In so many ways running a business or getting a business off of the ground can be similar to investing in stocks. Despite what anybody may believe an investment has no real guarantee on a return. For example the very first investment into my accessories business were leather handbags that according to the manufacturer could retail for a minimum of $200/each. I paid for my purchase convinced by clever marketing that my investment would bring me a minimum of $800 in return. Imagine my utter disappointment when I received my merchandise and only 2 of the 4 handbags were definitely salable and not near the $200+ I had hoped for. I played off my disappointment when showing my husband my merchandise and seeing his obvious confusion as to why I had purchased the bags. I was disappointed for a couple of days but the discouragement wore off and I made another investment which worked out for the best. I say this to say that the ability to move forward despite disappoints is crucial to success. It is inevitable that a particular investment will not live up to your expectations but what makes the distinction between a winner and loser is the ability to recover quickly and adapt to whatever circumstance may blow your way.
A big blow to my business was a few months ago when our family car was wrecked. No longer could we make the essential trips to the flea market to sell my fashion jewelry, clothing and accessories. Since we were saving for our departure from our jobs we decided to hold off buying another car and continue to save. The itch to return to the flea market became overwhelming and we decided to purchase a used but very well maintained Volvo wagon which appeared to be the answer to our dreams except that while one day on the way to the gas station the car began to run so hot that it began to visibly smoke. We found out the next day that we needed a water pump which was promptly replaced but then the timing belt needed to reset which was also promptly done. We also needed a thermostat, then we need another hose cut until today we both realized it was time to move on. We made a bad investment. The bad investment will undeniably set us back and make things just a bit harder because our family car is essential to both of our businesses. But better to realize now so that we can adapt and still be on time for our June debut selling at Southern Ca flea markets.
The car is currently listed on Craigslist. Whether it sells before the end of the month or not, we will we be back at the Flea Markets in a couple of weeks. That it the spirit an entrepreneur must hold. The spirit of determination.