02 March 2010

finding the guts

good morning! it's day two of the B&b workshop and i am super excited about the buzz that was swarming yesterday. i appreciate your comments (i read every one) and love the links too. i do hope it lives up to your expectations. a big m.writes thank you! if you're just joining the workshop, take a look at the week's agenda and also yesterday's opening ceremony.

now onto my mini motivational speech.

define the word bold.
it is fearless & daring; confident & courageous; it is the ability to take risks

stepping out of the box into the blog + business world is a bold step. pat yourselves on the back for making it this far. you have to have the courage to write down your thoughts and feelings. you have to have the guts to be original and have something interesting to say. you have to jump in feet first and hope that someone will care about your writing. you have to portray an attitude of confidence and stand behind your words. if you want to run a business, you have to be courageous to go to the trouble to create products (or services i.e. photography, design) that you believe in, stay up all night with them, photograph them, package them, market them, and hope that someone might like them enough to buy them!

the passion in your work must be there as a constant. customers are ever-changing. this does not mean you won't be nervous, but at least you'll know that you are offering a great product to the public. if you can't sell your product, then who can?! i have done absolutely no research on the subject, but i have a sneaking suspicion that the original Mary Kay was no shy butterfly. you have to la la la love your product if you're willing to get all made up and knock on doors with a caboodle full of makeup, an order form and a smile. you must believe in your business ideas before they can truly become successful. you must be your first fan.

the attempt to make a name for yourself is a big deal. just flirting with the idea of getting a small business started is progress. luckily there are so many wonderful websites for handmade crafters (with small budgets and big ideas) to sell all sorts of handmade goods. www.etsy.com and www.bigcartel.com are two of my favorite resources for starter-uppers. even if you feel as though there are a hundred and two shops full of similar goods to yours, do not let that make you doubt your talent. find a way to make your shop special, try an angle that could make you stand out (organic baby materials, recycled letterpress stationery, paperclip earrings, hand-drawn tee shirts, custom chia pets, bedazzled anything). we are in a world where people are purchasing (and raving about) blankets with sleeves. you, too, can introduce something fabulous.

the best-selling product in my own shop are my pocket-sized mini diaries. at first i wondered–since a huge selection of pretty diaries remain on the market–if i could even sell my first handbound batch of twenty. i liked them and hoped others would, so i put them out there. the original idea came to me on an autumn day wherein the changing leaves were floating from huge maple trees. i waited at the bus stop and noticed all the things that were nice about that morning. i hopped on the bus and read my magazine on the way to work in downtown salt lake city. the early warm sun came through the swinging doors at every stop. i thought it would be perfect to have a little fill-in-the-blank diary for little moments like the one i was having. i knew, once the business of the day began at work, i'd soon forget the moment of bliss from a simple bus ride. after selling 700+ mini diaries, i am over the moon about their appeal. i had no idea people would like them enough to gift them to their friends and sisters and moms. as a crafter, it is a huge reward to be involved with every step from start to end and send them off to excited customers. it is one of those ideas that i am extremely glad i followed through with. you never know until you try.

find the guts to do what you love.
you may find that others will love it too.

for more inspiration, two posts from my archives.
advice for small business owners
and push self doubt aside, open up shop!

as a side note. at the time this is scheduled to post in the morning, i am going to find the guts to get outta bed and be at the gym. mehopes that writing it down will mean that i actually do it. this is the goal of the day. if any of you have a trick for getting out of a warm bed to step out into freezing cold morning, do tell. yes, i am prepping my clothes, my shoes, my ipod beforehand. it should be as easy as pie. millions of people do it every day. we'll see if i jump out of bed successfully. this workshop's all about being successful right?!

41 comments:

james and natalie said...

i love that i'm the first to comment out of all of your millions of fans (because we all know i'm your number one) first off im a sucker for the snuggie. second i love your workshop and always knew you had the potential to be a celebrity snd third i go to a gym that will watch scott for me so i look at it not as exercise but as personal time...it gets me out every morning. love your stinkin guts mart!

