Saturday, July 02, 2011

The Business Chat - Success is...

Thank you! Thanks for all the well-wishing about the new (soon, very very very soon) small crafty business website I will be launching this fall and thank you for your input about what you would like to learn about. (You can read all about it here.)

It was really interesting to read your comments and get your feedback, it took me back to my beginning days. Sometimes I find it amazing that I’ve been running my little crafty endeavour for 9 years now! Where did that time go? I think this is one of the most satisfying parts of running a small business that you love, it doesn’t seem like work. 9 years in a cubicle would have seemed like eternity and yet 9 years of this has gone by in a blink. And I still wake up in the middle of the night with a new idea in mind and wish it were daytime so that I could go to work!

I think the biggest difference between a “regular” business and a crafty business is in the WHY of the business. Regular businesses live for the bottom line, it’s all about the money. The more money a business makes the more successful it is deemed to be. Yet for most of us, the money isn’t the driving force behind what we do. It’s really critical to the success of any craft business that you truly love what you do. Craft businesses are different from “regular” businesses. When you go to a job, you may be really proud of that report you wrote, or the committee you steered, however it’s not your heart and soul. Not like when you make a piece of art and put it out on display. And it’s the heart and soul and You The Artist that a customer is looking for. And because you are pouring your heart and soul into your fledgling venture, no matter how small or part time it is, your crafty business will occupy a part your brain cells 24/7.

So if you are going to pour a portion of your entire being into this little business of yours I think it is really important to know WHY you are doing this.

In a previous life I worked at a software development company. It was fun for a long while, and then it was not. At the same time as it became un-fun we had bought a sailboat down south and I was craving a life beyond the 9-5 of a cubicle. I decided that life was short and should be lived to the fullest. Hence Sailorgirl Jewelry was born. Part of my company mission is to take 3 months off a year and go sailing. I do that every year. Hence I feel that I have a successful company even if, frankly, I would have financially been much better off in a cubicle.

Every time I lead my “Start Your Successful Micro-Business Class” I ask the participants to tell me, why are you here? What do you want from your business?

I’ve heard a great variety of answers from my students, everything from paying for a hot tub, a European vacation, a new kitchen, to the most common, covering the cost of your bead addiction or providing a second income. What it boils down to is that if you don’t know what your idea of success is, then how do you know when you have a successful company?

Today I am asking you the same question, why do you read this column and why do you want to run a small craft business? What is your definition of success?

Next week is a meat and potatoes column – A step by step: How to Register Your Business.

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