Huge potential

Last Saturday I went to Brighton Farmer’s Market for the first time and it was a real eye opening experience. As I told you a couple of weeks ago, I decided to take a leaf out of the books of some of my $20 Challenge Champions and make it my business to find every opportunity and every location to sell my products.

So I called up Alison Pile from Brighton Plantation early in the week and asked if I could come up and sell some of my books. She enthusiastically encouraged me to come and said to just show up around 5:30 a.m. (groan!) and set up my stuff.

Well on Saturday morning I set my alarm for 4:30 and managed to get out of the house by 5:30 or so. Fortunately for me, people were still setting up when I got there and one of the regulars did not come that day so I had a choice location next to the coffee house.

It was actually wonderful to be up and about at that time of the day, enjoying the freshness of the morning before the sun came up and heated up the day and people awoke and brought human noises to spoil the peace.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been but I encourage you to experience Brighton Farmer’s Market. Since I had my own table set up I wasn’t able to see everything but what I did see included jewellery, leather shoes, art, plants, food stuff to eat there as well as packaged food and delicacies to take home. Then there were vegetables to buy, which is how the whole market started I believe, and trays of eggs.

I saw many people leaving with trays of eggs and bags of vegetables. I met a lady who was selling teddy bears which she not only sells at Brighton but all over the world. She is about to write a teddy bear book so I was able to give her some information on publishing via Amazon and Createspace.

There was a wonderful feeling of fellowship and sharing. People supported each other’s stalls and there wasn’t a sense of fierce competition. There were a lot of “regulars”, that is, people who come week after week to sell their goods. One lady told me that she comes and sets up a stall more for the social interaction than to make a huge profit.

But the potential is there is make a good profit because there is a constant stream of traffic and something for everyone. What is even more amazing is that there is no charge to set up a stall. As Alison says in her extremely enthusiastic way: “Just come!”

So you may say “This sounds too good to be true”, or “What’s in it for them?”, or “Why are they doing this?”

Well I believe that it’s partly generosity (Alison is one of the most generous people I know) and also, as she puts it, it’s a symbiotic relationship. People come up to shop but they also buy fresh vegetables from Brighton and then sit around and chat over coffee or fresh orange juice and pastries sold by Brighton.

It also gives them an opportunity to see friends and just take a few hours from their busy existence to socialise and catch up. I saw quite a few people I knew there, some of whom I hadn’t seen for a long time and I made some new acquaintances and learned things about them. On yes, and I managed a sell some books as well.

I think it’s wonderful that in this time of financial strain, there is an outlet that allows you to make some money without putting a burden on you to participate. Another such outlet is Amazon. I know I keep singing the praises of the Kindle store and Createspace but it’s because they offer amazing opportunities.

Even in Kindle they have a programme where you can lend your Kindle books for free to Amazon Prime members and Amazon pays you a royalty just for making your book available! Whenever someone borrows your book you get paid out of the Kindle Lenders’ Fund. In November I made over US$2 every time someone borrowed my book and for doing absolutely nothing except joining the programme.

I just got my first set of royalties in the mail and although it’s not a huge cheque (yet) I’m just so thrilled that I can earn income simply by using my knowledge and my gifts while providing enjoyment for people all over the world who have access to Amazon and hopefully impacting their lives at the same time.

* Donna Every is a motivational speaker, business coach and the author of the books What do you have in your house?, The Promise Keeper, Arise and Shine and now the recently published novel, The Merger Mogul. She has a degree in Mathematics, is a Chartered Accountant and has an MBA. She is the Project Manager for the Education and Talent Development Pillar of the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation.

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