169: Isolation Zombification

Released Sunday, 29th March 2020
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It’s widely supported by science that new habits, good or bad, take 21 days to stick. As much of our world endures lockdowns and isolation to varying degrees, most of us are experiencing mental and physical deterioration at unprecedented speed.

Constant streams of defeating news, blown-up routines, loneliness, hopelessness, boredom, uncertainty… Heck, getting day-drunk starts looking pretty good.

Don’t use this period against yourself. You can unravel the progress you’ve made and be worse off at the end, or, you can maximize this time and deliberately decide to use it wisely.

Stay tuned for more details in Expats on Purpose because Expat Coach Coalition specialists are sharing some brain food in a FREE upcoming series.

This week, I’m joined by a surprise past guest as we co-explore the second common excuse that’s preventing you from making the money you want and deserve… “No one will buy it.”

You’re done letting circumstance and impostor syndrome undervalue what you have to offer. Don’t allow someone else’s pockets to get padded with money that belongs to you.

What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • Jeans getting too tight

  • Selling through your fear of rejection

  • Kittens, cheeseburgers, & multicolored toilet bowl lights

  • Stabilizing yourself in our new normal

  • Real vs. imaginary roadblocks

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

What do you want your story to be six months from now? A) You binged Netflix, got out of shape, became a bitter recluse, and drank too much while wallowing in victimhood. Or, B) You capitalized on this time for self-improvement, connected with other global professionals from your level, and created security for yourself through a location-independent business.

Take option “B” right here.

“I knew I had it in me to start a business. Even my friends (and husband!) tell me I look totally different – lighter and brighter. It’s quite profound. It’s really built my conviction that I can help others succeed.” – Jane Ordaz, Founder of The Menopausal Expat

We’re delighted by our nomination to the global Top 25 Expat Podcasts!

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Full Episode Transcript:

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Hello, it is 5:00 am in New York, 11:00 am in Johannesburg and 4:00 pm in Bangkok.  Welcome to Expat Happy Hour. This is Sundae Schneider-Bean from www.sundaebean.com. I’m a solution oriented coach and intercultural strategist for individuals and organizations and I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed when living abroad and get you through any life transition.

When I’m talking about any life transition, I cannot think of a better time than this global transition that we’re all going through right now. At the time of this recording everybody is asking themselves, “What are we going to do in this time of the coronavirus?”

For me on Thursday, I woke up in South Africa and I was having a normal day until after work. I locked eyes with my husband and he had that thing, you know that thing in the eyes when you know, the next question that’s going to come it’s going to be something big. Well, that happened and we had this discussion of where do you want to hunker down during the bumpiest peak of the coronavirus?

This was Thursday. It is now Monday. Now, keep in mind on Thursday I was just self isolating at home. Everything was fine. We’re getting the homeschool routine done and I wasn’t even letting myself ask that question. Until we started hearing about projections of flights being canceled for a week ahead. Well, my husband knowing me how he does, he gave me some time to think about it. And on Friday I woke up and I thought about any respiratory cases in our family, any vulnerabilities that were relevant. And I thought “Well, I guess where I would like to ride out the bumpy part if I’m working location-independent and my kids are doing school from home. In the place that’s best in terms of healthcare and stability.” So we looked at each other again and we said “Okay, I guess that’s what we’ll do.” And Friday we booked our tickets, Saturday I woke up, packed. We were on an airplane that night and came here Sunday evening. And now it’s Monday morning and homeschool is happening, work is happening and “normal.” And, I’m doing air quotes of my fingers here, life is going to be happening here until things calm down. Whatever that looks like. 

So if you’re listening to this, I want you to tell me what’s your story? What is the last 72 hours of your life been like? Hop on my Facebook page at sundaebean.com or connect with me over social media, Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter wherever you’re at, and tell me your story. I want to hear from you. Email me, I want to hear where you’re at and what’s going on in your life. 

But listen, that’s not what this episode is about. Before all this went crazy, I promised to debunk four excuses that I hear all the time that stop you from making money in your business. Especially location-independent businesses. Ways that people are holding themselves back. And I did debate whether I would go forward with this, but to be honest, I can’t think of a better time than now to, let’s get through those mental blocks that are holding us back from doing what we do best and making money doing it. Because right now with all the uncertainty, we don’t need our excuses in our head from stopping us. We have enough logistical things that are stopping us, borders closing, flights being canceled. Let’s not then add the mental blocks that are going on. 

