Don’t Just Sell the Pole


My therapist and I have joked that I’d really like to pole vault over all the tricky stuff and just arrive at wholeness and peace.


I mean, who wouldn’t right?


(And doing so is about as likely as me *actually* pole vaulting over anything in real life.)


But I recently realized that I am very much not alone in this desire — because EVERYBODY is trying to sell me a pole!


Over the last couple of months, I joined a bunch of Facebook groups for business owners where members are allowed to promote themselves.


And then I LEFT a bunch of those groups because they were useless noise. But I stayed in a few.


And what I’ve noticed is that nearly EVERYONE in these groups is trying to sell me a pole for pole vaulting over the difficult work.They’re sharing things like free webinars and PDF downloads — and while there may be valuable information in these free offers, they’re being sold as the ONE THING YOU NEED TO KNOW to reach six figures in your business, or stop the hustle, or release your anxiety, or lose 20 pounds or… or… or…


And here’s the thing: If there actually was ONE piece of information that could produce that kind of transformation, do you think anyone would be giving it away for free in a PDF or webinar?


Uh. Not likely.


They’re trying to sell you the pole without any of the knowledge or skill of how to use it.


Think of it this way: Someone could hand me a pole right now and point me at the little vault thingy and sand pit and say, “Here you go! Now go launch yourself over that stick!” And do you know what would happen?


I’ll give you a few moments to picture that hilarity.


***


I’d fall flat on my ass is what would happen.


So to extend this tortured metaphor, these offers are giving you the pole for free — and then when you fall on your face, they say, “OH! You need my coaching / program / ebook / supplements to actually get you off the ground!” It’s a bait and switch.


But we fall for it because we DESPERATELY want to pole vault over the hard bits.And marketers keep selling us the poles, because nobody wants to admit that it takes YEARS of work and practice and training to actually use the pole and achieve results. Hard work doesn’t sell.


But I truly believe this is doing us all a huge disservice. What if, instead of trying to sell us on a shortcut, marketers just said, “I’m going to give you the first piece of the puzzle.”


“I’m going to show you why my method works, and then you can decide if you want to work with me.”


“I’ll teach you this first thing you need to know for free. It won’t get you all the way to your goal, but it will help you get started.”


Why is it that we’ve decided we have to sell shortcuts and pretend like these things (business success, fitness, mental health) aren’t hard?


The unintended consequence of this is that people start to feel like a failure when the hard things are *gasp* actually hard. They think it’s their fault that they haven’t achieved success, because there are so many people out here claiming that all you need is a pole.


And they keep trying different poles, one after another, and not seeing success.


But here’s the truth: Hard work isn’t something to be ashamed of. Do the work. Invest in the coaches or programs that don’t try to pretend it will be easy.


And don’t fall for the people just selling poles.

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Author: Lacy Boggs


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