Overcoming Your Fear
- [1:06] Who is Linda Pearce?
- [1:46] How Linda got involved in direct selling business
- [2:55] Linda’s life if she’s not into direct selling
- [6:32] Common fears that new consultants have
- [7:14] Tips to overcome the common fears of newbies
- [9:40] Why being yourself is the best cure for fear
- [12:49] Tip on booking a demo
- [15:08] The Fear of Success
- [20:05] How to help your team step out of their comfort zones
- [22:24] Top tips in overcoming fear
- [30:14] Linda’s mentor
- [31:51] Check out the podcasts that Linda listens to
Transcription:[0:51] Jen: Today we’re so lucky to have Linda Pearce with us. Linda is from a global party planning company and today we’re going to be talking about facing fears. Welcome, Linda! [1:03] Linda: Thanks very much, Jen. I’m really happy to be with you today. [1:06] Jen: I’m happy to have you. Now, can you tell us a little bit about yourself. What’s your background?
[1:10] Linda: Well, my work background is basically with customer service. I’ve worked in insurance for quite a number of years and when I had my first child I become a weight watcher lecturer for a little while. I actually learned – I enjoyed speaking in front of a group of people and that I enjoyed inspiring people to achieve their goals. So it’s an awesome time of my work career. I have three children now and they are 12, 14, and 16 and I’m solo mom so my life’s pretty busy.[1:46] Jen: Oh, wow. How did you get involved in direct selling then? [1:48] Linda: Well it was back in 2008, a friend of mine actually threatened me and said if I didn’t come to her party that she’d strike me off the Christmas card list [laughs] so I went along as a very unwilling guests but I actually loved the products and I thought I’d have a party and from there my party was really successful and my friends are excited about the products and I thought, “I can maybe make a little money on the side doing this.” And at that time, we’ve actually lost quite a lot of income.
We’ve been hosting international students so at times I had up to five teenage boys from Asia in my home with my three children and something happened which wasn’t so great. One of them got into big trouble with the law, actually and was deported. And I just sort of decided that it wasn’t for us and that I needed to find a different way to earn money. So that’s how it all happened. [2:40] Jen: So it’s kind of by mistake, wasn’t it? But perfect timing. [2:44] Linda: It was, it was. It’s pretty funny by looking back at how it all began being so unwilling to attend that party to how far I’ve come. [2:52] Jen: Can you imagine if you didn’t go? [2:53] Linda: I know. [laughs] [2:55] Jen: So if you weren’t in direct selling now, what do you think you would be doing? What would your life look like? [2:59] Linda: Yeah, well, I’ve probably still be in customer service, I’d say. I do love being with people and talking to people. But my children would be probably going to a school care and there wouldn’t be the holiday flexibility that I have at the moment. So I’m very grateful that I’ve got all those things now because of party plan. [3:22] Jen: And what about you as a person? Do you think that you would be the same person or would you be different? [3:25] Linda: There’s not a way, Jen, that I would be the same person. I have grown so much in the last seven years, in the last three years in particular. I’m a lot more confident. People that may think that I was born confident but I really wasn’t. I’m very, very nervous, have a lot of insecurities, so, yeah. It’s funny to look back at the old person compared the person I am now. [3:51] Jen: So why do you think that direct selling impacted that part of your life? [3:55] Linda: Well, I think that my drive to succeed in this company so that I could achieve the things that I wanted to achieve was actually – it was actually so important to me that I needed to work on myself. If I hadn’t worked on myself, I wouldn’t be here. I was – really, my life was meltdown city until I am…. I was always upset about something or upset about someone in my team or cranky about a host that cancelled, so I was just on an emotional roller coaster constantly and I knew that if I didn’t get myself sorted out I just wouldn’t survive the business. I might have to take the not so great alternative of applying back to a normal job. [4:36] Jen: Yeah, not an option. [laughs] Look I know that you’re enthusiastic to talk to us today about dealing with your fears. Can you tell me why this particular topic stood out for you? [4:47] Linda: Well, for me, this has been the main challenge in my personal life, and in my party plan life. As a consultant who’s out sharing products at parties and as a leader of a large team, really, for me what I eventually learned was that it came down to my fear of not being enough. That was actually at the root of all my drama. So, I love to be able to share what I’ve