What A Six-Year-Old On The Subway Taught Me About Sales
sales mindset
"Customers are buying confidence. It's up to us to show it." -Mark Hunter

You might have already heard me gushing about our new kitten. If you haven’t, I’m in love with a teeny-tiny, leopard-spotted furball.

We found her on the other side of the city over the weekend, and for those of you who aren’t familiar with the subway system in Manhattan, the weekends are a bit like playing the lottery. It’s cheap, doesn’t usually get you anywhere, but you keep playing hoping you’ll win the jackpot.

Anyway, bad train analogies aside, we didn't hit the train jackpot and spent a fair amount of time navigating the underground world.

On our last leg as we backtracked toward our destination, there was a little girl who couldn’t have been more than six-years-old who schooled me in sales!

She stood up as the train started moving and announced that she was selling her artwork. Now, this isn’t particularly remarkable, there are kids selling candy and things on the subway all the time.

She proceeded to pull out her portfolio: an artfully decorated binder that was tabbed with her various priced works. This girl was organized. She explained her offers, smiled, and asked who wanted to buy from her. Then she stood there - cool and collected. She didn’t explain; she didn’t equivocate; she didn’t bargain. 

I watched in slight amazement as one person after another asked to see her artwork and procured cash that hadn't existed for the previous subway act.

One woman bought a few pieces (!), then asked the girl how much she’d sell the glittery drawing that donned the front cover of her binder.

Without missing a beat, she looked at her and said “twenty dollars.” I was floored and internally high-fiving this little girl.

Walking off the train, I turned to my guy and asked, “Did you see that?” My mind was reeling with the grace and confidence this girl exuded, and whether she realized it or not, the powerful sales mindset she was exhibiting. Judging by her wallet as she made change for someone, it was working pretty well for her.

We could all stand to take a few pointers when it comes to our mindset around sales. How many of us have the equivalent of a binder full of artwork that we’ve never shared with anyone else, let alone put a price tag on and asked others to purchase? 

The very thought of it can make some of us recoil. 

Something tells me if a six-year-old can do it on the subway, we can all do it, too. 

Here are Three Sales Mindset Pointers From our Subway Muse:

1. She believed in the value of her work and didn’t ask someone else to define it for her.

This is HUGE and probably one of the main reasons some of us aren't making the money we want.

So many of us don’t really believe in the value of our work and what we’re offering, and we look to others to define it for us. 

We want to know what other people think we’re worth and measure our work’s worth by this. While our businesses don’t live in a vacuum and we absolutely have to consider the value of our offerings, proof of concept, and what our market can bear, it’s pretty difficult to sell something at ANY price if we haven’t first owned its worth.

2. She didn’t decide what people could pay or explain her pricing.

This is a game I have definitely played in the past, maybe you know it as well? I try to guess what someone can afford and set my prices accordingly, which ends up backfiring on so many levels and doesn’t come from a place of leadership or confidence.

I’ve also been on the receiving end of someone who is explaining why something is priced the way it is, which comes across as justifying their worth, and tends to do the exact opposite. 

The truth is, sales are rarely about what someone can afford, and we don’t know someone else’s money story!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten this wrong. Much as we might like to think we’re all-knowing, psychic mind readers, we’re not (my guy will back this up). 

Watching this little girl on the train, I realized, she wasn’t worried if someone had cash on them or if they could pay for her artwork. She didn’t bargain. She didn’t make deals with anyone. She didn’t apologize for her prices. She just showed up and made her offer and left it up to each individual on the train to decide for themselves. 

When she named the price for her showcase artwork on the front of her binder, she didn’t go into a story that it was over four times the price because she had spent more time on it or used more expensive materials, she just named her price and let it hang.

Many of us can get caught in telling a story and starting a sales tap dance when we name our prices, especially if they feel high. Take a cue from the power that comes from naming your price and not saying another word. I promise people will ask questions if they want or need to.

3. She expected a sale.

After she named her price, I watched as she stood confidently and looked at all of us calmly waiting. I could tell she expected a sale. She knew someone was going to say yes, and more than one someone did.

She expected that people would like her artwork and would want to buy it. She didn’t use qualifiers like, “Well, only if you want to buy this.” 

She didn’t seem attached to the outcome, but she absolutely looked like someone who knew... someone is going to buy this, and I’m just going to stand here and wait until they do. And, they did.

