you’re in business, there’s really no room for ‘icky’ at all. In fact, if you start feeling ‘icky’ about an integral area of your business, you might as well just close up shop right now.
Rip down your website.
Turn away your customers. Because there’s just no hope.”
But there is some good news. You can change your marketing mindset.
Mindset is what frames the internal dialogue you have with yourself. Do you instantly think that all marketing is manipulative and unethical? That’s a mindset. Do you hate sales or just think that you are no good at it? That’s a mindset, too.
But if you change the conversation you have with yourself about marketing, you change your marketing mindset. You may even fall in love with marketing!
Four Steps to Change Your Mindset
In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Stanford Professor Carol Dweck outlines four steps to help you change from a fixed mindset to one of growth.
Dr. Dweck doesn’t talk about this in terms of monsters, but I like to incorporate my monster into my work whenever I can. It used to really scare her, but now she actually likes to share the spotlight a little bit!
Step 1: Listen for Your Monster and Learn to Identify her Voice.
Your monster is that little voice of fear and insecurity that pops up whenever you face a limiting belief.
She may belittle or judge you; or she may make give you a thousand and one reasons not to take that next, frightening step.
She is comfortable where she is and with how things are. Change scares her and she is absolutely terrified by the possibility of rejection and failure. So, she does whatever it takes to protect you.
Step 2:Remember That You Have a Choice
It’s true that your monster is trying to protect you, but that doesn’t mean that you have to abide by what she says or take her beliefs as your own. You can choose to interpret challenges, setbacks and criticisms as signposts letting you know that you are about to push your comfort zones and build your skills.
Step 3:Have a Chat with Your Monster
Your monster might be a little reluctant to chat with you at first. Remember that she’s nervous and she’s just trying to help. And you’re about to do something that really, really frightens her. You want to do be compassionate, but firm. After all, you’re the one in the driver’s seat and if you want your business to succeed, you need to be marketing and selling.
Step 4: Take Action
Now that you’ve had a conversation with your monster, it’s time to take action. To start, pick just one project to work on.
If you think sales pages are all sleazy, your first step could be to seek out sales pages online. Take note of the pages that really do feel sleazy (I am particularly sensitive to the pages that tap into my monster’s fear).
What is it that you don’t like? And then find five people who write sales pages that really resonate with you.
What do you like about what they do? How can you emulate them? And then, draft your own sales page—even if you don’t have anything to sell yet!
A part of changing your marketing mindset is becoming aware of what triggers your distaste for sales and marketing.
Every encounter you have with a business is an opportunity for you to learn what resonates with you.
There are countless resources available—so be picky. If it doesn’t feel right, examine it closely and figure out why. Then find something that feels great!
And don’t be afraid to ask others for help. You can start right here, in the comments to this blog. What do you think about sales and marketing? Where are you struggling and what aspects of it do you love?