My fears about asking for money persisted throughout the rest of that year and well into the next, despite getting help from a business coach. I never made more than what was required to pay for rent, my phone, basic public transport and groceries to cook at home. That’s no way to live.
Looking back on those days now, I’m glad I had the sense to get an intervention. The only thing stopping me from having the fulfillment I wanted was my own fear of asking for money. So, I enrolled in a sales training course with a renowned coach named Bryan Franklin. About three hours into the first day and some cursory training around the mindset required to ask for money, the instructors gave us our first assignment: Go out and get a client in three hours. If you don’t get one, don’t bother coming back.
There were two rules:
1) No family or significant others (people you depend on for food, shelter or love).
2) Money must be exchanged.
I ended up getting a client that day (a relative of someone in the class with me). What I learned is that the people you sell to in the beginning will be people you already have relationships with. I thought (and hoped) that my clients would be "people out there" -- people I could fail or fumble in front of without "hurting" the relationship. But the truth is that the people most likely to buy are the people who already know you. Not strangers.
That was the beginning of the first year dedicated to learning how to sell. (Yes, I have spent multiple years learning this skill.)
No one had ever heard of the men I trained with even though they were coaching business leaders at Silicon Valley giants like LinkedIn. They were advising people who were making multi-millions about how they could make more. No one had heard of them because they didn’t market. They sold. They understood the difference between the two is that the latter is what puts money in the bank.