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How to Win by Quitting: A Model for Breastfeeding Advocacy

I was privileged to attend an amazing personal transformation workshop led by Jerry Stocking, Embracing Being,  Held in early June, this is an on-going course that he brings to New York City several times a year.

A group of us participated in an impromptu sales exercise.  We were sent out on the streets of Manhattan in the Herald Square area.  Each of us was asked to sell one copy of a book from Jerry Stocking’s catalogue of books  to a complete stranger.  Each book was to be sold for $10, which we were told was the price of re-admission to the morning session of the workshop in progress.

The Herald Square neighborhood around Madison Square Garden, Macy’s and Penn Station is usually full of pedestrians, especially on a warm Saturday morning.  People were in motion-many of them were rushing to a  destination or had time constraints needing to catch a bus or train. 

Enter our band of itinerant sales people.

To be successful, we had to break through our personal fears.  We had to confront our fears of approaching strangers, of being rejected, of not being fully conversant with the product we were asked to sell.

There are no accidents.  The book I chose, “How to Win by Quitting” was more fitting than I could have imagined at first glance.  I had chosen it thinking it would apply to giving up substances (smoking, alcohol, etc.) or resonate with folks trying to find their passions in this new global economy.  Actually, it spoke to the fundamentals of this “cold call” sales exercise.

Fear can stop us from attempting anything.  Be it sales or breastfeeding.  As the lotto motto reminds us, “You’ve got to be in it, to win it”.  By quitting my fear, I was fully able to engage in the experience and win big.

The basic secret of successful sales is that you must be able to put your attention on the recipient of the goods or services being offered.  It turned out that the objective of our morning exercise was not to merely sell a book.  It was to observe a process.

The win was not in selling the book as much as it was being fully engaged and attentive.  A personal, authentic human interaction was to be experienced.  Selling the book was just the icing on the cake.

If you are able to align yourself with the dance of communication, you experience life fully in the moment.  You can have fun and both sides reap a reward.

This is as true for breastfeeding advocacy as it is for successful sales.  Passion and playfulness need to to be the order of the day!

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