I did something the other day that I didn’t think I would ever do. And to be honest, I didn’t realize I was doing it.
We are pretty strapped for money right now. I’m not even going to lie, its really bad. We honestly do not know if we will make our mortgage next month and this month we had a family member volunteer to pay our mortgage for us. THATS HOW BAD IT IS.
I know we aren’t the only ones struggling but in our immediate community, we are the only ones. Luckily, we are so blessed to know the most generous and amazing people who pour life and help into us, that its extremely humbling and overwhelming.
But lately, I have been taking too much on. I’ve been feeling the weight of supporting our family completely on my shoulders, even though I don’t need to do that. When that happens, I freak out and get desperate. Meaning, I take whatever job I can find, even if it means I take four jobs that pay $10/hr. Or I try to do all the “get rich quick” schemes there are. I try to find any and every way to make money online…the list goes on an on.
My husband now asks me, “what are you scheming over there, you schemer?” lol At least he indulges me.
But on this particular day, I was listening to a podcast and it made me freak out again. So I went on instagram and started going to all the smaller scale brands I could think of that MIGHT send me a sample to post on my social media and talk about their product (slyly). I targeted brands that I am genuinely interested in.
One of them, was Mea Cargo, who makes these amazing handmade pieces of jewelry that are coastal and fitness inspired. Being a fitness enthusiast, I immediately DM’d them. THIS WAS MY MESSAGE:
“Hey there! I love the design of all your jewelry and I love how they are related to fitness! I was wondering if you need people to post about it? I am an avid crossfitter (our box is Crossfit Temecula and I’m married to a level 1 coach and have a home gym!) I am also a certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, I will also be taking my test to become a CPT in a month and I’m a spin instructor. I would really like to try out your products and wear them in front of my clients and share it on my instagram with my friends if you’re able to send me some samples? Let me know if that is something you might be interested in. Thanks! -Amber”
Now, I thought this was completely appropriate UNTIL I received a message back from Mae Cargo. It was not the message that I expected. But it WAS the message that I needed to hear.
Kate responded and asked what I was asking for? I thought this meant, which products are you asking for? So I told her which ones were my favorite.
She then said,
“Are you asking for free stuff?”
My heart stopped beating.
“Am I asking for free stuff?” I asked myself.
“I AM asking for free stuff,” I told myself. How dare I?
She then went on to add that although she knows smaller businesses do this, she said that she has worked very hard to start her own business and that she would not do this. Instead I should support small businesses by buying their products.
Her message was very abrupt (as I’m sure my message was to her), and it completely caught me off guard.
I don’t believe in mooching off of people’s success. In fact, I am trying to build my own success. And yet, right now I am so desperate that I have lost all respect for my own integrity, as well as had the guts to insult a small business owner who has probably struggled at one point or another to get her business off the ground.
I’ve been praying for God to speak to me and to help me stop being so desperate. In fact, I journal-ed about it this morning during my quiet time before working out.
Right now, I’m honestly extremely ashamed of this behavior and I hope one day, if I am ever a successful small business owner, like Kate, that I have enough self-respect and respect for my company to not tolerate anyone that acts like I did today.
To be clear, my intention was not to get free stuff. My intention was so that I could build a relationship with a brand and work up to earning a discount code with that brand, then sharing my code with my followers and earning a small percentage off of any sales made. This is still mooching off of Kate, so I can completely understand her point of view.
If you want to support Mae Cargo, please check out their website and buy a beautiful necklace!