Now, I can’t tell you if she was unattached to her expectation and that’s a topic for another blog, but I can tell you that she oozed calm confidence. And confidence creates. 

Here's the best part. As this girl made her way around the train selling her artwork, that same woman who bought a bundle and asked about her binder cover? I watched as she opened up her bookbag and took out a poster tube and carefully rolled her artwork up as she put it away. 

The woman caught me watching and said, “This is going to be worth something one day. I collect her work. She doesn’t know me. She never remembers me. But, I always buy her work when I can.”

Bam. Those aren’t the words of a sympathy purchase. This lady was NOT kidding. Where I saw a kid’s cute marker and glitter handiwork, this woman had bought into the value and was investing.

Over the years, as I've worked through pricing and sales, and as I’ve helped my clients with the same, I’ve come to realize how much of selling has to do with our mindset and what we believe to be true. Yes, a little strategy always helps. But, it’s the mindset underneath that really does the selling.

If a six-year-old can do it on the subway, you can do it in your business. Where might taking a cue from our six-year-old subway sales expert help you in your business?

Wishing you your version of success!

selling confidence

P.S. Ready to UPLEVEL your business and own your work's worth? I'd love to support you! Click here to learn more about how we can work together, so you can make more money doing what you love.

Summer Reading: Favorite Blogs of 2018 {So far!}
blog review best of
"Cause a little bit of summer is what the whole year is about." -John Mayer

It officially feels like summer here in Manhattan (hello humidity).

Everything seems to have slowed down. The city is quieter and it felt like the online world followed suit this week.

It seemed like the perfect time for some summer reading fun and a recap of some of the favorite blogs of the year (so far)!

In case you missed these the first time around, here’s my summer reading list!

Make This Your #1 Business Priority

I found out the hard way that our emotional, physical, and mental wellbeing doesn't only affect us, it affects every aspect of our lives from our relationships, to our health, to our businesses. Creating and sustaining energy is true self-care that goes deeper than a weekly mani-pedi and benefits us and our work.

Quitting Your Way to Success

Sometimes quitting is the best business and life decision we can make. Instead of moving us further away from our ultimate goal, a thoughtful, strategic, “I quit” can move us closer to where we want to be. Sometimes staying the course isn’t grit, sometimes it’s fear, treading water, and staying stuck. 

Thank God I Wore Deodorant

I share my sweaty experience during a live speaking engagement. It’s easy to think we’re the only ones who get nervous or want to run and call it quits right before we’re about to take a leap, do something new, or put ourselves out there, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Fear is a normal human emotion. It’s part of the human experience. And, it’s not going anywhere. 

Non-Digital Tak Aways from the Digital Marketing Conference

I was lucky enough to go to the Digital Marker Traffic & Conversion Summit in San Diego earlier this year. In a digital world, at a digital conference, there are still some fundamental business truths that apply, and they came up more than once. The digital marketing aspect at this conference was mindblowing, but underneath it, all were some non-digital lessons that we can all apply to our work.

How to Uber Your Business

For all of us who feel like the market is too crowded, like it’s all been done before, and there isn't room for us, Uber debunks all of this. They’re also an example that nothing is really new. There are only five real plot lines and all that jazz …and, yet, there’s still room for improvement. There’s still space to put our own spin on things. There’s still a way to differentiate. 

3 Ways My Coffee Shop Used Psychology to Convert Me into a Loyal Customer

Whether they realized it or not, my favorite coffee shop was employing the power of psychology, which turns out to be pretty dang powerful in its influence to keep us coming back time after time even despite the higher price tag. There are three interesting psychological factors at play here that Robert Cialdini (who I was lucky enough to hear speak at The Digital Marketing Conference!) talks about in his famous book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

Creative Block? Don’t Quit Your Day Job

I’m talking about that time I was going to become a professional writer...and what I decided to do differently when I started my business. We’re digging into how constraints make us creative, how deadlines and boxes make us focus and prioritize, and how a little time crunch here and there gets us thinking on our feet and coming up with answers. 

Working Hard But Hardly Working?

I’ve got this whole productivity thang down. Except, a few weeks ago, my productivity went out the window. There were three main culprits that zapped my productivity: lack of clarity, allowing for interruptions, and being pulled into perfectionism. I'm sharing my takeaways from this experience.

I hope you’ll find a nugget you need to hear today in the posts above. After you have a chance to read, I'd love to hear what jumps out at you and if you have any favorite any blog posts! 

