You Got This

With only a few days until Thanksgiving and then the Black Friday rush, stress levels for vendors and makers doesn’t get much higher. The only thing on your mind is the next market that you signed up for and all the work that needs to be done.

Back in August and September Monica and I were very excited for the upcoming holidays and all the market opportunities that the holiday season would bring. She would ask me about markets that I wanted to do and I would agree to all of them because they sounded like fun and I was overly confident of my abilities. We filled our holiday schedule – double and even triple booking on one occasion.

In September it seemed that we had plenty of time to get ready for all these markets. Now, less than a week before Black Friday, we aren’t even close to ready for the holiday rush.

I was coming home from yet another trip to Home Depot for a few parts that I needed. I was making yet another display for a show that we have in Austin that starts this week. I wrote about this show in “We Got In! Oh Crap“. I decided that I would stop for lunch to pick up a pizza. While waiting for my pizza, I received a response to an Instagram post where I posted pictures of all the pipe fittings that I ordered to build this new display and made a sarcastic comment about some assembly required. The response simply read “You got this”.

It was that moment that I realized just how much stress I was under to get all of these projects completed and make the inventory needed to stock these markets. Here I was doubting my abilities to get all this done in time when this small message of encouragement shows up in my Instagram feed. I could feel the tension physically leave my body because of this random act of encouragement.

I could not believe the amount of stress that snuck up on me without me being aware of it. I knew there was a lot to do, but I was totally unaware of the physical tension that had built and had remained constant for the weeks leading up to that point.

What did I do? I got my pizza and went home to watch a movie before the Friday night show that we had scheduled for that evening. Yup. I dropped everything that I was doing for a couple of hours for some “me time”.

Here are some other indications that I can tell that I am under a lot of holiday stress.

  • The yard looks more crappy than usual
  • I would never think of inviting anyone into the house because we have inventory all over getting ready for shows
  • California is on fire (worse than usual) and I didn’t know about it
  • What election?
  • I am bailing out of shows because of lack of inventory
  • I get annoyed when someone buys something because I need it to stock my shelves for the next show
  • I find custom orders irritating
  • My shop is trashed and disorganized
  • I have moved some projects to the backyard because my shop is trashed
  • I forget my step father’s birthday
  • I forget my mom’s birthday
  • Our wedding anniversary comes and goes with both of us eating soup on the couch and watching TV
  • We bail from Thanksgiving dinners because we have to set up for a show
  • The checkout lady at Home Depot knows me by name
  • Monica’s birthday present from October still isn’t done
  • I don’t take pictures for The Vendor Life posts because I just want to sit while at a show
  • Anyone on the road driving a car other than me is a total idiot. Oh wait, this is normal.

Here are some things that I have realized from all this and need to constantly remind myself of:

  • My plan is going to fail. It may work out better or worse than I planned, but it won’t go according to plan.
  • It is not all going to get done. Get over it.
  • I may not be physically able to keep all my promises to every customer but I can point them to other vendors who have really cool stuff.
  • My priority with being a maker is to have fun while hopefully making money.
  • I will drop everything if my family asks me to or needs something.
  • It is not only okay, but healthy to sit back and watch a movie once in a while.
  • Don’t forget to eat lunch.
  • The season will be over soon.


The holiday season is stressful for everyone. The holiday stress is even higher for makers as we get ready for the holiday shows. Remember what your priorities are. You are in this for the long-term and I am pretty sure that the holidays for 2019 have already been scheduled. Make a list of your signs of stress. Manage it accordingly and don’t forget to take some time for yourself and your family.

And don’t forget. You Got This.

In the meantime, it is my mother’s birthday. I better at least give her a call so she doesn’t think that I had to be reminded about her birthday from Facebook of all places.

See you at market…



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