This is always the first question I get asked. What is a night market anyways? I have to admit I always laugh in my head before I say ” It is a market… at night” . It seems simple. When I think about it, I know I have been creating this space in my head for years. I can’t expect that you have been in my head all this time.
As the day turns to night, and the drab days of routine and obligation fade away, we begin to look for something to entertain us. For as long as I remember I have loved to entertain people, make them happy, find their joy… bringing people together is my jam, where the laughter fills the room and happiness becomes palpable. I do not need you to bring anything … just yourself, you have been invited because you are part of my tribe. You understand that life is made in the small moments…
Just a Little Night Market is my happy place. It is the recreation of the places that made me happy all around the world. Sure… it is hard work, takes determination and thick skin. People like to shit on my dream and tell me how I haven’t done it well enough or good enough. That’s ok… they were never part of my tribe in the first place.
Just A Little Night Market is a marketplace with food, drinks, music and a lot of laughter. Without the context it seems rather mundane.
Well, it has been about a week since my lovely virtual assistant started from way overseas… there has been some learning on both sides of the sea. She works from 2am – 6am our time.. I thought I would not like this or not like having to rise early enough to communicate with her. Quite the opposite, I enjoy waking up each day with a log of what was completed and seeing I have actually found a way to work in my sleep….
For all you small biz who are boot strappin’ it… Canva is your friend, Recur post works great and spend a 30 – 60 min a day on accounting, replying on IG, keeping up with the tweets … living the dream ..
This week I hired my first virtual assistant from overseas. What I am hoping for is the “best virtual assistant services”… we will have to wait and see. When I started to write down a list of places a VA could help me (with a focus on social media as that is what I never have enough time for) the list got pretty long, pretty fast… no wonder I feel like I never have time to do anything! This coupled with 4 shiny MBA students working on my next business plan has me liking this idea of paying others to do work to free myself up. Don’t get me wrong I do not have any more time than I did before… just less of the feeling of being overwhelmed with what I have to complete this week.
Good thing I like organizing… the project plan is my friend. How else will I track my 10th phone call to my debit machine company to get them to finish the task ? How else will I know that a sea of pink means I have been negligent? Now if I can just find someone who wants to photograph me all over town in a mermaid costume and I am set.
Livin’ the dream… livin’ the dream … LOL
I have the good fortune of working with a group of MBA students who are helping me hone my business and the next steps. Today, they made me think about my business values, my fundamental purpose, my mission… it has been awhile since I did this exercise. The last time was when I wrote my business plan over years ago.
There are things I do because I have to. There are things I do because I get lost in them for hours. In business you should focus on what you are good at, the value you add to your business and try as much as possible to fan out the rest. Today I got lost… in what I do best creating, inventing, planning… organizing. It reminded me of what I should be working on and accept the painful truth that I need to hire some assistance for social media and bookkeeping.
While being lost I found this great picture of these beautiful Spanish ladies… I will find one of those dresses and I will strut around market pouring wine for others and spreading joy… another thing I am good at.
“When I was a little girl I didn’t dream of princesses and castles, I didn’t dream of my wedding, the dress and shoes.. my earliest memory with the answer to “what I would do when I grew up” was to be a business woman. That was the moment I became responsible for my own happiness. My parents job to guide me to think for myself, understand what would make me happy was completed. Happiness is a feeling… and not in things.
This was the moment I began designing what happy would look like for me …the notion of wearing a power suit and driving a fast car was my idea of what a successful business person looked like. (It was the 80’s after all… so that meant a leather blue, power suit, with big shoulders)
It wasn’t typical for women to be in business, I never seemed to notice. One of my favorite things to do growing up was discovering markets around the world, and slowly exploring all the amazing things they had to offer. Flea markets in Greece, night markets in BC and Italy, farmers markets in Montreal, street vendors in Belize, garage sales at home…. I could spend hours doing it. I was always trying to find a night market here at home that gave me the same feel.
