I started dabbling in jewelry design five years ago. I didn't expect much to happen for the first three years at least. I read that most businesses don't turn a profit the first five years. I told myself I'd give it five years. So here I am...I don't feel like I have come any closer to turning a profit than when I started doing this five years ago. It has been ultra hard during this recession to convince people that, yes, they should buy a new piece of handmade jewelry even though they lost their job and their house is about to go into foreclosure.
I have seen other artists who have had sales...numerous sales, actually. Artists whose work is no better than my own. Why is that? What makes the difference? Well, I'm not entirely sure. I think a lot of it is luck, honestly. I know that there are some things that I need to do better, though:
1. Marketing. I have to get into the habit of doing some marketing every. single. day. I have a short amount of patience and often I will go full force on marketing myself for a week, see no results, then give up. I have to remember that it doesn't work that way. It builds up over time. I read Jack Canfield's The Success Principles, which was a great read. He talks about doing five things every day that help market your business. I think about that every day, but don't follow through. That hurts my business because if I don't hit the market with my name every day, people will forget who I am.
2. Hustling. If I had the courage and confidence to really hustle my product, I could sell it. I'm sure of it. The problem is I don't. The confidence is coming along, but the courage? I get an anxiety attack just thinking about it. I prefer to do shows and tell people "hello" and "let me know if you have any questions." The other day I was browsing at a Swarovski store. The saleslady was trying SO hard to make a sale to me or my mother. It was so annoying, I just wanted to get out of the store asap! It was like she didn't even really "see" us, she just saw a potential sale. I don't want to be that sort of person, always pushing a sale. That said, I miss great opportunities when I'm out and someone says "I love your necklace." and I simply say "Thanks." I know what you're thinking. Believe me, I know. I'm working on it.
3. Patience. I have realized that five years is nothing. It has gone by in a flash. I may not be making a profit, but I have come a long, long way since 2007. This dawned on me when I created a board on pinterest recently. The things I have accomplished in five short years made me proud of myself. It's not all about the money, anyway. It's about the journey.
So what's my five year plan now? I'm not sure. I think I'll just focus on one year at a time.