It’s 98 degrees on a hot summer day. My box of 36 Hershey bars won’t last long in this heat. The clock is ticking. I have 2 hours to sell them all and get some lunch before being back at my sales seminar.

I duck into the nearest business place and break out my winning smile. “Can I interest you ladies in a great deal in some candy today?” Their interested is peaked and I continue quickly. “I’ll give you a great deal, 4 for a dollar!”.  

“What’s it for?”

“I’m sorry, I’m not allowed to say”. I stand there, smiling innocently.

They look somewhat puzzled but they know a deal when they hear one and both buy.

Whew! Made my first sale. 28 bars to go. I head into the strip mall next door.

With my confidence boosted by my first sale being so easy, I decide to up my price. I quickly sell the rest of my box for 2 for a dollar, with an hour to spare! I’m the first one back at the meeting space and settle in to eat my lunch, feeling very successful and proud of my accomplishment!

As my peers straggle in over the next hour, reporting how much they made on their box of chocolates, “I made $40! “I made $72!”, my feeling of accomplishment takes a nose dive.

The winner of the competition sold their box of chocolates for $100! I had sold mine for a grand total of…. (wait for it) … $16.50. 🙁

Wow was I deflated! I had been so focused on getting rid of the box before they melted and completing the task, that I had missed the whole point of the exercise – which was to sell the box FOR AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!

This brilliant exercise was a huge lesson. Business is ultimately about making money and being profitable -i.e.- bringing in more money than you spend. So on that level, I had not been successful. On the other hand, it exposed where some old patterns of conditioning were still running the show for me. For that I was grateful and the exercise was successful because it allowed me to see some things about myself and, as I always say, you can’t change what you can’t see.

Success is relative isn’t it?

It all depends on how YOU define it and how YOU choose to look at things.

Here’s what I saw:

1. I didn’t stop to ask what the wholesale price of the box was, so I didn’t know how much I had to sell them for in order to make a profit. (You’ve got to know your starting point and your ultimate destination in order to chart your course)

2. I was focused on the wrong thing – selling the chocolates, instead of selling them for a profit (What you focus on you’ll get more of)

3. I took the easy path – undervaluing and selling them… cheap! (Selling is all about creating value and cheap is relative) The person who won sold his box to someone for $100 because he showed him the value of buying the box as a pick me up surprise for his staff who were working on a challenging project and created even further value by delivering the box to his office).

4. I didn’t stop to think through a strategy before I hit the road. I didn’t take the time to prepare. (Ever heard the saying, if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail?)

The underlying unconscious pattern that drove this behavior and ultimately prevented me from being profitable (and successful) in this exercise is not understanding my value. Ultimately, no matter what you are selling, people are buying you!

Also, I have a habit of taking the easy way out (some people might call that lazy) 🙂  my game strategy in the past has been one of playing not to lose, instead of playing to win – there is a big difference! I actually now know there is a 3rd option: a win/win strategy.

I have worked on these patterns as they have come to my awareness over the years. This activity showed me where I had some more work to do. 🙂 That’s a huge success in my books!

These days I get excited when I uncover a limiting belief or unconscious patterns of self sabotage (that do not support my goals and desires) because then I have the opportunity to remove another obstacle on my path to accomplishing my dreams.

What are you doing to uncover the obstacles in your way?  My 2 day Radical Shift Breakthrough Intensive is a great place to do that and have an opportunity to work with me in a small group setting (15 people max.). The next one is November 6 & 7th. Get more info here.

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