Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wherein I convince myself that I am not a snake oil salesman even if I'm afraid my Not Right People might think I am

I feel like I've been totally unproductive today when, in fact, I've actually been fairly productive. I didn't do the things I promised myself that I would do (like work that I actually get paid real money to do right now and cleaning the house but *yuck* who likes to do that?) and that's why I feel like I wasn't productive at all. What I did do is this. I wrote an article (it's short and it's on Facebook but I can still call it an article, right?) about essential oils and why I like them and want to sell them to all my friends. (I would totally give them away to my friends but I'm not Warren Buffett or Steve Jobs so I have to make a living and that's ok, right? Right.)

And there's the real problem. The fact that I felt like I even had to ask the question of whether it's ok to make money selling essential oils to people. I am so not a "salesperson." When I even think about that term, that job, it brings up all kinds of icky feelings. And selling essential oils . . . does the term "snake oil salesman" come to mind? Of course it does. Which makes the icky feelings much worse.

I really believe in the power of essential oils to make us happier and healthier. I use them myself and although I'm pretty new to all this, I can already feel the benefits. I know (kind of like spiritual knowing and not book-knowledge, hard science knowing) that lots of people would be healthier and happier if they used more natural products and less chemical-laden crap. I have a burning desire to help people get there. But translating that burning desire into getting myself to do stuff that would actually sell products to people is really, really hard because of the aforementioned "snake oil salesman" icky feeling.

This is all tied into some of my issues with charging for my services as a healer. I think about people like Mother Teresa dedicating her life to healing the sick without getting paid. And even though I'm certainly no saint, I start to feel bad about charging for something that everyone should have access to. I know that's being way too hard on myself. There's nothing wrong with getting paid for my services. I'll be donating my time and money to charity as I see fit and can afford. That's what most people do. Why is it that I think it's ok for everyone else but not for me?

It was hard for me to write that Facebook article today. It took a lot longer than it might seem given the lack of length and wordiness. It was mainly because my first couple of drafts felt too salesy. And I just couldn't hit the Publish button. So I took a break, goofed around and came back to it. I made it, hopefully, more educational and more personal. Instead of having the link to my website at the top of the article, I put it at the end. Maybe it seems a bit defensive that way - as if I'm embarrassed about asking people to check out the website. Which I am, a little. But I want people to know that I'm not just pushing a product to make a buck. I believe in the product. I believe in the company that makes the product. I want to talk to people about a problem they might have (in this case, the over use of anti-bacterial soaps) and how my product can help them solve that problem. When I think about it that way, I don't feel so icky about it.

I think the bottom line here is that I need to get my message out to my Right People. Those people won't think I'm a snake oil salesman. My Right People are interested in better health for themselves and the planet. My Right People are ok with spending a little more money to get something that is pure, natural and healthy. My Right People understand the benefits of Reiki and other forms of energy healing. And they want to support me in my little business because they think what I'm doing is cool. So here's the thing - I'm asking the universe to help me find those Right People. I'll put myself out there which is scary and hard. But I'm doing it because I know that my Right People are out there somewhere and if I don't put myself and my message out in the world, they'll never find me. And that would be far worse than having a few people -my Not Right People - think I'm an icky snake oil salesman.
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