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[118] The Only Race is With Yourself

 

Do you feel ‘left behind’ when you look at other handmade businesses?

Do you worry that you aren’t doing enough? That your business isn’t growing fast enough? That you should be where that person is?

I’m here to tell you that this is a super-common feeling. AND that you need to stop looking at and comparing yourself to those other businesses out there.

You can only do what YOU can do. You cannot compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.

That is: maybe you have a job, and children, and elderly parents, and a partner, and hobbies… etc etc. In other words – your life only leaves you with a certain amount of time free to work on your business.

Your free time may be vastly different to that person’s free time.

Stop acting like you’re in a race with other people. The only race is with yourself.

 

 

Quotes and highlights from this episode:

  • Many fledgling creative entrepreneurs struggle with finding what they think is enough time, energy, and resources.
  • There are times when establishing a business will feel onerous and times when it will feel easy.
  • What really matters is that you enjoy the majority of the journey. Otherwise a time will come when it all becomes too hard.
  • “You are not in competition with someone else. You’re not racing someone else. You’re simply racing against yourself.” {Jess}
  • In the words of Mary Schmich “the race is long and in the end it is only with yourself.”
  • It is okay for your craft to remain a hobby rather than a business. (Jess shares an anecdote from a Thriver Circle member who made the decision to close her business and instead pursue her craft as a pastime).
  • Establishing a business is more than just creating your saleable project. You will be spending a large proportion of time learning about marketing, administration, finances, connecting with people.
  • Factor in your time, energy and resources when making goals.
  • “We get frustrated from the disparity between our reality and our imagined reality.” {Jess}
  • Create a toolkit of time management and planning strategies.
  • Building a business takes times, patience and long-term dedication.
  • “Every little step is progress forward. No matter how small it is. It is always a step forward and it is always something to be proud of.” {Jess}

 

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You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher)

Register Now for Wholesale Know-How!

Wholesale Know-How Handmade Business Ecourse

 

Hey Thriver,

 

Have you ever wondered…

 

  • If wholesale is right for you, and if so, if you’ve got everything in place to hit the ground running? (Business branding, products, legalities etc.)
  • If you’re pricing your items right, so you’re still making a profit when selling wholesale?
  • How to grow your business faster than you’re able to by only selling direct to your customers?
  • What systems you need to put in place from the beginning when selling wholesale to get things running smoothly?
  • How you can get your brand ‘out there’ into the world, and gain wider recognition?
  • The best way to approach stockists, and how to maintain a positive (and profitable) relationship with them?
  • How to put together a wholesale catalogue that will wow potential stockists?
  • What the ins and outs of how to succeed at a trade fair are, (without taking the risk of losing thousands of dollars because you don’t know what you’re doing?)
  • Exactly how other people have made selling wholesale the main part of their business?

 

The C&T E-course – Wholesale Know-How – will answer all these questions, and more.

It will teach you everything you need to learn in order to start successfully wholesaling your handmade creations.

 

Registration for the 30-day course is open now: class starts August 28th!

Enrol Now

 

 


[117] Round Table Q&A with Thrivers in Winchester, England

 

This week, I’m bringing you something special!

When I was in England recently, I had a Thriver meetup – and 5 wonderful makers (who also happen to be Thriver Circle members) came along. We spent 2 hours talking all things creative business!

In the first part of the session, each maker had 15 minutes to ask questions about their business. In the second session, I opened the floor to general handmade biz questions.

I did record everything, but alas, half of the first session didn’t save (darn technology!) so today I’m sharing with you that second session – the open Q&A.

We cover some important topics – from pricing to finding and marketing to your ideal customer, to collaboration and SEO. We packed a lot in this short session!

Enjoy, and a huge thanks to my guests for not only coming along and being awesome, but being willing for me to share this with the world via the podcast. Their names and details are below – do check them out!

 

My Guests

 

Quotes and Highlights:

