[57] How and Why to Take a Digital Sabbatical

Ep 57 - Create & Thrive Podcast

Running a creative business requires you to be available to your customers and alert to opportunities. Used correctly online resources can take your business to new levels but it can also bury us in a time wasting and stress inducing cycle. This is where a digital sabbatical becomes super important!

Constantly being online, checking, looking and communicating can be unhealthy so it is important to recognise when it is time to take a break from the online world to give your mind space and rest. The hardest part of this is remembering that what you leave will still be there when you get back!

So, if you struggle at times to keep yourself in check, this episode can help you work out how and why to have a digital sabbatical.

 

Ep 57 quote - Dan

Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • The purpose of a digital sabbatical is to switch off from the world for a period of time.
  • Checking email and social media can very quickly become addictive.
  • There is that feeling of ‘I’ll just take a look’ or ‘I’ll just check it quickly’.
  • The next step is when you start ‘checking’ but not dealing with those emails or communications.
  • This means you are constantly thinking about it.
  • It is so easy to have email and social media accounts open all the time and quite often is the last thing to be looked at before sleep.
  • ‘Stepping away from this cycle for a few days gave me space to breathe and relax.’ {Jess}
  • The book ‘Manage Your Day to Day‘ by 99u is a great resource for learning to get these habits into control.
  • One good point in this book is that multitasking is not going to help you. It is simply juggling tasks. You need to focus on one thing at a time in order to be more productive.
  • ‘Your’e in a constant state of alertness and it’s disrupting you all the time.’ {Jess}
  • A digital sabbatical is about breaking the habit by stopping it for a couple of days.
  • You can’t be afraid to take time off.
  • Just starting with a weekend so you feel comfortable is a great place to start.
  • If you are taking longer and you are concerned about this then just notify people in advance.
  • ‘Is it really worth your sanity to be constantly in this state of alertness and stress?.’ {Jess}
  • Sometimes a little extra work is required in the lead up to a sabbatical but it is worth it.
  • Remember that taking time out also helps us to appreciate how great it is to have these online resources!

Download or Listen to This Episode

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

[56] Are You In the Arena?

Ep 56 - Create & Thrive Podcast

We all know the path we choose is not always the easiest but it is what we are passionate about. Striving for success through thick and thin is the only way to reach your goal.

If you are in the arena, fighting the obstacles that come your way and celebrating each obstacle that you overcome then you will have a rich and wholesome journey. If you fail at this you will succeed at something else.

So, if you need a little inspiration or a boost of confidence, this episode can help you.

 

Ep 56 quote - Roosevelt

Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • Are you in the arena?
  • Are you daring greatly?
  • Are you the one in there, blood sweat and tears working hard, trying even if you fail?
  • ‘Whether you succeed or fail is, in the long run, almost irrelevant.’ {Jess}
  • Remember that failing is OK as long as you keep striving.
  • It is only the people who are in the arena, the people who are striving, who are overcoming pain and obstacles who will succeed.
  • Don’t ever listen to naysayers.
  • ‘Whatever the obstacle you are dealing with, turn it into a monster and fight it.’ {Jess}
  • Be proud of every obstacle you overcome.

Download or Listen to This Episode

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

15 Steps to Prepare for a Craft Fair, Market, or Show

Market prep

 

Attending a craft fair, market, or show soon?

If you’ve never done it before, it can seem super-overwhelming – remembering everything you need to pack and take, and thinking about how the day might run smoothly.

Use the following tips to ensure smooth sailing through every craft fair you attend.

 

  1. Stock Prep

You need to take enough stock to keep your stall looking freshly stocked.

This means starting your market prep as early in advance as possible. This is especially important for your first stall – it will be the one where you find best sellers. Write a schedule of what to make over the weeks or months leading up to the event and stick to it.

 

  1. Keep a List

Write a comprehensive list. Save it and print it out prior to each and every market you attend. This will stop you turning up and suddenly realising you forgot to bring a cash float or your mobile phone. Add to the list whenever you need as things always change over time.

 

  1. Do Your Research

Do they provide tables? Will you need electricity? Do they cover insurance or is this something you need to organise? All this information will be available in their correspondence to you or on their website. If not – email someone to find out.

 

  1. Perfect Your Display

This comes easy to some and not so easy to others so it is an awesome idea to do a mock set up.

Merchandising is important because it is how your customer sees your brand. If it doesn’t interest them they will keep walking so you need to make an effort. Get someone you trust to look at it and give you feedback. Draw up a little diagram so when you get there all the thinking has been done and you can jump straight into it.

 

pottery pile

 

  1. Get an Early Start

Rarely is a craft fair just around the corner from where you live, if it is then congrats! If it isn’t then you need to ensure you sort two important details out.

Firstly where is it? If it is close enough go for a drive so you know exactly where – if it is too far research on maps. Once you are there you will need to know where you can drive, where you can park and where you need to set up. Most markets will email you these details in advance – so study them to reduce confusion on the day.

Secondly, though not always easy, leave on time. The last thing you want is to be running late as you really need a nice easy morning. Take plenty of extra time in case of traffic and so you can stop at your favourite café for a take away coffee.

 

  1. Take a Friend

Craft fairs are fun but they are even better with a friend. Find someone who is willing to be your assistant for the day in exchange for lunch and coffee – it’s easier than it sounds!

