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[#14] 5 Ways you’re Sabotaging your Success

When you decide to turn your creative hobby into a business, there are going to be external obstacles that get in your way – LOTS of obstacles. That’s just business – just life, really – and they are an inevitable part of trying to make something happen.

But you can also get in your own way.

We can be really good at stopping ourselves from succeeding, often without even realising it.

I’ve taught hundreds – if not thousands – of people how to turn their hobby into their dream business. I’ve found that while we are all passionate about creating something and have a drive to create new things, we also need to have a drive to make a living out of it.

If you don’t have the desire to make a financial success out of your creative biz, then you won’t.

Lots of creatives have the ‘starving artist’ mentality where they don’t feel comfortable making money from their art.

I’ve here to tell you: you are not disrespecting your creativity if you’re making money from it. If you resonate with this common issue, you’re not alone – and it’s just one of the unhealthy beliefs we absorb from our society that may be causing you to hold yourself back.

In this episode, I discuss 5 ways you might be unconsciously sabotaging yourself and holding yourself back from making your business a success – and how to overcome these self-created obstacles.

So, if you are feeling negative about your business, you may recognise a lot of things in this episode.

See if you can take steps to change them and help your business thrive.

Quotes and Highlights from this Episode:

  • We can’t change and overcome these roadblocks unless we recognise that they are there
  • If you start a handmade business and you’re expecting to make a huge profit in the first few years, you need to forget that
  • It might happen – but it’s unlikely
  • “Chances are, it’s going to take a couple of years to gain some traction and make it a full time business.”
  • People over-anticipate what they can achieve in a certain period of time
  • “You see those people who seem to be an overnight success – they’re not!”
  • Some people will be coming at this with other skills and industry knowledge which will allow them to find success quicker. But they have spent many years honing the skills which allowed them to succeed.
  • If you’re coming at this business without that background knowledge, things take a long time to learn
  • Don’t put yourself down if it takes time
  • “I hope it’s a fun part of the journey for you, experimenting and trying new things.”
  • If you’re not in it for the long haul, really think about whether it’s something you want to be doing in the long run
  • You are competing against the entire internet and everyone who is in your niche
  • You need to stand out, and it if you haven’t got the elements correct, you will find it hard to gain traction and make sales
  • Only you can choose when you call yourself a success
  • People will focus on something that’s not working and will complain about it – there’s no point
  • It’s OK to blow off steam and get it off our chest
  • You’re sabotaging your success by being a ‘glass half empty’ rather than a ‘glass half full’ person
  • Focus your energy of your on the positive
  • “Nobody is responsible for the success or failure of your business but you.”
  • You can always find ways around roadblocks
  • It doesn’t matter how small your success, it deserves celebrating
  • “This is a case of starting too many new things at once and not being able to give any one thing the attention they truly deserve.”
  • You might always be wanting to try new things
  • This is really great but can also backfire as you’re not able to focus on any one thing
  • “Sales follow your focus.”
  • You have to give your business the time, attention and focus it deserves so it has a chance of success
  • Do all the things you want to do, but do them sequentially instead of concurrently
  • In order to make space in your life, you may want to give other things away
  • “You’ve bought the courses, you’ve bought the e-books, you have all the theoretical knowledge that you need but you’re yet to do anything about it.”
  • This is often what happens when you’re a perfectionist
  • Consistent investment in your own education is a valuable thing
  • There’s comes a point when you just have to take the leap
  • You will make mistakes, but do that while nobody is watching
  • If you never put yourself into the arena, then you will never make progress
  • Put yourself out there and until you do that, you won’t know what other people think
  • You don’t learn to walk the first time you try but you get there eventually
  • You’re afraid that everything isn’t perfect
  • Nothing is ever perfect
  • “Get it to the stage of pretty darn awesome, or just pretty good, and get it out into the world.”
  • Until you do, you aren’t going to get feedback to make things grow and evolve

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” {Theodore Roosevelt}

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’.)

Kath Chown

Kath Chown has written 25 posts in this blog.

Kath has been in retail since she was fifteen and worked hard to open her first shop at twenty-eight. She is a writer, creative, entrepreneur and loves travel and baking (maybe a little too much!). She is often left with a 'craftermath' after a new creative endeavour but loves to try new projects and craft techniques. In her spare time she swings in her hammock and reads up on her favourite blogs.



I’m struggling with split focus…I am a teacher and I want to run a handmade business too. I know many start our this way and no doubt persevere for some time. I’m trying to be patient with myself and my ambition but I still need to keep the momentum, of the business that is. I’m also enjoying the contrast but balancing some down time too? I’m kind of getting there 🙂

Robin Ritz

Really wonderful information, I’ve been sharing it since I came across it. Thank YOU for shining and sharing Your Light

What say you?