business strategy

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.

Why We Created Our Latest Program: Jumpstart Your Handmade Business

Why We Created Our Latest Program: Jumpstart Your Handmade Business

The internet can be a shouty place sometimes. Which is one of the reasons why newer handmade business owners can wind up feeling overwhelmed and isolated.

Where should I start?
What resources will help me?
Which are best for where I'm at right now?
Who can I trust?

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!).

How to Make Big Changes in Your Business Through Small Steps

How to Make Big Changes in Your Business Through Small Steps

If you feel overwhelmed with what you need to do next-- read this! Designer and business consultant Jeff Daigle shares how to make big changes in your business through small steps.

Balancing the Creative Side with Business

Balancing the Creative Side with Business

Owning your own creative business takes a special person. You're not just pursuing creative passions, but you have to know business strategies that might not always be top of the right-brained mind. You can also find yourself concerned about business and that it can suck time and energy away from what makes your business special-- your creativity. We surveyed a few of our members how they balance this. Here are their responses!

From Craft to Commerce: The Life and Stages of a Creative Business

From Craft to Commerce: The Life and Stages of a Creative Business

At our very first San Francisco Chapter meeting I met Vince of Vincie Bags-- and I know longer worried that we would find good people who cared about craft as part to help our new chapter flourish! 

Vince is the kind of person who has honed his years of experience into generous wisdom and also hilarious insights. He is truly a craftsman and gives back unselfishly to his local maker community. I'm excited that he's sharing with us today how he has come to understand the steps of a successful creative business and ways to keep the cycle of "always learning" in your business.

This Thing is New. Should I Use It for My Business? Why Pattern by Etsy Might Be a Problem.

This Thing is New. Should I Use It for My Business? Why Pattern by Etsy Might Be a Problem.

Last week we saw the release of new program by Etsy called Pattern. We discussed it a bit in our member forums (go here to view it you're an #ahasmember) and the conclusion for most was that it would not work for them. Which got me thinking that often when something shiny and new comes along it's easy hop aboard the excitement train that everyone has about it (or sometimes, conversely, the negativity train). That should be ignored and instead you have to evaluate it based on the only business that matters-- yours.