So I am going to go further with these four excuses, because this is the time to get really clear on how you’re showing up in your life and your business financially. How you can create security for you and smash through the things that are blocking you that aren’t real.That’s what we need to do in uncertain times, face the real stuff and block through the stuff that is just in our heads. So who knows how long this will go but I want you to be prepared.

Just as a side note, before we dive into the four excuses. If you are not already part of my Facebook group Expats on Purpose, please join me. This is a cozy community where you can ask questions and get support and have resources from people who get it. There’s a number of experts in that group too that have a wide variety of skill sets that are explicitly supportive of expat life. And in that group, you’ll be meeting the recent graduates of Expat Coach Coalition. A wonderful troop of individuals who serve the global mobility community in ways that are super powerful. And you’ll be getting some more support from them in the coming weeks in the group as our gesture of serving our community in these challenging times.

So, last week I went around and talked to all my clients and I asked everyone the same question. And I want you to ask yourself this question. The question is, “What do you want to say you did in the next 6 months?”

By far my favorite answer from one of my clients was, “Well, what I don’t want to say is, I don’t fit into my jeans anymore. And all I did was binge on Netflix.” Which is essentially saying, she doesn’t want to let the months go by at home and then ask herself why she didn’t do more. Why she didn’t get more clarity, why she didn’t use that time of limbo to start something important.

Now is more important than ever to appreciate this chance to work a location-independent life. And that could mean working from anywhere including your home. And if you’re like most people then you’ve got one of these four excuses that I’ve seen over and over in my work with people. And I’m addressing these specifically for those who live in a globally mobile context because that adds another layer of complexity, doesn’t it?

So in last week’s episode we kicked off these four excuses. You might remember in Episode 168: Trial By Fire, we talked about the first excuse, “I’m not ready.” Excuse. Number one; “I’m not ready.” You’ll recall that we talked about how “I’m not ready” is actually a disguise for self-doubt.

Excuse number two is; “No one will buy it.”

Number three is; “I don’t have time.”

And number four will surprise you. It’s; “We don’t need the money.” These days, you might be thinking the opposite, “We need the money.” And I’ll address that in that episode. 

So we’re heading in to excuse number two this week. “No one will buy it.” 

Okay, but before we do that, I want to have a little quiz. Tell me real or fake, real or fake. Which one of these products is real or fake? 

So number one, you can buy something called the exploding kitten card game. Is that real or fake? Okay card game for people who are into kittens and explosions.

Number two, a multicolored toilet bowl light. Number two real or fake, a multicolored toilet bowl light.

Number three, a USB flash memory stick in the shape of a cheeseburger. It’s so hard for me to say that without cracking up, a USB flash memory stick in the shape of a cheeseburger. Real or fake?

I’m so sorry to tell you the news, but they’re all real, they are all real. In fact exploding kitten was number 3 in 2017 on Amazon and games. And an unnamed person in my family actually sent me a video of the multicolored toilet bowl light in all of its glory

Yes, people pay money for this. And apparently it brings them great joy. So I offer these examples. One, first of all they’re amazing. I just can’t believe it. But this idea of “No one will buy it.” For real who would have thought an exploding kitten card game, multicolor toilet bowl light. Apparently people do buy it. In fact, they’re really hot sellers.

So this idea of “No one will buy it.” Is that true?

Is that true? No one will buy it. In fact, the only way you can find out is to do really high quality market research and test if it’s viable. And when you don’t do that, when you don’t let yourself go through that process, when you stop yourself before you even start, you’re missing out. I mean imagine if Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick were like, “Oh, you know what? No one will pay money to have strangers drive them places.” If they didn’t, if they thought that no one would buy it. Uber would have never been sold for 19 million dollars. 

What if Garrett Camp asked his neighbor about the idea of Uber and this neighbor’s like, “Ah, no one will buy it.” And they overrode his instinct that was a brilliant idea. He would have missed out on a 3.7 billion dollar career. He’s a Canadian billionaire, entrepreneur, product designer, investor. What if he didn’t believe in the value of his idea? He would be missing out.

The thing is the idea, “No one will buy it,” is only the answer after you’ve done the work. You can only say “No one will buy it.” After you’ve done the work. And the work, one, is you need to have a product or service a prototype that is high quality. You need to understand who your ideal market is. Test out the idea, get feedback, do market research. And only then can you say “No one will buy it.” 

