As some of you know, I have set up my own small imports business. As part of the marketing, I had a stand at the Greenwich Vintage Market yesterday and spent most of my day basking the glorious sunshine chatting with locals and tourists at the Greenwich High Road.
A few friends stopped by to say hello (thank you!) and while most love the initiative, some do wonder how much I could make a stand (‘is it worth your time?’) and some have even expressed that I have much more to offer! I am totally grateful for your faith in my ability and for that reason, I felt that it might be nice to share my top five insights from yesterday and the power of small business.
- It’s the People: I had an entire day where my job was to smile at strangers and initiate genuine conversations. I spoke with people from various parts of the world (Orlando to Kent!) and we spoke of things such as culture, travel and family. People opened up in strange ways. A very relaxed looking man said, ‘I always shop alone because my wife is very annoying!’ Another person was a chef at a bank in Canary Wharf and said he cooked for others but rarely cooked for his own family so he was getting ingredients to make a special Sunday breakfast for them. My chance to apply the Jobs To Be Done framework and see how I could help with the breakfast! #jtbd
- It’s the Children: My son and his friend (both 10 years old) helped with the set up. They wrote the white board, organised the table and even discussed commission…before they took £1 each and ran off to buy Match Attax cards! Although they only spent a little while at the stand, I believe we take a lot of lessons from these small bursts of safe exposure. Lessons such as the effort that goes in earning your own money, the ability to be the face of your business without feeling embarrassed about the size or scale of your venture and even medicinal values associated with Indian spices. My son’s friend even asked me, ‘so what is this thing called hing (asafoetida)?’
- It’s the Law of Attraction: I really wanted a good spot and even posted that on Facebook! But since it was my first time at this market, the owner said that I would get a table at the back. Yet, when he saw that I was first to arrive and had some good displays, he changed his mind and gave me the best table! Later he joked, ‘Put your kids up for adoption and come here everyday!’
- It’s Not the Money: People at the market were very approachable and cheerful, they shared their joys and even their problems! Simply put, there was much less reading between the lines. One trader was starving but trying to make sure he ate healthy. Eventually, he couldn’t handle it and got himself a sausage roll from Greggs! It struck me that they were able to demonstrate their weaknesses and vulnerabilities with more ease in comparison to relatively successful people.
- It’s the Learning: Personally, I love the high of rising to new challenges and take in the learning that comes with it. This business is not about food or profit as much as it is about learning. The stand is only the front-end and does little justice to what goes on behind the scenes including set up, strategy, logistics, collaboration and connection to name a few. The primary earning is in the learning!
I’ll leave you here with a quote.
‘The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.’
– Dorothy Parker.
I hope you enjoyed reading this. As always, please click here if I can help you achieve your goals.
Have a great day!