More entrepreneurial lessons.
I’ve been consuming podcasts like nobody’s business. I heard something recently that encouraged me, and I have no clue who said it. My gut is telling me that it was on Tiffany Han’s podcast “Raise Your Hand. Say Yes.” If you like being motivated and inspired, you should listen to it.
The gist of it was this: you don’t have to do all the things.
The interviewee wanted to grow her business and she had all these things she thought she HAD to do in order to be successful: improve her website, be active on social media and blogging, etc. She came to the end of the year and realized that none of those things had happened but her business had still grown tremendously because she was working hard in other areas. She let go of her guilt for not having accomplished “all the things”.
This was an “Ah-ha!” moment for me.
I really want to do all the things.
I want to work on building my website that I bought a domain for 5 months ago. I want to create a Facebook page for my weaving business. I want to spend more time networking with other weavers and creative entrepreneurs. I want to blog more often. I want to manufacture all the products I have ideas or designs for. I want to learn how to use my “nice camera” to the best of my ability. I want to make fiber art just for the heck of it because I haven’t done that in years. I want to paint all the rooms in my house. I want to refinish my dining room furniture. Blah, Blah, Blah. Etc., Etc., Etc.,
I really can’t accomplish all the things and stay sane/whole/balanced.
So, Just do the work. This is nothing new. I’m used to digging in my heels and doing the hard work, I’m sure you are too. The caveat I want to add to that is: you’re only responsible for what you can accomplish in a day. Be a good steward of each 24-hour time window. Work wisely and plan ahead. And let go of the rest.
Another thing I learned recently:
When I bought my new-to-me loom in Atlanta I spent a while chatting with the seller. She once ran a successful weaving business with 16 looms and a handful of employees.
For the most part, I’ve found the weaving community to be incredibly friendly and supportive. So I asked her point-blank what she sold, how much she sold it for, and how she marketed it. She was pleased to chat with me and encourage me in my weaving-journey… like I said, weavers are awesome.
Her answer? The internet.
She recommended using Facebook, Instagram, and your personal website to create a brand-following. That was the secret to her success.
“Well, yeah, of course,”I thought. Then the “buts” started rolling in. But you have to have a huge following to make even one sale. But I don’t have time to make a gorgeous website. But I don’t have inventory sitting around to market (actually a good problem, because that means I’m selling things). But maintaining social media and developing your brand-voice and being consistent in how and how-often you post is crazy time-consuming. But, But, But, But, But.
Then I went online and looked at her Facebook, Instagram, and website. And I wasn’t blown away by it.
A weight lifted off my chest. The buts disappeared.
Granted, after a serious injury she down-sized considerably, and no longer weaves full-time, so her following may have changed… but it doesn’t appear that she has a vast network of subscribers. Yet, she was successful and credited these sources as being her profitable marketing tools.
She didn’t do all the things perfectly. She wasn’t Martha Stewart. She was just one passionate person who was willing to be public about her work in strategic ways. She has a small reach and big results.
I’m so comforted by this, and encouraged, and motivated… because this means I don’t need a HUGE audience… I just have to reach MY people.
Not everyone needs to understand what I’m doing or why I do it (ahem, to all the people in my life who think I sit around and granny-craft).
I don’t need THE WORLD to listen to me.
I just need a little tribe of people who value a handmade life and want to be inspired to live beautifully.