handmade business

Selling myself (short)

I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling incredibly, well, alone in this process of trying to get a handmade business off the ground. I’ve never been an entrepreneurial person, nor have I ever been comfortable talking myself up. And despite working in the broad arena of sales and marketing for the past 14 years, I really don’t feel confident that I know the best way to market and sell my handmade things.

basket of bears
Basket of bears

I’m finding that the key skills I’m going to need to attain will be sheer persistence, resilience and positive thinking. Ooh and that last one quite frankly gives me the heebie jeebies.

trio of ladies
Trio of ladies

I am frequently overwhelmed by all the things you need to do to put your product out there to compete with everything else on the internet. Sometimes it makes me just want to go hide under a rock.

So what I think I’ll use this space for today is to make a list of the 5 things that most scare me about starting a business and hopefully this will be a kind of therapy to help me overcome them. Here goes.

  1. Giving up. That I’ll give in to that voice in my head that says, ‘I’m just not cut out for this type of thing, it’s too hard’. And I just stop trying.
  2. Being Invisible. That I will try and that it won’t be enough. That I’ll put my heart on the line and I’ll just be overlooked in that big, wide internet world. That me nor the things I make will be interesting enough for people to pay attention too. That I’ll put my things up on Etsy and Madeit and send these posts out into the vast cyberworld only to hear the echo of nothingness back. (That possibly sounds a little over dramatic.)
  3. Losing momentum. That I’ll simply lose interest in achieving the dream of having my own successful craft business.
  4. Not finding my niche. That the things I make are just not trendy enough or appealing enough to people.
  5. Not finding my own voice, my own brand. And that my own cynicism about such things as branding will be my undoing in these matters.
cats
A whole bunch of cats…

It all comes down to fear: fear of failure, fear of not trying hard enough and fear of regret if years down the track I didn’t try harder.

Surely  it’s best to just try to push these thoughts out of my head and soldier on. Though that sounds suspiciously like the ‘positive thinking’ I have such an allergic reaction to. I think maybe what will work for me is baby steps and support. Making little lists of things I need to get done until the wheels start turning and talking to people, sharing my misgivings and getting advice. Those things are what help me in every part of my life, so why not this.

I’m also hoping this little blog will be a friend to share the burden with. I need to remember that I’m only doing this because I really, really want to.

Any shared stories or words of wisdom would be much appreciated 😉

~Sarah

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2 thoughts on “Selling myself (short)

  1. Oh my goodness, your things are ADORABLE!! The internet is a crazy, huge place and I think it’s easy to get lost in the sheer size of it. One day I hope to be able to make and sell things I’ve made/sewn as well (baby essentials mostly), but I doubt I’ll do it online…or at least not ONLY online. I’ve thought about going back to basics and selling at craft days in town; they may only be once every few months but they would get my stuff out there for people to see and touch and it would give me time to make things in between dates. Idk, I like the idea of interacting with people more than the actual selling part, so I think the internet would just be a bonus. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Valerie! Thanks so much for being my first commenter! I’m doing a little happy dance.
      You’re right – the internet is such a big scary place to fathom when trying to get noticed. It makes you feel like you have such a small voice. I’m also looking into smaller local markets – though the trend seems to be that they are more for marketing purposes, so people can see and touch your products and then purchase online. It’s quite a learning curve and when I find myself getting overwhelmed, I need to refocus on the craft in front of me and remind myself why I do what I do. I do also love those face to face conversations. You learn so much from those. Thanks for your kind words – I’ll head over to check our your blog now… I’m so glad you dropped by 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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