The Magic of the First Sale

🌲 One friend's fight for financial freedom

Read Time: 6 mins (or listen to this issue)

A friend and client of mine is about to turn 40. She’s spent her entire career earning a living as a full-time, salaried employee.

Every dollar she’s made has come from employer paychecks. But as she enters her 40s, she’s ready for a change. Actually, no. That’s too conservative. She’s ready to blow shit up and start living the life she’s always wanted for her and her family.

Today’s deep dive is her story. Her biggest limiting belief holding her back, and what she’s going to do about it so that she can start earning from her expertise on her own terms.

Waiting to live her dreams

Anyone that’s held a “9 to 5” job can relate to my friend’s story.

She’s spent much of her career doing jobs she doesn’t love. She climbs the corporate ladder in hopes of landing more fulfilling work. But with more pay, comes more responsibilities. The golden handcuffs clinch tighter at each rung.

Over time, she’s watched friends and colleagues lose their jobs — especially the past few years. She wonders how up-ended her’s and her family’s lives would be if that happened to her.

She also has two young kids. In a few years, they’ll head off to college. For most of their lives, she’s been busy working. Not only long hours — with some nights and weekends — but enough traveling to be a nuisance.

She banked plenty of vacation days over the years, but she rarely uses them. She doesn’t want to fall behind with work. And so she feels trapped in her job, missing time with her loved ones.

And then there’s the money. She’s done pretty well for herself. Her salary has grown over the years. She’s built up a retirement savings. It’s good. It’s fine. And when she’s 67, she’ll be able to stop working… and… start… living.

Then she said what I was thinking:

“Who the hell wants to START living… I mean really living… in their 60s?”

So she’s ready for a change.

In her 40s, she’s got big goals:

  • To do less of what she has to and more of what she wants to

  • To stop playing politics and climbing corporate ladders

  • To work where, when, and how she wants to

  • To start earning multiple income streams

  • To spend more time with her family

  • To earn the right to work less

  • To build her own thing

Then I asked her, “If you had to summarize those goals into your ultimate dream, what would it be?”

She thought for a bit and shared, “To be financially free… so I can buy back my time and enjoy life again.”

Then I asked her, “What’s stopping you?”

She shared difficulties with choosing the right topic/niche, creating the right offers, and building an audience. All very real challenges that we’re also working through together.

But her biggest setback? Her doubts around selling.

As she put it, “I don’t know how to sell. And if I can’t sell, nothing I create will ever produce.”

She’s partially right. If she can’t sell, it will be difficult (not impossible) to make money from her offers.

On the other hand, she actually does know how to sell. She’s been doing it her entire professional life.

  • She sold multiple companies to hire her

  • She sold bosses to promote her

  • She sold managers to give her a hiring budget

  • She sold executives to fund her projects

  • She sold thousands to follow her on LinkedIn

These are all very real sales she’s made. Where another person invested in her.

They invested their reputation to hire and promote her.
They invested their trust to let her hire and to fund her projects.
They invested their attention to follower her on social.
They invested their time to consume her content.

The only thing they’d yet to invest? Money.

I’m not suggesting that money is insignificant. Getting someone to depart with their cash is a feat.

But consider how replaceable money is compared to your reputation. Compared to your trust, your attention, your time. These are precious commodities we’re talking about. Some, irreplaceable even.

And so we needed to expand her definition of selling. To include transactions of money, as well as reputation, trust, attention, and time. As she does, she’ll start to glean how capable she already is with selling.

The magic of the first sale

With this new perspective on selling, she and I agreed that it was time for her to earn her first dollars. Once she does, something magical will shift in her.

She doesn’t need to make $1M, or even $1,000. Even something as small as $5 will do.

The first time someone pays her any amount of money for a thing she creates or service she offers, that turbulent inner chatter, filled with doubt and limiting beliefs, will go quiet.

Because it’s not the money, but what it represents.

In that moment, her customer will be saying to her: “I trust you enough to give you money that I spent my precious time, attention, trust, and reputation to earn.”

So the question is, what will she do to force this initial sale?

From theory to application

To continue short-circuiting my friend’s false beliefs about sales and money, I gave her two assignments.

Since I had the same doubts she has, I assigned her a couple of the same tactics I used to disrupt my unhelpful (untrue) ideas about selling.

First, I asked her to read Jen Sincero’s book, You Are a Badass at Making Money.

The goal is to help her re-wire her unhealthy relationships with money. Ones that you, me, and most are hamstrung by.

Since we’re taught these mindsets at an early age, it will take some time to chip away at them. So while Sincero’s book lays a foundation, the second to-do charges my friend into action.

Her second assignment is to organize a webinar. She’ll charge at least $10 to attend.

Two goals:

  1. Prove to herself she’s totally capable and worthy of selling a thing

  2. Build up her authority on the topic she’s productizing later this year

I’m so pumped for her. She’s about to have a major breakthrough.

All of her dreams are on the other side of the actions she’s about to take.

📌 P.S. To find the topic and product she’s going to productize, my friend used this tool.

Wrapping up

If my friend’s story resonated with you, use the lessons to realize that you’re not alone in feeling insecure about selling and making money.

Many of your fears and doubts are built on false beliefs. Which means you have everything at your disposal to break them down and set them aside. If you choose to.

Use the to-dos I assigned her to re-wire your relationship with money and selling. Empower yourself with a new mindset and then take action to prove you can earn new income streams from your expertise. These steps may seem subtle but they’ll produce some major shifts for you.

I’ll leave you with one final thought…

All of your business heroes out there running 6 and 7-figure companies? They were once just as terrified as you about selling. The only difference between them and you, so far, is that they did something about it.

So what about you? What are you going to do about it?

Jay Melone
Passive Profits
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