This summer my wife, Yvette, and I decided to serve our passion for locally grown foods by volunteering for the Lewes farmers market in Delaware. After learning the ropes of the market, we were placed at the main entrance to serve as greeters. 

“Here,” Linda, the woman responsible for volunteers, said to me, “take this,” handing me a tally counter. Pointing at the people walking toward the entrance, Linda said, “keep count of every person and dog that walks past.” She then handed Yvette a stack of bags and said, “Offer these for sale as people walk past.”

Know Your Strengths 

With dozens of people walking toward me, I handed Yvette the tally counter and grabbed the bags. I know my strengths, and counting when there are so many people to talk to isn’t one of them. Given the cost per bag ($10), I knew this would be a challenging task, requiring all my enthusiasm. 

“Would you like to buy a bag?” I asked, with a radiant smile, as people walked past, most of whom ignored me. “Have fun,” I yelled out, redeeming myself. I needed to up my game. But how? 

“Would you like to buy a beautiful bag?” I added, squatting slightly in front of people and underlining the logo imprinted on the front of the bag with my hand to add emphasis and fun. They couldn’t help but smile, which felt like a win (sell) every time. The more they smiled and laughed at my goofy sales tactic, the more dynamic and enthusiastic I became. Somewhere in those first ten minutes, selling the bags took a backseat to connecting, playing, and inspiring unbridled joy… something we all need a whole lot more of these days.

More Joy Leads To Greater Sales 

With bags flying out of my hands, my creativity soared. 

Once I had their attention (and smile) with—“Would you like to buy a beautiful bag?“—I began pulling down the front of the bag so that they could see the insulation on the inside, and added, “Isn’t it sexy?” 

Laughter bellowed, and many of them either bought in on the spot or came back a few minutes later and said some form of, “I’ve gotta remember this experience… give me a bag please.” 

I loved it!

Not Everyone Is Supposed To Like You 

Of course, not everyone loved my strategy. Some people kept their eyes on the ground as they walked past. Others steered clear of me altogether, walking several feet to the right or left of me. I wished them joy in their shopping experience, and then refocused on the people walking toward me. 

“Would you like to buy a beautiful bag… isn’t it sexy?” I said over and over again. A couple of people stood on the sidelines, watching me… waiting to see how long I could keep this up.   

By the end of two-hours, I had sold nearly 30 bags. If there were a competition, I’m quite sure I would have won it (not that I’m competitive!). It was so much fun that I couldn’t help imagining what my life would be like if I had that much fun in all areas of my life, especially my career. 

When You Have Fun, You Cannot Fail

“Clearly, it’s not just what you sell,” I later said to Yvette, “it’s about how much fun you have selling it. If you’re having fun, you cannot fail.” 

Think about that for a moment… if you enjoy trying to fix cars, make a sales pitch, talking about the baskets you make, or even inspiring change within your organization, then you cannot fail. The challenge comes in when we get attached to a particular outcome within a particular time frame. I would not have had as much fun if I had to sell a certain number of bags. Less fun would have led to less enthusiasm… i.e. less sales. 

Whether we are selling an idea (through a talk or a book), a bag, coaching services, or items on Facebook Marketplace, it’s impossible to fail if you have fun doing it. Don’t believe me? Try it. Regardless of what you do, or want to do more of, try letting yourself have more fun. Allow your enthusiasm for the work to guide you. Your creativity cannot help but show up as enthusiasm, and enthusiasm sells. 

Here’s to your greatness,

Misti Burmeister

Misti Burmeister helps companies and leaders motivate and inspire excellence. For nearly 20 years, she has facilitated communication that results in trust, increasing engagement and productivity across generations. Make sure your communication is coming across the way you intend, visit