The social media generation is setting new models for behavior. In affluence of opportunities, almost everybody is ready to speak up. The average teenager even, at least in some respects, forms this membrane, immunity of sort, whereas he routinely underestimates the weight of sharing his line of thinking in public.
Within reasonable limits, technology holds a megaphone to your face, and the world, curious as it is, gets ready to listen. Yet for all this, we share a collective disability. While our voice is ricocheting and millions are pointing their ears, it somehow loses clarity, purpose.
And though having everybody’s ear, there is this frightening lack of enthusiasm to engage in a transaction. We, simply put, are afraid to sell.
Building a self-brand
This, right now, is the most fertile soil for growing the self-brand. The image of self, gaining much in importance, makes it harder to maintain a feet-on-the-ground personality. In addition, we draw conclusions from a society turning more narcissistic with every Facebook status update.
And many would confuse building the self-brand with a form of communication. Though communication, in the full symbiotic sense of the word, means being able to listen and then offer your line of thinking. Vice versa doesn’t apply here.
The image of self requires so much effort to maintain, that many of us, myself included, cringe on the possibility to do it any harm. Whatever else might be said, we are afraid to fail.
With every real effort to offer something of value, comes significant unknown in its wake. For thinking in straight lines barely offers a chance to fail. In order to fail we must first offer something. We must be ready to sell.
And this only supports the current ratio of consuming versus creating. We are, no doubt, afraid that what we have to offer is not enough or simply lacks quality and will in turn ruin our image of self.
Hence you see people’s hesitation to put a price tag on their work, their creation. Very counter-intuitive, for a society ready to speak up, that is.
The truth is that if you don’t sell, in all likelihood, nobody will for you.
Before arriving at the top of the New York bestselling list, The Four Hour Workweek, a truly marvelous book by Tim Ferriss, sat in his drawer for an entire year. It was not after he started promoting, started to sell his product, that people noticed, took interest, and propelled him to the top. Had he not decided to speak up his offer with clarity, this book might have never seen the light of day.
Another example, that might as well be common to the human experience, comes from Darren Rowse, an early pioneer of blogging, who decided to collect his published articles, turn them into a book, and put a price tag. What came out of it was a pleasant experience that changed his life for good.
Namely, the book started making sales, and though the numbers were fairly impressive, the point lays elsewhere. The confidence that came out of those transactions made him aware of how far clarity and purpose can go when it comes to what you have to offer. A singular experience that changes how you conduct your life for good.
And this is just the frosting on the cake. I’ve seen, in so many places, people who possess something of value, be that a product, a solution to a problem, a unique skill they have to offer. How many refuse to come out of the woodwork, messes with common sense. For I’ve seen examples where the product is close to mediocre, yet millions are buying, and in turn millions are even made. Anyone heard about ClickBank?
It’s not just the money
Entrepreneurially driven as I am, I refuse to believe in a dollar exchange only. For every experience brings along a plethora of similar ones. One reassurance opens up doors you didn’t know existed.
Behind every sales pitch there lays clarity in what you have to offer. And if this was a feel-good sermon, I would now have been going on and on about the ways in which this affects self-confidence, pride and whatnot. Trying not to sound too much of a cliché, it does. Selling something is a pawed way to better understand yourself, if ever there was any.
Now is the best time to sell
The ability to engage and to cause a transaction shapes societies. For long ago people lived off from being able to sell a service, a product, talent… In a time where outreach was minimal, almost nobody feared to sell. Now, though tides are shifted and we can reach millions for free, almost nobody ever tries to sell. For shame…
Being able to clearly state your offer, aside from adding a touch of objectivity to your self-image, makes you a more valuable member of society as well. Many can benefit from your ability if you care enough to sell it. And much the same is increasingly true for both product and service, as well as talent and knowledge.
Every profession, craft, in turn requires an entrepreneurial spin.
“Pick yourself. Don’t wait for someone to pick you. If you have a book, you don’t need a publisher to pick you, you can publish it yourself; if you want to write, write; if you want to sing, sing; if you want to start a movement, start a movement. You can now make an impact if you want to.” ~ Seth Godin
In a world where everybody is having their ears pointed, almost everything can happen and often does. By extension, with every next platform you are, more and more, on the one end of the line, whereas the world is on the other.
The question then is a simple one – it is not whether people would pick up, but are you ready to promote and sell with clarity? If you are, then make a step and take a leap of faith.