Excuses I told myself to avoid making money

My decor education_flea market tips

UPDATE: Read how I maxmised how much I made.

Last October I conducted a simple but significant experiment. I divided my closet into items I wear regularly and everything else. This revealed something unexpected.

I wear very little of  my wardrobe and like even less of it – maybe only 20%.

  • 30% that always make me feel like I’m making a compromise. It’s not quite the right colour, shape, size, it’s got a rip, or a stain, or it wrinkles easily.
  • 20% is out of season clothing. It’s summer here in Australia, so I have no need for a knee-length wool coat.
  • 30% is stuff I don’t plan on wear but want to hold onto. No rational reason. Just plain hoarding.

This is what started my itch to cleanse and purge the excess in my environment.

One solution I knew I could rely on was a stall at the Camberwell Sunday Market to sell my wares – it’s one of, if not THE, most popular Sunday market in Melbourne.

Cleaning out some browser bookmarks on Saturday morning I accidentally logged in to the stall allocation site and voila, there was a stall available for the next morning – a rarity.

my decor education_flea market tips 2

My first reaction…YAY! What a score, especially in the summer when the weather is perfect to draw a big crowd.

My second reaction…analysis-paralysis…

It’s too soon!

I wanted more time to mentally prepare myself – in the words of my sister Jessie, ‘I need time to gird my loins!’

This is a limiting pattern that has tripped me up so many times. A great opportunity will land on my lap – to share my skills with a client, speak at an event, or challenge myself – and I’ll freak out and retreat into my shell. The only thing this attitude has ever gotten me is losing it.

I might not do the best job!

If I was going to do this, it had to be perfect. So I needed more time to plan and prepare to make it PERFECT. This is crazy.

No wonder I’ve struggled with completing tasks in my adult life. But I’m slowly learning that done is better than perfect. That the experience, learnings, confidence I can gain from completing projects quickly and more far outweighs my perceived quality of the ‘perfect’ output.

my decor education_flea market tips 3

{A jig saw puzzle I worked on over Christmas to address my perfection-induced-pause}

I can’t do it by myself!

Too much to carry, setup, coordinate, monitor, and cleanup. This was the only legitimate concern but it was also the one thing I knew I could easily solve.

I’m the eldest of three with a big age gap between me and my younger siblings, so I don’t have the patience to wait around for someone to tell me it’s ok to do something. I assess my resources and get. it. done.

For Sunday, my resources included my sister Jessie. She didn’t want to wake up for a 5 am start, but her resistance was actually the thing that turned it all around for me. It required me to convince her to help me and this ignited my excitement. Telling her it would be fun, that she could wander the market to get a new outfit for Uni (College), and that we could pretend-play we owned a shop.

Post-panic clarity.

So, 30mins after the emotional panic of getting exactly what I wanted, I accepted my fate…

  • I secured my booth and paid my fee.
  • I Googled some inspiration – this was a good one.
  • I made a list of my main actions.
  • I moved straight into action.

In hindsight, I’m soooo glad I did it. Despite the brutally early start, the morning passed by in a flurry of activity and I sold 80% of my items, with the biggest challenge being a parking ticket due to my arrogance.

I could be sitting here writing a new post with the nagging feeling of knowing I still have to deal with the hassle of cleaning out my closet, but instead my closet is cleansed, and I’m toughened by the lessons learnt from the experience which I can share with you and my future self.

I love to analysis my performance and synthesis them into concise lessons to make the next experience even better – it’s the Maximiser in me. So I’ll create separate post about my tips for how to have a great flea market experience.

Till then, tell me about when you had the opportunity you were waiting for land on your lap. How did you react? Did you take the bull by the horns or did you retreat into your shell? Share in the comments below or send me a private email.

UPDATE: Read about what tactics I applied to maxmise how much I made at the market.

Also, follow my Snapchat (decoreducation) for a regular dose of decor life in Melbourne, Australia.


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