I went to work at the farmer’s market and walked up to a booth selling maple syrup.
“Have you guys been open a long time?” I asked the dude behind the counter.
One of the two operators was in conversation with the other one, and looked a little annoyed at my question.
“Yeah, we’ve been open 28 years” he told me.
“So do you need any extra help? I can work for free” I said.
“It’s kind of just us right now” he replied, and went back to the conversation.
I tried again with two other booths and got similar results.
Here’ the video debrief:
Key Takeaways and Lessons for Next Time:
1. Point Out Exactly Where You Can Help
All three booths I asked probably needed help carrying boxes, but they wouldn’t have thought of it themselves. By not bringing it up, I was making them think too much.
2. Get Inside Their Heads
If I were a farmer’s market vendor, my biggest worry would be not selling enough goods for the day to cover the rest of the week.
Had I made signs, flyers or other marketing materials and handed them out for free, owners would be much more receptive to bringing me on because I’d actually be solving a problem they have.
3. The Homeless Have It Pretty Bad
The main reason for this challenge was to prove how easy getting out of homelessness would be. If I were in an actual life or death situation, maybe I would have done better, but getting work at random locations is definitely harder than I thought.
What’s the next challenge going to be? We’ll have to wait and find out.
P.S. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done in the last two weeks? Let me know in the comments.