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An appropriate title for the start of the year.

Since it’s still January, we can still lay claim to the phrase “start of the year”.  😛

And during this time, when everyone’s trying to fit back into their pre-Christmas jeans sizes, re-organizing cabinets and craft hoards (where to put all of the newly-acquired loot!), we’re calling on more of the planning and organizing powers (our theory is, the start of the year magically releases huge doses of this for everyone–a gift from the crafting gods) to pool into the *gasp* dare we say it–business planning aspect of our well, maker lives.

“Whaaaaat?!  Business planning?  It’s not even a business!”–you shriek, covering your face with your hands, staring at the monstrous (and bobbing up and down) Excel shortcut through your fingers.  Well, we’re not going there–yet.

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Kari Chapin’s book–a start of the year must-read!

Picking up Kari Chapin’s book “Grow Your Handmade Business” brought us face-to-page with a lot of things we had wished we considered when we started our business.  But even if your craft business is in mid-flight, or even if you’ve been at your sideline hobby for quite some time now,  there are still quite a number of items to pick on and learn from.

The first part of the book walks us through visualizing not only your dream handmade business, but how you imagine your life to be like, while in the business.  It points out thinking of your personal context (from intentions, to other initiatives you’re involved in), to realistically be able to measure how much time and effort you need to get your handmade or creative business off the ground.

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Scribbles make for the first incarnations of what would be business plan.

I personally liked the visualization part (how would you imagine a day in the life of your dream business?).  🙂  The book has exercises and questionnaires that will help you think of the larger picture of where you could take your passion/hobby.  Here are three questions that are part of the first set, determining what kind of dream business you’d like to have:

  • Do you have professional and personal support–people whom you can talk things through with, or lean on if you had a problem?
  • If you didn’t make this business happen successfully, how would you feel?
  • And last, but perhaps most important, how would you feel if you didn’t even try?

The book also has a wealth of insight from a collective of creative entrepreneurs who share from their personal experience.  After reading the first part, you’d definitely be on fire to get down to pursuing your dream business, or turning your hobby into a viable business venture.

Wanna get a copy of the book?  You can get a Kindle version for less than 3 dollars, and the actual book for about 12 dollars on Amazon.  We don’t have this in stock in our shop, but perhaps requests can also be made to our friendly specialty bookshops to get us copies.  🙂

We’ll be posting on the second part next week.