I joke around with friends of mine who have related businesses that kids these days have it so easy to start a handmade business. There are shelves of books, hundreds of blogs, dozens of groups and even droves of websites on which to sell that are all dedicated to specifically guide you as a maker of handmade goods, to start your business. It is, at the heart of it, still a business though, and it is not all sunshine and roses to build one. Just ask the spouse of an entrepreneur what thats like. So you have all of this info out there to get going, and if you work really hard, you find your little niche in the world and settle in. Well, not really.
The reality is that you need to then reach the next level and then the level after that and the level after that, and so on. By this point, everyone is at different levels in business, so it’s tough to find books geared towards you besides those about very specific topics, which can be horribly addictive by the way, especially if you have an interest in marketing. Free advice is also uncommon as you progress. There is information available, but you’ll have to pay for it, be it by taking a class, paying for a membership to a site, or hiring a consultant. If you’ve made it the mid-level, you’re making money and nothing is free. This past year I joked that I reached a point that anytime I needed to do anything, I had to pay $1000. But seriously, the more that comes in, the more that goes out.
When you’re on the inside, it feels alarming lonely at this point as there was so much information and sharing going on and then bam, no one talks about anything anymore. Sadly, I have found that I have joined the silence and now understand why it happens. I began this blog in 2006 and would share all sorts of things that were going on with Manic Trout and it was all very exciting. Fast forward to 2014 and the three very exciting and big things I have going on right now all have confidentiality agreements. I’m legally forbidden to discuss anything about them.
This can be seen a lot with the big bloggers when they start getting super vague or post a lot of random things for a few months and then they are all “OMG, here is the huge thing I was just working on!!”. Usually, they have been working on a book or something for a magazine or designing something for Target (none of these are happening to me fyi) or something and they are not allowed to share any info until it’s a done deal. Sometimes though, it’s not even that exciting with a big announcement at the end. Sometimes it’s just internal excitement that no one but you would really think is all that exciting anyway, but something that has thousands of dollars invested in it and endless hours of time but is, unfortunately, a really big deal to only you.