My mother did not like to buy pre-made cookies or candy. Indeed, her desire for healthy snacks (“Have an apple!”) was so strong that she used only a couple teaspoons of sugar for soft drink mixes that called for a cup. We were used to the extreme tartness, but after one sip, our friends avoided it even if dehydration was the only other option. My middle sister Susie craved the sugar and candy that Mom would not allow, so she babysat and bought her own. If her stash of sweets or funds got low, she’d compose a list of what she wanted and go door-to-door, explaining that she was attending a birthday party nearby and they were having a Scavenger Hunt. Halloween, therefore, was her raison d’etre. It was the best way for her to make an easy haul. The ROI was fantastic.
She mapped her route ahead of time, taking special note of the most generous houses. Her costume was often an afterthought, with no long skirts or flapping capes to cut down on wind resistance. She ran the whole way, filling her bag and speeding home to empty it into a box she put by the front door, then heading back out again. Later that night, she’d spread her candy on the floor, arrange it alphabetically, and create an inventory sheet that she kept with her at all times so she could check for pilferage. She slept with the candy under her bed.
I, on the other hand, was not so focused. I wanted candy, sure, but I also wanted a clever costume, and when I went out, I meandered, taking interest in other things along the way, making up scary stories in my head that I might write later.
Both my sister and I ended up having successful sales careers, she in commercial real estate, me in the less cutthroat paper and printing world. It proves the old adage, something I once said to a sales manager when he suggested that I get aggressive and tough with a client who had been slow to commit: “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” If I was not true to my personality, I told him, the customer would sense that my actions weren’t genuine. I said that I would get the business eventually (and I did) but in my own way.
So be true to yourself as you Trick or Treat for business, whether you run it like a marathoner or meander like you have all day, and enjoy the fruits and candies of your labor!
(Useless but somewhat related tidbit: My littlest sister Barbie was born on Halloween.)