If I look thinner the next time you see me, it might be from walking back and forth between the Orange County Breeze and Toastmasters booths at the recent Cypress Community Festival.
Last year, I had a booth in the Chamber Expo to promote Royal Care Pet Sitting, and had a fabulous day meeting pet parents.
This year, I moved to the nonprofit section to generate interest in Something Gained, my new Toastmasters club. The club meets at the Cypress Library on the second Saturday morning of each month (except in October, when we meet on the fourth Saturday). Members are making new friends while improving their public speaking and communication skills.
It often took me several minutes to get into the Orange County Breeze booth since it was crowded with people chatting with the staff, picking up a complimentary Frisbee and beach ball, or expressing how much they like the monthly print publication. My thanks to those who took the time to tell me how much they enjoy reading my columns.
Chamber Expo was an American marketplace
I walked around the fair, amazed at the incredible number of Chamber Expo booths. It was a microcosm of the American free enterprise marketplace: from handmade crafts to corporations headquartered in Cypress; from local businesses with a singular location to a franchise of a multinational conglomerate.
It was fascinating how each booth marketed their product or service to generate interest and more importantly, to produce sales. Some displayed their wares in an eye-catching way that made people stop and shop. Others held contests, such as spin the wheel, bean bag toss or ring toss. Some booths had a drawing for a prize or gift card.
What the vendors shared
The Chamber Expo was American ingenuity at its best with each entrepreneur sharing the same desire to have a profitable event. Vendors also shared a desire to perform better than their competitors. That’s as American as apple pie since competition drives our free enterprise economy. Walking through the Chamber Expo I saw many booths with the same or similar product or service; it was up to each business to identify why they were better than their competitor. Was it price, service or store location? As always, consumers determine which business gets the sale.
In addition to the shared desire to generate awareness and make sales, many vendors had something else in common – the knowledge that President Obama doesn’t think they built their business. As a very small business owner, it was heartbreaking to hear my president give a speech last month saying he believes government built my pet sitting business, not the efforts of my husband and me.
“If you’re successful, you didn’t get there on your own,” said President Obama on July 13 in Roanoke, Virginia. “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build it. Somebody else made that happen.”
Of course government has a place in a capitalist society and that includes building roads, bridges and schools. However, taxes pay for these government services. The minute we say government is the primary reason for America’s immense success, we lose future Steve Jobs (Apple), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Lakshmi Mittal (Mittal Steel), Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google), Richard Branson (Virgin Group), and many others yet to be named who launched their global corporations with only an idea. In fact, that next successful person who sacrifices their savings and toils long hours to build a business that employs thousands of people might have started with a booth at a community festival