Suzie Button said...

First of all, I hope you're at the gym and not reading my comment. Good for you! My daughter is doing a "cleansing" this week of all sugars, white flour and caffeine, and just on the first day she turned quite grouchy mid afternoon, ha,ha. Sounds admirable but nuts to give it all up at once! Anyways, I had to catch up here. I've enjoyed your blogging tips and agree 100% with everything you've said. I'm always amazed at HOW MUCH of their lives some people are willing to blog about, really deep personal things. I don't know, I have "issues" in that area, to blog about too much of my inner life, but I am riveted about other people's abilities to share in such a way. I'm considering starting a blog on my job (realtime captioner) because there are no blogs that at least aren't just straight business blogs that have any interest. I know the work that goes into a blog, so I'm taking the thought process through a long path, as I don't want to begin it and not have time to actually keep it up! that can happen too! Well, anyways, great job, and I'll be back tomorrow
! Suzie

Eeny said...

I am thinking about my own etsy shop for a while now but I just don't have the guts... I keep thinking: Why would anyone buy my stuff if there are so many other great things out there?
I already have a couple ideas what kind of things I would love to sell. And a good friend of mine is telling me to just do it every time she sees what I create. Why be afraid? If I am in there with all my heart I should be able to do it.
Thanks Marta for your encouraging words,too. Your are fabulous.

PS I love your workshop.

Lainey said...

I just want to tell you that I LOVE you for doing this. It's so helpful. I'm especially looking forward to your marketing tips.
Thank you so much for doing this and sharing your knowledge and experience. Most of all, thank you for your lovely blog and sharing a little piece of your world with us readers.
It's such a scary, BOLD thing to do to start a business and strike out on your own but I'm finding it such a rewarding experience. I'm looking forward to learning more that will help make everything all the more enjoyable and successful.

abby @ tales and trials said...

I hope you made it to the gym! It is so hard to leave a warm bed and work out in the a.m., at least for me anyways. :)

fairlytypical said...

I have been thinking about opening my own shop for a while but am really scared of jumping in and doing it!
Recently I decided that I needed to start thinking about it as a more realistic possibility and so I am planning!
I've been making crafts for holidays and birthdays to see what I can do and to work out design and material kinks. I really want to offer customizable banners and part decorations. That is really what I like to make and think people will like something personal rather than something generic. The fear, of course, is that no one will buy what I am making.
I've posted some photos of some of the things I've made on my blog and am hoping for some feedback. I've been showing my stuff to family and friends but could definitely use some outside advice.

thanks again for this great workshop, Marta! I am loving every post!

Kaylalala said...

This workshop is seriously wonderful. I am learning lots just by reading, as I too would love to start my own business up eventually. I am taking in all your tips and am definitely recommending this for everyone else. (:

Thank you!

Becca Groves said...

Marta, I am inspired. blogging and dreaming small business dreams are topics I want to talk about more, but unless you know other passionate bloggers its hard to find the right conversation partner. Thanks for a week full of "yes! that's how I feel!"

summer said...

way to be gutsy, mart. i hope you hit the gym on time and with all your might! as for me, i am constantly in the warm bed-cold morning battle myself.. but turning on some cheery lamps & music right away seems to help me realize, 'hey, morning is nice. do something with it!'

okay, i love the mary kay illustration. what a good way to remind us that everything huge started teeny-tiny. something huge could be started this very day!

ps. i saw a caboodle in an antique store when haley was visiting. i know. crazy.

Krista Eitsert said...

Great motivational speech! I must say I am guilty of worrying about whether or not people will like what I have to sell.

I agree with the fact that "you have to be your number one fan"! This is so true, if you're really excited about something it's likely that you will pass the excitement on to others.

Rambles with Reese said...

Hey Marta!

