Monday, April 7, 2014

Motivational Monday - Support Young Entrepreneurs

Motivational Monday - Support Young Entrepreneurs

As a self-employed woman, I want to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit in any way I can. 

At a young age, we helped our dad in the garden; planting and weeding.  At the time of harvest, we would fill our wagon with veggies and go door to door selling them to make money.  I also used my talents to make all kinds of things to sell; Christmas ornaments, macrame' key chains, Barbie doll furniture and clothes, to my friends, family and neighbors.  This all while still in grade school.  

When I was in Junior High, my mom and I made homemade teddy bear, chicken and horse shaped suckers - they were awesome!  We made them and I sold them to raise money for my brother's church - he was/is a missionary in Martinique.  Due to their popularity, I had to recruit friends to help me sell them.  Between classes, there were kids waiting in lines to buy them.  We sold so many suckers, that it was too competitive with the school fund raisers and they banned us from selling them in school.

When I was a newlywed and needed extra money, I put an ad in the paper for baking Christmas cookies and candies.  With my mom's help we sold DOZENS of cookies and candies.  We had repeat customers the next year.  

When we moved to our farm, we wanted to raise our own chickens and turkeys.  I was working at a law office with many customers who put in orders for X amount of chickens.  We sold 100 chickens at $10 each and 10 turkeys for $20 - $30 each all fully dressed and bagged.  

So, it was a natural progression in my life that I would become self-employed.  I have been blessed with support from my husband, daughters and other family.  I also have been blessed with "extra" capital to invest in my dreams.  

I also know the disappointment of setting up at a sale and not selling enough to cover my costs.  Getting started, building a customer base, creating and recreating all take time.  The choice to invest in yourself is not for the weak!   You will get knocked down and feel discouraged - it comes with the job.  However, when you have a great show and customers compliment you, they "get" your art, love your "junk" - whatever, that feeling is the driving force to keep on going.

So, when I see another young person - especially a girl or woman - I do what I can to support them.  I try to share my tips and suggestions with them.  

Yesterday, I bought a cute scarf from one such entrepreneur - Hailey.  She made these adorable scarves.  She sold out and has orders for more.   I invited her to share a table with "us" at an upcoming craft show.  I see a bit of myself in that girl!  Only she is much sweeter than I was!

So, the next time you pass by a lemon aide stand, buy Girl Scout cookies, pass a farmer's market, visit a flea market or craft show - know that your buying something is also igniting the entrepreneurial spirit in that vendor.  Take time to pay them a compliment or even ask them about their items.  This means everything to a self-employed person!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

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