  • Adela sought advice on marketing her card-making business for adults, Della by Design.
  • Try bundling and marketing kits for events – hen’s parties or girls’ craft nights in.
  • Market these event packages on the website separate from the individual kits to increase reach across audience markets.
  • Victoria, of Toria by Victoria Jowett, asked about establishing a creative partnership.
  • Approach your potential partner with a concrete proposal package.
  • Ensure that collaborative partnerships are formalised in a written contract.
  • “Remember, when you’re working with someone else it doesn’t just double your problems it multiplies them as there are two people wanting to get things done.” {Jess}
  • Jo, of Stitches to Treasure, enquired about how to establish a business focus.
  • “You don’t just have to have one group of target customers. You make different ways to engage the different groups.” {Jess}
  • Use a variety of marketing messages and customers will connect with the ones that resonate to them.
  • Suze, of Suze Harris Decorative Woodwork, sought advice on how to set an hourly rate.
  • Ensure you cover all of your time not just the making.
  • In the early stage of a business your time will be skewed towards learning lessons. This will shift as you gain experience.
  • “You can do all the maths you want with your pricing but at the end of the day it’s just the starting point. It’s not the end point.” {Jess}
  • Remember business is about experimentation. Take risks. (Jess shares an anecdote about product lines that have been trialed and retired)
  • Victoria is looking to boost her SEO.
  • Ensure photos are saved with key words and your business name in the title.
  • Mix up your key words and utilise the power of the Alt Tag.
  • Adela wants to run an Instagram Christmas promotion featuring styled images with objects from other businesses.
  • Try working with a different maker each day to increase reach and build relationships.

 

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[116] Do you still think that a job is the best way of making a living?

 

Did you grow up before the Internet existed?

I did. And boy, how has the world changed in the last 25 years?

One of the most profound shifts has come from our ability to bypass the gatekeepers – of knowledge, and of commerce – and directly interact with each other, the world over.

If you are around my age or older, you probably grew up thinking you’d get a ‘job’ when you grew up – but now, here you are, with the whole world at your fingertips, and realising that perhaps, instead, you want to build a business.

But is there still some part of you that believes that a ‘job’ is more secure than a business?

In this episode, I do my best to blow that myth up, and discuss how, in the world as it is, having a business is actually a way more secure and reliable way to make a living.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this – share in the comments below!

 

 

Quotes & Highlights:

  • Once upon a time (not that long ago) we were limited by gatekeepers – of knowledge and commerce.
  • Now, we can learn anything and connect with anyone directly – which has opened up a whole new world of possibility when it comes to business.
  • Before the internet, we grew up thinking we had to get a job in order to make a living.
  • However – now, with the immense shifts in culture and economy that the internet has brought, jobs are no longer so secure.
  • Having your own business is – I believe – a much more financially and emotionally secure way to make a living.
  • Referenced and quoted in this episode: Brainwashed by Seth Godin (free online manifesto).

 

Download or listen to this episode.

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[115] Business Intensive with Steph Wallace

Sometimes, we just need to share our thoughts with someone else.

It gets us out of those endless loops inside our mind – where we go round and round on a decision without actually making one. Getting those thoughts out of our heads and sharing them with others can be just the ticket to finally breaking through and moving forward.

This week, I’m sharing another Business Intensive with you. You may remember this one with Judy Carlson from episode 110. This week’s guest is Steph Wallace from Mostly Miniature.

She discusses some challenges – such as the fact that she has been getting too busy in her business, and that this, along with caring for her child, is causing stress – as well as some ideas she has for alternative income streams.

It’s another fascinating opportunity to get ‘behind the scenes’ of another maker’s business!

 

Quotes & Highlights:

  • Steph Wallace is the founder of Mostly Miniature, creating handmade modern furniture for contemporary dollhouse renovations.
  • Mostly Miniature has reached a point of performing better than anticipated however Steph does not have enough time in the day to grow the business in its current state.
  • ‘Even if I had my child in childcare, a point would come where I have no more hours in my day to trade for money.’ {Steph}.
  • Consider bringing on employees to train and produce your products to free up valuable time in your day.
  • The choice comes down to, do you want to keep growing or do you want to maintain the business in its current state?.
  • ‘If you have reached the point where you are going to bring on someone there is an adjustment period that is painful because you have to spend the time not only making the product but teaching someone else to do it.’ {Jess}
  • An alternative option to employing people is to consider outsourcing components of your business to give you the freedom and flexibility to focus on your core strengths.
  • Other product options for your business may include digital products, craft kits or eCourses that do not consume as much time as your current product.
  • Start small and learn from that!
  • Having another business option is a great idea as it gives you another income stream and variety in your work.
  • ‘There is something we are passionate about, something we really enjoy and we want to share it with people. However we share it with people is what we need to decide’. {Jess}
  • Picture yourself in the future and determine which decision is going to give you the results you want!
  • ‘Making is secondary. It’s the running the business, forming communities and doing the marketing/storytelling that lights me up. The product is secondary.’ {Steph}
  • There is nothing wrong with capping your growth if you decide that you don’t want to employ people and expand.
  • ‘Sometimes it’s difficult to ask yourself those questions, you can get really good at avoiding them’ {Steph}
  • You are the only person that can make the decisions in regard to which direction you want your business to take – determine your overarching core values and make those decisions that support and reflect them!
  • Check out my past podcast episode with Steph here – How to Grow your Instagram Account.

 

Download or listen to this episode.

You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher)