You’ve heard the saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”, right? As a vendor, sometimes it feels that life gives you lemons and then drowns you in your own lemonade.
That’s how the past few months have been. It has been horribly hot here in Houston this summer. The weather people say that we had a normal summer so that must mean that I’m getting too old to handle weather like that. Yup, it happens.
During the long, hot summer, our sales were down significantly. Some of our regular markets often didn’t have $100 in sales. That is unheard of for us, but it wasn’t just us. In the hottest part of the summer, our air conditioner went out – twice in a month. Seemed like we were bleeding money and not making that much in return at markets.
Finally! Early August we had a really good market. I’m not sure why, but we made over $1000 in a weekend. That is within range of normal for us. Things were starting to look up.
While we were counting our blessings, the truck broke down. The ironic part is that Monica had the truck because I took her car in for repair while she was at work. Of course, the truck broke down in the parking lot at her work. All the money we made over the weekend didn’t cover the tow truck or repairs on the truck (but it helped a lot).
We were really concerned that we would miss a market or two if we didn’t have the truck to pull our trailer to markets. Fortunately, the repairs only took a day so we were back up and running by the weekend.
That following weekend we did okay at the one market that we had. We thought we were on the upswing during the end of summer.
Did I mention we were in Houston? Yup, you probably know what happened next – Hurricane Harvey. While we fared well during the hurricane, but were stuck in the house for five days. It did give us an opportunity to clean out some rooms though and reorganize.
We think that we are finally on the other side of the very challenging summer that we had. At least I hope we are.
So what is the point of my sharing this? My point is that when you think that all of life is working against you, you are not alone. Every one of us goes through this as we strive to improve our business. You must put all of this in perspective and realize how lucky you are to be in a position of becoming a vendor. It means that you have a place to work from and a place to sell. You have a talent and abilities to use that talent.
As individuals, we must continue to move forward to improve not only our lives but also the lives of those around us. We must improve our skills and abilities to have the privilege of having products to sell to others.
I know that Monica and I are very lucky. We still have a house to live in and work from, unlike many people in the neighborhoods around us. When I woke up this morning I also realized that were lucky to not be at some random concert in some random city.
We can’t choose when life happens and this isn’t the last time we will be challenged. The only choice we have is how we deal with it when it does happen. I, for one, choose to move forward.
See you at a market!