You Couldn’t PAY Me to Do That!

[Warning: This may change the way you look at me!] Recently I participated in an “enrollment” for an employee benefit account. I write it that way because for this particular employee group we’re no longer allowed to make presentations. They’re safety agents in one of our local school systems. During weeks when school isn’t in session, they attend mandatory trainings. We can set up a table in a common area and interact with employees as they pass by. There are a few challenges with that, however:

  • Most of the employees did not want to be there
  • They had an entire day of required training scheduled
  • Their breaks were relatively short, and tardiness wasn’t tolerated

Engaging people as they pass by seems like a simple thing. You can call out to passersby, position yourself in a way that makes you visible without blocking their path, and use whatever means at your disposal to draw attention without being obtrusive. Yet, when given the circumstances listed above, employees generally don’t want to stop. They want to get in, get trained, and get out. Thus, we needed eye-appeal, something so compelling they had to stop and take notice. At the suggestion of a home office representative who deals with many Associates in the field, we decided to go with a theme. We chose: “LegalShield – It’s Elementary.”

To sell the theme, my partner and I decided to play up the Sherlock angle. We made signs for our table, and I decked myself out in full Holmes regalia.

We couldn't pay you to do this?

Naturally, the outfit generated a LOT of talk. I can’t tell you how many times people called me “Sherlock” over the past two days! That’s okay, though; it’s exactly the effect I wanted. Of course, there were a few more – colorful – comments. One person said, “You have a lot of balls wearing that!” Since we weren’t planning on hitting the putting green, I assume he was complimenting me on my emotional fortitude even while expressing mild shock (and possible disapproval). One woman told me that I must be assured of my masculinity to put on a costume like that. I appreciate that sentiment – although I hope I’m always assured of my masculinity, not just when I put on a costume. However, there was one statement that made me think:

“You couldn’t pay me to do that!”

In that moment, I realized the speaker was right – and that’s a shame. Here’s why.

The Difference between Mediocrity and Mega-Stardom

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do, and that often means living outside the limits of one’s comfort zone,” says Jeff Olson. I’ve also read the following: “Successful people aren’t born that way. They become successful by establishing the habit of doing things unsuccessful people don’t like to do. The successful people don’t always like these things themselves; they just get on and do them” (author unknown). To achieve different, better results, you need to do things differently, following the pattern of those who already achieved the success you want.

Unfortunately, most people won’t see any appreciable change in their circumstances because they aren’t willing to do things differently. For example, many of the folks milling around the training I attended complained about it being “too expensive” to protect their family with a legal plan. That’s a shame, because our plans cost less than 50 cents a day! What can they do to change their circumstances? Most, if not all of them, wished they could afford more and do more for their families. Many wished they could spend more time with their families. However, because they’re in a system designed to keep them focused on maintaining the status quo, their options are hoping for increased pay, working extra hours, or being promoted to a position that carries a higher salary. Unfortunately, those are things over which they have little control. Yet when presented with an opportunity to make a significant change in their finances, the average person won’t capitalize on it. In essence they say, “You can’t pay me to do that!”

I challenge you to think outside the box of your comfort zone. Success always waits for you out there. Stretch yourself a little, then a little bit more, and keep going until you achieve your goals. You may not want to dress up as a character. However, before dismissing a particular course as something you won’t do, first ask yourself, “Is it hard to do? While it may feel uncomfortable, will it bring me closer to my goals? Do the potential rewards outweigh any ridicule I might experience as a result?” Your honest answers to such a cost/benefit analysis reveal the true value of any proposed action. You may find that the very thing they couldn’t pay you to do may be exactly what you need to get really paid, now and in the future.

Where do you draw a line when it comes to activities that can advance your goals? How do you decide what’s worthwhile? Share your thoughts and tell us your stories below!

P.S. Let me know what you think of the cloak. I made it myself!

This entry was posted in Direct Selling, Marketing, Mindset, Sales and tagged , , , , by Kerwyn Hodge. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kerwyn Hodge

Kerwyn Hodge has been an entrepreneur from early on. He’s been both a worker and manager, predominantly in the design and construction industry. Kerwyn transitioned to the Direct Selling industry, and joined LegalShield in July 2009. He works with businesses of all sizes, helping to protect the legal rights and identities of employees and their families, as well as helping to protect and grow small businesses with 100 employees or less. Check out his blog at You can reach him at 646-340-8087, or via email at

6 thoughts on “You Couldn’t PAY Me to Do That!

