business development

EVERYTHING STARTS WITH WHERE YOU WANT TO END UP

When making resolutions in the new year, I used to arbitrarily and somewhat wistfully make my resolutions. It was often based on some kind of nostalgia for what I used to be (10 pounds lighter!) or what I thought I *should* be.

Like so many people, I was letting the past and arbitrary expectations dictate my goals. They weren’t bad per se, but they weren’t based on the realities of my current life and the path I wanted to take to make improvements.

Owning my own business has given me a bit more clarity into my resolutions. It’s grounded me in reality a bit more. Instead of letting whims, wishes and external comparisons guide my goals for the year, I now think: Where do I want to be at the end of this year? Then I work backwards.

I know that asking “Where do I want to be at the end of this year” seems arbitrary and that it even could become wishful thinking. However, I find that when I have to ask myself this question it is actually quite grounding. I have to create a picture of the end. Of all of the achievement. And even qualifying it with “by the end of this year” gives me the “T” in SMART goals already (time bound).

Starting with the end and working backwards is the best way to set goals. It makes things feel less overwhelming and also helps you evaluate if you are playing too small (or might be biting off more than you can chew).

On the podcast Isaac discusses the idea about looking at the end with two makers: Holly Marsh of Marshmueller and Melissa Wert of Print Therapy. Both work toward their goals in different ways and have also changed course along the way. I think you will enjoy it if you haven't already listened.

I'd challenge you to think about how you can apply this in your own business. 

Some questions to think about:
#1: Are your goals related DIRECTLY to getting you to where you want to end up?
#2: Have you tied your goals to a timeline and realistic action items?
#3: Have you made goals a priority or have you made busy work?

 

 
maker-business-planning

Why It's Hard for Makers to Find Mentors (and How to Change That)

Why It's Hard for Makers to Find Mentors (and How to Change That)

Aside from the occasional craft show or visit to a local stockist, makers largely do their work alone (except maybe a cat walking across your desk or a child tugging at at you). It can be hard to get peer camaraderie and advice from other makers who are more advanced in their career path.

Mentors can be an invaluable to a young and growing business, or to a business looking to make some "next step" leaps. But often they can be hard to find and even fleeting.

3 Reasons Why the Answer Isn't Another Course (or a Free Blog Post)

3 Reasons Why the Answer Isn't Another Course (or a Free Blog Post)

It feels like the easy and smartest thing to do when you're stuck-- take a course to help you with whatever it seems like you are struggling with or maybe even peruse the internet for a blog post or podcast for something, anything, to help!

Courses are GREAT! But we see all the time that a lot of people are afraid to make moves in their business and the answer is to course hoard. 

Here's why a course might not help you the next time you're feeling stuck.

Getting Clear on What You Want Out of Your Handmade Business

Getting Clear on What You Want Out of Your Handmade Business

One of the things we've noticed in talking with thousands of makers about their businesses, is that frustrations often come when makers don't have a clear idea about what they want out of their business. They think they see a business on Instagram or see them on store shelves and think "Yes, I want that!" But the realities of that are much different than they realize. 

We talk with three makers about how they adjusted expectations and had mindset shifts that helped them grow their businesses.

FROM HOBBY TO BUSINESS WITH KENDAL KEITH OF K KEITH DESIGNS

FROM HOBBY TO BUSINESS WITH KENDAL KEITH OF K KEITH DESIGNS

There often comes a point when makers realize they have more than a hobby on their hands-- they can actually make their passion a business. Kendal of K Keith Designs shares with us her transformation and learning some hard lessons. I was so delighted to meet her in person recently at Craftcation. Like so many of our members, she was incredibly business savvy and generous with her knowledge! I am so impressed with how thoughtfully she has managed her business. Enjoy what she has to share (and keep an eye for her business-- she's headed for big things!).

Making Your Work Process Scalable for Wholesale

Making Your Work Process Scalable for Wholesale

Our most common question by makers here is: How Do I Get Ready for Wholesale? There are a lot of pieces to it and it looks a little (and sometimes a lot) different for every business, but if you're a maker thinking about scale is HUGE. It will help you make sure that you are maximizing your margins and don't find yourself in a "oopsie" pricing situation. Thanks to Dawn from our Austin Chapter for sharing her insights! 

Less Information Can Be More: Your Handmade Business

Less Information Can Be More: Your Handmade Business

Every couple months we do a recap of our most popular newsletter and podcast topic! And we include responses to the discussion of these topics from members in our forums. Enjoy.

Business Development and Planning for Makers

Business Development and Planning for Makers

We often talk about not relying on Etsy for everything here... and this lesson reaches beyond this. It's easy to put all our eggs into one basket, especially when that basket seems to be given so much to us and so easily! Today #ahasmembers Chris & Andy talk about how hiccups like this in their business have made them stronger. Plus they share ways to get "unstuck" in their business.