Before you head back to your summer fun, I'd like to thank you for being a part of my world and having these conversations with me every week. I'm wishing you a very happy summer, and I’ll be back next week with some new, fresh content!

Happy summer, and I’ll be back next week with some new, fresh content!

Wishing you your version of success,

year to date blog review

P.S. Ready to UPLEVEL your business this summer? I'd love to support you! Click here to learn about how we can work together and apply for a free coaching consultation.

Are You Stopping Short Of The Finish Line?
entrepreneur motivation
"A goal is a dream with a finish line." -Duke Ellington

I was nearing the end of a particularly tough run on the treadmill the other day and caught myself looking at the distance marker and bargaining with myself.

I was rationalizing that I had already run far enough, had really pushed it with sprints, so a few tenths of a mile weren't going to make a difference. I was already going further than some of my other runs, I told with myself. 

The other voice in my head chimed in and called me out on my excuses and told me to finish what I intended when I started. 

Hopping off the treadmill, it made me think about how often we stop short of the “finish line”.

How many of us start projects, businesses, creative endeavors, side hustles, or exercise regimens with the greatest and best intentions, showing up and playing full out, only to stop before we finish?

As days go on, our enthusiasm wanes as the reality of the work we have to do or the commitment we have to make shows its face. This is often when we lose steam and throw in the towel. 

Our life is good enough as it is, we reason. We didn’t really want what we said we did, we lie to ourselves. 

We’re tired, we rationalize.

We serve up whatever defense du jour on a silver platter to anyone who will listen. While this approach soothes our ego and reduces our guilt and angst about staying stuck, it does little for our progress toward crossing the finish line.

It’s difficult, we complain, and we’ve already worked SO hard. So. We. Stop.

Sometimes this happens before we even start!

Not only do we miss out on what’s on the other side of the finish line, we send ourselves a slew of messages that keep us in a pattern of stopping short of our potential. 

And, yes, sometimes we need to know when to fold them and know when to walk away, but today’s post is about playing the hand through.

For any of you feeling like calling it quits, I’ve got 5 Tips to Keep You in the Game.

5 Tips to Keep You in the Game

1. Decide. 

Often we haven’t actually decided that we’re committing to a goal, dream, or result. We think about it. We think it would be great if it happened. We love the idea of it. But, we never decide.

The act of confidently deciding we are going to do something and see it through to completion is a powerful and motivating line in the sand.

Our brain hates incongruence, so when we make decisions, our subconscious works to make our outer world match our inner world.

When we decide, we do it.

When we decide, we identify with the outcome, and again, our subconscious works to make this a reality.

In fact, when I’m not getting a result I want in my business, my coach often points out that it’s because I haven’t made a clear decision. 

Decide to cross the finish line, and you will. 

2. Visualize the end goal or “finish line”. 

Our goals are often exciting at the start. They fire us up, but once the actual work and a little time come into play, the excitement can go out the window. It can be easy to lose sight of where we’re going and get stuck in frustration.

Visualization helps us stay motivated, and it also primes our brain to create the result we want.

Our brain can’t tell the difference between perceived and real events, so when we visualize, our brain thinks it’s already happened, which makes it that much easier to put into practice. 

Put this into action: Visualize your "finish line" daily.

3. Remember why you started. 

We’re more likely to stick it out when we get clear on why we want to cross the finish line.

Knowing our “why” keeps us in the race when it’s easier to quit than keep going. And, I’m going to tell you right now, it’s always easier to quit!

With each goal, ask yourself, why do you want to achieve this goal? Why does it matter? Why this goal? Why now? Why do you want to cross the finish line?

Bonus: Watch this awesome Ted Talk with Simon Sinek the King of Knowing Your Why!

4. Ask yourself how you want to feel when you go to bed.

With most personal goals, no one else will be directly affected if you don’t finish them.

If I stop a run on the treadmill short of the “finish line”, no one else is affected. I’m affected. I know I’ve sold myself short. It’s me who gets the message that I don’t finish what I start.

Instead of worrying about what others will think, ask yourself how you want to feel when the day ends and you go to bed.

P.S. As with all things of the mind and pursuing big goals, let’s ask ourselves kindly and with compassion. 

5. Know the stakes.

So, I’m all for celebrating our wins. I talk about this all the time. But, when we’re consistently stopping short of the finish line, sometimes we also need to apply the pain lever ever so slightly.

Sounds cruel, I know. But hear me out.

We’re wired to avoid pain and seek pleasure.