learned so that I can help others so that fear doesn’t control them and so that fear doesn’t hold them back from having the life that they want to have. [5:25] Jen: So, when you first joined the company, what fears did you have? Did you have any major fears? [5:32] Linda: I just – I remember my first ten parties or so multiple trips to the bathroom. I’m sorry for the information you didn’t need to hear, but truly. I’ve actually done now close to a thousand parties and… [5:46] Jen: Wow! [5:46] Linda: Yeah, and I look back at the person that was doing my first ten, I had this great idea to do name labels to people so that I would remember their names and I just couldn’t do it. My hands would shake so much so I had to give that up. So definitely, well, fear of rejection, fear of not doing a good job, and fear of people not liking me, they were the main ones when I started. [6:14] Jen: Right, so, we talked about fears a lot when somebody comes into this business and often, consultants come across many fears when they’re getting started, can you share with us some of the types of fears that you hear about? Are they about prospecting or fear of rejection, fear of presenting like you have? [6:32] Linda: I think all of those come up for new people. Fear of not knowing enough is the other one. They feel that they’ve got to know everything, and if they don’t know everything about the product or about the company and they get asked a question they can’t answer that they’re going to look foolish.
That’s actually probably one of the biggest challenges my new consultants face. It’s just helping them get over their fear of not knowing everything and deny that they’ve got to actually start in order to start learning the things that they need to learn. So, often it’s just a matter of encouraging them to take that step and just start and then things start falling into place for them. [7:14] Jen: So how do you help them overcome those types of fears about not knowing everything? How do they overcome that? I mean, you can say, yes, just go get started, but if that was me, I think I’d be, “Oh, but I don’t know anything”. So how do you help them get over that at all? [7:29] Linda: Yeah, for sure, there are a few things that the first managing director of our company shared with me and he said, “Just go out and have fun.” And I was here to think, “Yeah, right”. I’m so nervous. I’m thinking about all the things that I don’t know. How on earth can I do that? And I think the most important thing is to help the person be really clear about why they’re doing what they’re doing because when they know that then they are, hopefully, willing to face their fears and do what they need to do in order to get what they want. I find that that is actually the key.
And then it’s encouraging them that when they’re actually taking that step and doing the presentation for the first time that people in the group, the guests and the hosts, they’re going to be really sympathetic, especially if you’re brand new.
I always say to my new people, please, you just let everyone know that you’re new and they’ll feel sorry for you because there aren’t many people that actually have the guts to stand in front of a group of people and get out of their comfort zone in that way. The fear of public speaking is one of the greatest fears I believe.
When it comes to having fun, I just say, “Hey look, when you get there, just have a chat with these people.” You’re not doing a presentation; you’re having a chat. Even sometimes, I say, if it’s a smaller group, sit down. You don’t have to stand up and be really formal. So in a way, make fun of yourself and try to find, try to have a bit of few jokes with people if I can. [9:11] Jen: Make them feel a little bit more comfortable in the way that they want to do it. [9:16] Linda: Yeah, I think just encouraging the new consultants to be themselves. It’s really hard for new consultants to try to be me. They’re never going to be me. They’re not even going to be the me that I was when I first started, so that has really just go in there thinking I’ve got to be myself and be authentic and that’s the best way to connect with people in the group as well. [9:40] Jen: You mentioned fears of rejection before, how do you help someone within your team overcome those types of fears? [9:48] Linda: I think that the best tip I can give my new people is that they need to be themselves. They’re never going to be able to be me at a party. They’re not even going to be able to be the person I was when I started. They just need to be themselves and I actually just love a quote that I heard from Lindsey Bagent, she said, “You can be ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be someone who hates peaches.” And I really loved that quote because for most of my life I had been trying to be somebody that I thought people would like. It’s a real struggle trying to be somebody else. So that’s really the best.
