3 reasons your handmade business isn’t reaching its full potential.



You’re a crafter, a creator. That means you probably have a zillion ideas flying through your radar at any given time.

New products to create, new emails you should send, new things to post about on Facebook, new blog posts to write…

…but for most of us, when it comes right down to it, a lot of these fabulous ideas aren’t actually happening.

Why is this?

Here are the things I struggle with…the things that tend to prevent those light bulbs floating above my head from turning into a reality. If you’ve ever dealt with any of these issues yourself, I’ve got a few suggestions that I hope will give you a (friendly) little kick in the tush.

1. You trip over the “how.”

We can get the best idea ever, and can sometimes even perfectly visualize the outcome (that’s what gets us so excited in the first place!).

But, we might not know exactly how this idea is going to materialize. We might not fully understand the steps it will take to get there.

It might take learning a new skill.

It might take doing a little research.

It might take doing a LOT of research.

And so, that “how” knocks the wind right out of our sails, and that beautiful idea crashes straight into the shores of Unfinished Island.

Even though we’ve said to ourselves, “I’m going to do this. I can’t WAIT to finish that!,” we instead distract ourselves right at the start, with things like:

“But, I guess I’d better clean out the back of this desk drawer first.”

“Oh my gosh, if I don’t scrub that pot right NOW (the one that’s already been sitting there since last night), that spaghetti sauce will be stuck there forEVER.”

The solution:

Sit down and flippin’ start. Just do it.

When you just start, it all tends to work itself out (you know this). It might end up being quick and easy…or it might be hard. But, guess what? Just starting, almost always get it done.

2. You fear success.

It may sound incredibly dumb, but this is a big one for me.

Here’s what this one could look like in a real-life scenario:

“I should run a Facebook ad!

“But…if I run this Facebook ad – what if too many people like my product? What if I get 57 people who want to buy it, when I’ve only got 10 made right now? I’m just a little handmade business. I can’t make a ton of products.

“Hire someone to help? No one would make it like I do.

“I have no business running a Facebook ad.”

Does that sound familiar?

The solution:

Let me ask you something. What is it that you really want to achieve in your business? To become known out there in internet land? To make a full-time income with your art? To feel successful?

Whatever it is, write that down and post it right next to where you work every day. Let that answer be your  guide whenever you start holding yourself back from moving forward in your business.

Growing a business is about just that: growth. You might have to do something that’s a little bit uncomfortable. (I am the most shy person on the planet, so believe me, I understand uncomfortable.)

But, trust that the path will unfold in front of you as you walk, and the next step will always appear.

“You don’t need to see the whole staircase…just take the next step.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

3. You need it to be perfect.

As much as I fear success, it’s my perfectionism that is my biggest roadblock of all. I struggle with this one every single day.

I planned and planned this website you’re reading right now, for nearly 2 years before I finally published an article on it (at least I finally did it). But before that, I planned a marketing book for Etsy sellers. And, before that, I wanted to write a DIY Christmas ornament book. In fact, I’ve got that one half written. It’s in a purple spiral notebook that probably no one will ever see.

I basically plan and plan my ideas all the way to their DEATH.

I say things like, “It’s just not ready yet.”

“It’s not good enough.”

“It still needs this. Oh wait! I should add that.”

The solution:

Know that it will never be perfect. And that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be.

No one will ever judge you as harshly as you judge yourself. (And if they do, ignore them, because they’re a jerk.)

Know that you can always improve, and that you will always improve, as long as you just start doing it.

It just works that way.

I bet if you were to go back and look at your first product photos, you’d cringe a little (I do…mine are horrible).

But, you’ve improved them, right?

You could never have improved if you’d never taken those first photos to begin with. There would have been nothing to improve.

Things will always get better & better when you just keep moving forward. Just take that next step.

So…is there something you want to do, that you’ve been putting off? What is one step that you can take today – right now – that will move your business in the direction you want to go?

3 Responses
  • Shavonta Arline
    July 8, 2014

    I love this article!! I definitely do some of these things at times…thanks for the reminder to get out of my own way 😉

  • Murtaza M. Bhavnagarwala.
    July 17, 2014

    Very nice text to read and follow in our business to promote success.

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