Thoughts from our Founder​ Marla Mattenson
(1 Minute Read)
My Wake-Up Call About My Personal Sales Ethics​
(3 minute read)​
You Know You’re Suffering From Sales Trauma If…?
(3 minute read)​
Thoughts From Our Founder Marla Mattenson

Welcome to our community!

I’d like to share a few personal insights about why we’re here.

My vision is to provide you with proven resources and insights that help you instantly build trusting relationships with your ideal clients.

So you can help more people – Earn more income – And bring more light into the world.

As the founder, I firmly believe that the cornerstone of our
success is based on the value we place on transparency.

In our community, transparency is more than a policy; it’s our ethos.

It guides our client interactions, shapes our corporate culture, and defines our relationships within our teams.

By embracing transparency, we’ve built a foundation of trust that empowers us to deliver our best, foster innovation, and create meaningful, lasting relationships.

We’re committed to ensuring that every decision, big or small, aligns with this principle.

In today’s digital world, you’ll see a lot of rhetoric about Trust and Transparency.

But no training on how to implement it in your sales process.

We’re here to solve that.

Trust Transparency

The truth is… Transparency can be uncomfortable.

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

I love this quote by Mother Teresa:

Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.

Oddly, as visionaries, guides, and advocates, we’re used to dealing with our clients’ vulnerabilities.

But not our own. Especially when it comes to sales.

In our ongoing dialogue about the essence of our community and its mission, we often refer to the Safe Space concept. 

This term encapsulates a shared experience between individuals, 

  • Where one can feel utterly confident in being free from judgment, criticism, or harassment. 
  • It’s a space where being oneself is not only allowed but celebrated. With an assurance of safety, both in the present and the future.

Safe Spaces are places where BOTH the buyer and the seller can openly share their joys, concerns, challenges, and emotions.

These spaces are characterized by their authenticity and beautiful rawness. They are not about perfection but about honesty and vulnerability.

Every individual’s experience is valued and respected in these spaces, fostering an environment of trust and genuine connection.

We’ve learned – that it’s in these raw moments that true growth and understanding occur.

This Safe Space concept is at the heart of  everything we strive to achieve in our business.

I want to share a few learning adventures I went through to discover the importance of these ideas.

My Time as “A Baby Whisperer”

(1 min read)

My vision is to provide you with proven resources and insights that help you instantly build trusting relationships with your “ideal clients.

Have you ever heard of the novel or movie called “The Horse Whisperer?”

The 1998 movie had Robert Redford as the star. The novel was by Nicholas Evans.

It was about building trust relationships.

A horse whisperer is an individual who practices a unique approach to horsemanship based on empathy, non-verbal communication,  and building trust with horses. 

Horse whisperers emphasize understanding horses’ emotional, and psychological needs, fostering a gentle and harmonious partnership through mutual respect.

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In my twenties, I was a doula.

This means I provided continuous physical, emotional, and informational support during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and after childbirth.

My job was to reduce stress and anxiety and advocate to help Moms achieve the safest, most memorable, and most empowering birth experience possible.

During these experiences, I learned one of my biggest lessons about safety.

I was part of over 100 births, and I saw this phenomenon happen over and over again.

The new baby is clean, fed, and settled in. 

Nothing is bothering them.  

Then, a relative enters the room. 

  1. Someone who has drama with the new parent(s). 
  2. Or someone who has anger with another relative in the room.

Even if no one says a word… The baby gets deeply upset and won’t stop crying.

What changed? 

The environment.

Things went from safe to unsafe in an instant.  And these newborns, only a few hours out of the womb, could sense it instantly!

I learned how to whisper safety back into the room.

In these highly emotional moments… I used observation, intuition, and logic to create solutions.

I helped parents create safe spaces for their babies.

  • I would teach the parents how to hold the baby differently, speak to the baby, and use their tone of voice in a particular way. 

My reputation grew. 

And one family referred me to another… as a “Baby Whisperer.”

My mission became to understand what more about this intuitive safety sense.

That fueled my fire for learning how our brains work,  studying neuroscience.

