9 Surprising Things I've Learned About People Who Sell Their Brains for a Living

9 Surprising Things I've Learned About People Who Sell Their Brains​ for a Living

Published August 17, 2021 | Business Strategy

I have an important question for you:


How do you describe what you do?


Most of us answer that question by jumping into the what of our work...


- "I'm a copywriter..."


- "I'm a designer..."


- "I'm a business consultant/circus trainer..."


But when it really comes down to it - whatever your business - you have one thing in common with nearly everyone else reading this article:


👉 You sell your brain for a living. 👈


That kind of entrepreneurship is a special thing.


It's very different in many ways from businesses that sell widgets or online physical products or have a retail storefront.


And over the past 5 years, I've learned some surprising things about those of us who use our noodle to earn a living...


Here are 9 interesting things I've learned in my years as the "Zen Money lady":


1. Many of us have multiple degrees or have multiple careers. We're what they call "multipotentialites" - we love to learn!


This means we're well-rounded, engaging, and fun to work with. It also means we can get a little distracted by shiny new ideas. It's been my experience watching and talking with hundreds of service-providers over the years that this wonderfully diverse style can make running your biz a little haphazard, especially when it comes to your financial piece. But that intense interest is also what makes us ideal entrepreneurs and capable of overcoming it!


2. We're smart about a lot of things, but embarrassed by how little we know about money management and good business.


If you're in the business of selling your noggin goodies, it can be hard to admit you don't know something. Especially when it comes to financial know-how or smart business choices. Most of us would rather do anything besides look at our numbers... Until we can't function that way anymore. (Good news: see #1!)


3. It's hard for us to take time off.


Because, duh, our brains are our biz and that's darn tricky to shut off, right? I've found that the most successful brain-sellers I know have a strong self-care routine and force themselves to stick to a schedule that includes meditation, exercise, and an official "work is over" practice to help turn that part of their mind off more easily before and after their work day.


4. We crave stability but also push our own boundaries.


When you sell you for a living, two things are true: we worry more about where next month's payroll is coming from and we like to try new things. Sometimes they're in conflict with each other. Like when we want to show our spouses a consistent and robust take home, but we also want to try to reach a bigger audience or bring on a new offer that may disrupt the consistent revenue flow we've just dialed in. Never fear! There's a way to manage both sides of your financial desires.


5. We beat ourselves up in secret all the time.


Let me repeat that: we beat ourselves up in secret ALL. THE. TIME. I can't tell you how many times I've heard some variation of "I'm the worst ever at ________." We spend a lot of time alone in our heads and that can create a chaotic cycle of go-mode vs. grow-mode. How do we stop that awful spin? By finding a way to get some feedback and reflection on our work, our business, and our duties as a brain-seller. That can quiet the negative thought patterns and help us see more clearly. That can come in the form of biz bestie, coach, spouse or mentor. Having a trusted mirror-holder is key to our success!


6. Most of us are terrified of setting our prices.


Why? Because we are our business and it's incredibly easy to confuse our self-worth with the value of our services (and vice-versa). It's far easier to price a handmade journal or a medical product than it is to set our fees as a service-provider, coach, consultant, attorney, designer, or copywriter.


7. We're concerned about how others perceive us.


See #6 above. We're selling ourselves, which makes our skin a little thinner in general than those widget-makers out there who can hide behind their products. This can create some chaos in our business, if we're spinning from one idea to the next, or messing with our services and packages all the time based on what someone mentioned to us last week at a networking event. Good news, though! The better you understand what truly drives your biz, the easier it is to ignore those comments (real or imagined).


8. We want a bigger stage...


...But we're nervous about it, too. Most people I know would be over the moon if they could reach more people. Which is wonderful! And it also comes with a cost: more eyeballs on your work can be great, but it can also cause us to want to hide in a hole (see #7). More sales can bring stress over workload, the need for a bigger team, larger expenses, and possibly fewer take home dollars. But it's OK - once you understand how to grow without stress, that bigger stage will be less daunting and more exciting! And if, upon reflection, you decide you'd rather build a smaller business than you originally planned, that's great info to have, as well.


9. We LOVE helping people and are super-duper proud of our work.


We tend to be helper-types. Whether you support other businesses, provide legal services, coach people to run a marathon, or one of a million other versions of service-based bring ourselves to our work every day. As a consequence, we like to point to our clients' success as our own, shout it from the rooftops, and crave more of it on the regular. Secret problem? If things aren't going well behind the scenes in our business, we can feel like a fraud. Easy solution? Getting that biz stuff sorted out so you can focus on the stuff you love to do!


Do any of these sound familiar?


And if you're ready to dive into #6 and put 50% more moolah in your pocket, lock in pricing that feels amazing, and a sales strategy to get you there faster, join me in the Zero-Stress Pricing Formula here.


Just 4 simple steps in 4 days could change everything. Isn't that worth a look?


Here's to all your brainy potential!

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Liz Lajoie, Biz Strategist & CFO

Liz Lajoie, the “Zen Money Business Strategist & CFO”, helps mission-driven entrepreneurs build a healthy, profitable business, radically shift how they think about money, and thrive in the process!

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