  1. Kerwyn – Brilliant ! If anyone could have pulled off the “Sherlock” thing, it’s you ! You got their attention and that, in and of itself, is a major achievement at an event such as you described.Reminds of a time in the mid-80’s when I was asked to be one of the presenters for a series of national real estate sales seminars. The seminars were a 3 day affair and my slot was the last 2 hours on Day 3. The only reason I was playing to a packed room was because all of the participants HAD to be there so they could get their course completion certificates. My presentation wasn’t a “flashy” presentation, but an insiders look at how to successfully market “active adult communities” and some of the things I had learned along the way about this relatively new emerging market. My 1st presentation, in Memphis, was a real bust as most of the participants were pretty antsy/hungover and more concerned with their travel arrangements and hoping not to miss their flights home. The content was great, or so I thought, as I mixed in slides and overheads to make my points ( this was before Power Point and laptops! ). But no matter how good the content was, or how “valuable” my information was, I never owned the crowd. The company that hired me thought I did a great job and hired me to do the next seminar, but I never felt that my “message” really reached the audience. I felt something had to change. So fast forward to the following month and the next seminar, which was in Nashville. Again Day 3, last 2 hours, but this time I changed up my act a little. I got rid of the jacket and tie, wore jeans and a polo shirt and walked on stage with what looked like a gin and tonic. Immediately, I could hear the buzz from all of the “suits” in the audience and I opened up by letting everyone know, jokingly, that I knew the only reason they were here was because they had to be and they were all in a hurry to go home and I’d keep my presentation relatively short. I then announced that waiters and waitresses would be coming around to take their beverage orders and that the drinks were “on the house”. Now I had their attention and went into my “slide show” and presentation – however, this time, I included a few slides every now and then, that were of me partying in the hotel bar and a few other “choice” slides and acted like “how the hell did these get in there?”. Now I had them laughing, drinking and actually anticipating my next slide. The entire room was “involved” in the presentation and they were relating to me on a personal level. The 2 hours seemed to fly by and I finished up with a Q & A session that I had cut short so as not to go over on my time. My point in this very long story ( but you know I love telling stories ) is that sometimes when people are expecting the ordinary, you have to hit them with the unexpected, just as you did by being “Sherlock” !

    • Gary, you are the MAN! Always have been, always will be! That story was priceless, and shows that you have to not only think but live outside the box. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you share more stories with us in the future. In fact, I’ll make sure of it by picking your brains and featuring you – even though you haven’t agreed to it yet! 😉

  2. To me, when people say, “You couldn’t pay me to do that!” what I hear instead is “I can’t believe you’re doing *that* because never could!” This translates in my head more along the lines of, “I don’t have enough confidence in myself to believe I can make it work and am more worried about being judged than finding unique ways to do something.” Quite the opposite, when I see people do something that is outside the accepted status quo and “business as usual,” and also possibly out of their comfort zone, and they still act confident, that gives me some assurance about them and their abilities to troubleshoot and find viable solutions that many miss. Even if an idea is quirky or off-center a little, I will pay more attention to them versus someone who does things the exact same way as everyone else so they don’t stand out. Because why would you want to stand out from the rest when it’s so easy to just blend in? Why would you want anyone to stop and take notice of you and have a lasting image in their minds so you are the first person they recall?

    I find it odd that a woman would make a comment about masculinity. To me, it’s as much of an issue as a man wearing a pink dress shirt. Personally, I like a man who can break out of his comfort zone… publicly… by trying something new and also isn’t afraid to get his sew on. It means that you put more forethought and effort into the things you do, and with the amount of competition out there, really, why wouldn’t you? To be successful, you need to be able to demonstrate that not only can you professionally represent a product or service but that you aren’t indoctrinated in passé logic that makes you forgettable, that you are creative, attentive to detail, and confident in your abilities to pull it off.

    • I definitely can’t afford to be run-of-the-mill. Heck, I’m not sure I know how! So thanks for the encouragement. You make some great points about creativity and problem solving. Those who take what may seem as an unorthodox approach are often people who come up with innovative solutions that work. And even if the idea or approach doesn’t work, it’s better having someone who isn’t trying to bring status quo solutions to the table, since that type of thinking or approach probably created the issue needing a solution.

      And pink shirts are cool – although I’m not too sure I’d wear a pink suit! 😉

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