Since 2020

The dreaded S word

“Anytime you’re tempted to upsell someone else, stop what you’re doing and upserve instead.”
— Daniel H. Pink, To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others


The dreaded S word.

The ugly duckling.

The black sheep.

The Shrek of business.

“Selling” and “salespeople” can conjure a lot of negative associations.

It often brings to mind shallow, sleazy, pushy, and slimy manipulators.

Nobody wants to deal with salespeople.

Nobody wants to be that salesperson.

Sales is one of those dirty words that almost everyone wants to avoid.

This is a very common hurdle I encounter when I meet business owners.

When trying to grow a business, it’s a problem.

I have a subtle and delicate term for it.

“Sales Sucks Syndrome.”

It comes in 3 main versions.

Sometimes, it’s a slight aversion.

Sometimes, it’s a limiting belief.

Sometimes, it’s a full-blown self-sabotage mentality.

In each case, it’s essentially a reluctance to fully embrace what sales is.

So let’s talk about it …

Everyone is a salesperson.

Everybody sells ideas.

All the time.

Every day.


Everyone is in the business of sales.


Think you need to sell your soul to be in sales?

Think again.

If you don’t learn to sell, your soul will die.

Let me repeat that: If you don’t learn to sell, your soul will die.

Lacking sales ability, you won’t be able to communicate your ideas effectively.

Lacking bite in your communication, your creative ideas won’t be received.

If your creative ideas aren’t being received, how is your soul going to be heard?

Without selling your soul, how are you going to be seen?

And if you can’t provide soul nourishment to your customers and staff, what are you going to become?

A soul-sucking company.

Ever met one of those?

Great selling should do the opposite of soul sucking.

It should be soul nourishing.

But we won’t convince anyone to love our ideas, products, services, or souls if we think there’s something inherently wrong with the process of selling.

So maybe “selling” isn’t the right way to think about it.

A word can change a worldview.

Mentally replace the word “selling” with a new word — and create a new worldview.


Noooo, selling sucks!

Sales is a dirty word.

I have to sell my soul to the dark lord to succeed in sales.

Sales = Sleaze


Yaaay, selling rocks!

Sales is NOT a dirty word.

I can only succeed long-term by sharing my soul and giving soul nourishment to others.

Sales = Helping … or Serving … or Souling … or  ________ ?


Broden Johnson

Founder of Yakk

Young Australian Entrepreneur of the Year Loser

Long-Time Sufferer of “Sales Rocks Syndrome”