We all have programmed thoughts that guide our day-to-day lives. No matter what age we are, these unintentional beliefs are always there influencing our choices. Usually, our brains are trying to protect us from harm with these beliefs. But sometimes these thoughts can stand in our own way and keep us from growing.

The good news, though, is that we can choose what thoughts we believe. 

We can change our beliefs any time we want, including the thoughts that were ingrained in our brains by society, our parents, our teachers, or our friends. It can be difficult to let those thoughts go! But it’s a beautiful way for us to grow into the shopkeepers we want to be. 

Here are ten common beliefs I hear all the time from retail business owners and how those beliefs aren’t serving you. 

1. Marketing Pop-Ups Annoy and Bother Me, so I Won’t Use Them on My Site. 

At face value, you might think this belief is serving you and your potential customers. Of course you don’t want to bother them! 

But data has shown that pop-ups are an incredibly effective marketing tool. I can attest to that with my own businesses, as I use pop-ups on both the Savvy Shopkeeper site and on my retail store’s site.

Do pop-ups annoy me? Definitely. But the annoyance often comes from too many pop-ups or the way they appear. Learn how to create an effective, non-annoying pop-up and you’ll see your email list and customer base grow. 

2. I Hate My Cluttered Email Inbox, so I Won’t Utilize Email Marketing to Reach My Customers.

This thought is often followed by “I don’t want to annoy my customers” and “I don’t want to send a bunch of emails that they’ll never open.”

Again, it’s important to stick to the facts here: email marketing is an excellent return on investment. For every dollar you spend on email marketing, there’s an average 42 dollar return. 

I use Flodesk for my email marketing efforts and pay $19 per month. That’s half off the usual price of $38 per month, but let’s do the math with just the $19 price. 

If I’m receiving the average ROI of $42 per dollar I spend, that’s $9,576 per year. That’s a lot of extra money to say no to just because I don’t want to send marketing emails.

3. I Don’t Throw Anything Away—it’s Wasteful.

The result of this belief is clutter. Everywhere. 

Storage rooms, offices, and workshop areas become unmanageable, unsightly, and just not fun to work in when you hold on to this belief. A cluttered space is a cluttered mind, so when you keep all the extra stuff, you’re not able to do your best work. 

4. I Don’t Pay Full Price for Anything, so Why Should My Customers?

When you believe this, you end up discounting everything because you feel bad for your customers. But in the end, you’re just hurting yourself and your bottom line.

There are customers who are happy to pay full price. Don’t train your customers to always expect a discount from you and hurt your profitability. 

5. I Don’t Buy Luxury, so Why Would My Customers?

This is another belief that hurts your profit margin. There’s a big difference in profit between selling an item you bought for $5 at a $10 price point and selling a $30 item for $70. 

I used to do the same thing in my store. For our first few years, we bought small in terms of price. But we eventually realized that our customers were looking for more. They had bigger homes, taller ceilings, and more wall space than I or my sister did. We had to change our mindset about the items we were buying wholesale so we could sell the luxury items our customers wanted. 

6. I’m Not Good At Math, so I’ll Never Understand the Books or Financials for My Store.

This belief hits women store owners particularly hard—both women and men are taught that women are not capable of doing basic math!

You are absolutely capable of understanding your store’s finances. And if you need someone to walk you through your books, the best thing you can do is hire a competent bookkeeper.

7. I Know What I’m Doing. I Don’t Need Advice.

It’s so easy to let our egos get in our own way. If you think you know it all, don’t need advice, and are still struggling with your business, there’s a big chance you’re hurting rather than helping yourself. 

Don’t let your ego stand in your way. If you’re struggling with any part of your business, ask for advice and be willing to take it. 

8. It’s Annoying When I Buy Something At Full Price and Later it Goes on Sale.

This is related to number four, of course! When we believe this, we end up being afraid to mark our items down. We don’t want our customers to feel annoyed, tricked, or deceived. 

But if you aren’t marking things down when a season is ending or you’re ready to bring in new merchandise, you just end up with too much merchandise. Don’t be afraid to discount just because someone bought it at full price a few weeks or months ago. 

9. I’m an Introvert, so I’m Not Good At Social Media.

This is a belief I held onto for a long time. I’m an introvert and I’m not completely comfortable in front of the camera.

I don’t want to stifle my creativity or growth, though, so I practice. And you can too! You don’t want being an introvert to keep you from connecting with hundreds or thousands of potential customers. 

People buy from people, but they can’t do that if they can’t see you. You don’t have to go live every day or even every week, but I encourage you to slowly get more comfortable with being visible on your social media accounts.

10. I Hate When People Sell to Me All the Time.  

If you hold onto this belief, you’ll only post sporadically and get poor results from your social media.  

Posting consistently will help you sell more for your store, but not every post has to be about selling! If you need ideas for what to post, you can grab my list of 75 Social Media Post Ideas for Shopkeepers to inspire you.

How to Replace These Beliefs With New Ones

Thought work can be difficult. It takes time to embody new beliefs, especially when they’re very different from what you believed for many years. 

The first step is to not judge yourself too harshly. We all have these programmed thoughts—it’s a normal part of being human. 

Second, ask yourself if the part of your business related to your belief nags you. If you’re not using email marketing and that bothers you, why does it bother you? What beliefs do you have about email marketing? And what beliefs are keeping you from using it? 

It always helps me to write these thoughts out on paper. Allow yourself to observe your thoughts and decide if you want to believe them or not. 

As a coach, I want to help you identify your thoughts and help you find your OWN answers. And as a consultant, I’m here to give you some answers, too. If you’re looking for personalized guidance for your retail business, you can check out my 1:1 Coaching services.


*Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links or referral codes, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link or using the code. I make recommendations because I genuinely believe they are useful to shopkeepers.  Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.


  • [04:59] 1. Marketing pop-ups annoy and bother me, so I won’t use them on my site.
  • [05:58] 2. I hate my cluttered email inbox so I won’t utilize email marketing to reach my customers.
  • [08:23] 3. I don’t throw anything away—it’s wasteful.
  • [09:35] 4. I don’t pay full price for anything, so why should my customers?
  • [11:01] 5. I don’t buy luxury, so why would my customers?
  • [12:39] 6. I’m not good at math, so I’ll never understand the books or financials for my store.
  • [13:26] 7. I know what I’m doing. I don’t need advice.
  • [14:01] 8. It’s annoying when I buy something at full price and later it goes on sale.
  • [15:25] 9. I’m an introvert, so I’m not good at social media.
  • [17:07] 10. I hate when people sell to me all the time.
  • [19:11] How to replace these beliefs with new ones

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