Tag Archives: sales

Curiosity Never Killed this Cat


“Don’t feel pressured to make firm plans for the person you think you are now and will be years hence. They will box you in. You will wake up decades from now wondering how you are living a life decided on by who you believed you truly were when you were 21 years old. Instead, keep living life for the as-yet unknown person you will keep on morphing into; keep the possibilities open.”

I read this little nugget of wisdom in an article that popped in my inbox from LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/importance-breaking-free-yourself-michael-puett?trk=eml-b2_content_ecosystem_digest-hero-14-null&midToken=AQH4GcXhGvSdHw&fromEmail=fromEmail&ut=1XGEoVENy1ang1.

When I feel overwhelmed at work or I’m entering situations/conversations I know I’m ill-equipped for, I take a step back and remind myself to stay curious.  I learned this as I was pounding the pavement in dental sales for Henry Schein, Inc.  I didn’t know my catalog.  I didn’t know what mattered to dentists.  I knew my products typically sold at a higher price than my competitors.  When I started to approach my days and my customers with curiosity I began listening more.  I was paying attention to things that really mattered and not my own agenda.  I was a better person for it and my sales numbers grew.  Whenever I interview for a new job, I stay curious.  When I encounter a difficult resident, I stay curious.  When something doesn’t feel right with my life, I stay curious.  When you approach ANYTHING with an open mind and with the expectation that you’re going to learn something, you can’t lose.

Staying curious grounds me and allows me the freedom to not get caught up in my own head.  It connects me to all living things and has afforded me the opportunity to learn on a daily basis.

My PAUSE Button

I’m always “on”!  24/7, I’m go, go, go!  Recently my coworkers were assigning drinks to people’s personalities because of Beyoncé’s new single, “Lemonade”.  You know what was assigned to me?  Red Bull.  Apparently my busy and high energy personality isn’t just in my head.  It’s good to operate on all 10 cylinders in certain situations but, I’m starting to realize the importance of hitting the pause button from time to time–no matter how uncomfortable.

I have hundreds of reason why I don’t slow down.  It’s unnerving even thinking about sitting with myself in silence, let alone with anyone else.  It isn’t something I’ve done for years (maybe like 6, but who’s counting).  I first realized that my pause button was missing when I entered the wonderful world of dating for the very first time in years.  I’m good at the online dating nonsense because it’s just like sales.  Essentially you put up a storefront with your profile, spark interest, and then sell the goods.  Easy!  And I’m guessing that most people are able to handle everything after that point as well.  Me?  Well, I guess I’m a little different.  It’s odd because I didn’t realize how horrible I was at actually connecting with people until I started to connect with someone recently.  It’s not like the saying, “You don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.”  It’s more like you don’t know what you had until you lose it and then start to get it again.  Or… You don’t know what you got until it’s gone and then you get it back one day.  Honestly, it’s been so long since I’ve slowed down and truly tried to connect with another person.  I forgot it was even a thing.  I forgot how rewarding it can be.  I forgot how necessary it is to my life and to being a human.

I almost don’t want to push on with this entry because I’m hurt by what I just typed.  It’s almost like my life stopped years ago.  I began to be okay with not feeling.  I was okay with empty relationships.  I demanded little from myself and from those around me.  And as much as I’d like to point fingers to people or situations, I am fully in charge of what I let into my life.  While I don’t assume responsibility in how people ultimately treated me, I do assume responsibility for allowing it.  I wasn’t connecting and I felt that the whole time.  But yet I allowed it.  I took myself off the hook and allowed life to roll on while I took the backseat approach.  *drops mic

So, now that I’m dating again I find myself having to deliver on the goods in my storefront.  I have to slow down, hit the pause button, and truly connect.  To experience shared enthusiasm, slow and deliberate touches, genuine conversation, a heightened sense of curiosity, locked glances, and warm smiles is something I haven’t had in such a long time.  “Red Bull” dated “Starbuck’s Espresso” and then “Monster Energy Drink” back to back.  There were no pause buttons.  There were distractions (lots of distractions) and nice words without action.  (This is so hard to comb through.)

It feels great to have someone to lock horns with in the most peaceful way.  It’s forcing me to be human.  It’s forcing me to look inward and draw out the girl I know I am.  I feel alive again.  I feel like I’m trying again.  I’m growing as a person again.  It’s bringing back really awesome memories of how I used to be.  It just feels really really good.  So despite how uncomfortable it is, I feel extremely grateful that I’m being pushed into that corner.  I’ll never go back.





Forced to be an Extrovert

On any given day I see all kinds of articles about being an extrovert/introvert.  Most of them speak to the difficulties and misunderstandings that come along with being an introvert.  Upon meeting me, most people would characterize me as an extrovert.  I thrive in social settings.  I make friends easily.  I was in outside sales for a pretty good chunk of my career.  I’m passionate about getting to know people and sharing my personal story.  I love having all eyes on me.

I don’t think I was born an extrovert.  I think I was born and perhaps conditioned to be an introvert.  Every step I’ve taken towards being an extrovert has been calculated and has come with truly powering through a gauntlet of personal doubt, inadequate feelings, and insecurities.  Naturally I don’t hold my head high and command attention.  It’s quite the opposite.  I want to run and hide and just observe like a good little introvert.

I guess the transformation began in high school and has continued through my life since then.  We all have those teachers/coaches that change our lives.  I’ve had so many and I’ll never be able to thank them enough for their encouragement to uncover who I am.  It’s like I focused so hard on school because the pep talks and recognition wasn’t coming from my home life.  I could succeed academically and in the sports and clubs I was a part of in high school.