I just caught up today, as I was working all day yesterday. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge and writing with such intelligence and humour.

I look forward to reading more from the workshop.

Cheers!

Diane said...

I'm loving the workshop. Your tips are great, and it is also helpful to hear from your panel of experts (what a great idea!)

It helps to be a morning person to get to the gym early - I can do it, my husband struggles every day. That's why we do it together (our kids are all grown up and out of the house...)

Kayla said...

thanks for the motivational words. Some days i feel like just blogging takes guts. I get a little jolt of empowerment every time I hit publish. I have toyed with the idea of opening a store on etsy, but I like that you said just thinking about starting it is progress.

Adams family said...

Thank you so much for this workshop! I have learned so many great things already and am feeling very inspired. I found you through another blogger and look forward to checking out your blog archives more, you have a lot of fun stuff for me to catch up on ;) Thanks~

Emily said...

I am loving this workshop, I can't say it enough!

Chris said...

Thanks, Marta for putting so many great ideas out there. I hope your're sweating it up! I'm now trying to cool off. If I can get back into shape after 4 kids and letting myself go so long, anyone can! :)

Megan said...

Thanks for such an encouraging post. That seems like a good reminder to post above my desk .. "You never know until you try". :)

And a million thanks for the post you wrote long ago about opening up an etsy shop and having courage- I have read that time and time again, and it always makes me feel inspired. I think that was one of the first posts I read from your blog-- now I'm addicted :)

Pink Little Cake said...

I just found you yesterday, but I have to say I love your post. The one from today is very true, I feel always like a coward, afraid to write because all my grammar issues ( english is not my first lenguaje)and not being able to really express what I want.I am learning so much from your words.

Lucinda said...

I'm really enjoying the workshop and will be thinking about the workshop worksheet questions today. I'm more determined than ever to make this work for myself.

Thanks again!

Anneliese said...

good idea putting the gym plans online. now you know we are all cheering for you...so you have to go :) i'm the absolute worst at getting out of bed...early morning or not. i'm just so cozy... so i will be checking for tips :)

amy D said...

as so many have said and so will i, thank you for putting on this workshop! i'll have to admit, the hundred and two other shops frighten me a bit, but thanks for your encouragement and wisdom! i'm definitely coming back for more :)
amyD

sheena said...

Hope you are sweating it out right now!!

I am just so excited you are doing this! I am in love with blogging for so many reasons, and it is (like you said) so hard to explain that to someone who doesn't blog. I am LOVING reading all your ideas and advice!

thank you!!

Allyson said...

Wow! Thanks for this post- I created an etsy shop and a blog awhile ago, and I really want to start up. The idea of it all is great, but really scary! This was encouraging!

If I have to workout in the mornings, I have a mint out with my running clothes because it's nice to have something nice before doing something you're dreading.

Fruitful Fusion said...

Thank you thank you thank you!!! I'm loving this workshop and all of your older posts! So inspiring and motivational!

Katie said...

Marta, you are so inspirational and encouraging to all us little bloggers out there. I swear, I think it was fate that I started my blog the same day you started this workshop.

I look forward to the rest of the week to see what great things you bring our way!

fridica said...

I love the remark on how exciting every step of the process of making something, packaging it and sending it off is! I have been knitting for roughly two years, and very soon after I started gifting my friends with handknits and posting photos of my handknits on facebook, I started getting comments like "Are you selling this stuff? You really should!". I kept responding that I don't have the need to sell it, that there are too many things I want to make for myself and for friends, that it's not that great compared to other knitters. But, since I am now living in a foreign country, when I wanted to gave a handknit gift to a friend, I had to package it up and put it in the mail. This was so INCREDIBLY EXCITING! I remember walking home from the post office the day I sent out that first package and messaging my best friend: "This gives me such a thrill that I can actually see myself turning it into a business!" So yeah, the excitement of that process is exactly what made me want to turn it into a business some day (though I'm definitely not ready yet) and why I'm participating in this workshop! :)
Thank you for all the wonderful pieces of advice,
Ivana

Courtney said...

