First, I asked each woman attending to talk briefly about what challenges lay ahead of her. We went around the circle sharing issues from staffing, lack of momentum, self-promotion to clarity, increasing income and marketing. In short order there was bonding and an awareness of who was in the room.
I then asked everyone to select an image from the stack I’d brought along with me. “I found mine!” one woman ecstatically shouted within 10 seconds of investigating the selection of 50+ cards I’d laid out around the perimeter of the room. Some took longer and a few needed their image to pick them, which also happened.
We re-grouped into a circle and talked about our selections. “I chose this one because of the peace I felt looking at it,” a participant said of the crescent moon photo she’d opted for. “It looks like a smile to me,” another member reflected back, which yielded a matching smile from the woman holding the picture. This was followed by a deeper delving into how her choice answered the question she’d posed earlier. Around the circle it went.
One of our members is deeply gifted in the intuition department. She’s studied with the masters in the fields of feng shui, tarot, astrology and other disciplines of the soul. She’s truly brilliant and demonstrated her talent over and over that night, pinpointing the gifts she recognized in the others, making suggestions and offering inspired thoughts. Her participation was a gift to us all.
When talking about how to bring her own talent to the world, she referred to her extensive training. “Don’t show them your toolbox,” another participant countered. “Just let them know what’s in it for them.” We all benefited from that wisdom.
It brought me right back to my early studies in entrepreneurial marketing and sales. People want to know the benefits, not the features. We don’t care that you studied with the best and the brightest (unless you’re Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard). We simply want to know how is all your training going to help me. Customers didn’t care that I worked with aniline dyes on free-range, organic eggs. They just wanted something beautiful that they could enjoy for years to come.
Here’s a surprising outcome that just happened today as a result of my wanting to blog about our session. I wanted to show you, Readers, what these beautiful images look like. They were each 8.5×11 photos or art renderings of a multitude of subject matter–boaters rafting down a stream, a painting of the Grand Canal in Venice, figures floating in outer space. At the end of our evening, I volunteered to scan each woman’s selection and email it to her and the group. No one wanted to wait, even overnight, to have their image sent. Each person took out her cellphone and snapped a shot of her own picture as a keepsake.
This morning, in order to show you what one of the images looked like–and the site that sells them displays NONE for anyone to cut and paste, because they’re intellectual property–I scanned the moon one and laughed out loud when I saw what came with the scan: SAMPLE in bright white letters that only got revealed, like a watermark, when I wanted to show it to the world. Lesson learned!
I also made a metaphor from this–that you never know what’s beneath the surface of anything until you process it further.