And for those of you in marketing and sales it’s like, “Of course.” But here’s the thing. I work with people all the time who before they even give themselves a chance, before they do the market research, before they do the testing, before prototype, before any of that. They’ve already convinced themselves that no one will buy it. 

Imagine the guy who made all that money from toilet bowl lights. He’s putting his kids through college now because he did his work. He did the research and he found out there was a market. And I’m guessing, I don’t even want to know who this market is, I don’t even want to guess. 

But what I want you to do right now is, if you’re thinking about starting your own business or you have a service that you want to offer people, even if it’s like massage or coaching. Or let’s say you want to have a copywriting service or anything. Anything that you think you’d love doing. Maybe something artistic. You create stuff and you want to sell it. And you’re telling yourself “No one will buy it.” My hunch is, it’s way too soon to even make that statement. You haven’t done the work to get there. 

“No one will buy it” is so dangerous. Because it stops you from learning and it stops you from making money and stops you from building confidence. And I just want to help you stop that. Because now is the time to get rid of the mental blocks. Because we have enough blocks in their own reality to navigate. We don’t need extra ones that we create for ourselves. 

So what I’m going to do now is we’re going to look into “No one will buy it” more closely. Because it wears a disguise. It carries a shield. And there’s also something that it’s blocking that you need to know about.

So for us to go a little bit deeper with this idea of “No one will buy it.” I wanted to do something different today instead of you just listening to me go on and on and on about how passionately I believe in this idea that “No one will buy it,” isn’t true. I mentioned to you I don’t believe it because I hear this for my clients all the time and in our work together, we constantly disprove that. So what a better way than to bring a dear friend of mine who is actually a client, who hired me to fast-track her business. And she and I are going to talk about, “No one will buy it” and how that’s shown up in her own life and how it lives disguised by other things. You might know Cath Brew who from the book “Living Elsewhere.” She’s an amazing artist and illustrator. If you don’t have this book you need to have this on your coffee table. And it’s got to be your leaving present for anybody you care about. She’s been Episode 68 of Expat Happy Hour as well as Episode 144 Unlikely Connections with her and Jerry Jones. 

Cath is an amazing professional. She is a confident person in public. I’ve seen her bring an entire room of people around the world to their feet. Cath can do drawings live and the product is outstanding. And she’s a wonderful, wonderful writer and storyteller. It might be surprising for you to learn that she’s even had the thought that “No one will buy it.” So Cath is so awesome to agree and share a sort of behind the scenes of what goes on. I get this because I’m an entrepreneur and although I am confident in what I’m doing, I also have moments of doubt.

Sundae: So Cath thanks for joining me today.

Cath: It’s my pleasure. 

Sundae: So Cath and I were working on something together. And I was doing some brainstorming about this episode a few weeks ago. And I said, “Hey Cath, here are the top four excuses I’m seeing with my clients, which ones do you think would resonate?” And what was interesting is our conversation started then, that actually in some form, all of them resonated. 

Cath: Absolutely, I was a bit like “Which one didn’t resonate really?”

Sundae: So Cath has approved these four excuses on the series. So Cath, today we’re going to talk about “No one will buy it.” And as you know, I think from my work, “No one will buy it” is a disguise for, “I don’t see the value in what I have to offer.”

Cath: Yeah, very much. So even now, I still think that and I’m considered successful supposedly. Yeah. It’s a really hard thing. I think for me the main reason is that I put my heart and soul into it. And it’s like if I put it out there and people don’t buy it, then it feels like it’s a representation of me and who I am that they’re rejecting that. But actually it’s not that at all. Because I put my heart and soul into it, I want people to like it. And it’s really scary. It’s a huge risk. But if you do and then they do like it, it’s also wonderful.

Sundae: It feels amazing. But that’s dangerous too, because then it’s like your self worth is contingent on outside value. 

So you talked about the heart and soul. I remember, it makes me think about when I was in university. How I would work really hard on a paper because it felt like it was an extension of who I was. So I wanted to get the A. Now years later with hindsight, I see how dangerous that can be. But it felt like, “My work is an extension of who I am and that means I am giving my value up to these predefined criteria.

Cath: And that’s one of the things I find the hardest. Is that because I’m a hundred percent committed to what I do and I really try to do the best thing. You do put a hundred percent of yourself into what you’re doing and it’s very hard to separate it from yourself. And I was that student as well. I always strived for A’s and trying to do really well. And I remember once when I got 30% in a math test and I was absolutely devastated. It was just awful. 