Also often people when they’re afraid of rejection, it hasn’t even happened yet, it may not even happen. They just got to go in, be themselves, be authentic and know that there may still be someone there despite your best efforts you could do a perfect party, you could the loveliest person and they’re still not going to like you. And a lot of the time that’s not the new consultant’s issue, it’s the other person’s issue. [11:06] Jen: And what about strategies to deal with that rejection? Is there any way that you advice your team members to be able to help those people because often with rejection it may be that the other person has fears. So how do you help them to overcome those fears as well? [11:24] Linda: Yeah, it took me a long while to work that out, Jen. I found myself getting really offended by people at parties or feeling really hurt and rejected when they think not want to hear about the product or they seem to be really cold towards me or they put up a wall and I didn’t seem to be getting through.
One thing I do think is to not get too defensive because I think sometimes we can go into battle against these people that seem to be rejecting us or rejecting our product and sometimes we just need to take the focus off them.
Actually sometimes continue on or if we can’t, because sometimes they ask really tough questions and especially for new consultants, they’ll be possibly put on the back foot by these kinds of comments and these attitudes.
I just think sometimes it’s good for them to say, thank you so much for challenging me on this, I don’t really know the answer to question but I’ll be sure to find out and let you know. And another thing I found that works well is to keep those people that are seeming to reject you or your product to keep them busy somehow. So if you can get him involved in demonstrations or anything like that, that’s a really good way to try and make them feel really important. [12:49] Jen: And what about when you might be trying to book a demonstration with somebody and they’re not sure and you think that they’ve got fears about it, how do you manage that? [12:57] Linda: Yeah, well, there’s a number – I think it’s actually one of the most important things to learn when you start off in party plan is, it’s about people’s objections to booking because as you say very often it’s about their own fear, their own fear of rejection. Their fear of letting you down that if they can’t get the people to their party that they’re going to let you down and their going to be embarrassed. [13:25] Jen: Sure. [13:26] Linda: So, I really put my host at ease or people that are thinking about booking at ease and let them know that, you know what, if you’ve got a couple of people there, that is okay or I will say, “look, if it’s you and a friend, I will turn up.” And there may be some party planners that think, “Oh no why would say that?” And really, it’s about letting the pressure off people. I find that as soon as I let the pressure off them, they know they don’t have to perform at a certain level or the level that they think you’re wanting them to perform at. They actually say yes and then you can work with them and help them have a great party. And honestly, 99 percent of the time, the people liked that that have booked with me have had really fantastic parties.
Just helping them get off that initial hump of the fear of booking it in.[14:15] Jen: It’s a common one, isn’t it? The fear of I don’t know enough people, that kind of thing. [14:22] Linda: Oh, yeah. That’s right. But people are always – they know a lot more people than they think that they do. Again, once you help them say yes, then you can help them with all that stuff. [14:34] Jen: Funny isn’t it, because you’re overcoming fears yourself and then your team members and then also the fears of your customers too. [14:41] Linda: That’s right. [14:42] Jen: It just never ends, does it? You’re right, we all have fears. [14:45] Linda: And I think when you have an idea of how fear controls you. You’re not going to really be able to help others with it. So it’s quite really important for us to tackle it ourselves. [14:58] Jen: So, can you share with me some fears that people on your team may have some insights into different individuals and how their fears may differ? [15:08] Linda: One that comes up that’s kind of unusual is the fear of success. And I never really understood that for quite a while because unlike – who is afraid of being successful? [laughs] I love being successful but I learned that what it was about is – what if when I achieve this level of success, what if people will find out that I’m really a fraud or they think I’m a fraud, or that I got there by accident or I got there, it’s just luck that I got there or what if I get there, say for example, with a leadership promotion and I can’t actually maintain my level and then I lose my level, how am I going to look? What are people going to think of me? What am I going to think of myself if I can’t keep my level? [15:59] Jen: So how do you help them manage that? [16:01] Linda: Well, I think, I even faced this myself when I promoted to the top level of the company. For a while I actually have convinced myself that I didn’t need to promote that I was earning enough money. I was happy where I was. I didn’t really need to achieve the promotion, why, because I was scared that once I promoted that I wouldn’t be able to keep my level. So the way I’ve got around was