Are you frustrated that you’re not doing all the things you want to do for your handmade business?
That mental to-do list just keeps growing and you’re feeling like there’s not enough time in the day.
You find yourself on Facebook again and as bedtime rolls around, you start to feel guilty or upset that you didn’t do what you wanted to today.
Are you sure you want to run your own business?
It’s no secret that it takes a lot of discipline and initiative to be self-employed.
There are many learning opportunities out there, like articles explaining how to boost sales and classes on navigating social media.
No matter how much knowledge we absorb, if we never take action, nothing will change. Our businesses won’t grow.
Whether you work for yourself or for someone else you can probably relate to a time when you didn’t know what to do—and so didn’t do anything at all.
It happened to me.
One of my business goals was to sell my jewelry in the Think Geek online store.
It was one of my dreams; I always thought, “How cool that would be?”
One day, a buyer from Think Geek knocked on my virtual door and emailed me.
They were interested in carrying my line!
After some back-and-forth, the buyer asked if I had any testing documents to show her.
Testing documents? What testing documents? I'd never had my jewelry tested. The buyer wanted California Prop 65, lead and cadmium testing documents. I did some research and found that having my jewelry tested would cost thousands of dollars!
As a small business owner, this was not only intimidating, it wasn’t in the budget.
And I froze…
I kept the buyer waiting while I debated what to do. It was a stressful situation. I didn't want to look like an amateur by telling her that my jewelry hadn’t been tested, that I didn't have any documents.
How would it look if I didn’t know what I was selling?
Would she think I’d never made such a big sale before? I was worried that she wouldn't want to work with me if she thought I was a small fry.
After days of going back and forth on the subject, I decided to come clean with the buyer.
No matter how nervous I was, there was no other option.
It was unprofessional to go so long without any communication.
I told her the truth.
To my surprise, she didn't mind at all!
She requested samples and we continued talking about my jewelry.
The deal didn’t pan out, however, but that’s another juicy story for another day.
Getting in the way of success
The moral of this is that I almost let my fears of being judged and rejected get in the way of a huge opportunity to grow my business.
Since then, I've learned to trust my gut a lot more.
Over-thinking things can really get in the way of success.
That’s not to say you can fly blindly through the business world or ignore questions you can’t answer.
What to say in emails when you don’t know the answer:
It’s better to say, “Let me get back to you about that” rather than leave someone hanging while you scramble to do research.
Who knows, if the person knows you need help, they might even be the one to give you the helping hand you need.
Sometimes being in business means you have to be spontaneous and not be afraid to take risks. What's the worst thing that could happen? Instead, think of the best thing that could happen!