That was my “a-ha” moment…. if I couldn’t find a night market, I had to build it myself and if I built it they would come :). It has not been an easy journey with many hills on the way. I have some great vendors who continue to be part of my journey and for that I am thankful…”
Every day feels like … well to be honest the last one. Typy Typy all day long. The only difference between me and someone who works with job security is well just that… at any time I could make a fatal move that will end my business FOREVER… not quite the same thing for someone who has a job with an established company who will likely never go anywhere.
Some people think being an entrepreneur is sexy… “must be nice” , “how much do you make”… are standard questions. I work for less than minimum wage, I work 12-14 hour days usually 6 days a week. I have to define my own tasks and follow through. There is no one breathing over my shoulder to get things done…. if it isn’t done then well it just isn’t done.
What is important for us crazy folks who want to create and be in charge of our destiny is to track the little things. It is amazing how all those little steps add up to one big step, one right opportunity at the right moment. You do not have any boss to pat you on the shoulder and say good job. No one will take you out for lunch or coffee because they appreciate you … and more often than not you will only hear from the clients who want to complain. We do not live in a world where we as a standard tell people they did a good job.
It would be great if the next time you are pleased with something a business founder, owner, operator did… please tell them. They do not get to hear it very often.
Why do we do it? working on my happiness project… what’s yours?
#happinessproject #happy #entrepreneur #bizness
If you start out each week counting the seconds until Friday rolls around again ….. you might want to look at what you are doing that is sucking out the joy. Sometimes it is simple stuff, people trying to suck your joy, tasks that suck joy all day long or simply because you stayed up too late and making it through the day let alone the week seems like an impossible task.
I stayed up too late last night…. it sucked the joy right out of me. I may not make it… if you find my corpse sleeping under my desk. Just leave me… it is better for everyone that way.
Well… when you starting saying it’s warming up out there because it is now “only -26 o/c” you know you live somewhere too cold for humans. It makes it pretty easy to work and stay indoors. That means I really have no excuse… even though I can give you a million right off the top of my head for not doing more… it never seems to be enough somehow.
Today I heard some good advice on @garyvee … if you do not want to work on it all day… you haven’t picked the right thing. It is so true. There were so many times in my life growing up that I tried to fit a square peg in a triangle hole… it almost fit, but I knew it did not feel right. I kept plugging away only to leave whatever I thought “i should be doing” for something I actually wanted to do.
At the finish line the only thing that matters is “were you happy and did you make others happy?” If you think about that you might realize you do not have to change anything just because “should” told you to. Your happy is not the same as anyone else… that’s kinda the point.
What are the things you must do everyday to be happy? Figure that out and you win.
For any of you who have dreams of starting a side hustle and look at all the advantages and ignore all the disadvantages… I just want you to really think about what that means.
Today is Saturday, my day started as it always did… before I can wipe the sleep off my eyes at 8AM I check.. Facebook, Instagram, twitter… email… any fires? work to do immediately? No? great now I can take care of life… laundry, dishes.. cleaning… eating… working out.
I can’t get enough protein today… being a vegetarian that can be tough. More eggs… just sayin.
After the gym, getting wine and supplies for the wine tasting next weekend (because I have no time to do it before Saturday) … all others hear is you tasted and bought some wine, that doesn’t sound so bad. It is not that easy… it no longer is fun, it is research, knowledge and spending a long time picking wines at the store that you hope total strangers will like.
When that is done, I come home to work on night market. I am not complaining… at all. This is the life I chose… and if you are not willing to give up your free time to invest in your side hustle, just avoid the frustration. The goal is to be happy, not make nice stories for others, this is not Facebook, this is your life. Being happy. That is who wins. I am busy and I am happy….. now I will complete some sponsorship requests and eat ice cream with caramel sauce. That is my happy. What is yours?
Hard to believe it but it is true…. Our first vendor call has gone out to a special few and they are snapping up the spots not wanting to miss out! We are unofficially 50% booked! Kudos to the night market family for showing some love. If you haven’t applied do it here: APPLY