Sunday Markets Inspiration

I took my young friends & my kids to a Sunday market yesterday.

I had been talking the night before about unit costs & contribution margins in our daily finance basics lessons, & thought rather than merely explain the arithmetic behind it, I could find someone – perhaps someone selling coffee – to show them a practical view of what it all meant. Oh, by the way, they’d also taken up my challenge to earn $100 by selling something, & before the end of January – that is, in less than a week. It’s an unimaginable number when you don’t know how to do it.

It was a ridiculously hot summer’s day. The mercury had already hit 38C by 930 am when we got there. We walked around a fair bit, observing the enterprising folks at the markets selling their wares. People have time to talk at these markets, not merely nod at each other. Conversations can go in wonderful directions but that’s a story for another day.

We stopped at a pop-up cane juice shop. There were three young people

busy working, one at the counter, the other churning out cane juice,  while the third was doing everything else necessary. We placed our order, & while we waited, we got talking. It turned out to be an illuminating conversation: this was their side hustle, a way to keep their creative juices – pun intended – flowing.  They were both professionals, having “good day jobs” and investing their time building their business over the weekend. When they found out the reason we were asking them all those questions, they were genuinely interested: they gave my young friends some great ideas, urging them to try their hand out at doing something entrepreneurial well before they found their “day jobs”. When we got to their home, by the time the parents had done cooking lunch, the kids had estimated the “unit costs” & “contribution margins” of the juice venture pretty quickly.

Before the day’s end, my young friends had listed a few of their wares on Facebook Marketplace – “we have almost fixed costs, & very low variable costs, so we can definitely earn our target, maybe even more!!” Their excitement is palpable.  Whether they reach their $100 goal before the end of January doesn’t matter. That they can see how this might work, that they can use their wits to create & offer value matters an incredible lot.

Inspiration can come from anywhere, even at a Sunday market.

Oh, & the lime infused cane juice was heavenly!

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