Often, when we stop short and don’t follow through it’s because we’re associating more pain with completing the task than with stopping. Or conversely, we’re associating more pleasure with stopping and staying stuck.

In other words, running to the end will be hard and hurt, stopping short gives me immediate relief. More pleasure, less pain if I stop now.

To flip this, we need to think about what pain we’ll experience if we stop short and what pleasure we’ll miss out on. Or, we can think about what pleasure is waiting for us at the finish line and what pain we’ll have to live with if we don’t make it to the end. 

Puts a new spin on "no pain, no gain", doesn't it?

This is how we brain hack and truly motivate ourselves to cross the finish line.

I get that sometimes we just want to throw in the towel and figure no one will ever be the wiser... that it won’t even matter. I hope today’s blog will remind you that it isn't about whether or not it matters to anyone else - it’s about the message we tell ourselves every time we stop short of seeing our intentions through to the finish line. 

We send ourselves a powerful message when we show up and follow through with what we say we will. It says: I can trust myself; I do what I say I will.; I follow through; I can do this.

You can do this. You can cross the finish line.

Wishing you your version of success,

feel like quitting

P.S. Want someone to hold you accountable to crossing the finish line? I'd love to support you! Learn more about how we can work together and apply for a free coaching consultation here.

Addicted to Working with Megan Hale

Business Inside Out

Normalizing the entrepreneurial experience one real conversation at a time. Get comfortable, grab your favorite beverage, and join me for a behind-the-scenes look at the mindset, grit, and strategy that creates business success from the inside out.

This week’s interview hit home for me, and I have a feeling it might for many of you as well.

I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with Megan Hale, psychotherapist turned coach and the founder of Wild & Holy, a vibrant community of coaches, therapists, helpers, & healers. 

We talked about the meaning of success, workaholism, and slowing down to have, create, and BE more. Megan opened up with us about her personal experience with workaholism, something I very much relate to and have had to shift through myself.

There’s a fine line between healthy passion, obsession, and workaholism. 

Megan got real about what workaholism looks like and some possible causes. She also outlined three steps we can all follow to help create spaciousness.

“The antithesis to workaholism is spaciousness.”

As someone who’s been on both sides of the fence, it was refreshing and helpful to hear Megan’s account. 

The best part? Post-workaholism, Megan now makes significantly more money in her business even though she puts in a fraction of the hours. That’s a testament to the lie and grip workaholism can have on us and the power of creating some mental space.

For those of you who are new to Megan’s world, you’re in for a treat!

Join Megan and me for an honest and in-depth look at workaholism, how it shows up, the red flags to watch for, how it affects our relationships, businesses, and life, and in closing how to shift from overwhelmed and overworked into flow and joy. 

Slow down, create a little mental white space, grab your favorite beverage, and join us in the conversation below!


(You can also download the interview and listen to it anytime.)

I’d love for you to join us for the entire conversation, but here are the 'Cliff's Notes' if you want to jump around:

{1:08} Megan tells us about her journey and what led her to the powerful work she does now helping people live by their own rules and in integrity. 

{3:03} What success looks like for Megan right now in her life and business and how it’s changed over the years.

{5:52} We get gritty, and Megan shares a look behind the scenes at the cycle she used to find herself in and the question she started focusing on that helped shift everything.

{10:53} Megan and I talk about the overnight-success myth.

{14:12} - We talk about UPLEVELING, baby!

{15:36} Megan opens up and tells us about her experience with workaholism.

{19:51} What’s the difference between workaholism and being passionate and driven?

{24:59} Megan's take on the cause of workaholism and an idea she had to “divorce”.

{31:53} We flip grit on its side. Megan shares a realization about the pressure she was putting on herself and how it relates to her business. 

{33:32} How Megan now makes more money working significantly fewer hours than she used to!

{37:45}  What does workaholism look like? The warning signs and red flags to look for.

{41:56} Megan's biggest aha. 

{45:38} Tips and insights on learning “to be”. Megan's challenges for you.

{46:36}  How to cope with and overcome workaholism.

{50:51} Megan shares where we can find her online (links below)!

Once you’ve had a chance to listen, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Let me know your biggest takeaway!

I hope this conversation reminds you that you are not your work and inspires you to take a look at your relationship to work, look to yourself for your worth and value, and create spaciousness. 

Megan, thank you for taking the time to share your experience and zone of genius so generously! 

Wishing you your version of success,