“How Do I Know?”

Yesterday at a local market, I had a couple ask me the most important question they could ask.

Monica and I were at a local artisan market. It has been months since I have done a simple table setup and it took me a while to get back in the groove. I didn’t have my big display with the rolling shelves where I knew where everything went. So I just set out the stuff that I knew and stepped back and let her work her magic on the rest of it. She did a great job as usual.

About midway through the day a young couple (30-ish) came up to our booth and we started chatting. He was looking at our beard oils and men’s grooming products that we make and told me that he just shaved off his beard for the summer.

Last year as he was growing his beard, he was making his own beard oils. We chatted about that for a bit when he asked this simple, but really important question.

“How do you know?”

“How do you know what?” I asked.

He replied, “How do you know that you should start a business making beard oils?”

The question surprised me as I began to realize the enormity of what he was asking. I could have told him that there is no better business to get into and that guys and their women love beard oils. But that wasn’t what he was asking.

I asked him, “Do you wake up in the morning with beard oil on you mind?”

He looked as his wife and replied, “No.”

I then told him that if he got into this business, he might just be creating a new job for himself. Jobs are everywhere. What he should find is his passion. He needs to figure out what gets him out of bed every morning because whatever business he starts will wear on him and it takes a lot of passion in your business to overcome the many, many challenges that present themselves.

I told him that I wasn’t telling him this because we don’t want competition with our beard oils, but because the success of any business depends largely on the passion that he has for it.

I have gotten to the point in our business where I wake up in the morning, usually before any alarm clock goes off, ready to get creative in the shop and make something new. I don’t look forward to the drudgery of keeping up with the website, doing the bookkeeping, filing taxes, and all the other annoying tasks that are all part of running a business. I do them because they enable me to pursue my passion.

They thanked me for my advice and turned and left. Sometimes I wish I had a crystal ball so I could see what happens with them, but I just have to have faith that the advice I gave them was useful and once they find their passion, they make something great out of it.

Until then, see you at market…

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