Getting Started Is The Hardest Part.
Today I am doing my first ever demo of I’m Right You’re Wrong for a game store.
I’ve been anticipating this for an entire week. Our warehouse is in Cali and I’m in Dallas, so it’s been a bit of thinking and waiting. The games arrived last night so there’s no time to waste, and I begin today!
For those who suffer from anxiety, you’ll know that it’s the anticipation that kills you. Doing it is not the hardest part, getting started is. It’s that insane multiple ending story build up – Formulating various things you can say and how they will react, considering how I’ll respond to a plethora of questions and statements, how to deal with it if customers come in and the store owner becomes busy, how to not fumble the games out of my bag, and all of the ways to avoid a failed or straight up awkward interaction.
Thankfully I’ve been able to heal a lot of this deep rooted insecurity over the years and have aggressively gone head first knowing that I don’t want to live like this. It began 20 years ago when I started accepting jobs as a dance instructor, then working for RedBull as a product rep, and attempting to overcome stage fright as an event coordinator. I know the more I experience my fears, the less power I give them and they will eventually fade.
What ultimately helped me overcome the anxiety was looking inward and working on self-love. This journey began in Dec 2021 when I ditched Canada and moved to Mexico to pursue a new life. It felt very much like Eat Pray Love. There’s something about being forced entirely out of your comfort zone, being alone and having to start all things from scratch that will change you.
After 6 months in Mexico, I arrived in Dallas with the self confidence, social skills and belief that I can do this. I’m now about to tour the USA and promote our board game both to game stores everyday people around town. While I know we have a killer product from seeing the validation from strangers, there’s still some anxious residue.
The pressure really depends what’s on the line!
Am I simply talking to a stranger at a cafe? Going on a first date? Or am I pitching a product that we’ve been building for 1.5 years and have put everything on the line for? Derek and I have invested so much time, resources and heart into this project, so of course the stakes feel high.
As I’m about to go to the first board game store today, I’ve made a conscious decision not to pitch, but to learn. Sure, I’ll demo the game, but with zero expectation or hope of a sale. I will be open with the store owner and let him/her know that this is my first time and simply request feedback on what I can do next time.
What does a store owner look for? What language should I avoid? How can my overall approach improve?
Education is expensive, and entrepreneurs often skip that step, going straight to business. No matter what comes of this USA tour, I’ll learn a lot about myself and people. This is my education.June 13, 2022