I had a salesman contact me a while back. He had a business plan for me.
He read my blog and offered this advice:
“I have the perfect job for you. It’s a job where you can bring your daughter home from school and you can work it into your daily routine…make good money…have fun doing it…put smile on many kids and grown up faces and your daughter could help you do it. It would be loads of fun for you and I will help you get it going. If you do move in the future, it can move with you.
Ice cream truck! …. it can make you a lot of money. “
Then, this person went on to explain in great detail (over 1,000 words in the email) what type vehicle to buy (“a high top conversion van and by being a woman owned business, it takes away from the old, drunk man syndrome in the big bulky ice cream truck”), where to go (“select neighborhoods. I even have a website that lists the statistical data for each zip code as far as number of people and average income, because you won’t sell as many products going to a poor area as compared to nicer one”), where to sell (“ball games, fairs, carnivals and other events like First Fridays downtown Augusta…. Arts in the Park…Upward Bound soccer games …. “), and where to buy my merchandise and how much I should mark it up for profit.
He also told me how to behave to be successful : “So…if you run a nice looking…funky and fun designed vending van and you are fun…nice…and polite…you will do very well.”
He ended with, ”I would be more than happy to assist you in getting it all together.
If I was Jon Acuff, I could have said, ”. Why don’t YOU buy a high-top conversion van, paint it pink and purple and sell ice cream to little kids in rich neighborhoods? If you’re nice and polite, you’ll make really good money!”
… but I’m not Jon Acuff.
I’m not bold. I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings (not that Jon Acuff does, mind you).
I didn’t know how to respond.
So, I don’t think I responded at all.
I am still in the practice of my Word of the Year for 2012: Disengage.
And there must be good in that. Because, fighting back … arguing … trying to make a point …
isn’t always the best way to live. Some people won’t get me … or you.
Some people won’t want to. It is what it is, right? Just let it go.
But, just as important as it is to disengage from the person
you must also leave their words behind.
You choose your song in this wonderful dance called life.
THIS is where I am still spending much energy.
You see, the salesman that contacted me
obviously doesn’t even know me.
When my kids were little, I didn’t let them run to the ice cream truck to spend $2.00 on an ice cream that costs .50 from the grocery store. In fact, the sound of an ice cream truck was irritating. It seemed that it would come close to dinner and cause strife. Ice cream is a rare, rare treat at our house. I don’t buy sweets, treats and sugary stuff. It spoils your appetite for good food and creates a sweet tooth. I really don’t like to spend time in my car (even when it works well). I even mentioned here that I don’t like to drive or use gas. And pandering to rich neighborhoods … would … well, it would just make me extremely uncomfortable.
So, the only real plus to this entire business adventure would be spending time with Joy.
But, spending several hours a day, several times a week, in a vehicle selling sweets for profit
does not sound like quality time to me.
The fact is, everything about this business idea is contrary my personal preferences
and the values that I hold dear.
Through the years, I have done so many things to please other people. I have joined clubs/groups/businesses that I wasn’t fully behind. I have worn clothing or worn my hair in a style that didn’t reflect my personality. I have tried so hard to do what I thought would make other people happy ….
at the expense of losing myself.
I continue to work on this. I’m searching my heart for what is important.
I am digging into tangles of messes that need to be unknotted.
I am unearthing creativity that I haven’t touched in years.
This past year has had a great deal of earth moving.
Things that I would have told you that I know for sure …. I do not.
People that I thought were friends … I found were not.
And places I thought I was strong …. have been demolished.
But, in that shaking, moving and demolition
has come a revealing of beautiful friendships,
glimmers of new truths
and unveiling of surprising strengths.
What about you? Are you true to your real self? Do you even KNOW who you really are? Have you been wearing a mask to please someone? Is there a chance you can peek behind that mask to see the real you? Are you afraid?
Take my advice: Don’t buy that conversion van if you don’t like Bomb Pops.
Don’t wear your hair long if you love a short, funky cut.
And don’t let someone else pick the song for your dance.
Figure it out on your own … and then tell the truth about it … even if your voice shakes.