It isn’t worth pretending

When people have an expectation of who they think or want you to be, they have a difficult time I’m accepting when you become something else.

It could be a permanent thing or perhaps you are just going through a phase but either way who you become is your choice. I think we all need to have the space to explore and experiment in order to find ourselves and figure out the kind of person that we want to be.

Unfortunately, sometimes because of the people around you, you end up pushing self-exploration aside. Instead, you’re so focused on what other people think, people pleasing and wanting to feel accepted that you would rather pretend to be someone you’re not.

Being yourself doesn’t even feel like an option.

I think it’s important to remember that being accepted for the person you’re pretending to be isn’t true acceptance. Once you really take that in, you’ll end up realising that it isn’t worth pretending anymore. You may as well just be yourself.

Nobody wants to feel like they’ve been duped

When we think about getting someone to buy something the first is probably that it’s a bad thing. Perhaps what comes to mind is a greasy car salesmen or some sort of trickster who will tell lies to convince you to spend money.

But what about the other times we buy things based on being influenced and we’re happy with the choice. I don’t consider that to be a bad thing.

It could be a £1,100 pair of Valentino Garavani boots that you feel great in, you get you compliments every time you wear them and they were purchased in a store where you received excellent service. It could also be £10 water bottle that doesn’t leak.

The issue arises when we buy something and it doesn’t work as it should, it doesn’t feel worth it, it feels like a waste of money, we regret the purchase or it stops working and you can’t get a refund.

Nobody wants to feel like they’ve been duped, we want to feel like we’re making good choices and spending our money well.

5 ways to convince people to spend money

I recently got thinking about some of the ways we’re persuaded to spend money. Sometimes it’s things we planned to buy anyway but other times it’s things we actually had no intention of getting or stuff we just don’t need.

Tell them it’s limited edition

If something won’t be around for long they’re more likely to buy it because they don’t want to miss out. In many cases we’d actually rather take the risk and buy it, than not buy it and potentially regret it.

Make then feel like it’s something exclusive

Exclusivity makes people feel special. Similarly to when something is limited edition, when something is or feels exclusive people want it more. It could be as simple as having a special link to a product that you provide to those who sign up to your newsletter. Or it could also be something incredibly expensive that only the wealthy can afford it.

Let them know that it’s worth the cost

When you highlight that something is great value people want to buy it because it seems like it’s worth it. Maybe you highlight where a particular fabric was grown, the treatment of the workers, the minimal environmental impact or how long the product could last. The value that is focused on and highlighted will depend on the type of customer you’re trying to attract.

Let them know that it’s more than worth the cost

This method works well when you’re providing a service but can also apply to certain physical products. There are many things that we purchase that come with secondary value. It could be a cooking class that is worth it because you’re learning a new skill. It becomes more than worth the cost when now you’re more confident to host your friends and family because you now you know your way around the kitchen. It could also be a digital course where what you teach will allow small business owners to attract more repeat customers which will improve their profits.

Make them think it will improve their life

If you play into ideas of what people think is good for them then they’re more likely to buy from you. This is very rampant in the wellness industry but also in fashion. Many people buy items like bags because of signals they want to send and the way they want to be perceived. Going back to wellness, if you can sell someone something that is supposed to be good for them in some way, they’ll feel good even before they’ve used or consumed it. People are often aware if this which is what drives them to buy the thing in the first place.

Keep exploring

There’s something quite wonderful about being a beginner, starting something new with fresh eyes, optimism, excitement and curiosity.

There are probably plenty of things that you’ve been doing for a long time to the point that they’re a regular part of your daily, weekly or monthly routine. It could be old hobbies from childhood or a job that you’re just so familiar with that the joy has been taken out of it.

It could even be what you want thought was your dream job but because you’re doing it all the time and you’re so used to it doesn’t really feel like a dream anymore. Now it’s actually just your reality.

Sometimes, we get the job that we want and maybe we’re even living in our ideal home in our ideal location. We feel settled in life so we stop exploring. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but if you’re putting aside your curiosity and yearning then maybe something needs to change. The feeling of wanting to explore life probably won’t just go without you tending to it.

