I spent a month exploring how I want to sell my work. This is what I learned.
For the whole month of August I challenged myself to explore SALES. How I do sales, how I'd like to do sales, what kind of sales process fits with my business now that I have made so many changes to it over this past year. I mean - it's not like I wanted to build hyped-up super manipulative sales funnels or anything like that. But I did want to explore it because sales is a big part of keeping the Creative Dream Incubator humming along. And I didn't want to explore it because it feels uncomfortable because it's that place where my work overlaps with not-my-work and much of the process is actually out of my control so it gets uncomfortable. Most sales systems/approaches say that you must TAKE control of the process and they teach you ways of edging into that not-my-work space with manipulation and coercion - that's not something I am interested in doing.
I want to honour the boundary between my work and not-my-work. And I want to show up fully and brightly for the part that is mine to show up for.
When I avoid thinking about sales because it's uncomfortable for me, then I am staying out of the not-my-work part but of course I'm not also showing up as fully or brightly as I can in that part that IS my work. Of course we all want to avoid the stuff that is uncomfortable! That's exactly why why I challenged myself to spend a whole month exploring this. I wanted to give myself space to work through that initial discomfort and find out what's there on the other side of it. Because the initial discomfort is just my surface-level reaction to sales and that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with my truth. So - it wasn't my full time job to think about sales all month or anything, but I did commit to journaling about it a few times a week for the month, and giving my ideas that month-long space to marinate.
This is what I discovered: this isn't about "selling" at all!
I mean selling more doesn't have to mean focusing on building sales funnels and watching the numbers (bleh). I mean the actual sales are quite happily not-my-work - it's the people who want to join me who make that decision and I am happy to do what I can to give them the information they need to make their choice, and then leave them to make that choice. (Yes I know this is the opposite of what internet marketing tells us to do) The part that is under my control is how I hold space for people who choose to join me. And, because I am a highly sensitive person, I like to have way fewer people in the Circle than I can actually hold space for.
I mean capacity is a pretty fluid thing.
I know what my actual capacity is when everything is going well. I can guess at what it is when everything is not going well. I don't want to ever be in a situation where I can't provide what I have promised. So I hold back a certain amount. Given the kind of work I do, this makes a LOT of sense and it's one of the reasons why I've been able to run a transformational business on my own for so long without depleting myself. My business actually nourishes me - not just financially but emotionally, energetically. Doing my work fills me up. I love this.
And I discovered that IF I want to be working with more people, then I have to slow down the pace at which I do things.
Which actually feels heavenly. Because the only pressure to do things faster comes from ME. It comes from my own creative drive - I can see what I want to do next and I am so excited about it I want to dive in. But what if I could hold those exciting ideas in little bubbles, floating above me, nice and close but not quite in my space, until the time was right for them? I mean I don't know if I can do this of course. My usual way is to be so in love with my new projects that I just leap in head first.
And maybe I want to keep doing it that way.
I mean I'm so grateful that I do make enough money to live how I want to live, doing what I love. I don't have to change, but it's good to understand what it would take to invite more people into the magic of the Creative Dream Incubator. Also, because capacity is fluid, capacity can change over time. I mean when I started this work I didn't think I could ever hold space for hundreds of people in my classes like I do now. And in another sense I'm holding space for over 10,000 people through my emails and social media sharings - I mean holding space for new ideas + inspiration to come in, not holding space for deep transformation. But there was a time when the idea of that many people reading this stuff I share would have totally freaked me out. And now it feels like a normal part of my work.
So this inner nudge to explore all of this may mean that increasing my capacity is what I need next for my own growth.
I do have this one dream that would need a lot of cash to get it off the ground, and it's a dream I thought would happen later in life. Like when I am older and sell my home in the city I can use that money to fund this new dream, the next stage for me. But maybe there is a way to do it sooner, or maybe I am being called to move towards other new things. I mean I don't know. That's part of following a dream!
I don't want the Creative Dream Incubator to be all about money, I know that for sure. I also know that I don't want to shy away from what is TRUE for me.
And to be able to find what is TRUE means staying in these places of not-knowing and exploring what I find there. Also, as I re-read what I just wrote - I am remembering that slowing down how I work doesn't necessarily mean slowing down my productivity/output. In fact, this is something we keep talking about lately in the daily posts I do in the Creative Dream Circle, sometimes you need to slow down to speed up and it's often a confusing place to be. And of course this collides with the realization I shared in my video last week - about how I want to create PRACTICES for the Outer Work of keeping the Creative Dream Incubator humming along. So - something is growing here that's for sure.
PS: TODAY, Tuesday, September 4, I’m going live with my creative colleagues Effy Wild and Chris Zydel to talk about doing business from the HEART.
We're not selling or teaching anything, just wanting to have a conversation about putting your creative work out into the world with integrity and joy. Since it feels like most of the internet is talking about the numbers (whether it's followers, likes, shares or dollars) we wanted to add some other ideas to the public conversation - about the magic of focusing on your creative work instead of the numbers and about how integrity can build a solid container for ongoing success. >>> Details are here - including a time zone converter so you can see when this is happening where you live.