Thursday, April 30, 2009

Would you buy you?

I had the pleasure reconnect with my friend Michelle recently after a couple of decades. It’s interesting to find out how we’ve changed, and how we’ve stayed the same. After all these years one thing that remained true was how postiveness (that’s not even a word) just beams from her. From seventh grade on, she could tell you the best news, the worst news, and just so-so news and you would feel reassured in the end that you were not “going to kill the messenger.”

One of our recent conversations was my comments on dealing with a person of power who just brings you down when having conversation with that person. We will not get into the specifics of that conversation or individual. However it does help me focus on “how do you sell yourself?”

The easiest example to discuss is the topic of selling is how it relates to products actually for sale. I know a neighbor who observed a local grocery store’s non-moving products (the non-national brand versions). With his background in packaging he asked the store manager if he could run a pilot program for select items. The approval sent him on a project to repackage the products and put them back on the shelves and track the sales. The non-moving items sold, without having to drop the original price! This interesting concept of repackaging and selling is not a breakthrough concept, but, rather, an exercise that needs revisiting more frequently.

Take the example of my friend Michelle. After 20 years if the initial contact sent back and forth displayed a packaging that was not congruent, we would have just had a cordial recap and may stay buddies. Would I buy Michelle again after all this time? Would Michelle buy herself again? Would I buy myself again? What if people put a façade up just for the reconnection? That would certainly work as well, right? But the truth will come out eventually, and at that point, you’ve lost a customer, and word of mouth has an upper hand to any further fake repackaging.

Whether it’s a first date, a job interview, or any form of initial contact, you have about 90 seconds or less to engage in two-way window shopping. How often have you examined yourself to see if you would buy you? Are you in moments where you exude the thought: “Here is a person who has self-respect. Her demeanor shows she is credible and important. I should treat her that way.” You owe it to yourself to look and feel your best. I’m not asking you to wear custom-tailored apparel every waking minute, or to have reconstructive surgery for various enhancements.

Honestly, I live in Orange County, CA, but I was raised in Prince George’s County, MD. In PG County, you can ONLY have self-respect to survive. It’s amusing to come from that environment and move to The OC and just observe people. Don’t get me wrong, I totally LOVE Orange County and many many many OC individuals. However, you do not need to wear flashy clothing or have surgeries to sell yourself positively. It certainly doesn’t hurt, though. However, at the end of the day would you buy yourself? If all you had were your good looks, your clothes, your cars, your money … that’s all that people would look at you as resembling. You will be invited to the VIP events, you will be invited to sit in the reserved booths at sporting events, you will be in the company of the A-list individuals … but so do others. In the long run, genuineness and self-respect contribute to your overall self-confidence, your self-packaging, and your acceptance.

On July 18th Orange County will have its inaugural OC Mud Run. We’ve never run in the mud before (except as kids), let alone 5K of it, plus obstacles. Our team is comprised of a fashion model/golfer, student/entrepreneur/golfer, hotel mgmt/dad to two All Star soccer daughters, dad/TV & movie star/motorcycle rider, and dad/Oakley fanatic/newbie sky diver. We are definitely not your typical action sports dream team … or are we? We’ve teamed up and will endure a 5K obstacle course in the mud, along with many other competitors. We’re competitors in our own respect, yet we respect each other more importantly. Our team name and motto for this event is: “Pride Chickenz: We may be chickens … but we’ve got pride!!!”

Do you think you’re important? Do you think you deserve respect? Do your actions sell you properly? Would you buy yourself?


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