Why I Don’t Sell Nail Wraps or Scented Candles or …
I have lots of friends who sell things like nail wraps or scented candles or jewelry or skin care products that claim to make you look younger. Heck, I myself still love BlackBox Cosmetics products, but I don’t actively sell them anymore. So, why don’t I sell those things?
When I was young (around 20 years old, fresh out of the army), I worked for a shipping agent in Tel Aviv and played container Tetris for him – matching the containers with the ships going to the destinations that needed them, under the constraints of minimising time and costs for his clients. I really enjoyed that part of it, but my snobbish academic upbringing had me feeling that going into business would be “beneath me”. This despite being descended from a successful grocer and real estate investor, as well as from a whole whack of professors, teachers and social workers.
I remember quite distinctly telling my family that “the pursuit of money”, as I called it with youthful disdain, was just not for me. I felt called to do something to improve the world, and in my family, the way to do that was to go into research.
So off I went to the Netherlands (for other reasons, having to do with a guy), and studied physics instead. I enjoyed the studying part and the math, but I didn’t really like being a research scientist. So I became a teacher and did that for a while, and I found that I disliked the rigid structure of school just as much as a teacher as I had as a student. I also have a big mouth and opinions of my own. I turned out to be quite unemployable, in fact.
So, given that self-employment was the only reasonable outcome for me, I found myself back in business (and in coaching). While my attitude towards money is quite a bit less snobbish now (given that I have actual bills and children who need clothes and food and things like that), I am actively working on a way to combine my wish and need to earn money, with my deep-rooted desire to make the world a better place.
I am diligently working on removing my money blocks. For one thing, I know that people who have more money have a greater ability to be philanthropic and to improve life for those around them. But more importantly, I’ve realised that it is very important for me to have a product, whether it be coaching or nutritional support, that will genuinely change people’s lives for the better.
Don’t get me wrong – I love nail wraps, and I have no problem at all with those of my friends who make their income selling them. The same is true for those who sell jewelry or scented candles. Those are all nice things to have, and my friend who has moved from jewelry to some kind of Botox-like thing you put around your eyes to reduce wrinkles is absolutely killing it. I’m very happy for her.
But for me, at least at this stage in my life, I need to know that the product I am offering to people is genuinely life-changing. I know I am more comfortable receiving money from people if I know that I am helping them have a better life, whether it is through my life coaching (free at the moment, but not going to stay that way), or by coaching them through the excellent nutritional support system I use. I have not felt this healthy in decades. Even better, that system can help people who are in a tight spot improve their lives financially as well as physically. Being able to free people from emotional, physical and financial pain is a very big why, indeed.
And yet, I’m still having a hard time offering my services to my friends. Somehow the fact that I would make some money off their order appears to taint my sincere desire to help. There are people in my life whom I know would benefit from the products, and I don’t approach them. I know that it is all in my head, but there it is. It’s a work in progress, every day.
I think it goes back to the whole academic disdain for the pursuit of money. That’s why, right now at least, I can’t sell frivolous products that won’t change a person’s life radically for the better. For me, that why is just not big enough.
What kind of why do you have for your own life’s work? Is it big enough for you? Let me know what you think.