How to Sell Yourself | Inspirational Podcast

Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you in part by Book of Zen, makers of wearable inspiration for a better world. Today’s podcast has been edited and adapted from The Mental Highway by Thomas Parker Boyd, published in 1922….

We each have in ourselves the potential elements of genius. Our business is to find out how to set them free and get them into effective operation. Remember that a one-talent person working at their highest efficiency is worth a hundred undeveloped ten-talent people. While we all may differ in the degree and variety of natural endowments, everyone has the potential elements of success.

Success consists in realizing that you have it in you, that you are worthy to succeed, then carrying your qualities to market. For no matter how high the quality of your faculties and abilities may be, they do not spell success until you market them.

You do not actually sell your qualities. You merely sell ideas relating to them. Success consists in selling your ideas of them rather than selling someone else’s ideas of them. A salesperson does not sell so many barrels of oil, but certain ideas about the oil. The “goods” are delivered afterward. A real estate agent does not sell a house, but an idea of a home. When you sell your services to a company, you merely sell an idea of what your services will be worth to the firm. You deliver the (quote) “goods” afterward.

The art of selling yourself hinges on a right idea about your goods and how to get that right idea across to the mind of the potential buyer or employer. This resolves itself into the following formula that operates in the following order: (1) Develop your best capabilities to the highest possible degree. (2) Learn to describe them truly so that you can present them and sell them, so that the prospective buyer will get a correct idea of what you can do. (3) Identify your market. Find the right field for your goods or services. (4) All that is left to do is to deliver the goods, to make the prospective buyer know that you are the person for the place, or that your goods will better fill their needs than any others.

Your success depends on your skill in discovering the open way of access to the buyer’s mind, then finding their particular point of interest in your proposition. In what way can it serve them and forward their interests? After having discovered this point, the next move is to illustrate your ability to help them achieve their goals until you can close the deal.

Suggestion is the supreme agent in these steps. It is present in your idea, your presentation, your words, your tone, your eyes, your gesture, your pose of body, your muscular tension; for these are all ways of expressing yourself — and it is the ideas of yourself that you are selling. Avoid antagonism, criticism, and comparison when using suggestion. Commending a company’s effort to be up to date is far better than intimating that their methods are behind the times.

Make your suggestion tend to produce direct results in action. Suggesting to an employer that they need and want your services is far better than asking for a position. It is a good suggestion to show similarity of ideas, also to manifest the probability of growth. Propose the idea that one strong point of your qualifications is just one point in your all-round fitness.

Picturing yourself in active service is good autosuggestion. Find out what the employer wants, but avoid showing that YOU want something very much. Instead, hold to the idea that you can supply what the buyer or employer lacks. This sort of suggestion leads to action.

Your ultimate success in selling yourself resolves itself into a problem of skill and availability. An analysis of your present equipment will be helpful, because you need to know your faults with an idea of correcting them. Maybe your chief fault is poor mental fuel. Your mind isn’t filled with powerful ideas and is disorganized. Maybe the piston rod rings leak, and you do not get the high compression of determination and persistence.

Maybe it is a faulty carburetor. Maybe the spark plugs are misfiring, and the fire of enthusiasm is lacking. Success means firing on every cylinder, whether you are a two- or a twelve-cylinder machine. Maybe your cooling system doesn’t work and you get “hot” from lack of self-control. Maybe it is a cracked cylinder — in other words, broken health.

A car kept in repair is renewed with new parts over the years. Likewise, your body renews and replaces every cell every nine months. Go to the repair shop of that supreme fixer, your subconscious mind. Tell it what you want, and revisit the repair shop until the rebuilding process is complete. Success depends primarily on physical capacity. Heart power and stomach power can put anything over. You must have health, energy, vitality, and endurance to be physically able to do your work.

You must also bring your mental qualities up to their highest effectiveness. You can train every mental power by clearly perceiving what they mean and how they work and then going into action. Chief among these mental powers are perception, alertness, accuracy, punctuality, memory, imagination, concentration, adaptability, self-control, determination, tact, diplomacy, and good judgment.

Perception is looking at things with your mind as well as with your eyes — a stick stuck into the water appears crooked to the eye, but straight to the mind.

Alertness is mentally sharp ears. “Yes” pronounced crisply means one thing, pronounced with a falling inflection, it means another. Yes, with a rising inflection, means something else.

Accuracy is the result of taking pains to do, think, and say things correctly.

Punctuality is a mental habit most people haven’t acquired. People who would spurn a dishonest action pilfer all sorts of time by being a few minutes late.

Memory grows stronger by every effort to remember. It grows each time you affirm, “I have a perfect memory.” It gets clearer as you repeat a thing to be remembered, and it holds strongly to the object of your attention. Memory recalls the apt-to-be-forgotten when tied up with the sure-to-be-remembered.

