One of my joys of entrepreneurship is occasionally letting my kids skip their after-school program to have playmates over after school. Monday afternoon was such a day for my daughter K and her friend D. The two girls schemed for this event for a week. They planned to wear matching outfits, bake cookies, and go door-to-door in our neighborhood selling them. When K initially informed me of the agenda, I admit I was completely resistant.
I was surprised at my resistance. Shouldn’t I have been excited that the Joy of Entrepreneurship could be catching on in my next generation? Then I remembered my secret truth: selling scares me. Oh, yeah – that.
Determined not to let my fears get in the way of my kids’ growth (just as I do everything I can to push gently through my fears for the sake of my business’ growth), I chose to wholeheartedly endorse her idea. Here’s what I learned about selling from K and D’s foray into the one-day cookie business:
- Believe in your product. The kids sampled both flavors (sugar and chocolate chip!), so they knew first-hand how delicious they were and could speak to prospective customers about it. Note for Brilliance-Based Businesswomen: recognize and be able to articulate your Brilliance and its value.
- Knock first on the doors of the people who like you best. K didn’t methodically go up and down the street knocking on every single door. She started with the neighbors who know her. With each big sale, she and D felt more confident going to the next house. Note for Brilliance-Based Businesswomen: networking is great, but start by selling your services within your existing community.
- Buddy up. K can be shy at first, but D felt comfortable stepping right up to ask for each neighbor’s business. K handled the money. Eventually they felt ready to trade roles. Note for Brilliance-Based Businesswomen: if you can’t bring a friend or team member when you talk to your prospects, work with a mentor to learn the ropes until you feel comfortable going at it alone.
I’m proud of myself for supporting my daughter to experience something that scared me a bit. Do I see the irony in having this fear of selling, when I teach entrepreneurship skills to women? Absolutely! But we all teach what we’re here to learn. It’s part of our Brilliance.