Episode 163: That Time I Did My Friends’ Nails for Prom (Sales Can be Fun!)

Photo of teenage girl in blue and black prom dress with blue bow, wearing oval necklace and a brown antique clock behind her, with text below Episode 163, That Time I Did My Friends' Nails for Prom (Sales Can be Fun!), The Game On Girlfriend Podcast with Sarah Walton

Happy Valentine’s Day! I love this day. It’s fun. It’s cute! I made heart-shaped pancakes for my kids and dyed them red! (I know, I have issues.) The other reason I love this day is that the wait list for the Sales Mastermind is open! I LOVE sales.

Selling is fun

I was a guest on a podcast interview a few weeks ago, and the host asked me if I was one of those annoying people who always knew how to sell. Spoiler: I was. We started talking about the scrunchies I made in elementary school, and then she had me share a story I'd completely forgotten about: To buy my prom dress, I did all my friends' nails for prom.

Who knew? Sales coach. Intuitive businesswoman. Manicurist extraordinaire. (And heart-shaped pancake maker, can't forget that!)

Playground to learn grit

My childhood was busy, and we were not well off. It was a playground for me to learn grit and understand how I could thrive in a world not designed to have someone like me succeed.

There were people in my life who helped and supported me, but I was often left alone to sort of watch what was happening, which gave me one of my greatest skills: how to read people. I learned how to observe others and see what they needed.

Watch: 2 Ways to Fight Fear and Shame of Selling

Nailed it

In the town I live in now, you can't throw a cat without hitting a nail salon. I grew up in a different type of environment.

I would look at my friends pushing their cuticles back. Others would bite their nails. We would have nail painting parties. And eventually, the drug store started selling nail extension kits. I asked my friends on the dance team if they'd like me to do their nails for prom for $5. (I think the kit cost $4, which allowed me to do three people.)

It was hard at first. I thought I should only charge what the kit was worth. But then I realized I had to do this for them. I had to be there. That's my time and energy, and it's my artwork.

It was spending time with them, making them happy, and letting me help them feel amazing. We had so much fun.

I remember we had a sleepover a couple of days before prom. There was a line of girls around the kitchen counter waiting to get their nails done. I had such a wonderful time. We were talking about different things. I met some of the girls I didn't know very well. I remember sitting there at that point and thinking, "this is what it's like to run a business."

It was the first time I'd sold to the point that I could afford something that I normally couldn't afford: my prom dress. It was black velvet with royal blue satin puffy sleeves. I got shoes dyed the same royal blue to match the sleeves.

Sales done with heart

I'm sharing this story on Valentine's Day when we open the Sales Mastermind waitlist because it shows what sales are when done with heart. At no point when I was sitting at that kitchen counter did I think, "yes, give me your money." We were all having a blast.

They were excited to show their parents and their dates. It wasn't an outrageous expense for them. I was able to buy a dress I loved (on sale!). I bought it from my work because I wasn't afraid to say, "Hey, can I help you with that." To me, that is the art of selling.

Watch: Sales Leads Are People Too (And 3 Ways to Talk to Them)

Art of selling

Selling has never been about trying to separate someone from their money. It's never about trying to be tricky. It's never about "how much money can I make? Or how many successes can I get in?"

I just wrapped up one of the last calls of the current Sales Mastermind cohort. We had so much fun and had a mic-drop moment. One of the participants said, "Wait a minute. I will never sell like a salesperson," and I thought, "Oh my gosh, there it is!" It was so funny. We were all laughing.

From day one, I teach the women in this group how to understand their value. I teach them how to understand what their unique selling proposition is, how to write emails that don't sound smarmy, how to share from the heart, and how to look at somebody who needs something and go, "Oh my gosh, can I help you with that? I would love to help you with that."

So, if sales freaks you out, if you're like, "I just want to help people. I don't want to be sales-y," come and join us. You know what, we don't do sales-y, we do fun, we do a lot of laughing. Yes, there's strategy, but it's the strategy that will teach you to see how valuable what you have to offer is to other people.

Don't you think we deserve to go out into the world, love people, change their lives, and make them feel amazing? I think we do. And it's okay for us to understand that that value should help us sustain a living.

On this Valentine's Day, one of the best gifts you give yourself is the ongoing knowledge that what you do matters and that you have everything you need to share those gifts and talents with the world.

Let's get to it!

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