That led to my deep study into Neuroception and Safety.

“He Said,” “She Said” Why I Became a Relationship Translator

(2:30 min read)

I have a background in mathematics and love studying neuroscience. So, I take a very logical approach to emotional material. 

Using logic to find the deeper meaning and patterns – in the most moving and stressful times. That logical approach… led me to coaching.

As a doula, it was getting the new parents on the same page.

One partner would say one thing, and the other would say something else.
I would bring them together and say, “Here’s what I’m hearing.”

“You are using these wordsand I think you’re saying x, y, & z; is that accurate?”
And then they go, “Yeah, that is what I’m saying.”
And I’ll say, “OK.” And then I would translate for the other person.

“So what they are saying is xyz.
And what you’re hearing is abc.”

“So you’re hearing it & receiving it in a way – that’s NOT what they intend.
If I can use my own translation… here’s how I would say this to clarify what they’re really asking for.”

One day, I realized that being the translator for couples was not only one of my talents, it was one of my passions.

I have always been the translator for people. 

I have the ability to bridge any two people, any two concepts, any two ideas, or any two companies through their missions.

I can always find a bridge. I’m a bridge builder, and I can see bridges where there are none.

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Bridges Build Relationships.

My coaching evolved into relationship and intimacy work with over 12,000 entrepreneurial couples.

I taught couples how to uncover the hidden patterns in their relationship,
and business through neuroscience and mathematics.

My clients include Academy Award-winning actors, producers and directors, NBA players and coaches, Grammy Award-winning artists, and millionaire entrepreneurs.

My fees went from $95 an hour to $36,000 a month. 
And my clients are happy to invest in my insights at that level.

I look at things differently than most people.

I define intimacy as being simultaneously unguarded and receptive.

  • Unguarded means your defences are lowered, and Receptive means you’re willing to receive what the other person is sharing, at the same time,

For clarity, let’s go a little deeper into these concepts.

Unguarded Means: 

  • When you are intimate with someone, you are not putting up walls or defenses. 
  • You allow yourself to be open and vulnerable without fear of judgment or harm. 
  • This aspect of intimacy involves sharing your true thoughts, feelings, and experiences with another person without holding back.

Receptive Means:

  • Intimacy also involves being receptive or open to the other person’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences. 
  • It’s about sharing yourself, actively listening, and empathizing with the other person.
  • You are willing to understand and connect with their inner world.

Intimacy is a mutual state where both individuals involved are authentic,
open, and vulnerable (unguarded) while being attentive and receptive to each other.

It’s a deep connection where both parties feel safe and comfortable enough to let
down their guards and truly connect emotionally and personally.

The Preventable Intimacy Gap Mistake
That’s Pushing Away Your Ideal Clients.

You’re probably comfortable with the intimacy needed in the fulfillment part of your business.

  • But that’s not where trust begins. 
  • That is not where the relationship begins.

The biggest business mistake I see is…

Most Tender-Hearted Leaders, Confidential Advocates, and Trusted Guides are NOT personally embracing intimacy in the sales part of their business…With the same unguarded receptiveness they expect from their Clients – in the fulfillment part of their business.

The truth is – the Sales Part of your business needs to be
just as intimate as the Fulfillment Part of your business.

I founded the Ethical Sales Institute to help you
you feel as comfortable and connected in the Sales Part
of your business as you are in the Fulfillment Part of your business.

My Wake-Up Call About My Personal Sales Ethics

(3 min read)

I have two embarrassing admissions I need to share with you.

In the past, it’s been challenging to give me feedback. 

Just ask my family. Lol

I’m kind of a know-it-all.

I study a lot. 

I know a lot, and I am not afraid to tell you what I know.

I’m unapologetic about myself and my needs.

Revealing Family Story
I remember my grandmother trying to give me a guilt trip for not calling her.

I said, “I’m calling you because I sincerely want to talk to you. 
You want me to call you out of obligation every week, and I’m not going to do that.”

I said that to her when I was a kid. That’s just a part of who I am. I need to admit – I can be a little harsh sometimes.

