Taking the Small Business Plunge | Day Two

Thursday, October 2, 2014

One of the biggest mistakes I think a lot of us creatives make is that we forget to cast vision. We are so anxious to make it happen and like to fly by the seat of our pants (I’m looking at you, quickstarts) that we start walking without a map. If you want to head in an intentional direction with your business, you’ve first got to set the compass.

The first crucial step in starting your own business is to get down some concrete answers to this question:

What is your craft? What do you have to offer the world and why should people buy your stuff or invest in your services? For example, do you knit? What kinds of things exactly do you want to sell? Are you a photographer? What is your specialty and what makes you stand out among the crowd? What EXACTLY do you do?

A great piece of advice is to create what’s called an elevator speech. You want to be so clear on what you DO that you can explain to any person, anywhere, in such a succinct and effective manner that those in an elevator with you would walk out knowing what you do and be interested enough to ask for your business card.

Once you’ve got that nailed down, let yourself dream a little.

What fires you up?
What parts of your hobby would you continue doing if you never earned a dime off them?
Where do you draw your boundaries? Or, what kinds of potential business will you say no to? (Maybe you never want to crochet a Santa hat or perform at weddings – that’s okay.) Just decide up front what is your thing and what is not. Both are important.
What makes your business unique and attractive?

If I were a business professor, this would be the part where I’d tell you to write a business plan. However, I’d be a liar if I said I had one. Is it a good thing to do? Yes. Is it absolutely necessary to start out? I don’t think so. Bottom line is you want to create some vision for what direction you’re headed. Have an idea of what it looks like to be in business 5 or 10 years from now and base your here and now off that goal.

Excellent product. Valuable advice. Genuine talent. Those are the things you want to be about in your business. Define what you do and do it really, really well. 

I’d love to hear your vision for your business! Leave a comment or shoot me an email. Your passion matters. Go make it happen.


  1. I love to make things, and I have a penchant for sewing. I've made quilts, loveys, baby clothes, and the like, but right now I'm hooked on leather - purses, wallets, pouches, etc. I love the sturdiness of it, the quality feel that you only get from real leather, and I also love seeing my designs come to life and be useful!

    I will never sew a toilet seat cover.

    How's that?? :)

    1. Hahaha I love it. Toilet seat cover. I like your boundaries!

  2. I'm an Interior Designer but I have never really had the courage to go out on my own - i like the comfort of working in a firm that is already established. I'm going to follow along with your series - see if it can get me motivated! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Sounds awesome! Are you allowed to do some contracting on the side just for fun? Maybe that's a good way to test the waters a bit :)


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