Ugh. Selling my products. I really don’t like marketing.

Photo by Djurdjica Boskovic on Unsplash. Working from home. Coffee and computer - that's me!

This year I have set myself up as an independent practitioner.

Note: when I say “have set myself up”, it doesn’t mean I’ve been an overnight success. It merely means that I have defined my niche, created some products, and started to advertise my services.

But a part of being an independent practitioner and working predominantly in the online space is MARKETING.

And boy, do I dislike that part of it.

I knew I would. Ever since I backpacked around Australia when I was 20 years old and found myself working in telesales in a Melbourne office, I knew I hated sales. It’s just not me. I remember being in that salesroom, cold calling clients trying to get them to buy holiday packages. HA! The boss was really unimpressed with me. No wonder I never had any money on that trip!

I am not a natural salesperson. I am a HELPER. I just want to help all of the people and give my product away for free:

“Here – I can see you need some help! Here’s what I know that could help you! I know stuff – here – I want to help you!”

My brain, most of the time

That is what my brain screams at me when I get a DM on social media from a desperate parent asking for advice on how to get their kids off screens. And I think that’s a perfectly natural response from someone who has entered into the field of Occupational Therapy.

That is exactly why we choose to train as OT’s, so we can HELP people.

I knew that the marketing side of starting a business would be hard for me. As Melissa LaPointe reminded me in a business course this year, we don’t get training in OT School on marketing.

Oh yeah, that’s right!

It’s a whole ‘nother skill set, that people can go to Uni and take courses in.

Hmmmm, no wonder it makes me uncomfortable… my skill set is entirely lacking in it. It gives me a funny feeling in my tummy and end up I putting any tasks related to marketing and selling riiiiight down the bottom of my ‘to-do’ list.

Lame huh. But understandable!

So what do I do to overcome this?

Because I can’t keep putting off those tasks. Otherwise I’d just be over here creating content, building a website and not having any clients to actually HELP! Which wouldn’t be fulfilling. And it wouldn’t pay any of my business bills!

Here’s what helps me push through:

I remind myself of the time when I could have used the kind of help that I am now offering others.

When I was in the trenches of three under five, overwhelmed with mothering, and stuck in the screen time rut. When I read all of the articles I could about screen time, play, and parenting. When I pulled my family out of that and made changes for the better.

I remind myself that there are still Mums out there like me.

I remind myself that THEY are who I am doing this for.

It’s not for myself, it’s not for any kudos, and it’s certainly not to make a million bucks by selling online courses (ha! You’ve all heard those stories right? Or is it just me whose Facebook feed those ads show up in now? Probably just me).

Yes I have business bills to pay: website hosting, professional supervision, monthly subscriptions – it all adds up! But I didn’t enter into this journey blindly thinking I could make millions off it. That’s NOT what it’s about for me.

It’s about reaching those parents who are at the end of their tethers.

It’s about sharing my story, in the hope that it can help some others not feel so alone.

It’s about inspiring others that change IS possible; that they CAN use less screens.

And mostly, it’s about the future of our children.

Because the evidence very clearly shows that children who spend less time on screens and more time in play have less illnesses, less visits to the Dr, less risk for obesity when they are older… the list goes on.

And those are the kinds of things that can really help our nation as this generation grows up. Less screen time and more play time for our kids now will save the health system money and time in the future. It will result in less co-occurring mental health conditions. It will result in a better New Zealand for all of us.

I fully believe that the support and resources for parents to lessen kids’ screen time needs to be upped.

And THAT is why I push on through and post the marketing posts. Talk about my product on insta-stories. Push them through to Facebook. Email my list. Start conversations with people and organisations about the service I am offering families.

Write vulnerable blog posts like this one.

Even though it makes me uncomfortable and gives me a funny feeling in my tummy.

I wonder if that will ever go away?

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