Mother Theresa – A True and Authentic Sales Model

One of the hardest workplace spirituality issues is how to sell as a spiritual practice.  To overcome that challenge, I can’t over-recommend Carol Costello’s book, The Soul of Selling.  It’s the best guide I’ve ever seen for getting rid of emotional baggage and making selling an act of service.  Here, with Carol’s permission, is what she learned from her heroine, Mother Theresa.

Mother Theresa: The Seller Who Changed the World

by Carol Costello in The Soul of Selling (Benbella Books, page 183)

My personal inspiration for selling is Mother Theresa.  She had a vision based on authentic personal values, and overcame everything in the way of realizing that vision.  She discovered how to energize her resources and speak effectively to people about giving her money to help the poor.  She saw everyone she contacted as the Christ, and she kept going until she got the result.  That is compassion, combined with clarity and commitment, in service to others.  That is spiritual practice.

What if Mother Teresa had just sympathized with the poor of Calcutta?  What if she had felt very sad about them and talked about them with her friends over lattes, but rejected any real action because the scope of the problem was so large?  Or because going around asking people for money wasn’t “spiritual”?  Or because she didn’t want to rock the boat and question the system?  Or because she might be uncomfortable, embarrassed, or rejected?

Instead, Mother Teresa became a force of nature.  She sold her vision, raised a great deal of money, and made the world a better place because she was in it.  You can do those things, on as large a scale as you please.

How Are You Called To Sell What Matters To You?

This is Pat Sullivan again, the usual author of this blog. Even if we don’t have to sell a product or service in order to make a living, we’re always selling.  At the least, we have to sell ourselves on saying yes to exercise, no to un-nurturing food; yes to patience and thoughtfulness, no to the latest fear-mongering “news” or excess consumerism; yes to real pleasures that enrich our lives, no to cruelty or titillation that hurt others and take us away from who we really are.

There’s so much in Carol’s quote to ponder.  What could you envision to benefit yourself and others if you anchored into your most authentic self and listened to what your heart and soul are saying right now?  What courage would you find to move from just feeling sorry for the pain in the world to action that enriches you as well as others?

If selling is part of your paid work, what can you learn here about selling from your heart and soul?  Will it require you to say no to selling what is not true and moving on, even if it costs you a well-paying job now?  Will it require you to have more courage, if you are selling products of services with true value, so you can connect compassionately and respectfully with those who need just what you have to offer?

I’m very grateful to Carol for introducing me to the concept of selling as a spiritual practice. To me that means I can only sell that which I know to be anchored in integrity, serving a useful purpose, and offering joy or at least the alleviation of suffering.  And it means I can only sell in a way that is anchored in integrity, authentic, and purposeful.

What does it mean to you?  What tips do you have for people like me who are just learning to do this, and who want to sell with more integrity, purpose and the capacity for joy?

As always, many blessings to you, and your comments are most welcome.

Pat McHenry Sullivan

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Seven Good Reasons For Thinking About Work When You’re On Vacation

Yes, almost everyone needs to stop worrying about work, but it’s a bad idea to think that to relax, you need to stop thinking about work while you’re on vacation.  Here’s a better idea:  allow your best vacation mind to transform your workdays so they are all more fun, more relaxed, more satisfying.  Consider:

1.    When you’re relaxed, it’s easier to see new options, discover new allies or resources. Read more ›

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The Work of Our Life; The Life of Our Work

If you think of work as only the means to earning money, you’re missing work at its best — like work with meaning, work with joy, work that stretches your talents, engages your body and spirit as well as your mind, and sends you home inspired by deeper connections with other humans and the earth.  And if you think of work as something that ends when the official workday ends or when you retire, you’re not considering how rich the work of our lives is. Read more ›

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Let’s Preserve the Senior Citizen Generation Gap: Lifework Guest Post by Tom Ratcliff

I am always being reminded by my 16 year old how out of touch I am; or how I don’t take enough time to just have fun; or all I think about is getting my projects done; or I worry too much about how much things cost, or, or, or.

I am sure my son’s generation will do just fine (as long as their mothers follow them all through life picking up after them). It’s just how we go about getting there that’s a lot different. I was taught to plan, prepare and perform (in other words – Git-er done!) My son thinks it should be done either by mom, dad someone else, or later on after his buddies go home. Read more ›

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What Ethical Entrepreneurs and Jobseekers Can Learn from Successful Bankrobbers

How do you get money fast when jobs or clients are scarce? Mention that challenge in any brainstorming group, and inevitably someone will joke, “rob a bank.”  Laughter will inevitably ensue, then the group will go on to same-old ideas that already haven’t worked.

But what if you could turn the outrageousness of the bankrobbing suggestion into a catalyst for absolutely ethical client-building or job-finding strategies? Here’s one set of tips you could discover with quick brainstorming questions. Read more ›

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For Miraculous Purpose-Finding and Marketing Inspiration, See Trader Joe’s Tissues

Most people really want their work to be purposeful.  But beyond a vague, generic “I want to help people,” most can’t define what that means.  This makes it darned impossible to land the right helping-people job, perfect clients for your meaningful business, or donors for your non-profit agency.

Fortunately, you can learn much of what you need to know about purpose-finding and marketing strategy from a 99 cent box of Trader Joe’s tissue. Read more ›

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Distressed by the “Jobless Recovery”? Consider Creating Your Own Business By Guest Blogger Ellen Augustine, M.A.

While the official unemployment fluctuates around 10%, the real rate is much higher considering those who are no longer counted (e.g., benefits having run out) and people struggling with part-time work.  Many economists feel there will not be a significant surge in jobs before 2012.

What to do?  Perhaps its time to take a closer look at starting your own business. Read more ›

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Inspiration for Work and Life from Olympians By Guest Blogger Kimberly Weichel

I’ve always loved to watch the Olympics, both winter and summer. Being the empathetic type, I feel the excitement, nervousness, and exhilaration they must feel as they perform, as well as the joy or sadness from winning or not winning.

The Olympics are about so much more than winning or the feelings that go into it. Read more ›

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Spirit, Money, and Relationships: Guest Post by Kim Leatherdale

Economic problems cause major stress (I hear you saying “no duh!”) Job loss, cut in pay, cut in hours, or failure at a business can put pressure on a people.  Financial stress mars the spirit and makes even the healthiest person forget good relational skills. Too often these external pressures erode relationships inside and outside of work.

So, how do you safeguard all your relationships in these economically trying times?

Read more ›

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Integrity Lessons From a Whistleblower to His Daughter

We’ve got to slow down and be like white lines on mountainous roads to each other, my Dad, the late Bill McHenry, once told me.  Otherwise, how can we see and safely navigate the inevitable ethical fogs of work and life?

Even when I was very young, I knew that my dad had gone successfully through several huge ethical fogs.  Several years before Dad met my mom, he turned down an unethical but lucrative job at the height of the great depression.  When I was just six months old, he blew a whistle on his powerful embezzling boss, a college president. Four years later, soon after Dad’s testimony helped send the boss to jail, Dad turned down another lucrative but unethical job at a social service agency.

As a child, of course, I didn’t understand the full impact of these stories. As an adult, I got enough details about whistleblowing and its impact to fill a book.

In the end, Dad’s only regret  was that no one had stopped the president when the wrongdoing was small, by saying simply, “No, Dr. Meadows, you can’t do that.”  Over the years, I also learned a lot about the stress of Dad’s whistleblowing on our family, and I healed.

What was left after the forgiveness and healing were some very powerful life lessons in basic integrity.  May they also serve you. Read more ›

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