A while ago a friend sent me this, she is always so thoughtful! Anyway, I fell in love with it. It is hard to put into words what all goes into starting a business. Having something you love doing, making, etc. But this pretty much sums it all up. Ever since getting married and graduating college I had this desire to make things to sell. At first I thought I was crazy, I mean I couldn’t even sew without reading and re-reading a tutorial. And even then it took me forever to finish the product and it didn’t always turn out the best. I kept putting it on the back burner. After making many things for around the house I slowly started giving my products as gifts and selling things locally. My dream was starting to take flight. It was more of a hobby. But I really wanted it to be full time. I would read all the advice out there on how to become successful. I tried different things, but nothing really just took off. I just didn’t understand why. I would compare myself with other sellers that were successful with the same type of product I was selling and wonder why they were selling lots and not me. So I would decide to try a different product, maybe that would take off. I sort of stumbled on ideas that I thought would just be awesome sellers, only to be disappointed. Meanwhile I would see on pinterest that saying that goes something like “many of life’s failures are people who did not know how close to success they were when the gave up.” I kept holding onto that and kept going. But after some things happened, I was honestly ready to give up. My therapy license was in renewal and I had to make a decision. To stick with my business or go back to something I was not passionate about. I was about ready to give up and go do something all together different. Right before this hopeless feeling I had decided to sit down and figure out yet another thing to make. Only this time, instead of deciding to make something I thought would sell good, I wrote out things I would love making and the reasons why. I wrote down things that I am passionate about and how I could incorporate that into a product. In the end I came up with: I love encouraging people, I love the Dave Ramsey Plan, and I love anything organizational. So I decided to make a wallet that would fit those three things. Then the hopeless feeling hit and it took me weeks to finish the wallet. Along with complaints about not wanting to do it, but my sweet husband kept encouraging me to finish it. I finally got it finished and posted it. It was a hit, I started selling wallets and they by far have been my best product. I think the difference was that I am passionate about making them. I absolutly love it, and do not get tired of making them!
Through this journey there has been many failures, and times when I felt like just giving up. But it is so worth it when you get it right. So to all you out there who are starting a business don’t give up. If it is something you are passionate about keep going! Find that area where you shine. I just want to share a few things I wish I knew before starting this journey.
1. What works for someone else may not work for you.
I got too caught up in the thought that well if something is successful over there, then it will be for me too. I spent to much time trying to do something that I wasn’t really meant to do. When you see the advice find your niche, do it. I was scared to narrow anything down, because that might hinder me. But really I was making a bunch of things I really wasn’t in love with! I think that makes a huge difference. Find what you really REALLY love doing, and do that. If you are passionate about what you do, it makes a difference.
2. Try different things.
I got stuck on the white background for photography. I saw advice all over that said white is the best. I never tried anything else. But I was never really loving my pictures. I switched to a different background and now my pictures look so much better and I have had more sales on Etsy. Don’t get stuck doing one thing because that is what someone said was the best. Experiment, find out what works for you. I can’t stress this one enough, don’t get discouraged. It may take awhile to find what works for you.
3. Don’t compare your 1st chapter with someone else’s 25th chapter.
I started comparing myself to people who have had their shops open for years. I couldn’t figure out how they just seemed to have it all together while I was struggling. You learn so much along the way and you wont know it all right away. It takes time, be patient and be willing to learn as you go!
4. Be patient and don’t give up.
These are only a few of the things that I learned, but I think they are very important! I am not saying I have it all together or that I am just super successful and knowledgeable on the subject. I just wanted to share these little bits that I have learned so far. So to everyone out there that is starting a business, keep going! It will be worth it! And to everyone out there who is running a successful business you are awesome!! Keep up the good work!
Here is my first products that I put up for sale:
And here is one of my last creations! It is kind of fun looking back on where you started!!
Do you have any business stories or advice you would like to share? I would love to hear them!!