I want to help you build a sustainable, profitable handmade business that makes you consistent income and sales. I only ever teach or recommend marketing, social media, pricing, production and branding tips that I’ve personally used successfully in my own 7-figure handmade businesses.
I'm Mei, from Los Angeles!
starting a business
get more traffic
running a business
make more sales
growing a business
mindset & productivity
pricing & money
selling on etsy
selling on amazon
One of the secret keys to running a business successfully is confidence.
But if you feel you’re lacking in that department, you’re part of the 85% of people who struggle with low self-esteem.
This is problematic for business owners, since having the confidence to make important decisions to effectively run your business and sell your products is so important.
So, are there any ways to find our confidence to be more effective business owners?
There absolutely are, so stay tuned till the end of the article to learn about 4 ways you can build up your confidence!
In today’s article, I want to talk about something that hits home for me.
It’s about how self-esteem and confidence play a gigantic role in either making or breaking your business.
I know finding your confidence, maintaining your confidence, and building up your self-esteem is something that inflicts a lot of creative people.
We tend to let our imposter syndrome limit our full potential and let the fears formed by our low self-esteem hold us back.
I know many of you will be able to relate to this because the majority of us have trouble with our confidence to some degree.
I’ve certainly met very confident people in my life.
They’re awesome, and I love them—my husband is one of them—but for the most part the people that I meet and work with at Creative Hive are people who at some level struggle with confidence.
I was that same way and still am today but it’s just a lot more in check today.
In fact, my own self-esteem definitely got in the way of my Tiny Hands business.
I remember a specific time when this was such a big problem and how it hindered the growth of my business.
I was getting in my own way and preventing myself from achieving the success I was working so hard to get.
It was then that I realized I had a problem and needed to address it.
That specific moment was many years ago with Tiny Hands.
I was emailed by a really big online retailer.
It was a really cool store that I didn’t particularly aspire to sell on, but when I got the email from them I was definitely very excited.
They emailed me to say they were interested in selling some of my designs on their website and that they wanted to buy some of my stuff wholesale.
They asked me a bunch of questions, like if I had testing certificates done, if I had safety standard procedure for my jewelry, and so many other questions that I just honestly had no idea how to answer at the time.
I was making my products because I loved making things and sharing them with people.
I didn’t ever really expect Tiny Hands to turn into the business that it is today, so I never gave a single thought to any of those things.
I was like a wide-eyed deer caught in the headlights.
I didn’t know what they were talking about, but I didn’t want to ask for clarifications or ask them to explain what those things meant.
Can you imagine just how dramatically my confidence fell in that moment?
I was so afraid that they would judge me, or think that I was small potatoes, and I was afraid they wouldn’t take me seriously and decide to not do business with me if I asked them to clarify.
I was afraid of sounding dumb and unprofessional.
So, I avoided responding to that email for about a week.
That is such a big no-no, because in this day and age everyone is connected to their email.
People expect you to have a less than 24-hour turnaround time, and I didn’t respond for more than seven days.
At that point it started eating at me, and it felt horrible thinking that I had probably lost the deal already.
At that time I was meeting up with a mastermind group that I was a part of locally, so I brought it up to my girlfriends and asked what to do and if they had any idea how to test your products.
They didn’t have answers for me, but what they did have was a more objective perspective on what was going on.
And thank goodness for that.
Because what they did see was that my problem wasn’t that I didn’t know anything about testing procedures; it was more the fact that I was so afraid of what they would think if I were to write back that I didn’t have what they wanted.
It had less to do with my knowledge of the subject and everything to do with my own confidence—or, better said, lack of it.
They recommended that I see a therapist, which required me to get out of my comfort zone, since there’s a stigma that people who get therapy are cray cray, especially in the culture I grew up in.
And for a while, I thought that maybe I actually was broken and crazy, and that someone needed to fix me.
I’m glad that I eventually learned that wasn’t the case, though.
I wasn’t crazy or broken.
I just needed some guidance.
I did see a therapist for about two years and we worked on my self-esteem and confidence issues.
She has helped me so much, and without her I don’t think I would have gotten to this point.
Over the course of two years, we had broken down so many of my internal barriers and demons and shaped me into a better person.
So don’t be shy—if you have the option to see a therapist, please do it!
It’s one of the best ways to get back your confidence.
But what if seeing a therapist isn’t possible right now?
Don’t worry, because I want to tell you about 4 other ways to build your confidence.
In addition to talking to my therapist, these 4 ways also worked wonders for me and helped me break through my own barriers.
So I want to share them with you in hopes that they’ll break through your barriers, too.
I didn’t come up with this myself.
It was from a really great article that I read by Mindy Kaling (you may recognize her from The Office).
There is really no way around building confidence.
It’s the same as if you’re trying to learn how to cook.
You don’t feel confident if you don’t know what you’re doing, but the more you try and the more mistakes you make, the more you’ll know what’s going on and that confidence will build over time.
This also reminds me of Nike’s logo: “Just Do It.”
It’s so true.
If you second guess yourself all the time, you’ll never actually end up doing the things you need to do to become more knowledgeable and to gain confidence.
If nobody has bought your products yet, that doesn’t mean they aren’t great.
Market your business knowing that it’s great and that it’s a big deal!
Trust me when I say that people will feel that energy and catch on.
This was a big struggle when I started Creative Hive in 2014.
You would think that having built such a big audience with Tiny Hands since 2006 that I would have a big audience of eyeballs that I could just tell to check out my new business.
But it really doesn’t work that way because they’re separate businesses.
I had to start from scratch.
I would share blog posts on social media, but nobody would see it or give me the time of day. That’s just how it is when you get started, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be that way forever or that what you have isn’t good.
You need to keep believing that what you’re doing IS good work and that will help you gain traction over time.
I know a lot of other teachers are going to hate me for this, because everyone out there says you should price higher.
And yes, I agree.
I think lots of people are undercharging, but here’s the thing.
Confidence comes from doing. If you haven’t sold anything yet, you are going to feel like your products aren’t any good.
You might even feel like an imposter.
In order to start building that confidence, you need to make it easy for people to buy your stuff.
Make your prices fairly lower in the beginning so more people can buy it.
Imagine yourself as the customer.
Would you be willing to buy a product from someone with zero reviews, yet their item is priced similarly to products that DO have great reviews?
You’d end up buying the one with all the great reviews for the same price.
Once you know a lot of people love your products, raise your prices.
Once you keep making more sales, then raise your prices again and keep doing that until you reach the price point that you want to ultimately be at.
I know it’s easier said than done, but one thing I’ve learned from being online for a long time and experiencing quite a bit of a pushback from other people, is that when people judge you and think that you’re doing something the wrong way, it’s almost always because of a failure on their part or a reflection of a flaw they have.
Someone can have a very bad day completely unrelated to you and they will take it out on you.
Just know that it’s almost always not your problem, but it’s other people projecting their life onto you.
And let’s face it: no matter what we do or how hard we try, it truly is impossible for everyone to like us, or agree with what we’re doing, or to see the vision that we have.
Keep doing you, and don’t worry about the other people’s opinions.
If you want to expand on this conversation or have any questions, let me know down in the comments below.
I hope this was helpful to you or please share it with someone who needs to hear this right now.
If it was helpful, let me know by subscribing to my channel.
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This workshop is for anyone who makes and sells a handmade or physical product, including jewelry designers, artists, paper designers, bath & body product makers and more!
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