Should You Give Up? No!
Whether you’re new to the crafting world or have been selling for years, we ALL hit a brick wall every now and again.
So let’s talk about it.
You know those days when you feel like giving up and selling all your supplies?
Yep. Been there done that. The last time I went on a rant about wanting to quit my wreath business, my husband (in his attempt to always keep me laughing) said “NO WAY are you quitting now. You have too much crap!”
And while part of me wanted to ignore him, I understood what he really meant was, “You’ve already come so far.” And he was right. Running your own business isn’t always going to be full of wins. Sometimes there will be missteps. And fails. But in the end, if this is your passion you pick yourself back up and keep going.
Have you seen this graphic? It’s been circulating around the internet and I was unable to find the original creator but it’s SO true. You might think the path to success is straight and narrow but 99.9% of the time it’s not. It’s a hot mess.
But it’s your hot mess. Because it’s your business. Something you are building for yourself and for your family. Which means inside the mess there is beauty. And excitement. And growth. Sure, sometimes you have to look really closely to find it. But trust me, it’s there.
Don’t forget about you!
The other day in my free Facebook group (p.s. you should join us!) a former student was expressing some of the same frustrations. She was having trouble balancing life and work. Don’t get me wrong, family comes first always.
But YOU need to come first, too. Many of the comments on the post were from fellow crafters who were feeling similar struggles, but what stuck out to me was the comments like this one:
As a mom, or a husband, or a son, or a daughter – you have to put on your mask first. “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” If making things is your passion then don’t sell off all your supplies – just take a step back. If you start to feel like giving up – take a step back. Breathe.
You don’t have to make six figures to be successful. This isn’t all or nothing. The beauty of having your own business is that you can choose when you want to work. You can choose how “big” you want your business to be. You make the time if you want to. Or not. It’s all up to you.
Figure out what you can do
Maybe now is not the time to go “all in” with your own business. And that’s okay. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop creating. Or stop doing things here and there to promote your business. I have a husband, two kids, and a day job right now. Believe me, I get the struggle.
But at the end of the day, when the kids are in bed and my husband is watching football, I sneak away to my craft room and make something. And it brings me so much joy.
I do what I can for now and try to give myself grace that I can’t do more at the moment because of my priorities. When things change at home (kids get older, I don’t have a day job, etc), then my business will change. But I’m not giving up.
And I don’t want you to give up, either.
Take it one step at a time
If you’ve purchased trainings or courses in the past – start implementing! Don’t wait for that rainy day to start doing what you need to do to make your business grow.
While we’re talking about training and courses, I want you to stop spending all that money on new trainings and courses if you’re not going to put it to use. There is so much valuable information out there. But all anyone can do (as a coach) is give you the information. YOU have to be the one to take it and run with it.
Check out this recent blog post where I talk about whether your crafting is a hobby or truly a business.
Take the time to really think about your goals for your business. Where do you want to be in 1 year? In 5 years? Then commit to what can you do today to take a step towards those goals?
It’s all baby steps. None of it happens overnight. Over time you master certain things to leave your brain free to learn more. And over time you earn more revenue so that you can pay others to help you do some of the smaller tasks in your business.
It can feel like it takes forever. But if you stop now, all that forward progress will be lost. And then what? You find a new hobby? Do you want to be a “hobby jumper??” A jack of all trades but a master at none?
If you want real results you have to stick with something long enough for that to happen.
So let’s make a pact. I want you to comment below with what you’re going to do this week to move your business forward and commit to it. Let’s cheer each other on!
For my part, I’m going to be finishing up adding Instagram training to Handmade Sellers 201 that releases in January 2020!
I am taking a small step back, to recharge my batteries. I originally started with baby wreaths and that makes me so happy. I decided I needed to diversify to be successful. While I like doing seasonal wreaths and every day wreaths, I don’t love it. I love all things baby, so I am going to do a few new baby wreaths to get recharged. I want to do something additional to sell with my baby wreaths , just haven’t figured out what that will be, perhaps centerpieces for baby showers, etc. I am still going to do the other wreaths but need to go back to my happy place. Even more importantly I need to get my shop 100% perfect, I need to get my Pinterest and Facebook right. Less wreath making and more of the business and marketing end of things. Sorry this is so long.
I always focus on the business side when selling slows down for a while. You can diversify but also specialize – make just baby wreaths but different kinds and different styles and with different accessories. If that makes you happy, do it 🙂
I am so exhausted after trying to balance the busy business months, the holidays, a special needs child/adult(and it’s her BD this month for which she expects a gala celebration) I have been seriously considering quitting. I know how to work hard, spent 40 years as an anesthetist, long hours, 24hr call, working through the night. It bugs me when coaches say” you just need to work hard”. I DO work hard, but at 70 do not WANT to work 80 hours a week. Your blog comment just gave me permission to do as much as I can! Now maybe I can start enjoying creating again!
Christine I have known you for a long time and you DO work hard. Give yourself some grace 🙂 In the words of Les Brown, “You will win if you don’t quit”.
Omgosh Lauren, I’m literally crying. Your comments are exactly what I needed.
Let me tell you just a little about me. 5 years ago I lost my family, 7 grandkids, 2 sons & dil’s. My entire life had been dedicated to these kids. I was totally lost when they left. I wanted to die – but something (Holy Ghost – guardian angel?) whispered to me, “now you can follow your passions”. So I started painting vintage ceiling tiles, making wreaths, acrylic pours. I found myself at the age of 64. I’m happy. Although I have a big hole in my heart … I’m gratified making so many friends and am so gratified in creating beauty that ppl appreciate, love & pay for!! Hope this isn’t tmi or too long. But ty Lauren. Btw, my business tripled this year and thx for all your great info. I also work another job during the day.
I’m so sorry for all you’ve been through 🙁 but so glad you found a way to be happy again.
I am not thinking of quitting, but I get caught up in gathering information. I make a pact with you to activate what I have learned from you recently regarding pinterest. Thank you for all you do to help us move forward in our business journey.
I’m a serial learner too. I always thing I have to know all the things. But if you’re constantly learning and not implementing anything what are you really doing?? Time to get to work 🙂
I really needed this. Thank you, Lauren. I have stepped back considerably because it seemed the only way to “make it” involved so much online work. It was smothering me!
I have enjoyed making a few things as well as decorating my house for the holidays this year.
I’ve set a goal to begin in Jan with baby steps again to learn the technical side with Pinterest, etc. but putting the happiness of creating and my family first this time ♥️
“Baby steps” – exactly. Take it piece by piece so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Merry Christmas!
Thanks for your wise words Lauren! I stepped back in January because of family issues. I had to move my workshop/studio from a spare bedroom to the basement, which I hate. Lots of space, but I feel so cut off and isolated down there. Hopefully things will resolve soon, I can move back upstairs and get motivated again soon. I almost feel as if I am in mourning! I just signed up for you to critique my Etsy Shop and I am excited to hear what you have to say.