All they really need to do is be your support if you are tired, fill in for toilet breaks or simply be your company for the journey there and back. Of course it is completely possible too attend markets on your own, it is done by many makers, a friend can help ease you through the busy times though and is someone to celebrate with at the end of the day.

 

  1. Dress for Comfort

Flat shoes, warm clothes just in case, and something you feel confident in. You don’t need to dress up, neat casual is fine. It is about feeling comfortable and confident so you can happily sell your work and meet new people without feeling self-conscious.

 

  1. Hydration

This is something that can’t get said enough. If you do not drink enough water through the day you will be tired and probably grumpy before the day is over.

Water helps keep the oxygen running through your blood and keeps you hydrated so you have enough energy for even the longest of days. Take plenty of water bottles too because not all markets have water available to purchase.

 

  1. Handouts

Take along more than you need when it comes to this type of thing. Business cards, or more effective are fliers that tell a little more about you and what you do. There is so much to see at fairs so having information for people to take home means they will be more likely to remember or recognise you in the future.

 

  1. Work in Progress

If possible take along some work in progress. Depending on what you do this can be a simple task or it could be impossible.

Having something to work on during quiet periods keeps you busy and customers love to see what you do. So if this is possible take something along, even if it is just something small or even a notebook for planning.

 

  1. Feedback

Take a little book along and write down the things you notice so that you haven’t forgotten by the end of the day.

Write down which items got the most attention. Which colour ways attracted people the most. What positive things did you hear people say. All of this can be taken into account as you plan and make decisions for future projects and markets.

 

writing

 

  1. Record Sales

Write down all sales. Write down what sold and the sale price, how the customer paid and what time the sale occurred. This is helpful for future market prep as well as bookwork at the end of the day.

 

  1. Practice Self Control

Many makers have a rule not to make any purchases while at the market. It can be so tempting being surrounded by beautiful items. If you don’t have this rule or at least a limit you will end up eating through all your profits.

Take business cards and when you get home look them up, follow them on social media and tell your friends. There are more ways to support your fellow market stall holders than making a purchase and this means you can take home all that you make. It is a huge compliment to have your work purchased by other makers and it does happen all the time despite the rule!

 

  1. Play the Customer

An important point to remember is not how your stall looks from where you stand but how it looks from the customers perspective. As often as possible walk around and take a look. Are there grubby finger prints? Have items been moved by people looking? Is your tablecloth wonky? During quiet periods assess this and make changes so that your stall is always looking neat.

 

  1. Have Fun

One of the most important pieces of advice is to relax and have fun. Markets are an excellent way of making and building connections, learning about what to do and what not to do, connecting with customers or potential future customers. So enjoy it, have a laugh with people and you will go home feeling satisfied.

 


Want to learn more about how to sell more at craft fairs and markets? Check out our self-study eCourse – How to Sell More at Markets and Shows.

Enrol and get your first lesson straight away!


 

 

The Role of Your Partner in Your Creative Business

 

 

 

creative partner

Your loved ones are expected to be your support, give you encouragement and help to motivate you, especially through the hard times.

So what happens when your partner just so happens to be a non-creative? Someone who doesn’t quite understand what you do and why you do it?

This doesn’t have to be a negative, there are ways around it. Let’s look at a few of them below.

 

  1. Your partner does not have to be part of your business

This one is probably the most important point here.

It is so exciting when you start a business, all you want to do is share it with your loved one. You start dreaming of working from home together, attending markets together, or throwing business and product ideas around over a glass of wine in the evenings.

Of course we want or partner to be on board with all that we do but this is often the furthest thing from their minds. Most importantly remember that this is your dream: not theirs. Of course you want to share your passion and excitement but remembering it is your dream, your idea, and your goals will save disagreements.

 

2. Only tell them the good bits

This is not healthy in the long term. There is no small business that only has ‘good bits’.

It can however be a good tactic to use for a partner who can only see the flaws in your plan. Focusing on your successes when talking about your creative endeavours will help the other realise just how exciting and wonderful your business is.

Don’t ignore the challenges but see them as just that, a challenge to work through – and find support from other creatives who have probably encountered the same challenges.

The last thing you want in the growth stages of your business is your loved ones telling you to give it up (yes, it happens!).

 

3. If they are not creative they may never understand

Sometimes a creative person finds another creative person to call their significant other, but more often than not there are wonderful matches made between the creative and the non-creative.

While these partners may never truly understand the passions of a creative person, they have strengths that can help you in your biz. Find these strengths and work with them.

 

SONY DSC

 

4. The ‘real work’ argument

One common barrier to understanding is that a non-creative partner may see your work from home, or social media, or emails and accounting as ‘not real work’.

After all you are sitting there on your ipad in your jeans enjoying a cup of tea.

This is a common challenge in relationships where one person works from home in a creative online-based business.

Rather than getting defensive (a natural reaction) just explain – tell them about how your instagram brings you sales so you need to keep it updated, or that you are replying to an exciting email about possible wholesale.

It is often a simple lack of understanding of what you are doing that can make a partner feel this way.

 

5. Celebrations

Those of us with supportive partners are super lucky, but those of us with partners who don’t understand need to remember you didn’t meet them with the goals of having a business partner or mentor, and so they don’t need to be that.

Find these skills in others who face or have faced similar challenges and let your loved one be just that.

Once you lose that expectation, they will hopefully soon see the joy you feel in running your creative business, and support you in a way that is comfortable to them and nurturing to you.