I had two phenomenal volleyball coaches, Mr. John Basile and Mr. Michael Seaman.  Mr. Seaman was also my 9th grade English teacher.  He was a huge part of my life during my 4 years at Academy Park High School in Sharon Hill, PA.  I took away so many pearls of wisdom from him but there is one instance that always sticks out in my mind.  I believe I was walking down the hall by his classroom one day and I was walking like I always walked.  I had my head down, looking at the ground.  I never realized this was the norm.  But he called me out on it.  I don’t remember his exact words but he essentially told me to stop looking down because I had so much going for me and so much to look forward to in life.  BOOM!  Stopped me right in my tracks.  I don’t believe I’ve ever heard anything like that before.  It was one of those moments that I’ll never forget because it impacted my life exponentially.  I started believing in myself and my desire to succeed.  I could stop carrying the cross of outside influences and start acting with pride because I had so many successes and accomplishments.

High school also came with so many opportunities to lead.  I was captain of the volleyball team, captain of the Hi-Q (quiz bowl) team, some designation in the honor society, and a member of the newspaper, yearbook, Shakespeare Troop, Literary Magazine, etc.  If it was a thing, I was a member.  It afforded me opportunities to be in the spotlight.  It was incredibly uncomfortable in so many ways but in EVERY way possible, these opportunities were giving me an outlet to express who I wanted to be (deep down, who I already was).

Fast-forward to college… I found myself in the same types of situations.  I wasn’t confident but I kept throwing myself into tasks and roles that would allow me to develop into a confident and outspoken young lady.  I joined a sorority and became their Recruitment Chair for 2 years.  I had to lead events and essentially speak on behalf of our sorority.  I presented papers at out-of-state conferences.  I joined so many organizations and my schedule was packed to the gills.  I pushed myself into the spotlight.  I remember doubting myself every step of the way.  All of it was uncomfortable. Everyone around me always knew I could do it.  I’ve had so many amazing people in my life who insisted on pushing me.  I’m eternally grateful.

My outside sales job for Henry Schein, Inc. was probably the most grueling job for me as a (what I believe) natural introvert.  Day after day I would call on dental offices.  I would try to build rapport and get them to buy something (anything!) from me.  I was out of me element.  And to boot, I had so much windshield time because I was covering a territory so that just gave me more time to process self-doubt.  It was brutal, but I did it.  I was successful but god was it gut-wrenching at times.  I went on and took three “sales jobs” after that.  I was always pitching something to someone and trying to develop deep connections.  I got pretty good at it, but it always felt like it took so much focus and energy to do it.  But I got comfortable in my skin and confident in my messaging.

And today, I feel the same way.  What brought this all on was working one of the Accepted Students Days for WCU.  Before I moved onto being the Community Manager for The Village and East Village Apartment for USH at West Chester University I started in their Leasing Department.  There was more selling when I was on the leasing side of the operations.  I miss it at times.  But as I was working the Accepted Students Day yesterday I could feel how much I miss making that connection with people and the challenge of getting them to realize what you wanted them to realize.  I felt social yesterday.  I felt like a true extrovert.  I didn’t mind it.  It felt great to wear that hat again.  When I’m in that role now I only feel a surge of energy and a nudge to deliver.

Maybe I’m a born extrovert after all.


“Audit who you ACTUALLY are.”

I surround myself with social media #alldayeveryday.  I know you’re in the same boat.  But I am like obsessed.  I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and touch that “F” square on my phone’s home screen and scroll through Facebook until I get to the place I stopped before I went to bed.  Hi, my name is Britta and I’m addicted to Facebook.  Anyway, I’m that girl.  I own it.  I’m starting to be okay with it.  Learning about people is fascinating.  Most of what makes its way to people’s actual Facebook accounts is super filtered and fake.  But learning about that is fascinating as well.  Nonetheless, every now and then I stumble upon something life-changing.  Seriously, every now and then social media comes through for me and perfection is delivered right to me–in those sleepy morning scrolls, a new life is born.  I had that happen this morning…

I clicked on a video.  Gary Vaynerchuk spoke to some college class.  It appeared to be very off the cuff–he cursed a few times and his delivery was a reigned in version of stream-of-conscious thought.  The majority of the talk he merely dispensed advice and some thoughts about starting businesses, living life, and introspection.  The title of this blog came from the video.

At work we audit stuff all the time.  I’m a slave to the MS Excel and we constantly audit our lists and info, and blah blah blah.  But a self-audit?  Mind BLOWN!  I do all this self work.  I journal.  I’ve had lengthy bouts with therapy.  I tap (EFT).  I read.  I feel like I’m constantly evaluating myself, taking stock of who I am and what I need to fix.  Sometimes I have to take a break because I tend to cycle–constantly processing the same thing over and over and over again in my head.

But Gary said something pretty awesome… he poked fun at the fact that most people in the room will spend the next 20-30 years of their lives focusing on the things they aren’t good at and trying to strengthen those aspects.  But, he thinks, you need to do a self-audit (*chills) to figure out what you are really good at and then sink all of your time and energy using those aspects of yourself to drive your success.  It’s true!  I immediately thought back to my cold-calling sales days.  ‘m not good at selling over the phone.  I took classes, read books, forced myself to meet daily call quotas, and just tried a million things to get me “okay” with it.  Honestly, I’ll never like it.  I’ll never be good at it.  Why waste any additional time trying to cultivate something I suck at???  It makes so much sense.

Pay attention to your best self and work your ass off to finds ways to build success from there.  It sounds so simple right now.  It sounds like I’ve heard it before.  I need to make this my focus.

Everything (even social media sometimes) is dropped onto your path for a reason.  Listen, ask questions, and LEARN!  Stay curious, my friends.