actually my business. [16:29] Jen: Did you actually – where you aware of that or is that more like a subconscious thing for you? [16:36] Linda: It took actually – I’d actually tried to promote twice before I finally ended up promoting to that level and I actually did a double promotion in one month, so I skipped a level and went right to the top. So if you’re going to do it, you just need to do it properly. But, no, the first two times that I didn’t promote, I actually was not aware of my thinking. And I actually, partway through the month saw that things weren’t going so well and I actually put out to my team, look, I’ve actually because of this reason and that reason, I’ve actually decided to not write, to call it off for this month because I thought, well, if I call it off it doesn’t look like I’ve failed when I don’t achieve the promotion. [17:24] Jen: I love that you just have it all working in your mind. [laughs] [17:29] Linda: It’s taken me a long time to pay attention to what I’m saying to myself, so really, this journey for me began about three years ago and I’ve found that in the last year in particular, I’ve come a long way, and besides, It’s really something you’ve got to practice doing. So when I’m saying to myself, I don’t need to promote, that was before I actually tried to promote, the two times that I didn’t make it. But my business coach actually said to me, “You know what, Linda, you need to promote because it inspires – it plants a seed of hope and possibility in others.” So, once the focus is off me, that it wasn’t about me, and you know, I know she’d say to me, “It’s not all about you.” [Laughs] I’m like, really? Why is this not all about me? I’m just kidding. [laughs]
But you know, when you’re in a situation like that, your kind of are just thinking about yourself. How you’re going to look, whether you’ll be able to do it, whether you’ll be able to maintain it once you get there. if you can’t have it, it’s going to make you look… So yeah, once I took the focus off me and made it about how I was going to help others, it really shifted things in my thinking. And then, I actually made it about team promotion. Not about my promotion but us promoting as a team and I have never done that before. I’ve promoted five times before that to different leadership levels and had always actually very often kept it quiet because I was so afraid of people seeing me fail and wondering what they would think of me if they saw me fail.
It was risky for me to. Well, I thought it was risky for me to say, “Okay, this is what we’re going to do, this is how we’re going to do it and this is why we’re going to do it.” And we’re just going to do our very best and so to regularly be updating the team about progress and all of that. It was a brand new thing to me but it was so empowering and It was great for people to know and leaders at lower leader levels than me to know that every time they promoted, they planted the seeds of hope and possibility in their own team. So it wasn’t just about me promoting to the top leadership level, it was about me inspiring even just someone starting out in party plan to get up in front of the group of people that – their friends, and families. People that know them can be inspired by that and say, “Wow, if she did that, then maybe I could do it too.” So, yeah, I love that. It took a long time, finally I had that shift about that change in the way I thought.[20:05] Jen: And so how do you help other team members step out of their comfort zone? [20:10] Linda: Well, as I said earlier, I think the biggest thing is about just helping them focus on what they really want and in helping them work out what they really want. It’s about them picturing how they want their life to look like. So not just material possessions but how they’re going to feel when they’ve earned the income that they want to earn. What the impact is going to be on their family or on their relationships. For me, I actually had a really big driver when I started with party plan. I bought all of our clothes at second hand stores, now these days I would still go back to second hand stores. It’s actually quite fun to see what you can find. So back then I had to shop that way because I didn’t have the money for new clothes. My conference gala night dress was from Lifeline, it costs me $9. [laughs]
I couldn’t afford a half price cup of coffee. I had a coffee club membership and I can get a half priced coffee and I couldn’t afford that, some weeks. So just my drive to not have to watch every cent like that was much stronger than fear. I was just willing to step out of my comfort zone in order to not live like that anymore. So for me it wasn’t actually so much about what I wanted but what I didn’t want. So sometimes that’s good to talk about with new people what is it that you don’t want in your life anymore that doing party plan can help you get away from. So that’s I think is the biggest thing.
So once you’ve done that and then it’s just encouraging them to take a small step, not to look too far down the road, not to look at the big picture. And I think sometimes those of us who’ve been in party plan a while can actually – we can see the big picture and sometimes that freaks the new people out. They got to bring it back just a little. It’s just like dipping your toe in the water. Just have a go with this. Just do a party. See how that goes. And then from there, hopefully you can coach them to continue on.