Imagination grows by use. Use it daily to picture out the success of your undertaking, and never let it run undirected.

Concentration directs the attention of the mind to one thing and keeps it away from everything else. Practice looking so intently as to shut out sound; listening so intently as to shut out reports from the eyes; and thinking so intently as to practically inhibit all the senses.

Adaptability is a wonderful attainment, to be able to adjust to new and unexpected conditions. It is the ability to “back up” gracefully when you realize that for each backward step you take, eventually you will take two forward.

Stability is the power to “stay put.” It grows every time you stick to a purpose. Stability is the habit of “being there” when the occasion calls you.

Determination is that resolute state of mind that holds to its objective no matter what diversions arise. It is the “center” of your whole army of qualities, and unless it holds, you will lose the battle.

Tact is the skill to find a way of easing the pressure, relieving the tension, smoothing ruffled feelings, turning away wrath and impatience, and disarming injustice. Often tact alone will open the way to achievement.

Diplomacy is mental maneuvering for an advantageous position. It is finding the way out of an impossible situation.

Good judgment is wisely forecasting the outcome of any project. It is a faculty that all people pride themselves as possessing—but more so than what is actually borne out in reality. Really good judgment is based upon your own experiences, upon others’ experiences under similar circumstances, and upon the current working facts of the situation.

You must also possess Heart Qualities, which are certain emotional qualities that are necessary to any large success. They are ambition, hopefulness, optimism, enthusiasm, cheerfulness, self-confidence, courage, persistence, patience, earnestness, sympathy, frankness, expressiveness, humor, loyalty, and love of others. You already possess these to some degree, but you must develop them to their highest expression to give you the perfect emotional equipment necessary for lasting success.

Ambition furnishes you with the motivational power to continue to perfect success.

Hopefulness is a mental anchor tossed forward to your future success, which sees the invisible and holds to it as a reality until it comes into expression.

Optimism sees the bright side of things. Business is always good. The weather is fine. All things work together for the good of those that think good.

Enthusiasm kindles all the fires of energy, keeps all the powers at flood-tide, and carries a difficult position by storm. It grows from your sense of your real worth and the value of your goods or services.

Cheerfulness keeps smiling, lives on the sunny side of the street, says the helpful word, is glad to be alive, and is busy every moment in the “cheering up” business.

Self-confidence rests upon your realization of your ability. Claim for yourself every quality and power that you see in others. Concede to others every excellence you discover in yourself.

Courage grows out of optimism and self-confidence. No matter what it is, it can be done, and you can do it, and will do it.

Persistence keeps steadily at the task. Whether you work or play, you keep your objective clearly in sight.

Patience teaches you how to play the waiting game. Waiting for mental processes to be completed in others, for gathering of material-factors that will build your temple of success.

Earnestness keeps you from lagging in the race, and inspires others with the idea that you believe in yourself and your proposition.

Sympathy helps you to put yourself in the other person’s place, think with him or her, and know how they feel.

Frankness brings you out into the open, puts all the cards on the table, and takes away from others the idea that you have any ulterior motive.

Expressiveness gives music to your voice, a light to your eye, a charm to your personality.

Humor saves many a bad situation with a good story or witty saying. Keep the fun chord in your instrument well-tuned, but do not use it too much or others may deem you too much the “comedian.”

Loyalty to the best in yourself, to others, and to your undertaking is the main element in the stuff called integrity.

Love of others is the oil that makes all the wheels go. It gives all confidence, for you cannot fear that which you love. It reacts on you. And remember that you cannot help others without helping yourself.

Go over all of these qualities one by one, again and again, to see how fully you have developed them, then begin to build them up.

Certain Ethical Qualities are also essential to success. The ethical principle is that your business is equally helpful to others as to you. To this end, your intentions must be right. You mean to be honest and truthful. You are of good moral character, reliable, and dependable. You love your chosen work because it enables you to serve others and yourself.

Certain Spiritual Qualities are essential too.

Idealism enables you to see the higher purposes of life, and to cherish unselfish desires. It is the imaging power by which you construct the ideal of a finished and glorious success.

Vision enables you to see the large outcome of your work. It keeps you from looking at life narrowly.

Faith is confidence in the reality of your ideals and vision. It holds to this reality until you have turned it into external form.

Lastly, we have the desire to serve — The secret formula of genius is: “I am among you as one who serves.” Every quality in you is embedded in the obligation to serve.

Business success depends upon your ability to know the other’s need and to supply that need. Whether you are selling your services to a potential employer or your goods to a prospective buyer, approach them through their own curiosity about your proposition, and their self-interest about what degree it can be of use to them. This is the key to human nature and how to successfully sell anything.

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