Recognition and reflection are now key components to my personal growth.

But it wasn’t always that way.

Now I’d like to tell you when I realized – I was NOT an ethical sales person.

It was 2010.

My business was growing, and I knew I had to grow, too.

I started focusing on expanding my capacity to receive more.

Here’s the Crazy Thing…

People were constantly giving me positive feedback. 

It was great to hear. And let me know they were getting great results based on my work.

But that didn’t help me.

I wanted to intentionally receive negative feedback. 

It was a way of softening my heart and my hard edges. 

Back then I used those hard edges to insulate and protect myself from negativity and to stay in a positive vibe.

I understand things differently now. 

But at the time, that was my method.

I remember it like it was yesterday. 

I was in the kitchen talking to a client.

I could sense there was something between us. 

So I asked if there was any friction between us?

Her answer stunned me!

  • She said I was intimidating.
  • And she felt that intimidation in our business relationship.

That experience took me into a period  of deep reflection – If it happened to her, what about the others?

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I reached out to all my clients and asked.
“Is there a single grain of sand between us?
Would you please share that with me?”

Even though 98% was fantastic.

I was looking for that 2%.

  • That little thorn in their side that they didn’t even think to say out loud.
  • Because everything else was so great, 
  • Or because they were thinking – I already got such great results, why do I need to bring this up? 

With their permission, I recorded these conversations to relive and feel their insights.

I was looking for patterns and throughlines that showed up over and over.

I learned I was kind of intimidating.

  • Listening to the calls and looking at my calendar – I  discovered  when I felt the pressure to earn, I unconsciously put that pressure on my clients too.
  • I often sold with enthusiasm and used people pleasing,  instead of asking the hard questions.
  • I realized some clients felt some shaming if they didn’t get a result. 
  • Or they felt I was disappointed in them if they didn’t do things right.

As I listened to those calls, I realized people were blindly following
my lead instead of considering their own inner guidance.

That wasn’t what I wanted.

  • I wanted to use a consistent and ethical framework. 
  • I want people to align with something they control, not following my lead. 
  • I wanted to put the human relationship first – over the transaction.
  • I wanted a relationship based on mutual respect and caring consideration.
  • To honor people’s choices and never manipulate people to say yes.

I realized I needed specific written guardrails to keep my integrity on track.

Those ethical guardrails became The Trinity of Ethical Sales, one of core principles of our community.


Here’s a snapshot:

1. Humans Over Transactions:

  • It’s not just about making a sale. It’s about valuing human connections. 
  • This approach fosters deeper relationships. Boosts your brand’s reputation. And often leads to ever-increasing profitability. 
  • Plus, it feels good!

2. Sell The Way You Serve:

  • Forget high-pressure tactics and sales scripts. 
  • Instead, approach sales with the same integrity, kindness, and care you’d offer post-sale in your business. 
  • This builds trust quickly and ensures that the service matches the promise.

3. Celebrate Choice:

  • Respect potential clients’ decisions, whether a yes or a no.
  • This keeps doors open for future interactions and leaves a lasting, positive impression.
  • Our alumni are amazed at the number of referrals they receive from prospects who say no to their offers. However, they felt so connected with the practitioner that they wanted to refer their friends.

Creating the Trinity helped me realize there’s a massive amount of Sales Trauma in the world.

For both buyers and sellers.

Part of our mission is to help people like you recover from that trauma. And that lead me to years of study into the Science of Safety and the Polyvegal Institute.

You Know You’re Suffering From “Sales Trauma” If…?

(3 min read)

I want to share a little science with you. 

Then, we’re going to find out if you’re suffering from sales trauma.

Once I learned this information, it changed everything I used to believe about sales.

Please consider these four Quick Questions.

1. Why do you think many people mistrust salespeople and feel uncomfortable in sales situations?

  • Is it a hard-wired primal instinct we were born with?
  • Or is it something we have learned from our personal experiences?

