Here is a picture of me at my first trade show. I look back at my first hair show and cringe looking at the set up. Bandana style table cloth, no fancy signage...just working with what I had at the time. At the same time, this image is an inspiration to myself and hopefully my children and others. I want my children to look back on this picture and say "Ma! Your whole set up was just horrible! haha. But you just did it!"
I was scared out of my mind and to top it off, I did it in Puerto Rico where I didn't even speak the native language of Spanish fluently. It was the largest hair show in Latin America. If I were looking at me on the outside, I would be thinking you are out of your mind! And that I was, out of my mind. My booth was set up right next to beauty giants Mac Cosmetics and Sally's Beauty Supply. Needless to say, I was intimidated setting up directly next to these million dollar brands. I saw hundreds of workers setting up flashy lights and big platforms in the booth and I was spreading my bandana tablecloth on my 8ft table I purchased at Wal-Mart. I went into the show to do it completely by myself. I didn't know anyone in Puerto Rico at the time and was going to use the Spanish that I learned in 6th grade. I realized as I was setting up to be bold but not stupid. I needed someone to help me with working my booth. I connected with one of the organizers of the Hair Show and asked her if she knew someone who knew about hair extensions that would be interested in making $30/hour for the days of the show. She gave me the number to a girl and I called her right away to qualify her and hired her right over the phone to work with me. And there it was, my biingual worker, myself and a few boxes of hair extensions. I was side by side companies that spent over $200,000 for their booth set up and I didn't even have electricity in my little booth. I was on the verge of a panic attack and God whispered in my ear, "You got this!" I took a deep breath and did it! I let my passion for my brand to shine through and trusted in what God was doing for me and my business. Five years later, I still have some of the most loyal customers from that show. All because I was bold enough to just do it.
Sometimes, you have to do things that are super crazy. It shakes up your mind to think limitless...to go beyond, common thinking. Common thinking will keep you average and I didn't want to be average. I wanted to shake out of my fears and a box, a structure. Even if I didn't succeed, I could say ok that doesn't work for my business instead of wondering.
I've learned that fear will always be a factor in my life but I control how much of a factor it will be. Fear is simply a thick white fog perpetrating to be a wall that you can't go through. The only way to prove it doesnt really exist as a wall is to walk right through the fog. When you walk through that fog others see that and make it easier for them to walk through their fog as well.
Was I 100% prepared for the biggest Hair Show in Latin America? Heck no!! Would it have been great to wait a few years until I had my business more established? Of course! But this was the one time of many crazy times I turned my "one day" into "today".
Watch me at my very 1st hair show in the clip (I start at 1:25)
Subscribe to hear more of my entrepreneurship journeys www.ginalosangeles.com