Before I met my girlfriend, the idea of flirting was probably one of the things that scared me most. I always felt like I had to fake something, that I had to fake my body language, my verbiage, and most importantly, my confidence. This isn’t to say I was insecure, just that I was insecure about talking women— specifically I was insecure about the awkwardness that came with talking to women. I always felt that flirting was an act of betraying my personality to entertain another. Similarly, I’ve often felt that outreach (sales or otherwise) is the same way.
Speaking of my girlfriend, she recently was shocked to find out I was an extrovert. I don’t usually believe in that Myers-Briggs crap, nor in the dichotomy of introversion and extroversion, but one thing I do believe and radically enjoy is being myself. If flirting or sales is ever anti-self, that is to say ever against my own sense of values or integrity, I can say with certainty I will feel miserable doing it. I gain energy existing as I am, and not surrendering to become the social puppet that some people believe I should be.
I once attempted to sell concerts for a musician whose music I didn’t enjoy. The process was long, arduous, and ridiculous. Every phone call would either go poorly because I found myself not believing in the value I was providing, or because it was emotionally draining. In the same vein, flirting with women who I saw as physically attractive, but insufficient in their character, always made me feel a little sick even if the flirting would go well.
Conversely, when I believe in a product, service or my own ability to create value, I am not so much filled with confidence, but the agency and motivation to go out and deliver whatever it is I’m selling as though it were the gospel.
I woke up one day and saw a girl who I felt had a great heart, a sweet personality, and a beautiful smile, and I realized I couldn’t stop flirting with her. I’ve had projects too that I’ve been in love with (though the love is much different) and I find I cannot stop selling them. I wouldn’t shut up about a socratic & philosophy class/club I ran in high school, and as a result more than often there was a crowd.
I tell all of my friends and anyone I know about Praxis because I genuinely want them to know. I tell everyone I meet that I run a website about an alternative education because I genuinely believe that they should know about it. I tell everyone that will listen to me about my girlfriend, because like a fool I can’t shut up about her. All of those things I value as they are in line with my integrity, with myself. They are what I believe the world should value, and because I believe in their value, I want to express it to everyone else.
Sell what is true to your integrity. Flirt with the girl who you believe in. Labor for the project you have a vision for. If it’s not true to your integrity, your beliefs, or your ambition, chances are it wasn’t a great product in the first place, and if you want it to be so you have every right and opportunity to build it even greater.
I have a vision for Max Border’s The Social Singularity and I want to sell it because I believe in everything mentioned therein. I believe in my website and I want it to grow because I believe kids deserve better options in their educational lives. I believe in a better world for anyone and everyone willing to have it, and I’d want to sell anything I believe could forge this world for the better.
I don’t just sell it. I believe it.