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It’s all about Arithmetic and Believing in You.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 23:52
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(Before It's News)

A note to my backyard growers.

Here’s something to think about.

We are all here, in this group, growing plants, because about 20 years ago some blue collar knucklehead took a chance and bought a personal computer when almost nobody had one.  He didn’t know how to use a computer.

Then the brazen jerk decided to spend an entire winter writing a book on plant propagation.  As if anybody would buy a book written by a blue collar knucklehead!

Took about a thousand trips with a wheelbarrow full of topsoil to pay off the $2,500 he spent on the computer and chintzy computer desk.

The book was written, but back then you needed about $4,000 to get it published.  Once again he was broke.  Sat on the book for an entire year.

Finally decided to roll the dice and put $4,000 on a credit card.  Knowing full and well that he’d probably have to refi the house to cover that credit card balance.  Which is pretty much what happened.

When that semi trailer pulled up in front of my house and I started wheeling those 3,000 books into the garage muttering to myself, “What have I done?”

Friend’s laughed at my foolishness.  “How’s Pam like all of those books in the garage?  Have you sold even one yet?”

I worked hard trying to get the big book stores to carry my book.  Finally!  The two biggest book retailers in the U.S. decided to stock my book.  If I’d give them 65% off the cover price.  I agreed, shipped them books.

Friends, the two biggest book sellers in the country, combined, sold less than 100 copies of my book.

I sold the other 2,900 myself.  That book has been out of print for years.

My point to this story?

1.  You have to believe in yourself.

2.  You have to do the arithmetic.

My investment in those books was $4,000.  My cost per book was $1.08 delivered to my door plus cover art etc.

That meant that I only needed to sell 400 books at $10.00 each to break even.

At the time the big gardening magazines each had about 350,000 subscribers.

How could I not sell 400 books?

But I will tell you this, to this day, books are still the slowest moving item that we offer.

So don’t think that magic was in “books”.

The magic was in being willing to take a chance and believing in yourself enough to follow through on a multi year plan.

And I truly was a blue collar knucklehead and I still am today.

It’s not who you are, it’s what you are willing to do.

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