The Meaning of Life

When I was in my early twenties, I went through a philosophy kick where I read everything I could get my hands about the meaning of life.  A lot it waxed poetic but didn’t make a lot of sense to me.  Until I finally found something I could sink my teeth into.

“The meaning of life is the meaning you give it.”

Sounds simple, right?

Basically, it means you have a choice about what something means to you.  Are you offended?  Do you not care?  Does it make you laugh?

Your reaction to the things going on around you reflects the beliefs you have about it.

The same thing may happen to someone else, and they attach a completely different meaning to it.

Here’s an example of how meaning changes everything from a story told by Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People:

Imagine yourself relaxing on a train when a father and his three noisy children get on board.  The kids are rambunctious and obnoxious, and the father just ignores them, staring out the window.

You think, “What a lousy father!  How could he let his kids run crazy like that?”

Then someone tells you that his wife just died last night and he’s heading back home from the hospital.

Would that change the meaning of the situation?  Would you cut him some slack?

Sure, and you’d probably feel guilty for judging him.

One of our greatest challenges is when the meaning we attach to something sabotages our business.

Let me give you a prime example that Stephanie and I see every week at Book More Brides.

I’m sure you know by now that we are a training company for the wedding industry.  Which means we sell trainings.  If we don’t sell trainings, we go out of business.

Yet regularly we get emails from wedding pros who write things like this (these are exact quotes):

“I enjoy the free tips every week, but this is why I dislike what you do.  Quit trying to sell me something!  All you care about is money.”

“I am disappointed to receive this email…asking me if I have any questions or concerns. I feel that you have placed everything on automatic pilot to help you make money like this automated email.  As it turns out I did subscribe to your blogging program and the other program that was offered at checkout (great marketing technique to put money on your pocket).”

Here’s what they’re REALLY saying…

“Selling is BAD, sleazy and distasteful.”

Do you think this belief might be impacting sales in their own businesses?

They probably fold up like a deck chair the first time a client gives them a possible objection, if they even ask for the sale in the first place.

We do the same thing with price shoppers.  If we think all brides and grooms care about is price, we’re defensive right from the start and it hurts our business.  We ignore a potential client at a bridal show because, “she looks like a price shopper.”  Is that Walmart perfume I smell?

Many wedding pros have a negative attitude about selling, but if you don’t sell, you go out of business.

Guess what?  I do want your money!  And in exchange, I’m going to give you a kick ass training that’s going to make you money.

My real worry here is that if people feel this way about US selling something in exchange for value, what is their belief about selling their own products or services?

Our preconceived beliefs about selling can be devastating to our business.

Selling isn’t evil and it’s not about pushing people to buy something; it’s about helping them get what they want.

My challenge to you is to NOT accept the status quo of your belief system, especially if you’re struggling in your business.

What beliefs are hampering your success?

“I don’t deserve it.”

        “I’m not smart enough.”

                 “I’m not that good.”

                          “Brides and grooms are cheap.”

I could share all our super secret ninja tips for booking more weddings, but if your beliefs are working against you, it won’t work.  Nothing will work because you’ll sabotage yourself.

What do you think?  Leave a comment. 

photo credit: Spivs selling goods from the ‘back of a lorry’ via photopin (license) Changes made to image: cropped and edited to include wording.