A Bungee Jumping Survival Story

photo by Mika HirsimakiImagine you went bungee jumping and the cord broke. You plummeted to the ground but, by some miracle, survived. Now imagine you’re insane enough to try another jump. Imagine that knot of raw fear deep in your gut. That’s how I feel this week, preparing to sell my cards at another show.


My first show experience was excruciatingly painful.
Broken bungee cord painful.

If you haven’t read my previous post, take a look so you’ll understand my current state of mind. If you have read it, you know my first show experience was excruciatingly painful. Broken bungee cord painful. But I survived and I learned. So here’s what I plan to do differently this time.

I’m representing myself.
Nobody knows Purseonals better than me, regardless of their experience with trade shows, craft shows, and expos. I will not be so intimidated by the show itself that I hand my product over to someone else.

I’m starting small.
My first show was at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. Most of the competing vendors there sold lines of 100+ cards. I was selling 8. Great opportunity, bad fit. Sort of like jumping off the Empire State Building for your first bungee experience. This time I’m setting up at a local show, one that fits my company and focuses specifically on my target market. More like jumping off my dining room table.

I’m selling to consumers instead of retailers.
I’ll be honest, I’m not 100% confident about this one. I buy all my cards from brick & mortar stores, usually the day I need them, maybe the day before. Thankfully, not everyone is like me. Some people shop online. Some stock-pile cards so they’re always ready. Others are just looking for something special or unique. Those are the people I hope to meet and connect with.

These are all small things but they make me feel better, like I have a plan. A very simple, yet effective, strategy.

So that’s my story. Here’s my truth.
I’m so scared I feel like I might throw up a little.

What happens if this is a repeat of last summer? If I don’t sell a single card? It’s happened before. Do I just keep calm and carry on or is it time to face facts? And exactly what facts am I facing? Who really signs up for a third bungee jump after two near-death experiences? Me? We’ll see.

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