It’s called market feasibility, that’s what it’s called. What’s the point of selling healthy muffins made freshly at home every day when the folks in your neighbourhood are craving burgers and fries? This poor old girl didn’t do her homework. Now that I think about it, yeah, this is actually a true story. This comes from an old girlfriend I used to have. She, her sister, two small kids, old lady and father were living in a one-bedroomed flat out in the projects. The lot of them were always poor and couldn’t keep their finances in check.
Mom and dad had around ten kids between them, only two of them staying at home with them. My girlfriend was pretty decent in that sense. She was a single muffin and was determined to do her duty by staying at home, looking after the old folks the best she could. Long before she helped her sister out with a job, that one had been sitting at home, unemployed with two small kids from two different fathers on her hands. The mother and father were on state pensions. They had no other means to an income.
It seems churlish of me to say it, but it was actually lucky for them that they were staying in the gang-infested projects. At least they could afford the meagre rent. My girlfriend had her own job to go to every morning at a clothing factory downtown. But by the time she doled out her weekly wages for board, lodging and housekeeping, she was stuck with little to nothing left over for herself. She was always behind on her charge card. No-one’s really innocent as adults, but to my mind, this girl, decent to the bone, was so.
About her only vice in life was her weakness for fine clothes. As poor as she was, she was always among the best dressed girls in our neighbourhood. People, boys in particular, would turn their heads and look at her. That’s actually how I met her. We were standing on a corner, waiting for the bus, and just to kill time starting chatting to each other. We had things in common to talk about, clothes, boys and money. We both had plenty of clothes to wear but no boys to show them off to. We also had no money. Those were the good old days.
Or back in the day. Today, I’m my own deal, running my biz from home like I’ve been telling you. Me and my old friend have distanced in the last few years. She still messages me every now and then, but I hardly reciprocate. The poor girl, she’s still struggling, getting on in years and no closer to her dream of having her own family someday. Yup, she’s a decent girl alright. Anyway, trying to make ends meet, it was her old mother, still going strong today (husband’s dead now), who plucked up the courage one day to start baking her famously delicious muffins and start selling them out to the neighbours.
The muffins were delicious, by the way, they really were. I know this because my friend brought over a batch for me and I wholeheartedly bought a tub. It really was mouth-watering after spreading a dollop of melted margarine over a warmed up cracked open muffin. Problem though was that the muffins crumbled to pieces. I didn’t have the heart to tell the poor old girl. But I’m sure she figured this out by now. Trouble with this courageous idea of hers was that it just didn’t work out. Apart from the neighbours being dirt poor, they just weren’t interested.
They were more into burgers and dogs, unwholesome and unappetising to me these days, but nevertheless, if you have a taste for that sort of thing, well, you probably know where to get your best burgers. And I’ll bet you right now it’s not from the world famous franchises; I can’t mention their names for commercial and proprietary reasons, but from your typical mom and pop stores, or your favourite diner around the corner. I felt sorry for my girlfriend’s old mother, but I let my girlfriend have a firm piece of my mind years later.
I wondered what happened to her. Where was her spark? What happened to the spunk and mindless determination she used to have when I first met her? The old lady couldn’t do much in this day and age, other than make her muffins, a good pot of gravy and stew, and pickle the odd jar of onions. But, my friend, and this is for you too, those who need some pushing, some uplifting. You don’t need to be a tech guru, just know that the world is still your oyster where entrepreneurship is concerned. My friend could have been helping her old lady out, going from door to door, checking out new territories and finding some hungry buyers for her famous project muffins.
I even bought her a sewing machine one year. Not because I was being extravagant and wanted to spoil her. Yes, I did get a good deal on the brand new machine, but that’s beside the point. The point is this; I seem to recall her telling me about her dream of wanting to do her own sewing and dressmaking. Now that I’m using that term, she had dreams of becoming a fashion guru. Most dreams in entrepreneurship start at home. She had possibly a gold mine waiting on her. Most girls liked to dress up. She could have been making her own unique outfits for them at less than market rates.
She had her head stuck in the sand. Or was just simply too afraid to try. Girls, please don’t let that happen to you. You need to start thinking about this now already. Soon, there will be no time left for such dreams, and soon you may just have to start up your own work from home scheme.