Hey Saleslucky Family,
Today, I have a very special treat for you:
I’ll be breaking down Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Essay on Self Reliance—and what it has to do with SALES.
Ralph Waldo Emerson has been a huge influence on my life.
Back in 1841, his content might not be the easiest to read and decipher…
But when you do (and I always have to read with a dictionary on a different tab),
Every other line is like a truth bomb waiting to blow your mind.
That’s literally what it’s like to read his work.
So today, I’ll share with you 3 Valuable Snippets from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Essay on Self Reliance & Sales.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
We all know on some level, that every great person is unique.
Not unique in the sense that they have something that you and I don’t have—but unique in the sense that they are not afraid of being themselves.
You will NOT find a great artist, rapper, business person, poet, salesperson, athlete, or teacher who is a copycat of someone else!
They’re not “trying to be” someone else.
Every great person understands the concept that they must be themselves—no matter what field!
This is just as true in sales.
Maybe these words ring true to you, I know they sure do for me.
Truth be told:
I struggled to fit in growing up.
I was born in China. Then my parents moved to Canada, then America.
Growing up as a kid, many of us get teased and picked on for whatever reason…
And oftentimes in school, I didn’t fit in… because I was Asian. I was different!
At home, I also didn’t feel like I fit in completely.
because my parents didn’t understand the western culture—so for them, I “wasn’t Asian enough,” and hence again, different.
Fitting in was a struggle.
Though recently, I’ve come to embrace the fact that I often don’t fit in in my environment.
Can you relate to this on some level?
Here’s a thought:
Maybe you and I weren’t meant to fit in.
Maybe we were born to stand out.
As my mentor Andy Frisella says:
“It’s the guys that struggled to fit in in high school, that had to learn how to sell themselves.”
And boy is he right!
I’m glad I had to learn to sell myself because it’s a VALUABLE asset.
I have it for the rest of my life!
It is, in fact, one of the greatest strengths I possess.
Adversity breeds strength—what a concept!
“There is a time in every person’s education when we arrive at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide”
Let me break that down for you…
He’s saying that there comes a time in every person’s life when he or she realizes that to envy or be jealous of what someone else has…
…is to ignore the vast potential and capabilities that GOD HAS GIVEN US.
As my friend and internet marketer, Tuan Vy says…
“The grass isn’t greener on the other side, the grass is greener where you water it.”
Let’s be real.
We’ve all had moments when we’ve looked to another person—and felt envious or jealous of what he or she might have.
But I’ve realized that doing so, is WASTING the immense gifts and talents that God/the Universe/Nature/Whatever you believe, has given US!
In fact, reading Emerson’s words constantly reminds me of the latent qualities within us.
If we only just focused on improving these qualities, we would be able to create a more desirable life.
…because it’s a life perfectly designed FOR US.
It’s a life that’s PERFECT in every sense of the word, for one person… YOU.
It’s YOUR DREAM LIFE, most perfect & suitable for the one person in the world it’s perfectly meant for… YOU.
The second part of his statement mentions a time when all of us realizes this:
“Imitation is suicide.”
And this is incredibly important in sales.
I’m sure we’ve all been there when we see a successful sales rep doing their thing, doing their spiel…
…and we think to ourselves:
“Man! I have to be like THAT in order to be successful”
Maybe you’ve thought about that in more than one area of your life.
Relationships. Dating. Leadership.
I know I’ve fallen into that thinking before.
But what we learn to realize that doing so is like committing suicide.
As an example, I’m more introverted by nature.
Not 100%, but lean more towards that side.
Now, if I tried to sell like someone who’s extremely extroverted and was nothing like who I am and I tried to say the exact same things he said or mimic their personal stories?
I would essentially be committing sales suicide.
Because as the saying goes,
“You can’t out Amazon, Amazon.”
You can’t out Tommy Jia, Tommy Jia.
You can’t out (your name), (your name).
Get my point?
Still, that’s not to say don’t learn from successful people.
One thing Tony Robbins says often is,
“Success leaves clues.”
It’s incredibly important to learn from successful people.
But how you learn is a skill in itself.
I think Bruce Lee best summarizes this when he said,
“Take what is useful,
Discard what is not,
And add uniquely what is your own.”
In other words, learn from other successful people, and take what works for you.
Whatever doesn’t work, toss it away… and be sure you add uniquely what is your own.
He said it perfectly.
There is no one in the world who has your same views, experiences, beliefs, and perspective.
No two things in nature are exactly the same.
No two snowflakes, flowers, lions, trees, etc.
Nature is unique—and so are you.
You were born to STAND OUT.
So when you’re selling, don’t be afraid to be yourself.
I’ve realized that the more I’ve let myself, be myself, the more successful I’ve been.
This is true for every area of my life.
So if you do the same, you’ll start to notice that too (I promise!)
“And it truly demands something Godlike in her who has cast off the common motives of humanity and has ventured to trust herself for a taskmaster.
Your genuine action will explain itself and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Insist on yourself; never imitate.
Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.”
There’s a lot to unpack here.
But what Emerson is saying is this:
We’ve all felt inspired when we see someone take off and travel the world, start their own business, or do something that genuinely calls out to them.
It strikes a chord in our souls and inspires us, because “it demands something Godlike” (aka a breath of inspiration or enthusiasm) to do so.
By the way, the word “inspiration” literally means “in spirit”
And the word “enthusiasm” comes from “en theos” which means “the God within.”
This isn’t a religious blog, and I personally don’t subscribe to any religion.
I believe in the freedom to believe in whatever you choose.
But these are my thoughts, and I personally believe we are spiritual beings.
Anyway, Emerson continues to say that your genuine actions will speak for themselves, but your conformity says nothing.
One of the core values we stand for here at Saleslucky is diversity.
Another is authenticity.
I can honestly say that Emerson has helped to share these 2 core values immensely.
We are not about conformity here—we are about being authentic and being ourselves.
And once you start selling with authenticity, I am confident you will begin to see that much more success.
Never imitate. Trust yourself.
Believe in yourself.
Because like Emerson says,
“Every heart vibrates to that iron string.”
In other words, when you start being authentically yourself, other people will feel it.
This is true in sales just as in life.
I know this has been the case for me.