2. Do you consider yourself a sensitive and empathic person?

  • A person who can sense how others feel when you’re helping them.
  • A person who wants to do their best for their clients

As an empathetic person who realizes most people do NOT trust salespeople.

3. What’s your mental state  when you’re about to enter a sales conversation?

  • Feel any stress?
  • Ever feel worried you might get rejected and not make the sale?
  • Does it make you kind of angry or frustrated – you even have to do sales?
  • Do you ever wish you could avoid sales conversations altogether?
  • Ever feel like you might want to run away from the situation?
  • Do you have to give yourself a pep-talk or put on your sales mask?

4. How does your body feel?

  • Does your heart race?
  • Do you start to sweat?
  • Do your jaw or shoulders tighten up?
  • Notice any tightness in your throat?
  • Do you fidget?

From my experience:

If you check off any of the items listed in
questions 3 and 4 – you are suffering from Sales Trauma.

Dictionary Definition


A deeply distressing or disturbing experience.

Science tells us:

Stressful or traumatic situations, perceived danger, and threats to your safety all trigger your body’s natural stress response.

This built-in defense mechanism causes a biological and psychological reaction that’s meant to help you respond to various threats in the most effective way.

Fight, flight, freeze, and fawn are all common stress responses.[1]

Past experiences, your personality, and the type of threat affect how your body gets triggered and responds to a stressful or frightening situation.

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But What’s the Hidden Issue?

Why Do Sales And Selling Situations  Trigger Trauma Responses for Highly Sensitive People?

One answer lies in our ancient brains’ hard-wired fear of rejection.
That’s why many sales trainings try to “condition you” to accept rejection. 

They want to desensitize you – to live with the pain.
Because rejection activates in the same part of your brain as PAIN.

  • When you hear a NO in any part of your life, it can be painful…
  • But it’s excruciating when you’re trying to help people and make a living at the same time.

The facts are that rejection HURTS even MORE when you need a yes.

Studies have identified that the brain processes social pain similarly to physical pain, and they believe it’s an evolutionary response. 

  • For early humans, being part of a group meant having access to increased safety and resources. 
  • Being rejected by the group left a person alone and vulnerable. 
  • Thus, humans evolved to seek social acceptance while perceiving social rejection as a threat to well-being. 
  • Associating exclusion with pain – motivated humans to avoid threats to their social ties.

If you’re interested in going deeper into the science review this blog post “Rejection And Physical Pain Are The Same To Your Brain”.

Fighting your body’s automatic responses to a stressful situation is impossible.

And desensitizing seems like the worst idea ever – when your practice is based on empathy and sensing your client’s needs.

Think back over the last 12 months of your business…

  • Have you taken on any new clients you knew were not your ideal client – just to make a sale?
  • Had a hard time saying no – when clients wanted more than they paid for?
  • Become a people pleaser? 
  • Pretended to agree with someone or accepted their terms instead of yours?
  • Put others’ needs before your own?
  • Have you had a hard time setting boundaries?

That’s Fawning.

Fawning causes you to please and appease the needs of someone else.

Instead of prioritizing your well-being. 

Fawning is the most common sales trauma I see with tender-hearted practitioners. The next one is flight, or wanting to avoid the sales situation altogether.

We believe that Sales Trauma looks like this.

From the buyer’s perspective – it feels like you have been manipulated to say yes.

From the sensitive seller’s perspective – it’s the worry that you used manipulation, pressure, or enthusiasm, to get somebody to do what you want them to do. Rather than what’s best for them to do.

What we’re doing with ethical sales is building our reputation and
income – by helping buyers say yes or no. 

And helping ourselves and our businesses grow
by setting boundaries that say yes to our ideal clients
and no to everyone else.

We’re on a mission:

To empower you with a new paradigm…
Where you feel as confident and comfortable in the Sales Part
of your business as you feel in the Fulfillment Part of your business.


1. Zingela Z, Stroud L, Cronje J, Fink M, van Wyk S. The psychological and subjective experience of catatonia: a qualitative study. BMC Psychology. 2022;10(1). doi:10.1186/s40359-022-00885-7