Allowing Life to Intrude Including the Past
(London, United Kingdom)
I started my craft business in 2008, with research on making and designing etc. It is now 2011 and I feel as though I have just started. I have my own website and a online market shop front.
But I am not creating pieces that I really want. As sales are slow I immediately want to get pieces out so I can have an income to help pay bills, so my creativity takes a back burner.
I have been praised for my designs, but sometimes as I haven’t put loads of hours of thought I feel like a fraud. So in turn I tend to procrastinate a lot. Thinking about anything and everything.
Being in my mid 30’s I keep thinking I should be further along in life and I have wasted my years so therefore feel as though I am in a rush and therefore do not take time to really enjoy what I am doing.
The hardest part of this business is self belief and patience which I lack greatly. But I know if I take one day at a time, one minute, one second and apply myself to one thing, I will get there. I feel I need to do all these things at once and my brain comes crashing in and I end up doing nothing but feeling sorry for myself.
Now I am working on my website. I was suppose to have relaunched myself with a design logo to get a branding in from last year but have been dragging my heals. After a brief break to Ireland I thought enough is enough and instead of thinking I have no sales use this opportunity for preparing for the busy time I will be getting in the near future.
Never feel bad about doing business.
The hardest part of any business is the promotion of yourself. Some due to lack of confidence and others due to not wanting to toot their own horn.
You should not feel guilty about how much, little or otherwise, thought goes into your design. If someone wants it they obviously like the piece and are willing to pay.
You are running a business so you need to separate the creative process from the profit process. Enjoy when you sell a piece and realize that those who acquire them are going to continue to enjoy it.
Best of Luck,
Getting a jewelry business going
Hi Wenona, I wonder whether your difficulty in getting going could be caused by either:
1) Feeling like there’s so much to do that you don’t know what to do next – so you avoid and procrastinate. That’s something that most of us do, so you’re not alone!
Here’s how I overcome overwhelm / procrastination. From your (probably overwhelming) list of everything you need to do for your business, choose one thing that you could do fairly easily to make a positive difference for your business. Then break that one thing down into simple, do-able steps – and write down 2 or 3 of those steps on your calendar for tomorrow. Then the next 2 or 3 steps for the following day, etc. till that project is finished.
Then choose another fairly simple positive thing to do for your business, and break it down into steps that you’ll do 2 or 3 of each day till that task is done.
And so on.
That’s all there is to it – and each day when you’ve done those 2 or 3 simple business steps you wrote on your calendar, you’re finished for the day. And you’ll be making steady, regular progress toward developing your business.
2) Or another reason for your blocked state of mind may be this:
In your heart of hearts, the path you’ve set for yourself may not be one you still truly want to follow.
Maybe you’ve evolved since your original dream from 2008, and it no longer fits you? Perhaps you truly want something that’s bigger, smaller, or has a different focus than what you committed yourself to a few years ago.
If that’s the case, please know that it’s perfectly OK to change your mind, evolve, and morph yourself, your art, and your business as often as it feels right for you – throughout your lifetime.
Also, it’s nearly impossible to run a creative business that your heart isn’t into.
If that feels like you, maybe you should allow yourself to let go of the business you’ve set yourself to, and feel free to explore other options and possibilities – with jewelry, your other crafts, or with something else that interests you.
Sometimes we keep trudging along a path that no longer fits us because we feel that we’ve made commitments about it – to ourselves, our families, and our friends. I often find myself doing that.
And when that’s the case, it can be a huge relief to realize it’s OK to switch to a path that makes us happier and suits us better!
I hope this helps, Wenona, and please keep us posted!
re:Allowing Life to intrude
I totally agree with everything Lee and Rena have said, and would only add that although the business end of it is extremely important, creating should bring you joy. I would love to be able to make a living at this, but not if it meant only making what’s “hot” at the moment. Instead of getting stressed about what I should be making, I now create pieces that speak to me personally which in turn makes my creativity and confidence grow. If you truly love what you’re doing, it’ll show in your work and you’ll be able to create a niche for yourself.
As far as being in your mid 30’s – I wish! I’ve got a couple of decades on you and have only gotten serious about this in the past couple of years when it dawned on me that time’s running out. Good luck!
Wasting your time?
I don’t believe you should feel as if you’ve been wasting your time trying to create a jewelry business. Every endeavor is a learning experience if nothing else.
Perhaps you have lost some of your original enthusiasm, who hasn’t at some point. As Rena pointed out, maybe you’ve become overwhelmed or need to change your plan but are afraid to change it.
I have changed hats many times over (and I way, way beyond 30). Starting over is second nature to me. Although jewelry making has always been part of me, I’ve spent much time in other areas (like Natural Health). It’s all part of growing and evolving. I still don’t know what I want to be when I “grow up”, but I’m OK with it.
Definitely taking calculated business steps is a great idea. Don’t forget to applaud yourself and every achievement (you may have overlooked some) along the way.
Thanks all. I have taken on board and have enjoyed reading your feed back. I love the step idea.
I had a day by day hour by hour week by week schedule which worked and I ended up getting lots of things done. Only lasted a month but it is something I found worked for me.
I think its just a case of, I try so hard and work hard and when I see little results I am now after so many years getting a bit frustrated.
But I have started re-designing my website and came up with some new ideas for my business and actually feel better as though I am getting somewhere. I have a goal and want to try and achieve it.
My main plan is to concentrate on my business and what I can bring to it rather than focusing on the lack of sales and making money.
Listing it down doing a schedule and away I go.
Thanks all. x
Your heart’s desire
I do know from experience that if you are trying to design the latest jewelry trend and your heart is not in it– it will not come together. I do Native beadwork and chokers among other items and cannot get into doing anything else. I do have some Cherokee in me so that is where my passion is. My business name has even changed due to the fact that it was being used online and it was her name. So, I needed to change mine to reflect me. Good luck and keep doing your best. I also think that I should be further along, but when the time is right– it all falls in place.
I hope that reading some of the comments has inspired you on and I would like to thank you for sharing your story. I felt in the same boat and it’s a little frightening when you put yourself out there. I have found this site a wealth of inspiration as there are hundreds of great tips and advice all in one place. I have only just started making jewellery and have also gone through a period of despondency, but it is my own mind creating the problem, and I totally relate to past fears. At the moment I refuse to let it in and I feel a renewed sense of confidence I am sure that there will always be pit falls in the future in one way or another but while I have this excitement I am going to do as much as possible. I also understand that the worry about business can sap creative energy and I think your right to take one step at a time. I have tried to see the business side as just another creative part of the process and although building my website with no knowledge what so ever was challenging it has given me fresh energy to get creative again. Seeing my pictures out there and the way it’s all come together on a shoestring budget is so very exciting. Remember to congratulate yourself for the hard work already put in. My pieces take such a long time to make and I don’t have much stock but I am learning as I go. I hope you feel inspired to keep creative and know that when the time is right and you hit on something that gives you such a buzz you just want to keep going with it and the rest will follow. i felt like this about making jewellery and for the first time it feels right. I have had quite a lot of other craft work that I have never sold but right now I have just had an offer to send it over seas. So it just shows that if you love it and when the time is right it will happen. Best of luck. Breathe and Believe.