Sundae: How does that happen? How does a woman like you get 30% on a math test?

Cath: Oh, I don’t know. I think I probably got a bit cocky and I decided I didn’t need to study or something.  I still remember the wound now, it’s just vile I can feel it. And that’s just schoolwork. So when I’m doing business work, which I absolutely love. And for me particularly with drawing. It’s so the core of who you are as a creative pursuit. And I’ve always just drawn for myself. So it’s like it’s lovely that people value it more to buy it. But it took me a long long time to think that it was worth that. And as you know, it took me till I was 42 to call myself an artist. 

Sundae: I think you already had a published book at this stage? Here’s the thing. Here’s another thing I think is hidden in that. With its disguise of “I don’t see the value in what I have to offer.” This is the craziest thing about it. You enjoy it and it comes naturally to you now that you don’t work at it. But when you enjoy something and it feels like it’s coming natural then you automatically think it doesn’t have value. 

Cath: Yeah it is. It’s that kind of God-given thing that, “I don’t have a right to charge for this because I haven’t worked hard to make it happen.” And then actually if I think about it all and I think about the stuff that we have explored in coaching. That how much I have put into it, in that my university degree was a degree in landscape architecture. And we had whole subjects that were about how to actually write on a page and how to layout things. I did art at school. I’ve since taken myself off on training courses to learn graphic design and to learn various softwares. And it’s about reminding yourself of those moments. 

I remember sitting in a six-week course at my local university about graphic design. And I remember sitting there saying to the guy “But this is all very well sitting here doing a class like this. But how do I actually get work?” And he said “Just do it, just get out there.” And I remember thinking “Oh, yeah, right.” And then about a year later when I’m employed and I’m getting repeat customers, I’m like, “Yeah, I’m actually doing this. This is cool.” But it’s really scary putting yourself out there. 

Sundae: I think that’s a really good tip for those who are listening. When you are saying to yourself, “I don’t see the value in what I have to offer.” And this happens to so many of my clients. I make them actually write down. When did you do your first course? How many hours did you practice it on your own? Did you go to school to finish it? What sort of life experience led you to know that? And once you start writing it down you’re like, “Oh, yeah.”

I had to do this. This is something I’ve never shared with anybody before. Before I started Expat Coach Coalition. I was like, “Oh my gosh.” This leads to one of the other disguises that I have done. But I was looking at myself going, “Is it the right time for me to do this?” And I did the exercise for myself and I realized I probably invested over a hundred thousand dollars and my education and over a decade. So a decade of experience $100,000. And if I sell a program that’s under $5,000 it sounds like basically “I did all the work, I invested the decade, I invested the hundred grand you guys get to get that filtered over time, the best of what I know.  

Cath: But also it’s all the years of practice as well. I mean everywhere I go, coffee shop whatever. I’ve always got a pen and paper and I’m always constantly sketching. And I used to do cartoons for friends, like wedding cards and birthday cards. And although I’m doing it because I enjoy it, if I look at that with a professional eye, that’s a constant honing of that skill. And that has to have value because it’s no different to me if I’m learning to be a masseuse or something, going and giving friends massages. It’s all part of that same thing of practicing and developing your craft whatever that is. 

Sundae: And what’s so ironic too, because all of us, anybody who is listening. If you are believing the thought “I don’t see the value of what I have to offer.” Be honest. If one of your closest friends did that thing. Would you tell him or her to give it away for free or would you insist that they charge for it? If your friend, like you were saying, a masseuse or a hair salon, whatever. If they were amazing at it. You would be like “What are you crazy? Charge, that has value. But it’s hard to see it in yourself. 

Cath: It is. And I’ve realized that. I absolutely used to think, “Who on Earth am I to think that I can charge for something that’s just this kind of God-given thing.” But I realized that an awful lot of that was actually when I broke it down. I desperately wanted to have success and I knew I could do it but it was a complete protection mechanism of, “If I don’t go out and don’t do these things and I play it safe and I won’t get hurt.” But actually all I’m doing is confirming that I will never get there. And it’s just counterproductive. It feels safe, but it’s actually counterproductive. 

Sundae: Right, it feels safer. You’re protecting yourself. I think Rene Brown calls it foreboding joy. Like you protect yourself from the disappointment when you really want something 

Cath: But actually what you’re doing is confirming the disappointment because you never allowing yourself to get out of it.

