“The only sensible way to live is without rules.” – The Dark Knight.
The valentine that went by was one of those days when I actually lived the above statement and got an opportunity to break few rules, some of which were a bit dangerous but at the end of the day all of them left me with lessons I’ll never forget. Wait. This blog post is not about wooing your sweetheart in new ways but about how few of my friends and I decided to sell roses on the streets that day. Crazy idea I know. You see, all of us are studying Entrepreneurship, believe in love, breaking rules and didn’t have anyone to take on a date. There was possibly nothing else we could have done that day.
So here we were three days before the 14th, talking to different flower vendors asking them for bulk prices. We got a good deal by the end of the day. My friend Gokul bought these beautiful roses and we hid/kept them in a cool place.
On the 13th, we sat down to unpack those roses which were tied up in bundles of 20. Chipped off the thorns and few leaves, packed and rolled them in acetate cones. They were now looking sellable. (Long night it turned out to be).
The day had finally arrived when a bunch of single friends hit the streets to sell roses. If we were unable to sell them, we would lose around 200 pounds ( INR 20,000 approx. ) amongst the 4 of us. It was good enough motivation.
We looked out of our windows and there were very less people outside, valentines was in the middle of the week but still it looked like a sunday. Disheartening. We decided to sell in the city center and left. We had two buckets full of red roses when we reached the city and people started flocking towards us, we finally started selling. It was a thrilling feeling.
However, life as it is known, had to happen. A protective father of a daughter who was also running around selling roses in the city came upto us and to our surprise asked us if we had a street permit to sell the roses? In quick succession he asked us if we were selling the roses? I quickly realized that we were in trouble and told him we weren’t selling. He kept asking the same question over and over again and I kept saying ‘NO’. He said if we were found selling he would call the police. I told him I am taking all these roses home for a few friends who wanted it for their girlfriends. Long story short – we somehow got away with it and literally ran back home.
We had sold only a few roses in the city. The place where we lived didn’t seem to have too many students who were interested in gifting roses. It was already lunch time and we had just sold around 20 odd roses. I knew something different had to be done.
I asked my friends to keep selling around our place while I decided to go to the city to find a flower vendor who would buy all of these red roses from us. I spoke to a couple of flower shop vendors. One was interested. He said “I can only give you a price on looking at the roses.” I asked my friends to come over to the city and we showed him our roses. They were very well packed and looked better than the roses he was selling.
He offered to buy all of that at a fair price. We sold all the roses to him and came back home.
I realized that if I had played by the rules that day, I would have probably just ended up taking a girl out on a date and may be I would have given her a rose which I would have bought off someone who wasn’t playing by the rules but certainly was making money, learning life and some really valuable business lessons which are no where found in any B-School’s curriculum.
This post is to say a big thank you to Gokul, Sruthi, Aparna and the critics. May you all have less rules and break them too.