If you are thinking of turning your favourite hobby into a small business or you already have a business but struggling with competition overwhelm, this blog post is definitely for you!
Recently I saw a discussion on a Facebook group that I belong to. The discussion was about selling handmade quilts and whether it was profitable or worth starting a small home business doing it? There were so many negative responses. And a lot of misinformation. A number of people who had expressed a desire, even a dream to have a small work from home business doing what they love, were clearly deflated.
Replace “hand made quilts” with handmade cards, knitting, crochet, fabric design, illustration and the list goes on. There are an incredible number of people out there doing what they love every single day and making a nice living. Many have turned a much loved hobby into a viable small (micro) creative business.
It can be done. No, it’s not easy and requires a lot of hard work. But if that’s your dream then it’s worth that and more. Being afraid of what’s already out there is absolutely the last reason you should have for not setting up your business.
You have to make the competition irrelevant. Here’s a few ways how:
- Find your niche and stick to it. You can’t be everything to everyone. You have to find your perfect customer. Hint: that’s not everyone.
- Stop looking at what your competitors are doing. Especially during your product development stage. And if you take online courses or go to workshops, make sure you put your own spin on what you’re learning.
- Learn the difference between being inspired and copying. Pinterest is an amazing place to get inspiration. Have a look. Get inspired. Write some notes. Then walk away, shut your computer or close your internet browser and get to work. Don’t copy. Create your own unique version.
- You have your own way of doing something. Write your own way. Draw. Knit. Illustrate. Paint. There is no one else that can do what you’re doing, your way. You are what makes it different. Create your own style.
- Don’t know what your style is? Create, create and do more creating. Build up a body of work. Practice, practice. Step back and I promise you, you will see your style coming through. It might take some time but it’s worth it. You might be someone that has honed your own style almost immediately. High five to you! Do more of what is working.
- Only do what makes you happy and fills your heart with joy. I’m serious. There’s something amazing that happens when you love what you do and have a deep passion for it. It’s contagious and it will set you apart from the competition that are doing it just for a “fast buck”.
- Own your story. Be authentic. Have a why not just a what. Anyone can say what they do but not many people know why they do it. Think seriously about your branding. Hint: it’s not just about creating a logo. Your brand is you. It’s your why. It’ll be what draws your prospects and customers in.
- Remember when you were a kid and you’d draw for hours and not even think about it? Not be afraid of what someone’s going to say about your drawing? That’s what you need to do now. Own your crazy way of doing what you do. Don’t be scared to show your work. That crazy thing you do is what makes you unique. It’s what will make you more appealing.
- Finally, believe in yourself. The world needs what you’ve got. Share it. Show it. And bloom where you are.
I hope this gives you a little more insight into why you shouldn’t be afraid to start your own creative business. You can do it.
If this is something you’d like to do, I’d love to know. Tell me if there’s anything else that’s holding you back. I’m pretty sure I’ve run the gamut of all the “why I shouldn’t do it” and the various fears around even starting. Ask me, I’d love to help.
In the meantime, go have a look at Marie Forleo’s free workshop for setting up your own online business. This first video is both inspiring and motivating. And please do give me a shout if you have any questions after watching it. I’m an affiliate for Marie’s B-School having taken her course a few years ago and can testify to the authentic, passionate and soulful way Marie teaches both in her amazing free content and her B-School course. Click on the image below to find out more: