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There Ain’t No Such Thing As a Free Lunch– TANSTAFL
(I’d Like to thank Chris Jarrett for the reference…)

That about sums it up. It’s a lot easier to read about having great adventures and extraordinary experiences than to actually go out and live a life out of the ordinary. It’s work!

Mind you, we’re not exactly pushing the envelope by selling mini-donuts and living on a sailboat. Frankly, it doesn’t even sound that romantic. But to do something NOT expected, NOT programmed, NOT conforming to our social expectations is tough.

First, it’s tough to break OUT of the highways and biways of the comfortable “get a job” mores that follows us from adolescence through adulthood into “buy a house” and “get married and have a family” expectations that are road mapped for us from birth. It’s only when the undercurrent of dissatisfaction bubbles up from the subconscious with the persistent thought,

there must be more…

that you start noticing the incessant marketing, advertising, and consumerism that anesthetize your consciousness with the ‘sparkly shiny things’ that provide a momentary spark of pleasure and contentment that must be filled again and again with new gadgets and entertainment like an addict needing a new fix.

But it’s easy. Why is it easy? The game is rigged. I’m not talking about 911 conspiracy theories or ‘big brother’ syndrome, I’m just saying our system is designed to provide for the satisfaction of the workers. Not in a working class socialist proletariat sense- but more in a sense of all those people who work. From the busboys to the CEO’s, our society has filled the gap in a faux capitalistic sense to provide entertainment, toys, gadgets, and luxuries to satisfy the rational to continue with the dissatisfaction and unrest of work.

So what?

I guess what I’m suggesting, your future is not scripted, predefined, and certainly not guaranteed. With an almost 100% certainty there are two ways in which your life WILL change- by your own volition or the forces that surround you. Sometimes we don’t get to choose when our world will irrevocably collapse on itself like a black hole in space, but we do get to choose what comes next. We can choose to step back into the same comfortable footsteps as before with the mantra, “It worked before so it will work again”, or one can elect to search deep down inside and follow a different path.

There’s a joke,

A man walking down the street notices another man banging his head against the wall. He stops and asks the man; “Why are you banging your head against the wall?”

He answers, “Because it feels SO good when I stop.”

one more,

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

After you happy? Are you satisfied? Good for you. Burn after reading.

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2 comments to TANSTAFL-What?

  • Johnny

    I just happened about your website while researching a concession stand and being in the “fair circuit.” I have been contemplating it for 10 years and have always been put off from it due to it seeming like so much work. You have really pushed my buttons and encouraged me to leave my job and stability and try something new.

    Don’t worry, I won’t come back and blame you if I fail. I plan to have a really good plan going into this. The thing is that people get caught up in the day to day life. They think it’s all there is to live for. Go to work, get an ulcer, contract high blood pressure, come home, rinse, repeat. I’m so tired of the daily grind. I would much rather work for myself for 14 hours a day than to do this every day for the rest of my life.

  • big cheese

    Hi Johnny,

    I think, ultimately, it’s about satisfaction and finding peace and contentment in what you do. Many like the 9-5 grind and that’s just fine. On the other hand, it’s an easy trap to fall into and especially if you make ‘just’ enough money to get by, it’s a trap VERY hard to leave behind.

    “IF” you choose to start with concessions, don’t start with county or state fairs. We’re finding they just overbook their food and it’s expensive. Start with smaller 2-3 days arts & craft shows first to get your feet wet. We’ve found that per day the money is better and it’s often cheaper.

    We’re at the Wyoming State Fair, which is really a medium sized county fair (45k attendee’s) and they’ve booked 3 mini donut vendors including us (ughhh!). How they expect you to make any money is beyond me after the booth fee, health fee, camping fee, travel expenses. They would do everyone a favor if they said, “No thanks, we have a mini-donut vendor” and we could find another show that would be more profitable instead of being stuck trying to recoup your investment.