Hustle and Hope
Just recently I found myself in my kitchen banging out several jars of Queens Inc. Body Butter, printing labels, attaching labels, gathering supplies, and packing up to sell my goods at market the next day. The video above is my proof. Cool. Easy, right? Sike, it would have been if I hadn't gotten up at about 5:30 that morning and worked a full 8-hour day. Every side hustler or small business owner can relate though. I had a goal. The next day I would be going to market for the first time ever.
Fear and Hope
It had long since been a dream of mine to take my goods to market, but I'd talk myself out of it every damn time because I was too scared; scared that I wouldn't sell anything, scared that I'd look stupid. To hell with that, I realized that growing isn't comfortable. If it was, everyone would do it. In order for me to sell my products, I knew I had to show up and be ready. I made up my mind and paid the fee to "rent a table" at my local farmer's market. I figured the worst that could happen would be that I would have stayed up 23 hours straight making a small stockpile of butters to add to my inventory for future orders.
I finally came to a stopping point so that I could catch a few hours of sleep. My goal was to be at the market at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. About that...Once I got up the next day, I still had to finish one last batch of butter. I then hopped in the shower, packed up my stuff, and headed downtown to the farmer's market. On the way, I got caught by a train. Figures! I made it all the way to the market, which is about 25 minutes from my house, at about 12:00. Before I got out the car, I noticed that there was no table in my stall. I thought to myself, You have got to be kidding me!! I walked up to a vendor and asked her about the table situation, and sure enough, you had to bring your own damn table. Uggh!!! It would have been nice if that was mentioned in the vendor application. I felt like such a rookie! About 25 minutes later, I returned with my own table and started setting up...right in the middle of the walkway. I probably couldn't have looked any greener if I'd tried. Fortunately, God had placed someone there who was willing to help a rookie out. It was the same vendor that I'd asked about the table situation earlier.
Fear Zero, Takiela One
Despite the market being incredibly slow, I sold a few products. I could have counted my first go-to-market experience as a failure, but it wasn't. Although I did hustle and lose a full night's sleep only to sell a couple products, I beat the hell out of my fear, made a new friend, and overcame every obstacle. That's a win in my book. My first experience has taught me as a vendor, to ask pertinent questions like, Do I have to bring my own table, to network with other vendors at the event, and to make sure that I weigh my table decor down so the breeze doesn't blow it away.