I guess it’s probably a tip to other people. But my thing always was, I just had that moment where I just thought, “But what if? Just what if I could actually make this happen, how exciting and how incredible that could be.” And I just think,  probably use a swear word, but I’d probably just think like, “Stuff this and just get on with it.” 

Sundae: So you talked about, you said “Who do I think I am?” And this is the second part of “No one will buy it.” I think it’s a shield from “Who do you think you are?” So the first one is when we say, “I don’t see the value.” It’s actually protecting. It’s a shield for our self-worth. We don’t have self-worth and we’re protecting ourselves from more disappointment. And the second sort of variation of it is a shield, “Who do you think you are?” We’re protecting ourselves from people thinking we’re hotsy-totsy or bigger, too big for our britches. I mean hello gender socialization. Like as a woman it’s hard for me not to hear that from a gendered context. 

Cath: Yeak, like if I put myself out there. Then in my head used to translate that I must think I’m fairly good. And therefore does that make me kind of a bit cocky. And who might put my head above the parapet when when others aren’t. And then I think, well actually they all are. All the successful people out there had that moment where they thought “Right do I do this or do I don’t?” We don’t see that. It’s like the iceberg. We don’t see all the stuff underneath.

Sundae: No, and if you’ve read the book train wreck. We’ll have to put the reference in the show notes. But train wreck is a book about what happens with women who are successful in the public eye. And how they are systematically taken down on their rise up. So when we look at the media and we look at public figures. What you see from the research is that women are held to a different standard than men are. And what is considered confident in a man would be arrogant in a woman or whatever. 

So I think we’re protecting ourselves from something societal. We’re trying not to get hit down from society. But I think the other flip side is the impostor syndrome. You know, who am I? 

Cath: I’m very familiar with both. 

Sundae: You guys are good friends?

Cath: Yeah. We’re very very good friends. Let’s say we’re twins even. I mean it’s weird actually because it’s things that I’m trained in and I think I I’ve got the bit of paper. I can stand up absolutely and be confident and say, “Yes, I can do this because I’ve got this qualification.” But drawing is like another whole thing altogether. And I keep waiting to feel like I’m going to be discovered that I can’t actually draw. And then I look at what I’ve done and think, “Ah jeez, don’t be stupid.” But it’s these constant good and evil little people on my shoulders trying to have this conversation. 

Sundae: If you’re listening and you don’t know the Impostor syndrome. Pause now and go Google it. Because I’ve had conversations with my clients where they didn’t know about the impostor syndrome. And as soon as they had a name for it, it was transformational for them. 

So impostor syndrome is constantly feeling like you’re going to be a fraud and you’re going to be found out. One of my clients, she is amazing. When she discovered impostor syndrome we had a good giggle about it. Because that morning she just received like top salesperson in the entire continent basically. And we were giggling because literally moments before she discovered the name, she was asking herself if she was good enough to take on this position. And she’s like, “Ah no I hate that it happens.” So you’re not alone. If you’ve asked yourself that. 

And so what’s against it? What are the tips against it? How do you fight impostor syndrome? 

Cath: Well one thing is it’s that five-second rule, isn’t it? It’s like I have an idea and it takes me five seconds to actually destroy it by saying that I’m not capable. But actually so when I have the idea I think “Right, yeah, I’m going to do that.” And I don’t allow that thought of telling myself I can’t do it. I don’t allow that space to even exist now. And so I just start doing it and I start making commitments to it.  And really active things. So I’m someone that doesn’t like to not deliver something. So if I’ve decided that I want to do something, before that brain kicks in I will send an email to someone saying “Yes, I can do this.” or “I can do that.” Because then it’s like, “Oh geez, I’ve actually got to deliver on this now.” 

And it forces me, it pushes me out of my comfort zone. Because I know myself well enough to know that I’m not going to let someone down. And if I can’t do it then I’ll find someone else who can do it and I’ll make It happen. But it’s about constantly pushing my mind. 

Sundae: I think I’ve done that too before I even knew it was a strategy. When I started coaching over a decade ago. I had done a lot of work like qualitative communication, training through a master’s degree and I did some training. But I was tapped on the shoulder to coach on a corporate level with managing directors. And this was before I felt ready. And I had a conversation with my mentor, my mentor coach and she’s like, “Just do it. I’m here by your side. I’ll mentor you every step of the way.” And I was shocked at actually how easy it was and how quickly I got results for my clients.

