Wow.....thanks guys...I'm pretty overwhelmed to say the least. I didn't know anyone felt like that about my cart, etc....group hug!
I have a couple of thoughts that might help others....maybe allow others to be more successful then I was....take it with a grain of salt and use it if it works.
A huge challenge for me is that this was the only job I did and I was alone doing it. In other words, no relationship at the time (although I'm in one now that is going great - weird huh? LOL) no marriage, no health benes through the wife, etc and that really wears on you. Not feeling like you're alone when going down this path is very important I think. Encouragement from a partner is so key for some people. Do you have a main job? Could this be a source of secondary $? If you're in that position you'll probably do a lot better then I did...this was ALL I had. (by my own choice) Also if you choose to do this as your sole profession, you MUST set yourself up correctly to do just that. Which leads me to my second and most important point....
You HAVE to have some cash flow. I see myself as a decent - not great - business man - but my HUGE mistake was thinking "oh, it's only hot dogs!" In other words when I first started I did not have a couple grand....nor even $500 in the checking account to use for purchasing more dogs, buns, etc. So what ends up happening is that you go out and sell dogs and while you're out you're just praying that you'll sell enough so you can get enough $ to go buy stuff for tomorrow. And sometimes you pray that you won't sell TOO MUCH of any one thing because then you'll have to buy a whole new package of polish sausage or whatever. When you get in that spot, it's almost impossible to get out and that's where I was. Not at first....but you can't sustain that.
I chalk up the whole experience as something positive. I'm trying not to think of it like I "failed" but it's hard not to sometimes. To be honest, I had the most fun creating the whole thing more the I did selling. Building the cart, helping with the logo, searching for locations, working with the city, etc gave me a ton of satisfaction so based on that alone, I don't see it as a failed project.
I have been self employed for almost 20 yrs. (was a wedding dj the prior 18 or so) So being part of something bigger (Costco) is really exciting for me. I'll be starting in the front end (fancy word for cashier and cashier's asst, lol) and hope to go up and up. I had employees when my dj company was around, enjoy management, motivating others so I think it's a great fit. If a person just wants to be a front end person or be in another position, you can work up to $25 an hour and that's pretty awesome if you ask me. Depending on the company itself and the culture of this store, my ultimate goal will be to become a warehouse manager and I will take steps to do just that beginning my first day which is tomorrow.
Got my clothes layed out....little spiral notebook to take notes, new lunch carrier....just like the first day of school! Tomorrow it is......