What does it mean, to “do well”?
I suppose it’s a little like that old question, “how do YOU spell success?” Everyone has a slightly different definition.
To some it might mean the accumulation of wealth or toys, perhaps a high salary. To others it might mean a large family and a secure, loving relationship. To others it means the freedom to do what you want to do with your day.
Artistic freedom. Freedom of expression. Freedom to have money left at the end of the month instead of month left at the end of the money.
I’m going to challenge you here today to raise your expectations. To NOT set them by what “other people are doing”, but what YOU want to do, what YOUR needs and wants are. Your family’s needs. “Do well” by succeeding according to your own rules.
As small makers and designers, we so often feel we need to compromise. On pricing, time, goals. We think in order to sell more we need to sell for less – so we sell a few more units, but we take home less money. Or we think that we can’t “make it” on our own, so we huddle in the relative “safety” of anonymous marketplaces like Etsy where our buyers proudly tell their friends, “oh yes! I bought it on Etsy!”
There’s a reputation builder right there.
One compromise after another until one day we look and our art has turned into a commodity and we’ve lost our way.
You want to soar? You want to grow? You want your brand to become… well… a BRAND?
Of yourself, of your work, of your numbers. AIM HIGH.
Then hit the target.
Realize that will mean hard work, long hours and patience. It’s easier to earn a paycheck than it is to earn a business – but the rewards… oh the rewards.
Want the guidelines? The “rules”, as it were? Here you go:
CHOOSE YOUR ROLE MODELS CAREFULLYThere’s never a shortage of people out there that will purport to show you “the way” who have never been there themselves.FILL YOUR GAPSYou have to keep learning. Every new day will reveal something you didn’t know you didn’t know until you discover you don’t know it.HIRE YOUR WEAKNESSESWhether it’s your first VA, an employee or outsourcing, Don’t be afraid to hire people who are more skilled than you are at the job at hand.PLAN FOR WHERE YOU WILL BE – NOT FOR WHERE YOU ARETomorrow morning, today will be yesterday – Plan for where you want to GO. Yes, this is scary.SET HIGH GOALSIf you hit them, set them higher. If you hit all your goals you didn’t set them high enough. Your goals should frighten you a little.NEVER COMPROMISERemember why you chose this path in the first place. No one said it would be easy. You decided it would be worth it.
Items to check off on your DO List:
1) Find a mentor – someone to follow, listen to, or work with if possible. There are a ton out there. Find someone who resonates with you, and who has done what you want to do. No smoke and mirrors.2) Jettison what you suck at and what you loathe as soon as you possibly can. You’ll have more bandwidth for what you’re good at – the $$ you pay to offload will return to you faster than you think in increased productivity.3) Make a plan. Where do you want to be 1, 3, 5 years from now? What has to happen to make that plan a reality?4) Set the goals to begin making #3 REAL5) Define your standards. Write then down. Make them real. product standard, personal standards, lifestyle standards. Make them part of your Plan.
Well? Why are you still here? Go. Do well!