Learning From Our Mistakes


There is a saying in the military that the best thought out plans don’t survive contact with the enemy. Even though we don’t see our customers and markets as “the enemy”, our plans often don’t work out as expected.

We (I) made a couple of mistakes in the last month or so. About 6 weeks ago our truck was broken into and some various items replaced. It wasn’t a huge deal but it was very irritated. I replaced all those items including a Black & Decker Portable Power Station. We rely on this power station to power our lights. It could easily power our lights for our night markets and it is much cheaper than paying for electricity at a show.

We took the new power station to White Linen Nights in Houston this past weekend and it worked great – for 30 minutes. The new power station had a short or a bad batter and would not hold a charge for as long as needed.

We were left sitting in the dark watching all of our prospective customers just walk on by without entering our very dark booth.

Thats lesson number one – have a backup plan.

I was able to return and replace the bad power supply and walked out with a new one. In fact, I got an extra because you never know when the primary may fail. They aren’t cheap at $100 a piece, but that is a fraction of the money we could be taking in at night markets where we need power for our lights. Some markets even charge this amount to “rent” electricity for a few hours so I expect this to pay for itself time and time again.

However the other lesson that I learned is that I cannot assume that something will work when it is new out of the box. I didn’t test this battery pack prior to going to market and fully suspected that it would fail because it was losing its charge rapidly.

Lesson number two is to test your plan.

Even with a good plan in place, you must have a backup plan. There will be a time when the best planning is worthless due to something outside of your control.

Lesson number three is to have a backup plan.

And of course the following should go without saying but…

… lesson number four is to test your backup plan!

We loved the Black and Decker Portable Power Station that was stolen from the back of our truck. After I test the new ones that I acquired this week, I hope to love them just as much as the first one.

Thanks for reading and have a great market week!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s