Sunday, June 14, 2009
Sacred Sunday: Right Work
Today I wanted to share my news with you. As many of you may have already guessed, it's related to my job.
I've previously written about the difficulties I had working in an office setting here, and a bit here as well. A few more things happened at the office. One was that I was doing selling, which I dislike. When I finally would have an actual patient to work with, I would try to convince her to buy my products. This involved a lot of persuasion and overcoming objections and such.
I can do this, but I do not enjoy it.
I can talk people into things, even things that are very good for them (in my opinion), but it seems to me to be a backwards way of doing relationship marketing. I wrote about developing relationships with the patients, and allowing the business activities to follow where indicated, but in that office setting only just so much of that could take place. Lately I'd been doing groups of about five women at a time, and with that many people, relationships take a bit longer to form. I was just doing a lot of selling.
The nature of my business is so very different. The products I promote are for people who value their health, and who are interested in aging in a certain way---consciously, as healthfully as possible, using as many natural ways as possible. If you're not there---if you're not interested in your health, if you don't particularly care how you age, and you don't want to invest any money in your health---then you're not a candidate for these products, really. If you want the allopathic medical system and health insurance to be your sole method of taking care of yourself, then good for you---but you won't want to buy my products. And that's fine with me! Not everyone is interested in health and nutrition. Many people want to let their physicians prescribe drugs for their chronic health conditions, which they see as inevitable and which they feel powerless to affect. I would rather accept these belief systems, which are very strong, and look for people who are already wellness-oriented and who are looking for solutions. I don't want to change people's belief systems or interfere with their readiness for anything on the particular path that they are on.
This makes traditional selling problematic. It violates some of my basic values, which are just accepting people where they are, and what they want for their lives. Rather than sell, I'd like to simply sort. Find the folks who are looking for what I have. No arm twisting involved. No making them wrong for not being into wellness right now. No telling them what they need. It just feels right to me.
So, bit by bit, I backed out of the job I had. This past week I only went in for group patient visits, and then decided even just that wasn't working for me. I was also making pitiful money, not even enough to cover my costs. I felt as though I was letting my physician friend down, but I knew it was the right thing for me to do. So I quit on Friday.
I love relationship marketing and I really love my products, but I want to be working in a way that is congruent with my values. I also want to balance my work with writing, art, friendships, and other self-care activities---these things make me feel whole---and picking just work alone while excluding the rest made me feel like someone I didn't know. Prioritizing these values and insisting on honoring them was a "Be Brave" type activity for me because I knew that backing out of this opportunity would be hard on various levels. I could be tempted (and was at first) to view it as "failure". Instead I choose to view it as success, because I learned so much about what integrity is for me in this context, and how to stand up for it. Some people did not understand, and I think never will, but that's okay with me.
So that's why I registered for Suzi Blu's class, too, and Wreck This Journal. And that's why I kept up on reading your blogs and blogging here. Even though I wore myself out. I couldn't, just couldn't---COULDN'T---not do these things. I felt like I was losing myself and becoming a saleswoman I didn't know or want to be. There is nothing at all wrong with being a saleswoman. It's just that I am not her.
So, that's my big news. I feel like I got my life back (and am incredibly grateful for it), and now want to revision what my business will be like in this new context. It is scary good. I have lots of disapproval from some important people in my life. And I feel very happy. Like myself. Like I believe in myself, too.
~Photos by LoveHubbie Mark