Last week I sent this as an email to my SparklePointer people. I got so many responses saying “This was exactly what I needed to hear! Thank you!“, that I've decided to share it here. I hope you find it encouraging!

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While we've been talking about holiday planning, I've gotten several messages from you saying you're not there yet….but you really hope to make 2011 the year you start your business, or grow it into income-generating support.

I love these messages because it tells me that you are right on the cusp of the Doing.

Wait, let's back up.
In my experience with crafty businesses (or, really, any business), there's often a looong period of time where you consider selling what you make. In this stage you may even take some “steps” like signing up for etsy, listing a few things with hastily taken photos, or starting a blog (or maybe a whole string of un-updated blogs).
You think. You dream.

This is an important stage. But this is not a business.

The next stage is Plotting.
It's different for different people. For me, it involved a crazy amount of research (mostly business books) and writing down every idea I had. For others, it involves sending emails to people who might help (like me!). Or reading the Etsy forums. Or finding some blogs.
The difference between this stage and the first?

Intention.

At this point, you know, that you WILL do this sell-what-you-make thing. You will.
You may not know how. Or when. But something has shifted.
It's real.
But it's still not a business.

This plotting may eventually lead to Doing.
This is the stage where you make it happen.

If you hang out in the plotting stage too long, doubt will creep in.
Is it real?
Is it possible?

Stay in this doubt too long and you slip back into the Thinking stage.
Everything seems too hard. Too confusing. Too out-of-your-range.

So how do you move from Plotting to Doing?
By making one decision.
A decision to commit.
When you turn that Surety in your heart into something tangible.

The decision can be anything.
But it must involve investing in your business (investing = risking time or money or your comfort on something that will yield returns).
It can be signing up for a class.
It can be DOING what you learned from a blog post, a class, a friend.
It can be getting one-on-one help + gentle accountability.

Anything that you can look at when doubt seeps in and say “No, this isn't just a dream, I AM doing it.

(Note: Afraid of moving to Doing too soon? Think you need more Plotting before you commit? Be reassured: you will ALWAYS be plotting.  You never stop Plotting. I've been Doing my yarn biz for 4 years and I'm still Plotting and changing and experimenting. )

While the new year, the year of you moving from Plotting to Doing is still over a month away, I wanted to get you thinking about this. Wanted to remind you that you don't have to stay the Thinking or Plotting stage.

You can move forward.

I want you to move forward in the way that is right for you, whether you use my classes or blog or one-on-one help or not.
Really.

If you do think that what you need to move forward is focus and prioritization, I'm now scheduling personal helpfulness through January. If you'd like more information about how I can help you get some clarity with the next stage (or just help you from slipping back), let me know here (you can tell me a bit about your biz, real or imagined or just send a blank note) and I'll send you the information.

If this isn't what will help you move forward, then I'd like to encourage you to find what will work.

And remember: experimentation is a good thing.
Try one small thing. Try another.
It's only business 🙂

Wishing you a weekend full of thinking, plotting and doing,
Tara

2 Comments on One step forward

  1. Terriaw
    November 16, 2010 at 10:59 pm (9 years ago)

    Yes, I always have intentions to take that next step, and then I don’t. So I wanted to tell you that I recently and finally signed up to advertise on two blogs. I have been agonizing over where to advertise, and decided to just jump in and try a couple to see what happens. I know I definitely need to come up with a solid marketing plan for 2011, and follow-through.

  2. Anonymous
    November 17, 2010 at 6:42 pm (9 years ago)

    Thanks Terri, for sharing!
    I think advertising is an EXCELLENT example of experimentation, but you’re
    right, having an overall marketing plan will go far in helping you pick the
    right places/things.
    If you wanted to work on it with me, let me know.