[100] 10 Truths About Running a Handmade Business


Welcome to Episode 100 of the Create & Thrive Podcast!

And it’s double celebrations, because it’s not only the 100th episode, but also the 2nd birthday of the podcast this week.

*throws confetti*

To celebrate the 100th episode, I decided to look back over the last 2 years of episodes, as well as ruminate on my (almost) 9 years running my own handmade business.

To wit, I have recorded what my best friend would call a ‘real talk’ episode – where I lay down 10 (sometimes hard) truths about running a handmade business.

In short:

Is it hard work? Yes.

Is it worth it? Heck yes!

I hope you find this episode heartening and grounding. It’s been a joy to produce this podcast for you over the last 2 years, and I look forward to bringing you a new episode each week into the future!

Almost 9,000 people listened to the show in March (2017), with over 13,000 downloads – which, compared to previous months, shows me that more and more of you are discovering the podcast and enjoying what I have to share with you.

So – thank YOU for being here, and I hope you continue to enjoy every episode I bring your way!

Jess x


Download or Listen to This Episode

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


Quotes and Highlights from this Episode:

  • 1. Everything will take longer than you think it will
  • Website, photos, social media posts, growth of your biz – absolutely everything!
  • Give yourself twice as much time as you think each task will take.
  • For more on this make sure you listen to Episode 30 – 5 Time Management Hacks You Should Try Today.
  • 2. You can’t compete on price – so find something else that makes you stand out
  • ‘If you are competing on price you are treating yourself like a commodity’ {Jess}
  • You need to make people fall in love with what you do.
  • You need to find your unique selling point to make you stand out from the crowd.
  • ‘Not competing on price but because what you make is so special that nobody else does it: that’s when you will find success’ {Jess}
  • For more on this make sure you listen to Episode 53 – Why You Need to Find Your Micro Niche.
  • 3. You WILL have unhappy customers
  • It will happen at some point along your way so you must be prepared.
  • If you have done your best, it is probably not your fault but you need to be equipped to handle it with grace.
  • For more on this make sure you listen to Episode 3 – How to Provide Outstanding Online Customer Service and Episode 82 – How to Deal with Unhappy Customers.
  • 4. There will be days/weeks when you fall out of love with your biz/lose your passion
  • Don’t panic – this is normal and happens to most of us.
  • Accept the creative cycle and learn to work with the ups and downs.
  • ‘Take the time to recharge yourself and re-energise’ {Jess}
  • For more on this make sure you listen to Episode 81 – How to Overcome Creative Block with Christina Lowry and Episode 99 – Making Friends with the Tyranny of Never Being Finished.
  • 5. No less than 50% of your time will be spend on non-making tasks
  • This will be especially apparent in the beginning stages of your business.
  • You need to invest so much time into all of the business tasks to create your business.
  • For more on this make sure you listen to Episode 62 – Making the Transition from Hobbyist to Business Owner.
  • 6. There is a wall that you will hit – and you have to decide if you’re happy to stay inside it, or break out to grow. If you don’t want to grow, that’s okay, too!
  • There will come a point where you will hit a wall where you cannot do any more than you already are.
  • You have to decide if you are happy to stay inside the wall or break it down and grow outside of it.
  • You can always bring help into the business or outsource tasks.
  • ‘You don’t always have to grow’ {Jess}
  • For more on this make sure you listen to Episode 97 – How to Expand Your Business with Poppy Treffry.
  • 7. You can’t do it alone
  • Even if you are a one person show you still need others for help and advice.
  • Don’t be afraid to seek out guidance or ask for help when you need it.
  • Find your community and it will be a huge help both practically and emotionally.
  • For more on this make sure you listen to Episode 77 – How to Run an Effective Business Partnership with Nicole and Delilah from Dear Handmade Life.
  • 8. Working for yourself is better (and more secure!) than working for someone else
  • When you work for yourself you have so much more control and security than you do when you are at the mercy of a boss and a job.
  • If you can figure it all out – and it can be so awesome and empowering working for yourself.
  • For more on this make sure you listen to Episode 63 – What’s Your Definition of Success?
  • 9. You will doubt yourself, be scared, and wonder if it’s worth it (spoiler, so does everyone else!)
  • ‘It is perfectly normal to feel self doubt, to feel fear, to have these moments of existential crisis’ {Jess}
  • Don’t ever let self doubt and fear stop you.
  • Always remember, what is the worst that could happen?
  • For more on this make sure you listen to Episode 31 – Kirsten Devitt on Creativity and Confidence and Episode 58 – Why Perfection is a Dangerous Illusion.
  • 10. There is no right way to anything – only your way
  • ‘I believe in evidence and autonomy’ {Jess}
  • Listen to advice, but remember it’s just that – advice based on one person’s experience. Trust your own experience. Do what works for you and your biz.
  • For more on this make sure you listen to Episode 46 – The Power of Being True to You in Business with Jill from For Strange Women.




Thanks Jess, so much, for every single one of your 100 podcasts! Every single one has been valuable in one way or another, and often in many ways. THANKYOU!!!

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