Wee Scoops

Measure for Measure

Selling Selling to Myself

Part of me wants to take a sidestep into entrepreneurialism. I have a few product lines I like and that I think I could sell.

But I have problems with selling. I want to write my way out of these qualms and, by the end of this post, have convinced myself to buy in some stock and start selling away.

Qualm 1
Is retail not just a symptom of materialism and part of what is wrong with the world? It feeds the vicious cycle of people’s belief that they need something that they don’t actually need. It wastes their money that they perhaps can’t afford to spend.
Reassurance 1
People buy things every day. By being a retailer of things people want you are providing a service. They want to buy these things – otherwise they wouldn’t buy them.

Qualm 2
By selling things made elsewhere in the world, how can one be sure one is not oppressing the person actually making the thing. Isn’t there something unethical about making a profit on goods made by someone else?
Reassurance 2
Research. It would be very lazy and reprehensible not to research the sources of any products. Arguably, by selling others’ products you are allowing them to reach markets and make profits that they would otherwise not reach.

Qualm 3
When I think about selling things, I immediately think that the profits should go to a worthier cause than my pocket.
Reassurance 3
Maybe if I jacked in the day job this instinct would die. Of course, a proportion of any profit anyone makes should go to a worthier cause than their own pocket but that should be done without the right hand telling the left hand. And it shouldn’t be stated on the website as a marketing strategy.

Qualm 4
Would starting my own retail business and dropping out of the career path I am currently on not be a waste of my training, a loss to the profession and a kick in the teeth of a vocation?
Reassurance 2
Perhaps starting up on my own would bring about greater opportunity to use my skills in new ways, perhaps in a free-lance or even voluntary capacity, in addition to running a business. Maybe I am a dinosaur anyway.

Qualm 5
Eh, I’m innumerate, and understanding the bottom line is key.
Reassurance 5
You are not innumerate. You are lazy and let other people do the math, generally.

All in all, maybe 41 and a half is as good an age as any to have a mid life crisis and start selling things.

What would you want to buy?

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7 thoughts on “Selling Selling to Myself

  1. theotheri on said:

    You might also ask yourself if you enjoy the process of marketing or selling things. Some people seem to have a natural talent for it, while others find the entire process appalling.

    You might also ask if there are things you would particularly enjoy promoting. You might enjoy selling children’s books, for instance, but have no desire to try to shift children’s clothes. Etc.

    Good luck!

    BTW, I think 41 is a superb age to have a mid life crisis. One can approach it with so much more wisdom than one approaches one’s first career choice.

  2. Have a look at the wonderful post by Glasgow City Mission on The Coat and the homeless. It will square your circles beautifully.

  3. Hey Sandra! I can totally feel your pain and it’s something that I struggled with for years. (I am in year 9 of my entrepreneurial journey.)
    What really helped me with many of your qualms is recognising the benefits and impact of what you are selling to the end client or customer. Spend a little time in their shoes and understand what is hurting them, how you can help them to resolve their pain, and the subsequent impact and transformation that your product or service delivers, and the ‘selling’ part becomes far less icky.
    Money is purely the way that your end client or customer reflects the change that you make for them.
    Does that help?

    • Hi Lorraine – thanks for this.

      I think I have trouble because I see the impact of most products as utterly , well, not utterly, but shallow -well, the ones I’m thinking of selling! From what I understand, your business (life improvement) actually would impact people’s lives for the better in a meaningful way – and you sell your own experiences and ideas in book form? – so you aren’t oppressing someone else who thought it up.

      So the thought of people buying a low-price trinket/gadget/hat from me isn’t going to be very … impactful – but then, the price would be correspondingly low – as you say – the money would reflect the change – so the couple of quid would represent the fact they had…. *hilARious* deelyboppers?

      As for selling life-changing profundity, my ideas for that aren’t my ideas to sell, and I’d feel icky charging for the gospel!

      So I guess I’m left with comedy hats (and other secret ideas Im not mentioning unless someone else goes and fills the gap in the market!)

      • Well, hilarity breeds fun, which in turn brings joy, and joy is linked to good health and healing so that could be the impactful change.
        Respectfully, it’s none of your business how much that is worth to someone. 🙂 And I’m all for comedy hats.
        Hey, good luck with your venture however it turns out, it will be great if you stay true to your values, which I know you will.
        I for one, would buy your writing skills if you could just bottle them up please! x

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