I love getting up early in the spring and summer, but when it's dark, cold and wintery, forget about it. Good music should make it easier though. Thank you for this inspirational post!

lee said...

I'm still at the pick a product stage - oh and the etsy research required! Should just get the samples made and jump right in. Thinking it's high time to follow your lead!

Hope you enjoyed your workout :)

Amanda said...

I love the words that you write, Marta. I read your blog everyday, and now I'm coming back several times a day just to see what you have to say about blogging.

It's also nice to hear the story of how you invented those mini diaries of yours:)

Micayla said...

Thank you so much Marta for your encouraging words and this workshop. I have wanted to sell my things for so long and never had the get up and go as I worked too bloody hard and played harder. But now I am a stay at home Mum, work even harder and have much less time on my hands, I feel it is possible to go for it! I am in the process of making some items and hopefully after my wedding(6 weeks) I will open the doors to my shop online!
Micayla.

heather said...

seriously hardest part of my day is getting up early to work out! onyl time of day i can, but it's SO cold!!! if you find the motivation, i implore you to share!

mandiegirl said...

I love what you said about living in a purchasing world and the snuggie! So true(and encouraging!)

Krystle said...

Love this blog, it's so fabulous that you're doing it for free too! Thanks a million!

I save something really important to do in the morning. So when my alarm goes off i think, "Oh I have to get up" instead of, "Oh I can hit snooze 2 more times..." lol Sometimes it's simple things like grab starbucks on the way to class...sometimes (like today) it's important things like finish a paper and print 4 assignments for a history class...but either way I get out of bed lol

piccola samurai said...

You're right, the point is finding the guts! It took me more than a year to finally open a blog for my crafty adventures... I was too scared I could be judged... But now that I've done it I feel so happy and full of new creativity!
Thank you so much for youre great advice! It is really helpfu!!!

Christine said...

ouy, the gym in the morning. i think you're right, get all the clothes and essentials laid out the night before. it helps me if i have a brand-new playlist ready to go... then it feels like there is something exciting to look forward to besides the treadmill :) good luck!

Faith2221 said...

you know, i do LOVE my ideas and i would buy them if i saw them in a shop. so i shouldn't be afraid to put them out there. now i have to find the time with a new baby to get those little lovelies made. =) thanks for the motivation and boost of confidence!

Sarah said...

I've certainly wanted to open my own shop. And I must agree, although I've never stumbled upon your blog or shop until the other day (thank Elise, by the way), I do love your mini journals. What a great idea you had!

Love also the word "bold" - I remember back in high school, one of my friends told me to stay bold. And I thought to myself - really? I'm bold? I must get back to that girl, I think.

KjO said...

I don't think there is an easy way to convince yourself to get out of a warm bed to go torture yourself in the hopes of a delayed payoff. As the commercial says...you just have to do it.

With that said, one thing that does help me is the stillness of dawn and the crispness of the morning air. There is something fresh, and wonderful, and new about it. I like that. I don't like jogging, but knowing that I get to experience, what I consider the most beautiful part of the day, makes the struggle to leave the warmth of the bed a little easier.

Tarsila Kruse said...

Marta! Thank you very very much for such motivational words. I really hope you've gone to the gym as I am following through reading every post and doing every task here. As you said - It's all about being successful. Thank you so much. :)

Tara said...

i love the workshop worksheet 01 - i've never given such concise thought to my blog! this is a terrific workshop - and thank you so much for sharing it with us all for free!

Steven, Jenn & Olivia said...

I am a new follower and found this post based on today's with your favorite posts. Phew, say that five times fast :)

I have to thank you for the encouragement. My favorite part is when you wrote "You have to be your first fan." Oh that hit home for me! I look forward to continuing to read on, but wanted to thank you again for your words and inspiration!

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