Part of the entrepreneurial mindset is to have thick skin and we’re diving into how develop that as a business owner.
IE 332: How to have Thick Skin
Before we start, be sure to grab the free workbook that goes along with this episode.
One day when I was in fourth grade, I came home crying because the boys were calling me Brussels Sprouts and Four Eyes. My mom told me sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.
I look back now and realize two things.
First, the name Brussel Sprouts was actually kind of funny since my maiden name was Russell.
Second, rather than my mom telling me that I wasn’t a brussel sprout or that my thick pink rimmed glasses made me pretty, she simply told me that these names physically weren’t doing any damage and I could decide how the bully’s words impacted me.
My mom gave me my power back. With that silly saying, I decided how I was going to handle the name calling.
My emotions were up to me and I could control them.
In that moment, I developed thicker skin. Skin that allowed me to decide whose words mattered, and if what they said actually held any merit.
As women, we have a tendency to be people pleasers.
Whether we are trying to keep the kids from melting down or customers happy with the services or products that they’ve received from us.
We often take others’ frustrations and unkind words personally. Over the years, I’ve had to remind myself that when someone is ugly or unkind, it’s not because of anything I did.
It’s usually because something in their life is not going well.
They might have been up all night with a teething baby, or they just found out their husband lost his job.
We need to have thick skin and not get upset by their actions.
Instead of hopping onto social media and whining about how mean someone just was to you, take a second to step away and remind yourself that it’s not you.
They’re upset with something in their life isn’t going as planned.
Be firm, but kind in your response back to them.
Let me give you an example of firm, but kind.
Six months after signing up for one of my courses, a student reached out to me to tell me that the course wasn’t what she expected, and she wanted to stop her final sixth payment that was going to get processed the next week.
She also wanted a full refund and continued access to the course. “Deep breath” was all I could think when I read the email since I have a very clear 30 day refund policy, this wasn’t a legitimate claim for her to make.
In my response I was firm but kind. “Thank you so much for getting in touch. Unfortunately, you are well past your 30 days when you were eligible for a refund. I’m sorry to hear that the course wasn’t what you were expecting. Was there something you had a question about that wasn’t answered in the course?”
Firm about the refund, but kind as well.
Her response offered a bit more insight into her situation. “You answered all of my questions in the course, but I don’t have the money to make my payment on Friday because there are extenuating health circumstances with my husband.”
When you dig deeper, it’s normally not about you.
If you’re wondering how I handled the sit situation, I canceled her final payment and gave her continued access to my course. I told her I hope that her husband got well soon and that I wanted to leave her in the course even though she didn’t pay in full, because I wanted her to be able to use what she learned from it to help alleviate some of the financial pressure for her.
We’re going to talk about kindness in the final part of the book, but I wanted you to know how it ended. I’ll explain why I chose this route in the next section.
Let’s get back to thick skin, though. You’re not always going to have situations where people are rude because they’re miserable. Sometimes you’re just going to hear no.
And that first no will put you on your heels, but you’ll continue forward. The second no is likely to shake your confidence though, unless you come to realize something about business.
You absolutely have to hear a no to get a yes. I watched so many clients think that a product doesn’t have any merit because it didn’t bring in their expected amount of revenue.
Now, I’m not telling you to continue to promote something if no one is buying it.
Instead, look at how many people are actually opening your sales emails and then clicking through to the sales page.
If we assume that the average conversion rate is 2 – 10% after people actually see the sales page, then you need to get eyeballs on the sales page.
It is a numbers game. Think of it this way. One out of every 10 people will say yes. Out of a hundred people, only 10 are going to say yes.
That means you have to hear 90 nos to hear 10. Those 10 yeses are not going to come in order either. You might have to get through 50 nos before you get your first yes.
This can be soul crushing if you don’t have thick skin and you allow it to affect your confidence.
You need to look at it as a good thing. When you hear that, no, because it just got you that much closer to a yes.
If you focus on getting through the nos, you won’t lose your confidence. Remember when I told you that after college I was selling restaurant certificates door to door come rain, sleet, snow, or 90 degree weather.
Every door I knocked on, I wrote down the number of the house on the piece of paper so that I knew whether I got my no, no one answered and if I had to go back or if I had to go back later in the day.
All I needed that day was a hundred houses. If I could talk to every person at each of those houses, then I would get my 10 yeses, which would make me a hundred bucks for the day.
Think about how you answer the door at your house when you know it’s someone at the door selling something. Now I’m going to assume that you’re not overly cranky and rude. You obviously answered the door with some apprehension and you’re probably in the middle of something because while you are a mom, if that person at the door can take a no from you and 89, other people that are likely to be a whole lot less nice, then you can take a no from the client you pitched a new service or product to.
In order for people to actually take action on an offer, they need to hear about it seven times.
No, that doesn’t mean you need to stand in front of them and repeat yourself seven times.
It means you need to continue to talk about it, even if you feel like you’re already talked about it too much. Social media has made it extremely easy for us to get our information about our products and services out there.
All we have to do is put up a post on Instagram with a picture and description describing the servicer product and it’s for free even.
Yes, I’m sure you’re thinking, but no one even sees it because of the algorithm. That is often the case and it’s why we need to continually talk about our products and services.
Social media also has made us less aware of what we are actually seeing and reading. The swipe has become more of a zombie-like action where we look on with glazed eyes and don’t actually process what we’re scrolling past.
We have grown accustomed to being constantly bombarded with new information. Heck, I don’t even notice the ads on Facebook anymore.
They’re just part of my feed, and because of the algorithm, they actually fit into the type of content that I actually ask to see by liking a page or interacting with their content in the past.
That ad may get served into my feed, but it will often take seven times in my feed for me to take any action on it.
Our audience consumes our content similarly, even our raving fans miss the offers that we make.
Don’t assume that everyone is seeing your content. You should actually assume that they’re not seeing it. Don’t be afraid to mention a product or service.
I would highly recommend that it’s not a Buy Now type of mention, but more about how you’re excited about the success that others are having or that your plans are coming together so well for your event.
This is where telling your story makes it so much easier to talk about what you offer.
I recently got the pictures back for the cover of my book.
There were so many options and I knew I wanted you all to weigh in, so I hopped onto Insta Stories and let everyone know that I needed their help to help me choose the photos.
I uploaded my four favorite photos and then asked everyone to tell me their favorite by using the question box on Instagram. The responses were insane.
I’ve never seen so much engagement on anything else that I’ve ever posted. I quickly realized that this was the perfect opportunity to let people know that they could sign up for the wait list for the presale of the book.
Some of you are reading might even remember me doing this. It wasn’t a buy now kind of pitch.
It was me asking for authentic help in choosing the cover, which you all actually did. The cover of the book is the one that you all chose. Then I gave you an opportunity to get in the list so that you could be one of the first ones to have it in your hands.
No pitch. Just an opportunity to be part of the excitement of my first book.
You want to involve your audience by making them a collaborator in what you’re creating for them.
The stories that you share will draw them in and they will see that you are trying to solve their problem. So of course, they wanna be a part of the product or service that you’re creating.
In order for this to happen though, you have to have thick skin and be willing to put it out there and potentially hear birds chirping.
No one actually interacting with it because of the way that you potentially may have put it out there or the time that you chose or the platform you chose.
You have to be willing to take that risk, which is why we had talked about in previous episodes, having that entrepreneurial mindset as well as now having the thick skin to move forward.
- If you liked this episode of Influencer Entrepreneurs, please subscribe and leave a fabulous review!
- Join the conversation on Instagram by tagging Jenny when you’re listening to the podcast. She’ll send you a personal message whenever you tag her.