To sell is vulnerable.
Hey, judge what I made.
What do you think my creativity is worth?
It's dangerously close to
What am I worth?
Put a price-tag on me.
It's almost like putting a price-tag on yourself, saying
This is what I'm worth.
I say almost, because it's not true, even though it feels like it.
The price of your product and your inherent worthiness is of course not the same thing. In fact, they have very little to do with each other. But the same way people feel shame for a low salary, we can fall into the trap of letting a price-tag mean more than it really does.
Let's have a look at the fears that come with selling, all fears I had before I opened my art shop. These are fears turned into objections that can keep you from being able to put your creativity out in the world, if you're not swimming in money and can give it all away.
But I'll become a commercial, and I hate commercials.
Actively selling is doing essentially what a commercial does. Telling people to go buy that awesome thing they might not want.
Many of us hate commercials. We hate sellers attacking us when we're just trying to walk by. We hate those who call and disturb us. We hate the dishonest and manipulative sellers. We hate the commercials that try to make you feel bad for not being perfect.
So how can you sell, if you hate sellers? Don't you instantly become one of them, the hated? The liars?
No, you don't. You are still you, and you decide what kind of seller you want to be. There's no need to manipulate or lie. That's just what some do, who value money over integrity. They are more visible, because sadly it works. Otherwise they wouldn't do it. But the world holds many honest, kind and caring sellers too, and you can choose to be one of them.
It's not as much in what you do, as in how you do it. Some commercials are damn good. Take this one for example, that's selling too. Doesn't feel so icky, does it?
But what if I mess up?
Somebody is paying you to do something. They're counting on you on a whole different level than if they were just, say, reading a blog post. They're trusting you with their money and expect a certain level of service.
What if something breaks or get lost in the mail? What if they're not satisfied with the quality? What if they start talking behind your back? What if...?
The government has demands to. You're supposed to understand tax systems and rules applying if you're selling to other countries. If you mess up, it can cost you. It might even make you a criminal. Messing up in this area is not something you want to do.
The fear of messing up with the responsibility that is demanded in an exchange of money can be strong, and keep you from wanting to go anywhere near it. Thing is, there's lots of help to be found in this area. If you're honest and generous with your buyers, few will be mad if something goes wrong. Governments want you to do right. Most will help you if you ask, and if not, there's others who have done what you want to do.
Ask. Get help. Untangle the mess and you'll realize it wasn't so scary after all.
But is my thing really good enough to charge money for?
To sell is to put external value on what you create.
It already has a value in itself as an act of creativity, as something you've made, but the external value is something you choose to put on it.
To sell is not to say
Hey, judge my worth.
Instead, it's saying
Hey, I made a thing. I'd like to share it with you, but I can't do it for free this time.
Make something you feel satisfied with, something you might pay for, and then let everyone else make their own choice. Some might scoff and think you've overpriced. Some might gladly pay and think it's a bargain.
We can't control what others think of us or what we make. Just like when we share anything creative, selling is allowing people to have opinions. You don't have to listen to them, but you have to accept that they're there.
If you're one of those honest and kind sellers, if you keep your integrity and show your potential customers respect, then you're not forcing anyone to do anything. They'll decide on their own if they want to pay you or not.
You know as well as I that many things we pay for are far from perfect. So don't strive for perfection. It will only keep you from ever daring to sell.