Over the years, I’ve received all sorts of advice.
That doesn’t always mean good advice. While I appreciate advice, I may brush it aside if I know that it won’t work for me. I may not even say thank you because my little brain is just toiling away and throws it away without a second thought. I know this is rude, and I’m sorry. Likewise, I know I give advice even when it isn’t asked for…and it really bothers me when people don’t head my words, even though I do the same thing. My husband thinks that I never take anyones advice (especially his!) but that’s not true. Some advice takes a little longer to show that I’ve taken it. I’m not one to just push it out and say “Look! You told me to do this and I did it and here it is!” Nope, not me. This is not going to happen. I mean, maybe if you bring it up I will admit that you were right.
Here’s some of the advice I’ve gotten for a number of different things in my life over the years:
1.) Narrow your Niche 🙂
So, like I’m sure that everyone who has ever picked up a craft does, your imagination of things you want to make grows out of control fast. Especially if your imagination runs wild anyways (like mine!) As much as I want to make anything and everything to sell in my Etsy shop, I know what I make well. I also know who my buyers are, and I know that I don’t want to overwhelm them with too many options. Which leads me to my next advice…
2.) You should make X, Y & Z 😦 / 🙂
I know. I see that stuff. Here’s the thing, if it doesn’t fit in my niche, I probably won’t make it. If it does, I might! Also, this is kind of overwhelming. I have a list, an actual list of “to makes” that I’m adding to all the time. I am constantly scouring for new designs and toying with things in my head and making scribbles of things I think would be the next big thing,
so I know you’re trying to help, but you’re not helping. Actually, this is kind of a weird one, because while this does pile more on, it can sometimes spark an idea….so maybe keep them coming? Just don’t get your feelings hurt if you don’t see that I made it.
3.) Market at this time and this place 🙂
This is more advice that I sought out desperately. I’m not a marketing major. I also don’t want to pay for advertising. Shameless self promotion it is! It took quite a while, but I finally found the “Social Media Sweet Spot” for sharing, pinning, tweeting, you name it. It’s 1:30pm – 3pm, FYI.
4.) You should charge this 😦
I have a system. I have an overly detailed excel spreadsheet that I use to determine my prices. I also do research on what I’m making to see how I can fairly price my items. I am not trying to make a living off of what I make, I’m just doing this for fun. I do make a profit, but it’s not paying the mortgage. If you have a system, and you know what you’re aiming for, don’t let others push your hand.
5.) Keep up with spending 🙂
I will admit I’m not the best at this, but this is VERY important. Even if you’re pricing to make a profit, if you’re not keeping up with your spending, you may just drain your own profit right out from under yourself.
6.) Bonus – Keep a Schedule 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
So, this is a biggie. I know things just come up. I know how great it is to live in the moment. I also know how important it is to schedule out time and try to keep to it. If you wake up at the same time every day (yes, even on the weekends) you’re going to not find it so hard to get up on Monday. If you allot time for things you’re going to do throughout the week, you’ll probably get it all done instead of pushing this off to do that. I’m (trying) to schedule out my days each week; I know Sunday – Tuesday I’m going to have shows that I’m going to want to watch, but I’ll probably DVR them, mostly because I can’t stay awake late enough to watch all of it. So instead of staying up to watch The Walking Dead, Animals, Real Time, Vice, Vinyl, Vanderpump Rules, Better Call Saul, Real Housewives, The X Files AND The People Vs. OJ Simpson (This has been an unexpectedly busy tv season!) I record most of them and watch them on one night. I know Tuesday nights I’m probably going to need to do laundry. I know Friday we’re probably going to go out to eat. I don’t keep these plans all etched in stone, however, because things do come up! We may go out to dinner on a different night, and I may have some webinar to watch (I have an addiction) or maybe, JUST maybe I have some rush sewing to get done! However, having “days” like TV days or sewing days, even if they are flexible, are important.
Also, a note. If you feel like this post is some sort of attack on you, it isn’t. I get a lot of unsolicited advice from a lot of people. It doesn’t annoy me, because sometimes it’s useful. It does help me sometimes to see it from a different perspective. If you’ve given me some sort of advice, chances are someone else has given me the same advice, too.
What’s advice you’ve gotten along the way? Share it in the comments!