And then, just being aware of the things that you’re telling yourself. I actually had someone last night say to me, it actually wasn’t with my business but it was in a personal situation where I’m in a running group and this lady is amazing, she’s lost 20 kilos already but she still weighs 120 kilos but she turns up and she does and she runs but she got really emotional at the end and she was crying and she’s like, I’m always last, I’m always – everyone’s always waiting for me. I hate being last. And I said, I just really love to know what you were saying to yourself when you’re running and she said, “I was just saying to myself that I was last. I hate being last and I don’t want to be last anymore.” And I said, “Actually, think that there’s a bit more to it than you just saying that.” And what it came down to was her fear of not being enough, not being okay, failing and once you can actually – and she identified that in the end, which is really good. It’s a bit of a skill, something that you’ve got to really work on, just like, what am I saying to myself and what am I making what I’m saying to myself mean?
I think that that’s just so key – being kind to yourself. Once you know what you’re saying to yourself, you can challenge what you’re saying to yourself and just say, “Is that actually the truth?”
Can I share a quick story, Jen? I have a really great story about. [Laughs] [24:16] Jen: Yeah, I love it.[24:15] Linda: Okay, well, back in 2012, I went on a trip to Fiji I’d earn through my company. So we are away for a week in the month of May and in that month, we actually have a massive recruiting promotion. I actually did really well the three weeks that I was home and then in June, I was at the corporate meeting. I was really used to being number one in sales and number one recruiter.
This particular night, we got to number – the runner up and my name was called. And I had recruited 23 people that month and then one of my dear friends and a leader underneath, she had recruited 24, immediately, so even when I was just starting to learn to pay attention to what I’m saying to myself, immediately, I told myself I was a failure.
Now, anyone would think, are you crazy? You recruited 23 people in three weeks. But to me, I was actually saying, you just never really quite hit the mark, do you, Linda? This is just always something that you don’t quite get there with and I basically pulled out the lump of wood and I was bashing myself over the head because I didn’t come first.
And when I realised what I was saying to myself, how unkind I was to myself, I started to cry like I’m getting emotional about it now because I actually can’t believe how nasty I was to me. That was the turning point and all of the people in my company, they know that story. And in fact that leader she always apologise. She apologised to me for so long. She’s like, I’m so sorry that I recruited one more than you. [laughs] Gosh, did I feel so bad? I couldn’t just let you… you’re like, “No you don’t.” Totally, I mean, that was what I just said. You know what, that was the turning point for me. That realisation, how I was talking to myself, how unkind I was to me, and I realised I needed to change because I couldn’t put myself through that emotional strain anymore.
The beginning of the journey to really accept myself and know that whoever I am, when I’m doing the absolute best that I can that I’m enough and whatever other people think of me is really not my problem. I just have to focus on me and what I’m doing. If I’m doing my best, then I just have to be happy with that.
And so these days I’m happy with that. Actually I’ve been able to – even when it comes to making decisions in my team as a leader, for a long time, I let fear of what my team and my other leaders thought impact on whether I made decisions or not because I just thought I know how they’re going to react to this.
I believe it’s the right thing for my business and I’m the one responsible for my business but I would make decisions that were based on fear or I wouldn’t make decisions because I was fearful. I learned to start doing what was right for me and my business but what other people thought that was really – it was scary when I started but it got easier, the more I did it. And actually, I found that once I – I had to learn just to back myself and when I did that, things actually went really well and my decisions and my choices most of the time were right. And if I got it wrong, that didn’t mean that I wasn’t okay. I was okay as a person I just made a mistake and gave myself another opportunity to learn. Anyway, that’s a long story but …
So once I was happy with myself and my own decisions and I was being me, who I was born to be and who I’m meant to be that I didn’t worry so much about what other people thought. I did find though that initially when I was starting to set some new boundaries and starting to make decisions in my team and making some changes and things like that that I came across a little bit strong in the beginning. So I had to remember to always be respectful when I was setting boundaries. And yes, so that’s been an interesting part of the journey sitting down probably another topic for you, Jen. [laughs] [30:14] Jen: Do you have someone that you look up to or someone that helps you in your business. I know you mentioned earlier Linsey Bagent. Tell me about that [30:20] Linda: Yes, so she’s the person actually, so amazing, we connected via Facebook. She had actually just seen some of my posts on Facebook. [crosstalk] She’s an Australian party plan direct sales trainer and she was in party plan for a number of years with highly successful but actually had a background where she had been addicted to gambling and had gambled $250,000 of her father’s money away. [30:56] Jen: Ouch [30:56] Linda: Yeah, she was in really financial trouble and the way she has turned her life around has been amazing. She actually attends a lot of Tony Robbins events. I love Tony Robbins too because he really looks at mindset and I think for party planners that’s such a huge part whether we’re successful or not. So Lindsey’s the one who that actually taught me how to pay attention to the things I was saying to myself. So these days, she’s not so much a coach as she is a friend. I still consider her to be a mentor, I think she’s amazing.