Because honestly if I had waited until I was ready, I would have probably waited years to do it. And then I would have missed on all those years of experience building. So someone who would say, yes, and you do the five four three two one. Would then have five more years of experience than me. 

Cath: But also I used to go to art exhibitions locally in cafes and things. And I’d look at the walls and just think “Why are they doing this: They’ve got 300 pounds on a picture or they’ve got this price and there’s sales?” And I got so annoyed with myself that I wasn’t doing it. That it’s like “Jeez if they can why can’t I?” And I realize it’s only me that stopping myself. So I got desperate enough where I had to do something.

Sundae: Again it can be a really great tip. Actually if you notice that you’re getting jealous or frustrated by people who are out there doing it and you’re even, this sounds really bad. But if you’re even kind of judgy about the quality of their work, where you’re like “I could do better.”

But then if you notice yourself getting judgy, if you notice yourself getting jealous. It’s actually a great sign. Like your body is saying you are ready. Someone will buy it. 

Cath: It’s triggering something. 

Sundae: So the last one is “No one will buy it.” And I think it’s really just fear of selling. 

Cath: Yeah it is. I mean society, I guess it depends on where you live in cultural things, but generally people where I’ve lived don’t like to talk about money much. But to some degree being an Australian in the UK, I’m better at talking about money than I would be elsewhere. There’s something, I don’t know, we’re a bit more bolder with with having those conversations. So I’ve just learned to do it. Because I’ve had moments where I’ve been brave enough and I’ve just said, someone’s asked me a price and I’ve just said. I haven’t even blinked and I thought “Oh that was easy.” Like “Right we’ll do that again next time.” Or “We’ll  go up a bit more.” 

But also part of the complication for me has always been, it’s about value. And if I’m looking to sell something I judge it on what I think I would spend on it. Which is very different to someone who has a lot more money or they can’t draw so they only buy art and therefore it has a greater value to them. Or it, like with my book, with Living Elsewhere. It speaks to them in a way that they can’t express otherwise and it has a much greater meaning. SoI’ve learned not to value my stuff on my own standards. It’s like I have to just do what feels right if people want to buy it. They may buy it, if they don’t they don’t. But I mean that sounds easy, but it’s taken me a long time to get to that point.

Sundae: There is actually kind of a science behind it with market research and understanding. You know your client, that’s just market research. I did the work on how to sell because I knew if I didn’t I would have a hobby not a business. So did some intensive investing in myself and learning about, how do you sell in a way that’s authentic and not slimy and not bothering people and all that. And for me when I get in that place where I don’t feel like selling a product or a program. I actually just go back to my clients and go “Well, if I hadn’t done that their life wouldn’t have changed the way it did.” You know it’s again like I’m robbing them of their joy, of their transformation or whatever it might be and it’s really not about me it’s about them. And I’m like “Just get over yourself Sundae.” 

Cath: Absolutely and as much as I love to do drawings and I’ll give them away. It doesn’t give me food to buy cereal for breakfast in the morning. There’s very very fundamental needs. And why should me doing something that I love be any different to going out and being employed and doing something I love. It’s like comparing apples and pears. it just doesn’t compute in my head now. But it used to. And I used to way way under charge what I do. But I’ve learned that where I thought if I charge more, people would think it was too expensive. And actually if you charge what you’re meant to charge people really value it for what it is. Money has a value whether we like it or not. It’s how people often measure things. And therefore it works. It’s a known transaction and known conversation between two people regardless of culture.

Sundae: It’s like “I got value from this service. Here’s the value back”. And however you exchange that value. And one of the things I think is interesting is this conversation around sales. I always ask my clients, “Would you ever expect the dentist to give you a root canal for free?”And they’re like, “Of course you’re gonna pay for it.” And so I think that’s really important for other service providers. We don’t even think about it. Why would it be for your thing any different.

The other thing which I just heard. Susan Hyatt put out a post about sort of push back that people are getting who are selling now in this, you know in the coronavirus crisis or whatever. She’s like, “Well if I don’t pay my team of 10. Now, we’ve got an assistant out of work and she’s not going to be able to pay for her daughters food.” We need to keep showing up for people. We need to keep serving people in ways that are authentic. But not like suddenly, you know, how can you do that? You have a team, you have responsibilities. 

Cath: Yeah very much so. And also on the subject of authenticity. What I’ve realized that I’m doing, is that I will charge the kind of set fees, but then when there are cases and there are people that I can make adjustments for, or I might do a staged payment. 

