In Dan Pink’s book “To Sell is Human”, he asked research participants for the first word that came to mind when they heard the words ‘sales’ or ‘selling’. Guess what wonderful words were most mentioned? “Pushy, hard, ugh, yuck, sleazy, annoying, slimy, dishonest”. Nice, isn’t it? In fact, 80% of the words had a negative connotation. Is it any wonder then that business owners who have to sell and market actually hate it and look at it as suffering? A great personal trainer that I follow just did a post on voluntary suffering in fitness vs. the involuntary suffering. I took a page out of his book and wanted to take you through a similar exercise for what that looks like in your business.
Getting out of a warm bed to go work out, avoiding your favourite foods, lifting heavy weights, walking or running might all be things that you deem as ‘suffering’ in your fitness journey. In business, voluntary suffering would be picking up the phone or getting in front of a camera or writing a blog every week. These are things you voluntarily choose to do to avoid the involuntary suffering that you can’t control.
In fitness, when you refuse to do the things that you deem as voluntary suffering, then the other form of suffering begins. Not being able to run around with your children because you’re so out of breath. Not fitting into your favourite clothes anymore. Waiting in dr’s offices and taking medication because your health isn’t so good. Hating the way you look. Opting out of activities because of your weight. These are forms of suffering that are definitely a by product of refusing to do the hard stuff. What about in business? Having a low income where you constantly have to live within your means. Ordering chicken instead of steak. Not going on vacations (even before covid). Never being able to afford good help for your business. Seeing your dreams go by the wayside. These are the involuntary sufferings of a business owner who refuses to voluntarily sell and market.
So you see, there’s suffering either way (if you choose to even look at it that way). All you have to do is choose whether it will be the voluntary or the involuntary form of suffering. Then at least you’ll know what to expect and you won’t bemoan your fate.
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