Well, I love podcasts because when you’re a busy person like most of us are, podcasts are a great way to learn while you’re driving, when you’re at home doing housework. I actually be listening to some DSA Podcast [laughs] [31:51] Jen: Great![31:51] Linda: But I also love Chalene Johnson. She’s a great motivational speaker. She’s also very high profile fitness person. Lewis Howes is another one that I love listening to. He interviews some really amazing people so I’ve learned a lot from him and the other one that I love that’s only a recent discovery is Brandon Burchard, that’s B-U-R-C-H-A-R-D. He actually has a great YouTube video about overcoming fears and I actually love what he said about fear, it’s that fear is bad management of our own mental faculties. That’s good. He has a great video that your listeners can go and watch about fear. [32:36] Jen: And are you into things like books and those kinds of things? [32:39] Linda: I’m really not so much of a reader [laughs] I try. I have so many books in my bedside table that I really going to read but it just never seems to happen. So I think, one day, maybe when my kids have left home, I might get to those. [32:56] Jen: In summary, can you share with us the benefits of this lifestyle to you. [33:00] Linda: Yeah, well, I was actually just explaining this to my daughter, my youngest daughter the other day because when I started in party plan she was only five years old. [33:10] Jen: So she really knows. [33:14] Linda: And I’m just saying, you know, it just means that if I want to come and watch you on the cross country, I can. I don’t have to ask a boss whether I can take time off or not. I can go for a haircut in the middle of the day, you know? That’s really great. [33:30] Jen: Without children with you. [33:31] Linda: Without children with me, yeah, which is really good. I can obviously afford some things – I can afford to go for a cup of coffee now, that’s really good. And I can buy clothes from normal stores at full price. So that’s awesome as well. I remember the one in my first things I bought – once I’ve sort of caught up with all the bills, the household bills, one of the first things I bought for me was new undies. You know when you’re a mom and you – it’s the last thing you replace because no one can see them. They can be holey and thread bare but then you have to – so that was what, I’m just like, “Man this is good. I’ve got new undies.” [laughs] So yes, those little things, actually, having been in party plan now for seven and a half years, I have to look back at those beginnings because sometimes I lose touch and I forget what it was like. So very often I would think back and when sharing just the freedom that I have and the income that I have but also the way I’m able to impact other people’s lives. I’m doing what I do the way I’m able to help other women have the freedom to be able to go with their kids cross country, I mean, that brings me such a lot of joy and to see women grow because of the business that they’re a part of that I’ve shared with them. It’s just fantastic.
I think once I’ve shared that with her, she was like, “oh okay”. Because she just thought that I’m busy doing what I do. She didn’t really realised what her life would be like if we weren’t. So even something went before I started with my company I remember one day I went to the supermarket with my children and bought some eye drops and paid for them and got out the door and then realised I bought the wrong one. And by the time I’ve grabbed them, my son who was nine at that time had already opened the packet and I remember just going off at him. I think I might have yelled in public. Why? because I didn’t have the money to go in and buy another bottle of eye drops. So it’s those things that I – I’m just so grateful I don’t have to live like that anymore and we just don’t have that kind of pressure.[35:46] Jen: Thank you so much for sharing your story. I love hearing about your journey and how you’ve learned to overcome fears and helping those within your team. I think just being able to understand those underlying issues and what it is that you’re really fearful of has really made a difference to you and I hope that everyone learned a lot from that. So thank you so much for joining us today. [36:07] Linda: you’re welcome, Jen. It’s been an absolute pleasure. Thanks so much. [36:11] Jen: Bye.