I would by no means classify myself as a business-savvy person. I am a true right-brained individual who is influenced, intrigued, and intoxicated by colors and forms and texture. I have never been trained in business strategy and have forgotten most of what I learned in college of complex math. Try as I might, my brain simply does not work that way. But I am an entrepreneur. I don’t know if I would go so far as to say that I am a successful entrepreneur (yet!) but I will say that my business has grown steadily this past year.
I know I am not the only one out there. So how do we (the creative-brained slash business-challenged individuals) get our work into the world in a way in which we are rewarded enough financially to keep doing what we do?
If we are incredibly lucky to be able to pay someone to take the reins of the business side of our operations, there we go. But what about the rest of us, who have started from scratch, without an infinite savings account or the safety net of our parents? A good answer is to take advantage of business classes. Continuing Education classes can be found at nearly every community college and these courses tend to be more economically priced than their for-credit counterparts. They are typically offered online, or in the evening and on weekends, to work better with the schedules of those with day-jobs. If you can’t make one of these classes fit into your budget or schedule? Read, read, read. A quick google search will yield many options for independent study.
Another good idea? Enlist the wisdom of other artisans. Get together with fellow small-business owners. Ask questions. Listen. I know I love talking shop with fellow metal smiths. It is such a great way to tap into different ideas and ways of going about similar things.
I’m still on my way to following this advice of mine here. I have not gotten around to taking a business course. I haven’t even found a book on business that interests me enough to want to sit down and school myself. (How do you trick yourself into being excited about reading something like that?) In the meantime, I’ve been relying largely on trial and error. I think I have priced and re-priced my jewelry about four times, and I’m still unsure whether I am paying myself a live-able wage. And when I have those days that seem all struggle, when I really feel like I have failed myself in the business aspect of my work… I fall back on a few pieces of advice that always linger in the back of my head. The advice is simple and comes from people within my community who I greatly admire, who are successful in what they do and have made their own way. The advice is
1. Hard work goes a long way and,
2. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.
If I follow these words, I find myself trying again and trying harder.
To learn more about Molly visit her website.