For the past 3 months, it had been a crazy ride for me. This ride ended with the most stressful 2 days in my life! Its even more stressful than exams, meeting a big boss/ client and much much more stressed than the feeling of shit coming while on the bus! Seriously!
I hear this from many people whom I’ve worked with, “You can never please everyone”, and I know very well that it’s impossible to make everyone happy. I blame it on myself, cos I am the kind of person who wants to make sure everyone is happy at the end of an event. Very often I put too much weight on my own shoulder. I may have very broad and strong-looking shoulders, but its really very weak and tiny. The type of responsibilities I carry often exceeds what my shoulder could take.
Those who were there, as a participant or a customer, and friends and relatives who popped by over the weekend might see that it was a simple affair. “No big deal…” “It’s such a small event…”I heard some said. But that’s what they see on the surface. What about the time, effort, pressure, sweat, and so so much more put into the planning and executing of the event?
It would have been easier on me if there were no 17 business owners, no business partners who expected a much bigger event space and turn out than what we’ve presented, and minus the reactions from thousand over unknown visitors who came to the event. All these elements formed an enormous rock on my back the minute I opened the door to the room on Saturday morning. I was alone, standing right at the door, heavy-hearted at 8.30am. I tried to breathed and calmed myself down. The headache and tension I felt in my heart just made it harder for me. I couldn’t get much sleep the nights before the event. And the day before, I was practically awake the entire night! With less than 20 hours of sleep one week before the event, my head was splitting up into two. I could feel my right and left brain tearing apart. But I told myself I had to carry on.
From 9am onwards, everything just seemed to have blurred past me. I forgot everything that I had to do on my check-list. I neglected my vendors, I neglected my team and I neglected my business partners. With people coming in, setting up and all, I was lost. My almost calmed mind was messed up again. Both side of my brain fought even harder to pull away from each other. Much strength was put in to make sure I don’t blackout. After lunch, and a short rest with 2 more pain killers, I managed to cut out the pain.
The stressed was with me the entire 2 days. It just increased even more when there’s no new visitors entering the room. Every time this happened, I can feel more than 50 pairs of eyes staring at me. Fierce and furious glance from all angles and sides of the room. All I could do was to get all my team to get out to distribute more flyers and to try get more people to come to the event. When the room was packed with shoppers, the tension somehow eased… but the moment the crowd disappeared, the eyes are all on me again. The thought of it now is still fresh in my mind. Thinking about it makes my head feel tearing apart again.
If I had the capability to, I would have bought more stuff and make sure all the vendors are happy. But I couldn’t. I was once at their side of the table too. And I know there’s always a risk to take for such events. Like all business, its either a win, lose or draw thing. For those who sold alot, they won, they’re happy, but still not very happy as they want to sell more. For those who lose, they’re upset and give the evil stare (which somehow also prevented customers from approaching), maybe instead of glaring at us, why not they try to do some sales with those who came? Selling isn’t easy, and a serious facial expression isn’t making it any easier. And then those who managed to cover their cost, they too hope to do better… the thing about business is everyone wants to make lots of money out of whatever amount of time and money they put into it. But are there such a business that’s all gain and no lost? We the organisers all tried our best to help bring people in. And when the crowd do come, everyone was busy selling, and when the crowd cooled, they stop selling, and also forgot the kind of crowd they just had. (Ya… its the norm… when you’re good, people won’t say you’re good, but when you’re not good, everyone will point fingers at you and say you’re very bad.) That’s life.
I need to reflect deeper… when my mind is clearer…