Since I posted on the EnMart Twitter feed asking where people look for inspiration this morning, I thought that it might be a good idea to do a blog round-up and point out some of the inspiring things I’ve found lately.
First up is an post that makes you think from All Things Embroidery. The question being discussed is whether or not you would do embroidery work for a company or organization with whom you don’t agree or who’s aims you don’t support. The blogger comes down on the side of “business is business”, but I know other business owners who have refused work because they didn’t like the business or organization that was offering the work. If a business or organization that didn’t coincide with your particular beliefs came to you, would you do the work, or would you decline? It’s an interesting question.
Second at bat is a post on speed techniques for handbags. Since bags are a big seller for many people, particularly with a monogram, getting them done quickly is always a benefit. Creating handbags in less time is also a very good thing, the faster you make them the faster they can be sold. There are some very cool ideas here, and the finished bag is quite nice.
Third on the list is a post from Retail Minded about how to make decisions decisively. The one tip that got me in this list was “embrace ambiguity”. I always want to know what all the possible consequences are and how things are going to work out. Ambiguity is a tough things for me. I also like the advice about slowing down when you’re making decisions. Sometimes we’re so caught up in getting things done that we simply jump to a conclusion and a decision too quickly. All these tips are useful.
Fourth in the line up is a post from the Stitchworks blog about why businesses fail. This echoes the article in Stitches Magazine on the same topic. I have to agree that lack of marketing is definitely one reason why businesses don’t succeed. You have to let people know that you’re out there before they will buy what you have to sell. I also agree that underselling your work is dangerous and can be a big problem for this industry.
In the fifth slot we have a post that is rapidly becoming one of my favorites. I think the issue of creative people undervaluing their work is an epidemic, which is why I love the “We are $ew Worth It” movement. Creative people, whether they quilt, embroider, draw, sew or write, need to value their own work before anyone else will. It’s also up to us to change the public perception that handmade is easy or isn’t worth that much. We’re artists and should be treated as such.
Sixth on the docket we have a post from John Morgan about asking the right questions not the easy questions. As someone who is passionate about helping people learn and grow their businesses, I love this post. I think he’s right, so often we don’t ask the questions that will tell us what we really want or need to know because we’re afraid of looking stupid or vulnerable, or of being too personal. The only way to learn is to ask, and the better the questions you ask, the better you will become.