Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Secret to Life, via the Marketing Crab.

I studied marine biology at uni but I needed to leave science altogether before I truly understood what it meant to be an industrious, busy little crab. I’m a marketer.
Twice a week I rise at 4am for my working day at a large outdoor market. Thankfully my stall set-up is relatively simple. Competition is high and it took me a while to get a permanent spot, even longer to gain the trust and friendship of my fellow marketers.
Dave (Sagittarius) and Bec (Pisces) next to me sell his colourful paintings, two of which hang in my house. The bubbly and ridiculous George, diagonally opposite, sells wine glasses he paints. He’s another Sagg’ like me and a staunch atheist, even though he freely admits he’s had past lives.
Heidi (Capricorn), directly opposite, is a loud, bustling blonde whose smile is larger than my car. She makes clothes for kiddies and, like her, they’re not normal. My other neighbour Jude (Gemini) sells bags adorned with prints of Australian fauna. Every morning I ask her how her horses are. She appears in front of me looking all dreamy-eyed. “They’re great!” she says. “I had such a beautiful ride in the forest yesterday.” She asks if I’ve been surfing and I tell her my ups and downs. Soon, it’s my job to read out everyone’s star-sign.
Then the first early-bird customers begin ambling down our aisle, all rugged-up. (Yes, Queensland can be cold in the morning.) We crabs smile and cajole, and talk, and laugh, and just like those bustling crustaceans at the ocean’s edge, each of us tries to snag a feed. Oh yes, we look happy and nonchalant in our inviting little stalls but, make no mistake, it’s dog-eat-dog down here in the inter-tidal zone.
“What’s wrong with people today?” George’ll ask me, frantic, if early sales are bad. It might be the weather, the music, the economy – who knows?
Unlike most stall-holders, I sell a book that needs explaining. After two years of this I’ve probably had decent discussions with over 10,000 people. Like my colleagues, I now consider myself an expert in body language, but I’ll tell you something else I’ve learnt:
Each of us arrives as a blank canvus and we’re painted-on by a set of genes, family histories, religion, society, friends. Look into someone’s eyes properly. You’ll see a spiritual being who, no matter what they are talking about, is uttering the following phrases:

I want to get love.
I want to give love.
I want to have fun.

All you have to do is listen and love them back.