Hello again; Today, I want to talk about momentous occasions. There are certain events in our life or in our country’s history where people can remember exactly where they were and what they were doing at that moment. For my parents it would be the moon landing and the day President Kennedy was assassinated. For me personally it was the challenger explosion and of course the morning of September 11th. But this blog is about my journey, so I want to talk about when I finally made the decision to move forward with a new business and why.
When and where I decided
I actually remember where i was when i made the decision to file for a domain name and start selling equipment full time. It was the week of September 29th 2007, and we had been at the texas pecan festival in groves texas. we had enjoyed ideal weather. I had plenty of good name brand stock in my game booth. I was in good health and spirits.. I asked everyone who walked by if they wanted to play. this is called calling people in. but a few feet away from me was one of the other inflate games with a flashier design and a worker using a microphone to invite people to play. I came home broke, disgusted, and a little depressed. I knew i had to do something to change my situation. And I also knew I couldn’t put this off until the winter time when the carnival season would be over.
i didn’t know anything about building a website. so i called my brother michael. he has always ben one of those guys who can figure stuff out. He is a jack of all trades kind of person. I asked him what I needed to do to get my own website. He said first you have to file for the domain name. He asked me what i wanted to be called. I had been thinking all weekend. I told him the midway marketplace sounded good to me. He said he would have to check to see if it were available. He checked, aand it was. He said then the website address would be midwaymarketplace.com. I said that was fine. and we got started.
Now michael didn’t know anything about the net and starting a website either. so between learning how to build a site and taking care of his own family it took about four months before we were finally online. I should mention that before I filed for a domain and started the website I had tried a few half measures. I guess even then I was someone who would rather do something even if it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to be doing or how I wanted to be doing it.
At first, I made lots of phone calls and sent out individual emails to people with equipment for sale or those wanting to buy. I’d find them on other websites. There weren’t a lot of them back then. The main ones were carnival tyme, carney town, and used rides. I hate to mention this last one. Me and the owner have never been on good terms, and I don’t like to give the competition any publicity. I may come back to this later, but lets just say that I am the only person I know of who has been physically barred from visiting his site. However, one of the best friends I ever made I found on carny town which is why i am mentioning other sites.
My first online friend
Her name is Pattie Moore, and when I met her she was advertising custom aprons for food and game concessionaires. she was also starting a custom jewelry design company. I asked her about helping to sell her products. She had worked in Texas before, and it turned out she knew some of my cousins. Even now I still have lots of relatives who are working in the carnival business. she took a liking to me and not only listed her aprons with me; but she offered to help any way she could. When she found out I didn’t have a website and that I didn’t know how to make one; she added a page to her site for my rides. I only had a few of them at the time, but it gave me a place where I could send people to look at my listings without having to send pictures to each person that might be interested in a given item. This was a big help because we are talking before high speed internet when sending email much less images was not a quick process. .
She is still a great friend of mine and of the website. I am aggressive in using social media and message boards. so when I have run a foul of some administrator I can count on Patti to post in my name or send emails on my behalf. She is now trying to help a fellow in houston start up a small carnival. I sometimes think about getting out on the road and joining them, but I know that isn’t my place any more.
I tried Myspace
During the time before I got the website another friend who I’m sad to say I don’t remember the name of helped me set up a page on myspace. Some of you remember it as being like face book just not as good. I had an account and a page similar to a face book fan page, but I could never figure out how to update it easily. I didn’t like having to ask my friend to update it every time i needed to add, delete, or modify a listing.
Pride can be a bad thing
I will admit that this is probably as much a reason for my success as an explanation for why I haven’t accomplished more. If I were willing to milk the blindness more I may have gotten more don but wouldn’t have been happy about getting it don that way. It would have felt like cheating. I don’t mind asking for help, but to me that means asking someone to teach me how to do it myself. When I finally consented to allowing others to edit my website or blog, I always gave them the instruction that I didn’t want them to add anything that I couldn’t maintain myself if I had to. Now, I am much better at asking for and accepting help. As I have gotten better at it, I have made more and more progress.
Now a willing student
There is a saying that I believe is attributed to the Buda. It goes when the student is ready the teacher will appear. Let’s just say that I was an unwilling pupil for a long long time. 🙂 Once I began meeting other bloggers and becoming friends with them, I started to realize how many people there are in the world who will help you if you just let it be known that you need help and will use it when it is offered. I met lots of wonderful supportive people. Many of them offered their time, energy, and services to me for free or very low cost. It didn’t happen over night, and there are some issues where I still struggle letting people in; but I am so much better at it now. I now have a line on the back of my business card that says Never be afraid to ask. Because if You don’t ask, they can’t say yes! And it doesn’t say this yet, but this also applies to your thoughts and dreams.
This also applies to the Lord or the universe depending on your preference. I encourage you to keep your heart and mind open to receive these people into your life.
And this is my first effort with click to tweet, so please let me know if I did it right. Thanks,
Site finally goes live
Well, finally in January of 2008 the site was live. Michael had asked me to submit the information for the about me, contact me, references, and home page. He made up the pages and found a php plug in from source forge that would allow me to create equipment categories, upload items, and edit the equipment listings all without having to know any html or php coding. It worked great for quite a while, and I am so grateful to Michael for getting it all started.
The only things I had to get michael’s help with were changes to the basic pages. This also applied if i wanted to add or delete anything from the featured listings section on the home page. I started telling people about the site and trying to get more people to list their equipment with me. Next time, we’ll talk about some of the first listings I ever got and how I got them.
Do you remember when and where?
This is the point where I would usually ask you to help out by sharing the post or leaving a comment, but I have read that people will get more involved when you end with a question. So, I want to know if you remember when you decided to start your business, quit your job, write your first post, record your first video, etc. What were you doing just before, and what were you thinking at the time? How has the decision turned out? Is there anything I could help with in making things better? Please share in the comments.
My latest decision
As you know if you are reading my posts I just started this blog two weeks ago. I have been overwhelmed by the response to my posts. I honestly didn’t know if anyone was going to want to hear my story. So, I started with just a blog on the free platform blogger. Now, thanks to more encouragement from my friends; I have filed for a domain name and am starting the process of creating a second site. The url will be theblindblogger.net The dot com was already taken. William Butler suggested the name. I had been referred to by that moniker on the Linked in bloggers helping bloggers group for a while now. I’m no longer the only blind blogger in the group but I was their first. This will also mean eventually having separate email addresses and social media profiles. I’m going to probably need more help from my friends. 🙂
Before I go I want to once again thank all the wonderful people who have helped me along the way by offering their support, encouragement, and advice. Many of you have also helped with technical problems. If there is anything I can do to help any of you out, just ask. If you have questions or just want to talk, then by all means send me an email through the contact form. I don’t always get all the social media posts, so feel free to send me your latest posts or projects as well. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks and take care out there, Max