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Learning to Sell: The Beginning

A few months ago I was talking to my friend Tony, a video producer.  He said his business was going well but he’s relying too much on his former company referring him business and has no idea how to generate business for himself.  Since I am interested in marketing and selling, I told him I would market his services for him with a 30% cut.  He agreed.

I started off as clueless as he was.  I knew that marketing required segmenting the population, and really zoning in on the target niche.  However, almost anyone with a product or service could benefit from video production.  My assumptions were that those who demanded video production services didn’t need much convincing, but I had no idea how to find these people.

I posted in Sebastian Marshall’s community section and someone commented that while he (the commenter) was working as a web developer, clients told him that they needed these services.  This gave me an idea.

I could target the middleman, the people whose clients may demand my services:  marketing agencies, graphic design agencies, and web development agencies.

Lucky for me, I had already located an example email script.  I pulled the email script from Ramit Sethi’s book, “Finding Your First Profitable Idea” and tweaked the wording. 

Following Through

On Chaotically Ordering

All my life I have been terrible at following through. I'm great at saying things and then doing the complete opposite; I'd agree to go to a party and then bail last minute (often knowing full well that was my plan all along); I'd go to the gym twice and not go back for 3 years; I'd start non-fiction books and abandon them three pages in; the list goes on. I stuck to things only when there was something making me, like a friend, or an angry professor, or the threat of losing my job if I didn't turn up. I never really saw this as a problem. Until now.

I realise that committing yourself to a course of action and then following up on that isn't just a good thing to do; it's the only thing to do. All my flakiness, last minute decisions, and lack of a firm answer didn't just paint me as unreliable to other people, but they made me think I was unreliable. I had no trust in myself to follow through on tasks, so I stopped starting them. I stopped trying to do things that were difficult because I knew I'd procrastinate them away until it was far too late. To not be able to trust yourself is not a place you want to be in, because there is no chance you will do anything. Ever.

This has changed recently. I've managed to stick to my no-sugar, no-carb, no-dairy, no-anything-that-will-shorten-my-life-span diet; I'm keeping up with my French practice; I'm going to keep blogging here Mondays and Thursdays, regardless of readership; I'm in the process of "Paring Down" (that's for another post); I make sure that I answer yes or no to plans made with friends, and stick to what I answered. Ultimately, I'm setting myself tasks and I'm seeing them through to the bitter end.

This might seem like rehabilitation, and that's because it is. I was (am by nature, I suppose) lazy, flaky, and generally looking for the easy way out. I've been reading about how this is a hard-wired phenomenon in our brain to take the easy route, do the immediately fun thing and not the long term fun, worthwhile thing, but I don't know how much of that I believe yet. For me, right now, it's just a case of sticking with what I'm doing to the point at which it's completed, or until something physically stops me doing it. As I build my trust in myself, I can start to set myself bigger tasks and more meaningful goals.

It's going to be an interesting few months (years).

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