What I do with my business is that I actually take on two cases every year of someone who’s really just trying to start out and trying to get a product out there. Generally they’re people that have got an awful lot of talent but just haven’t quite got the skills yet to get going. And I tend to work with them rather than me working for them. And therefore I share a bit of the risk with some of the projects and we then launched things together. And I tend to pick one or two cases a year that I focus that on and that’s my way of then giving back that then feels like it balances out the kind of more professional fees that I charge.

Sundae: I did the same thing when it comes to how do I serve for free in a way that’s not liking what my values are so that I can keep my business running and keep my team paid and that sort of thing. You can be creative. I’m able to give pro bono clients. You can volunteer services for an organization you believe in. So that everybody’s needs can get met.

So Cath you came on here to talk about you know, this is just one of the four excuses. And we talked about three ways that it morphs. You’re really self-aware of this. You’ve done the work. You’re working to blast through these. I mean you notice them coming back, you keep pushing them down and keep moving forward. 

What advice do you have for people who are just at the beginning of this process? 

Cath: I guess the main thing really is just to keep tapping into your dream. The what if. What if this really was successful? All those things that you feel that you’re not able to do at the moment. What if you really could do those things? And that for me was always a great motivator. 

And also it’s not like you decided to become a bricklayer and then suddenly the next day you’re building the Great Wall of China. It’s like recognizing the small steps along the way. 

So I remember the very first drawing I ever sold to someone. Which was just a drawing I did for myself, but they wanted to buy it and give it to someone for a present. And I remember being so shocked at that. And I keep testimonials. I keep things down so that any good things that people have said, it then proves to me that there is a marker and there are people that are interested. And I just try and keep going. 

I don’t know what else to say really. It’s just having the courage of your convictions and just believing that you’re worth that. I think one of the things for me that was the hardest was thinking that, “Who am I to think I’m going to?” It’s all too hard. I don’t know what I’m doing. And actually every single one of those things has a solution. So I didn’t think I knew well like let’s go and sort out how I can do it. So I went off and did some courses and I realized I didn’t have the confidence. And then I saw an ad locally for a networking group that needed a graphic kind of person. And I thought “Well I can do that.” And I wrote and said I wanted to come before I even had the chance to say no to myself. And suddenly I was there and I was earning money and it’s like, “Well actually, I can do this.”

So it’s just giving yourself a bit of a breather and being kind and just taking little steps at a time. 

Sundae: And I would add this idea of the “What if? “Looking at this one excuse “No one will buy it.” Is that really going to be the thing you go down on like for real. “Am I really going to let my excuse that’s not even true take me down?” No, the answer is no.

Cath: I can’t do that now because people do buy my book and they do by drawings and it’s like well I’ve dealt with that one. I can’t use that excuse. 

Sundae: I love it. 

Cath: But it’s also looking back at even anything that nothing that relates to this. So it’s like the first time that you thought you couldn’t learn to drive a car. And if you are driving you now drive a car. The first time you thought you couldn’t go for a hundred meter walk or run or whatever. Like it doesn’t matter what the subject is, but it’s recognizing those things that you’ve actually overcome no matter how small they are. To realize that you can overcome whatever things are that you’re telling yourself and just to break it down into bite-sized pieces and to challenge yourself. 

It’s not easy. I’m not saying that it’s easy. It’s certainly not. But what I would say is that the rewards on the other side of it are so incredibly exciting, I get such a buzz from this stuff that when it works it works. And it’s like “Right, let’s just do this. Let’s shut that head off that tells me I can’t do things and let’s just see how I can change the world.” 

So there you have it. “No one will buy it.” A terrible excuse. It’s either a statement you’re making way too early because you haven’t done your market research and created a prototype and tested it and really understood whether that is or isn’t true. It’s also a disguise for “I don’t see the value of what I have to offer.” A shield from “Who do you think you are?” Or from your own self talk saying “Who am I to offer?” AKA the impostor syndrome. And it’s a block because you’re afraid of selling.

This excuse “No one will buy it” is so important to acknowledge and work through. Because it’s holding you back from bringing joy to others, from helping meet their needs and from your own growth and financial success. It stops you from making money. And in these uncertain times we need to be removing as many of these thought blocks as we can. Because the reality is challenging enough.

You’ve been listening to Expat Happy Hour with Sundae Bean. Thank you for listening. 

I’ll leave you with the words of Liam Linisong, “No one can stop you but yourself.”

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