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[#10] 8 Steps to Turn your Passion into a Successful Business

Hey Thrivers! Nick and I are currently on our way over to the UK for a sabbatical from our jewellery business, and to visit family and friends – we’ve got lots of adventures in mind for our 3 months abroad.

However, while we’re taking a break from Epheriell, all things Create & Thrive will be running as-usual while we are there – I’ll be sharing photos of our trip on the Epheriell IG if you want to follow our adventure! 

I’m planning on holding at least one meetup in London, so if you’d like to be part of a Create & Thrive meetup, make sure to let me know!

Now, let’s get on with this week’s episode…

In today’s Podcast I’m talking about some vital steps to take in order to make your creative passion into your dream business.

The 8 steps I cover in this episode are going to get you thinking about where you want to go, and how to harness your passion and creative fire to get there.

By following these simple steps, you will find that your business will grow and adapt along with your own needs and the needs of your customers.

Listen in for more detail on these 8 steps that will help you start, maintain and grow your own creative biz – there is a ton of motivational and practical info in this episode!



Quotes and Highlights from this Episode:

  • Just because I like something doesn’t necessarily mean that someone wants to buy it.
  • You have to switch your mindset when you start selling stuff.
  • You still need to make things that you’re passionate about and that you care about.
  • You may need to change techniques and materials, you might need to change what you make entirely.
  • “You might not need to change, you might just need to get clearer on your ideal customer and seek those people out.”
  • Get balance by being obsessive about driving your business forward, not about the business itself.
  • “You need to care really, really deeply and you need to have that fire that will drive you when things get tough.”
  • It’s important to know why you’re doing this – what are you aiming for?
  • “What’s your why?”
  • If you know what your goal is, it’s easier to push through the uncertainty.
  • If you run hot and cold with your business it will make it so much harder to grow it.
  • You will never be ‘done’ with your business, if you are ‘done’ then it’s probably over.
  • Decide how much time you have to devote to it, decide on your key tasks and goals. Then do something every day to move your business forward.
  • “Make little tiny steps every single day – that is how you get to the top of the mountain.”
  • Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool you have.
  • Give your business cards to your friends and family.
  • “Mum always has a stack of Epheriell cards with her and I think she gives out more than I do!”
  • You never finish growing.
  • “Work the process of learning into your everyday habits.”
  • Help other people so share your skills to learn more. You learn something best by teaching it.
  • We are all equal even at different stages of our business.
  • It can be overwhelming the amount of stuff that’s out there in the world but pick 1-3 people that you trust and listen to them.
  • It can be dangerous to have all your eggs in one basket.
  • Diversifying can help you grow your business easier and more quickly.
  • Try out markets, consignment, wholesale and online and try it all for an amount of time which suits you and your products.
  • “I used to do markets and wholesale but I have found that not only do I want to sell online but it’s where my products sell best!”
  • Try different venues online: your own website, Etsy (US & International) , Madeit (Australia), Folksy (UK), Felt (NZ) etc
  • “I thought my customers were female to start with but now I have a huge market with men in my wedding rings since I followed my market.”
  • By having different products lines then you can touch on a lot of different markets.
  • Try new things every single day.
  • Don’t be afraid to give something a shot if you want to try it.
  • So what if you fail? Just move on to the next thing. If you don’t try, you will fail.
  • “If you’re just starting out, you might be scared to try new things since you haven’t built up your courage muscle. But this is the best time – at the beginning very few people are watching!”
  • You’re still finding out who you are in your business.
  • “If you have courage, it doesn’t mean you don’t feel fear. Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
  • If you keep waiting until you are perfectly 100% sure that you’re ready, then you would never do anything.
  • “If you commit to it, you will make it happen.”
  • Setting a date before you know you are ready means that you will be highly motivated.
  • By promising that you will make it happen, it will light the fire and you’ll live up to your own awesomeness.

Download/Listen to this Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create and Thrive’)


Van Den has written 319 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.



I think I’m at a crossroads with my business.

I have a few product lines with modest success–as in, they appeal to niche markets but those people LOVE them and are thrilled to find something hard to find that isn’t just copies of the Etsy Staff Picks. I don’t do that well at craft fairs, but have fans in my local retail outlets and on Etsy, as well as wholesale accounts. But I went to a class on how to do well at craft fairs and the first thing covered was that you have to copy the trendy stuff to make good sales. I want to be highly profitable, but chasing trends doesn’t appeal to me and has some downsides, too (such as your leftover inventory being worthless as it goes out of style).

Is it possible to do well in niche markets using wholesale, consignment, and online instead of craft fairs? I’d still be interested in doing the smaller events for getting feedback on new styles, but the big ones are expensive, stressful, and interfere with my ability to ship online or wholesale orders for half a week before and after. It’s frustrating to do that much work and not have much profit from it. Selling at special interest events can be tricky if you’re competing with lots of people selling to the same niche.

However, a friend does pretty well with jewelry she sells at SCA (Medieval/Renaissance re-enactment) events, as in being profitable doing it part-time but not self-sufficient from that level of work and the number of events she can sell at each season.

I want to grow my business in the next few years so I can hire staff for admin, routine painting/assembly, bookkeeping, social media, and shipping so I can concentrate on design, prototyping, and painting the highest end items–and pay myself a nice salary so I can improve my lifestyle.


Kathryn, working out what will work for you and your biz is definitely a case of experimentation. My answer would be yes – I sell pretty much exclusively online, and have built up a very profitable handmade business that way. So, a combo of of online, wholesale and consignment definitely has the possibility of being all you’ll need.


Thank you Jess! I didn’t see it until today because my notifications were off by accident.

Sue Parker

Hi, I can totally relate to your situation. You could have been talking about me! I would love to swap my part time job for working on my business full time but revenue is not there yet for me to do this and only having a limited amount of time each day to work on the business is holding me back.


Welcome to England!! I hope you have a fabulous time here! Would love to find out more about a London meet up 🙂 (now back to the post and podcast!)


Thanks Trica! I hope you enjoyed it 🙂

Beverley Overton

Really useful podcast, I’m just at the beginning of starting my own business so will keep these points in mind.


Glad you found it helpful, Beverley!

Jessica Kuhn

I’m totally interested in a meetup in London!


Awesome! 🙂

Sue Parker

Same here. Would love to meet up in London.

Michelle Emma Kay

Phoa!! What a motivational talk. Live up to your own awesomeness! Yeah!

What say you?