I HATE having to sell things. Anything. Period. It doesn’t matter if I wholeheartedly believe in the product, as soon as the ‘the pitch’ has left my mouth I immediately feel like apologizing for having assaulted my attentive listener to my rhetoric. Delivering my presentation feels more like purposefully soiling their new blouse or stomping on their toe. I am not saying there is anything wrong with selling things or sales people in particular, I just think that there is a particular breed of person who enjoys sales and I am not one of them. They have a hunger in their eyes that is only satiated by hunting down prey, luring of them in for the kill and then, as a victor, they rejoice, relishing their spoils (a bit dramatic, perhaps?).
Maybe I am being a bit too harsh, however, I experienced severe distress a few nights ago at a Christmas craft fair. Yes, I have used the words craft fair and severe distress in the same sentence. My sister and I had the brilliant idea, that since we both enjoy making things, why don’t we rent a table at a local craft fair and actually sell some of the things we make? After all, we often get complimented on our handiwork and have had many people encourage us to branch out and make our goods available for sale. We have both been the recipient of proddings such as: “You should totally sell these!” or “Can I put in an order for one of those?” or “Those are beautiful! You could make a killing selling them!” or “I know so many people who would love to buy one of those”. So, backed by inexperience and a tentative, but secretly sales-hopeful hearts, my sister and I made our way to our very own table at a local craft fair. Or at least we TRIED to make our way.
As the day began to unfold, there seemed to be an endless amount of obstacles that kept getting in our way. It was if the universe was saying: “You girls are adorable! Look at all the work you’ve put into your handmade goodies… Let me cover you with a great big cozy soaking wet blanket and tuck you in for the night!” There were so many things that went wrong: discovering at the last minute that goods had not been completed; forgetting items, such as price tags; a forgotten car seat; the waiting for the husband to get home as a result of the forgotten car seat; the ridiculous bumper to bumper traffic that produced an endless amount of ambulance, firetruck and police car sirens; hunting down the promoter of the event to inform her of our lateness; being pelleted by the torrential downpour and wind warnings while transporting our goods from the house to the car and finally into the school gym. The whole experience was becoming a big, soggy mess.
Although our spirits had been dampened by the days disasters, my sister and I held our heads up high, kept calm and carried on. We arrived late, but scurried in and set up within a matter of minutes. And then it happened. As I sat and surveyed the situation, I was smacked upside the head with a major reality check: I did NOT want to be here. I can’t even really explain why. I liken it to a blind date. Someone has offered to set you up with someone who is PERFECT for you – it appears like a win/win. Despite your nerves and your fear of rejection, you manage to talk yourself into going. However, upon arrival you come face to face with your tragic mistake. You can grin and bare it, chalking it up to a growing experience or you can sprint like a madwoman in the opposite direction. I have to admit, my desire was to sprint, but I didn’t. I stayed, knowing that my sister was beside me for strength and support.
Although I stayed and survived, I was completely flabbergasted by my physical and emotional response to the fair. My hands started shaking, my fingertips went numb, and I got extremely light-headed. I kept hearing my Mom’s voice in the back of my head saying: “If you feel like you’re going down, get your head between your knees!” I would’ve loved to see the faces of the passers-by had I stopped, dropped and bowed my head during a conversation about my homemade crocheted items. Not that there was a lot of discussion about my product. Or my sister’s product for that matter. But I’m not even sure that it ultimately mattered. Throughout the night we fluctuated between praying, under our breath, that no one would stop to actually peruse our products (lest we have to engage in conversation with a stranger), and nursing our wounds of rejection because very few people seemed interested in what we offered.
Perhaps, in the end, we experienced the best of both worlds. Afterall, we conquered our craft fair phobia and I made two sales (4 if you count the one I sold to my sister the next day and the one that I gave to myself!).
Furthermore, although the experience wasn’t financially lucrative, we did make major deposits into our laughter, sister, and lifetime banks. Lastly, but certainly not least, I discovered that I DO want to share and sell my creations, but I don’t ever want to do sell them THAT way again!
“Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.”― Thomas A. Edison
Becoming Ordinary: Day 95
“Letting go of ‘perfect’, one day at a time!”