What Happens if You *Don’t* Run a Black Friday Sale? My REI Moment

Woman sitting with text overlay "What Happens if You *Don’t* Run a Black Friday Sale?"

I don’t typically run a Black Friday Sale. As a result – I get asked: “what happens if you don’t run a Black Friday sale?

My answer always starts with this:

What kind of business do you want to be when you grow up? When you think of a store or a company you admire the heck out of — what comes to mind?

It’s probably not a surprise to you that I take who and what I buy from very seriously. (No joke – I need new sneaks for the gym, and I spent a while researching “best eco friendly gym shoes” yesterday 🤣)

I’m so concerned about our impact on the environment, labor standards, fair wages, minority and women owned businesses — the list goes on.

And just like I research my companies before I buy nearly anything these days — I also take note on what businesses I want to be like and why.

Maybe you heard that REI started this Black Friday tradition/campaign called “Get Outside.”

Instead of opening their doors and encouraging people to line up during Thanksgiving dinner, REI pays its employees for a day off and encourages their customers to do exactly what their products help them to do: get outside.

If you listen to my podcast, On Your Terms™️, you know I obsessively study and observe lots of companies marketing moves, advertisements, emails etc.

I’m admittedly strategic AF and I love marketing and online business (a little too much).

But I think that REI — or companies whose values align with yours — teach us something really powerful:

Just because everyone else in your industry is doing something, doesn’t mean you have to.

Even before my business generated millions of dollars per year in revenue, I decided to step off the Black Friday train and allow myself to embrace what my soul really desired this time of year: quiet.

If you know me, you know that Thanksgiving is my Super Bowl (psst! – it goes without saying that I wholeheartedly am NOT OK with the origins of the holiday. I just love cooking and the coziness the days around T-giving bring.)

So while I could run a big sale, and have my team checking Slack on Black Friday to help people with the inevitable broken links and landing page issues —

I voluntarily step out of the rat race this time of year. Will my competitors run sales? Could that mean I lose out? Sure 🤷🏽‍♀️ Who the heck cares! Not everything in life is about making more, more, more. My happiness and quality of life comes at quite the cost, too.

Plus, there are 51 other weeks to run sales — who said it has to be this week?

And hear me loud and clear: there’s 100% nothing wrong with running a BF sale. Promotions — during any time of the year — don’t have to be stressful or hysterical.

I’m not trying to say any of this from a place of judgment. I just want you to know what’s possible for you. And that you can reach your business goals without doing what everyone else is doing.

Do you ever have that feeling about something in your business where you’re like…

I know it’s what I’m “supposed” to do for my business, but I just don’t want to.

(^Maybe you feel that about starting a TikTok acct, doing more reels, or starting a podcast.)

For me personally, my goal was and continues to be to build a business that can be so successful throughout the year, that Thanksgiving can be chill for us. What an incredible privilege 🙏

I have one friend who takes the month of October off every year – because she likes to. I have others who love to keep their summers light so they can spend more time with their kids when they’re out of school.

You can build a business that allows you to choose what you do and don’t participate in. You don’t need to build a business by begrudgingly participating in what everyone else is doing.

So me and my team will be out of the office from Wednesday on for the holiday (yep – I give my employees lots of time off! We work hard and have generated well over 7 figures in revenue already this year. When is enough, enough?)

So for anyone who’s felt some FOMO sales-anxiety lately and feels like you’re going to be left behind because you’re not keeping up with the online business game —

I hope this helped 😘

And even though I write my emails pretty far in advance — I’m practicing what I preach and not emailing my list on Thanksgiving with Sam’s Sidebar Q&A like I normally do, either. It’d mean more to me if you take the few minutes you spend reading my email doing something for YOU.

In the meantime, pop in those headphones, grab your sneaks & head out the door to tune in to my brand-new On Your Terms™️ podcast episode where I’m answering ALL of your business and legal questions.

I answered all the questions you submitted about how I’m handling grief, if there’s anything I wish I did with my Dad, why I decided to leave the law, why I shut down my health coaching business, and what drink I’m always sharing on IG 😂

🎙 Listen to Episode 70 “Ask My Anything Q&A” of On Your Terms™️ here!👇

PS. Want to know how I’m getting through grief this season, how I left the law, or why I shut down my health coaching business? I’m answering all your reader-submitted Qs in this week’s episode of On Your Terms™️! Listen on my websiteSpotify, or Apple now.

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