Is it okay to take a day off from life? Not answer your phone, emails, text, Facebook, Twitter, Medium, or anything else? Sometimes I feel guilty when I disappear other times I feel so blessed. When I travel I like to take in the things I taste, touch, feel, see, hear, and experience as a whole.
I have a few people in my life that have made the past several years “dream to be an entrepreneur” possible for me, and for them I am so ever thankful. They are also probably the few people I pick up the phone for you know what I mean.
I go through periods of time where I don’t share anything with anyone, and other periods where I share everything — at least much more than usual. But, through those times you have those few people that are still there beside you in business and in life. Those family or friends that truly want to see you succeed and vice versa.
What does it mean to quit, and why does it seem everyone has to do things the conventional way? I started my entrepreneurial journey with careful planning, an idea, and a dream. It takes a lot to give up everything just to build something so you never have to worry about doing it for someone else again.
But, what happens after the steam stops steaming? After your passion starts to fizzle and the reality sets in. For me, I Quit. I am a self-diagnosed quitter.
How do you expect a bird to fly without wings, even then can they fly without first learning how to use them? After you figure out how to start using those new wings of freedom you gain by venturing into the entrepreneur realm, you need to decide which direction you want to go.
After becoming too successful I Quit
When I was working my corporate job, I remember coming in everyday with a painted smile on my face. I tried to remind myself to say hello to everyone and act like I wanted to be there. It gets hard after a while because no amount of bills or money would have made me want to say in that toxic place I call corporate hell.
Before my departure, I had started working on a side project just for fun at the time which turned into a full time passion. This taste of freedom I had discovered was online selling. I use to scour stores from open to close in one geographical location.
Sometimes, I would even wait until senior citizen day and take my parents along for a deeper discount. What was I searching for? Gold! No not bars of gold but those little golden nuggets of hidden treasure throughout the shelves.
I started out scouring thrift stores for products to sell online and it became so much fun my family and friends were joining in on the business. I would leave during lunch, go after work, and get up early on the weekends just to go shopping. It was the coolest job ever. I was out shopping for stuff to sale to other people for way more money, and feeding my shopping addition at the same time. Except, I was shopping for great deals and pricing inefficiencies.
Eventually, one thing lead to another, and I began making decent money on the side. A new fire has been lit inside me – a new career! I wanted to do something else with my life. Even though it was kind of cool to say I was trading $1 Billion dollars with the push of a button and watching my co-workers throw back corporate Kool-Aid during breaks.
It was an episode of “Corporate Robots” everyday — soul sucking money hungry, toxic robots. And, I was sick of doing all of their work covering their mistakes and lying for them. I hated that place now the place I once use to love.
I was over the thought that these people were going to control my destiny when I saw where theirs was headed.
Fast Forward & ONE Year later… I QUIT AGAIN
I QUIT one of my first businesses only one year in. It wasn’t because I wasn’t making money. The money was there and the profits were rolling in, however, I was exhausted. It was after I started to hire employees and expand that I began to figure out I didn’t want to do this forever. I wanted to move on to something else with all of my new found business skills. Plus, the idea of selling and reselling products long term it just wasn’t where I see my life headed if I plan to retire any time soon.
That stuff was like a full time gig. I got so good a doing all the packaging, selling, marketing, buying, etc… that I was like a “Robot.” There was almost too much success to fast. This lead to MASSIVE BURNOUT. Ultimately, I ended up quitting the online selling business and retail shops all together.
Suddenly, I realized when I was selling fax machines door to door “This is not my movie,” and I was determined to create a better life for myself. – Sara Blakely
I started the liquidation process and did everything you could think of to off load my inventory. I was running online sales, donating, contacting other stores, liquidation companies, flea markets, friends and family you name it I tried it. I even tried to hire people to help me sale the stuff I was trying to sale so I could stop selling the stuff!
Finally, the idea was presented to take any remaining inventory to one of the USA’s largest flea markets, The Daytona Flea & Farmers Market. After careful research, I packed up everything we could fit into the cargo van and headed to Daytona Beach. What a fun trip! 🙂
For those who say you can’t build a business in a day let me tell you – YOU CAN
This was how things looked before undergoing the renovation project…
Go BIG or GO HOME:
My first attempt at building a flea market store not to bad for a few hours work,
You can see all the random stuff I use to sell. I try to tell people all the time consumers buy the weirdest things. Trust me, They’ll surprise you.
Don’t limit yourself or close your mind off to options that might seem out of the norm, they may be the best ideas you ever had.
After the first day, I figured out it was going to be hard to get people to walk back into the dark and small cramped area to encourage them to buy. It was like screaming hey come into my dark hole and see what all I have to sell.
A little quick thinking and the decision was made to EXPAND THE BUSINESS OVER NIGHT.
After the renovation project…
My instant business was built within a few hours for those who say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” I wouldn’t personally do this ever again, but others may find this flea market stuff worth while. This was a last ditch effort to clear out my left over inventory. I tried to find a place I thought would have a lot of foot traffic.
The point of this post is not to encourage you to build a business at a flea market, but to let you know you have options. I think people get so caught up in what it takes to start a successful business. But, I am here to tell you dedication and determination can get you any where you want to go.
My first business I ultimately closed, but the lessons I learned will live inside me forever. Whether your first business is a success or a failure I would say keep pressing forward.
Don’t limit your possibilities to the thinkable and in turn derail another dream train from steaming its engine. – Bloggin Brandi
Lessons learned after all of this:
- Never buy used inventory or returned inventory pallets
- Never purchase inventory in small quantities or one off situations
- Never expect to sell inventory for full price, but don’t undervalue your goods.
- Everyone says they are having a clearance sale (Even when they are not. No one believed us when we yelled that over and over after a day or so I figure out why.)
- Plan a date for when you will either discount or try to flip, clear out new vs old inventory. (i.e. every 90 days)
- Don’t bank on seasonal, but if you plan ahead you can make a lot of money at one time.
- People will buy anything so don’t be close minded, but do stick to one niche and master that first.
- Plan ahead, know your margins and numbers. Don’t go into business without a plan.
- When selling online: be honest about any flaws or known issues with items.
- Take informative photos that sell without words, and write product descriptions that sell without pictures.
- FLEA MARKET TIP: Pick your location wisely. Plan where the foot traffic will be and what those around you are also selling. You don’t want to be in direct competition, but you do want to benefit from the foot traffic generated from vendors near by.
You are never going to get it right the first time so stop trying to expect perfect results in an imperfect situation.
I have always had crazy ideas on a whim like this one and love trying new things to see what works vs what doesn’t. Do you ever get to those point where nothing is working? Are you able to brainstorm and come up with new ideas? You have to be able to see what is not working and pivot in a new direction. Focus on your strengths.
If your job, business, or side project isn’t going as planned, do you go back to the drawing bard? Or, do you keep banging your head against the brick wall with blinders on as if things will magically get better? Need some new ideas? I’m an idea generator so let me know if I can help you think of something maybe you haven’t thought of. You can connect with me HERE.
Also published on Medium.