Moving Past the Scary Square

2d1352fd7e26f200029ca037733e1b3f--peanuts-comics-peanuts-gangLike many authors, I tend to live inside my head more than is probably wise. This makes for great word play but also means that socializing and ‘ulp’ selling books in person, can be beyond intimidating.

Over the last few months I’ve had several book sales and signing opportunities. I would show up stressed and faking it, and try to muddle through, practicing my pitch and all the sales skills I knew

This week I tried something different. I played a game with myself that seemed to help me approach people. I’m sharing it here, just in case it helps anyone else:
For the first half of the day I concentrated on making a list of the types of people I didn’t approach. Who were the people who made my gut tighten up when they come near the table? Who makes me look down? For me this was – in part – tall women, people with sharp features, and tough looking guys with tattoo’s along with many others.

Maybe later I will be able to figure out why these particular characteristics or groups of people have such an effect on me, but that was not the goal.

For the second half of the day I started to set goals. Each goal had a one-hour time limit. Before the hour ended, I challenged myself to pitch to ONE of the specific gut-wrencher category for that hour. I put no expectation on myself to sell to these people, the game is to break through the fear and just pitch to them!untitled

I ended up selling 5 books that day and approaching 3/4 of my scary squares, and above all I managed to turn what was normally a stressful situation into an enjoyable day of meeting some really nice people.