The reason we don’t tend to it is often because we allow societal standards and ideas to restrict us. We end up feeling like it’s too late to try something new because we’re a certain age or it feels like it’ll be a step back. It’s no use holding on to those ideas if they just make you unhappy.

The desire to explore could be as small as reading a genre of fiction you wouldn’t usually be open to or joining a local volunteering group. It doesn’t have to be about quitting your job to start a business. selling all your belongings and travelling around Asia for 6 months.

The benefits of creating free content

Many of us regularly post free content and some people also use that to lead people to their paid services.

Sometimes the easiest way to get someone to value what you want them to pay for is by offering them something amazing for free. They’ll either be so enticed that they want what you have for sale because they think it’ll be even better or they’ll be willing to buy something that you offer just as a means of compensating you for all your great work that they’ve consumed for free.

Some types of free content are: Podcasts, Youtube videos, Blog posts, Instagram posts and Newsletters.

90s baby show is a free podcast that also share the podcast visuals on YouTube. They have a patreon where they upload new content each month.

Stacey June is a former podcaster who has had various free podcasts and regularly shares does content on Instagram. She also runs an online self-care club that has a monthly fee.

Both have been able get people to buy from them based on what they offer for free. If someone doesn’t know who you are, as in what you do and the services you offer with some visible examples of your work then it can be hard to get them to buy from you.

The feeling of fitting in

When we’re focused on how we appear to others, we can end up doing things that we don’t actually enjoy.

We become so focused on perception that we don’t even consider the importance of prioritising ourselves. It’s worth acknowledging that sometimes we have a need to feel accepted. When your self esteem is low it’s easy to fall into thinking that just being you isn’t enough.

However, the problem is that the feeling of fitting in and being accepted will only ever be temporary when you aren’t truly being yourself.

Order status update

I recently placed an online order from a beauty retailer and one from a fashion retailer. Both orders were delayed and the companies handled things totally differently.

One company handled it by providing regular email updates on the status of my order, to apologise for their delay and assure me that I’d receive my parcel as soon as possible.

The other company did nothing, in fact I had to contact them to try and find out what the issue was.

Something as simple as an email was enough for me to feel like a company cared. It wasn’t personal but the choice to send an update gave the message that they value their customers enough to let them know what is going on.

I think sometimes we underestimate the impact that something simple can have. But you don’t always have to solve the problem, sometimes just acknowledging that there is one is more than enough.

You can’t be for everyone

Sometimes in an effort to be inclusive, the original message gets lost in translation.

Maybe the goal is to help a specific group of people but then over time that specific group becomes less and less specific until it now includes everyone. This makes things difficult because all these groups have different wants and needs that are impossible for you to meet all at once.

And so in trying to meet everyones needs you don’t end up meeting anyones.

You can’t be for everyone which might be difficult to accept but that’s okay, you can be for a select group instead. It’s better to help 10 people than to try and help 100 when you don’t have the time, money or resources because you may end up leaving them worse off than if you’d done nothing at all.

Value in the workplace

When you go to work, you want to feel like you’re of value. Perhaps not to the point where the whole place would fall apart without you but at least like what you contribute each day matters.

When a person wakes up, gets ready and goes to work, if they feel like they don’t need to be there or as though everything would seamlessly continue if they walked out, the person won’t take much care in the work they do.

And deep down or perhaps just beneath the surface we all know that often the care comes before the feeling of significance. It tends to start with taking pride in what you do and then the feeling of value or making a worthy contribution comes after.

But what if you’re doing your best and that feeling still never comes?

I think a big part of feeling of value in your job can come from external validation. This isn’t about knowing that you’re working hard and doing a great job but your manager or boss is undervaluing you. This is about how you feel about yourself and the role you play.

I think when a person doesn’t feel like they make a valuable contribution at work, they also start to feel a loss of interest in their work. When it seems like what you do doesn’t matter, what’s the point in caring?

If you don’t see the value in what you do and you’re not interested in it anymore then chances are you’re not happy either. And so the next step is to think about whether or not it’s time to move on to something new or to find a way to make things work.