I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a risk taker, at least when it comes to money. I take a lot of comfort from knowing I get a paycheck that will be roughly the same amount of money every two weeks. The idea of being a small business owner without that income guarantee was always a bit unfathomable to me. And the idea of even trying to make a living as a crafter: ridiculous!
Well, I’ve come to the slow realization that what was holding me back from really trying to make a living as a crafter was…wait for it….FEAR. Yup, I’m a big ole scaredy-cat. Well, crafting is hardly a high-risk occupation, so what is there to be afraid of? Oh, the usual female-type insecurities and fears: What if my crafty things aren’t good enough and nobody buys them? Or worse, someone thinks my pretties are awful! What will people think if I make a living painting furniture? Will they think I’m some high-school drop-out flunky that can’t get a “real” job?!? What if I try it out and fall flat on my face, and discover I really CAN’T make a living as a crafter?
So silly. After nearly two years of crafting, selling, and blogging as a hobby, I’m finally seeing an upswing in my crafty/bloggy income. Clearly, some people find what I do appealing. And some folks find the projects and info on my blog inspiring and helpful (which is so nice!) And honestly, as a nurse, I could quit my job today, and have a new one tomorrow, so it’s not like trying this out is going to put me in the unemployment lines. If I do fail as a crafter, I still have nursing to fall back on. And I can arrange a work schedule to suit me, and still work a “real” job while pursuing my somewhat new dream of being a successful crafter/entrepreneur. SO I’m going for it. In another two years, I want to be a full-time, self-employed crafter, making an income equivalent to what I earn now as a nurse. There. I said it out loud. Well, OK, I typed it, but all the world can see it, so how’s that for a commitment statement?!
Steps to success as a crafter
Making the leap to self-employment isn’t really that hard, now that I’ve had some time (2 years) to think about it. And a chance to overcome those fears. For anyone who’s thinking of giving crafter entrepreneurship a try, here’s some free advice (and worth every penny, too!) to help you overcome those self-doubts:
1. Learn to believe in your product. If it’s selling, then somebody likes it. Folks aren’t spending their money on your product because you need cheering up. They buy it because they like it, and you’ve got something unique, handmade, and worth having.
2. Take a chance and put yourself out there. Honestly, the first few craft shows about wore me out emotionally. I was so keyed up about what I had and if anyone would like it, I couldn’t even enjoy the show. But watch what sells, listen to what people have to say, and learn from everything you do. And you will get better!
3. Be reliable, helpful, friendly, etc. Take a $30 custom order, make it, deliver it on time, and send a thank you note with it. You are trying to build your brand, so you want to make a good impression, and be someone your customers come back to see!
4. Learn. Learn all you can about business, marketing, selling, being a business owner, getting better at your craft. The more you learn, the more you have to offer your customers, and the more successful you will be
5. Quit worrying about what others think. In the grand scheme of things, doing something I really enjoy is more important than people knowing that I’m a Master’s-prepared nurse. Who cares if they think I’m a high school drop out? At least folks will think I’m a talentedhigh school drop out, if they take the time to think about it at all. And moving away from nursing doesn’t mean I’m a failure, it means that what I want out of life is changing, and who wants to do the same thing forever, anyway?
6. Have a plan. My blog didn’t really start going anywhere until I made a plan, and a commitment to follow it. I have monthly goals, and editorial calendar, a project calendar, etc and I stick to it. And what do you know, my blog traffic is skyrocketing, and I’m actually seeing a bit of income. Because I’m being intentional in my pursuit of a successful blog. You can’t get where ya want to go without a plan.
7. Do what you love. For years I’ve loved nursing, and I still enjoy it. But I also really enjoy working with my hands, being covered with paint, and spending the day in a hot garage with the country music blaring. That is my happy spot. And I want to spend more time there!! Where do you want to spend your time??
Originally posted at http://flyingc-diy.com