I love living at Ocean Beach in San Francisco—hearing the surf night and day, watching the waves and sunsets, the gulls and pelicans, and occasionally the dolphins and whales. The only problem is that in July and August, we are often socked in with what we call The Marshmallow—a layer of thick fog that makes our beach home feel like a drizzly London street.
I don’t mind too much. My Irish cells and genes like a nice dank, chilly environment. I usually just assume I’m trapped out here near Land’s End, grumble that sunshine is overrated, and get back to work.
But sometimes I find myself out for a meeting or errands in the afternoon, and realize that only thirty blocks from my house, brilliant sunshine is bouncing off the silver and pastel buildings of downtown San Francisco. Flowers are blooming, a brisk breeze is whipping tiny leaves across the park, and people are out playing tennis in sunglasses and visors. Tiny flashes of sunlight play in the Bay’s little whitecaps.
It’s gorgeous and sunny outside, and I never even would have known that if I hadn’t had that meeting! I’d have spent the whole day in The Marshmallow, pushing along. I’d have been okay, but I would have missed the exhilaration.
SUNSHINE OR MARSHMALLOW
Driving home toward the beach after a coaching session downtown last week, I saw The Marshmallow in the distance. It seemed unbelievable that in thirty blocks, I would move out of the shining sunlight and into the cool grey fog.
I reminded myself that, any time I wanted, I could hop in the car and get to the sun—and that it would be a good idea to do that far more often than I do.
The same is true of selling. We have our choice in life. We can live in the fog, or the sun. I wouldn’t want the sun all the time because the fog is comforting and cooling—but it’s good to remember that I have a choice and can go there whenever I want.
We can sell sad and scared, or happy and generous. It’s up to us. Happy and generous is a lot easier when we know we’re going to keep going until we make our goal, and when our top priority is serving the people to whom we make our offer. That’s selling sunshine.