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  1. Dreaming Big for Your Business I was really impressed by today's sermon in church and how the concepts and ideas expressed could be applied to our crochet businesses, whether we approach our business from a religious or a secular aspect. These two quotations resonated deeply with me: "The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it."--Michelangelo "All [people] dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of day are [the] dangerous [ones], that they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible."--T. E. Lawrence How many of us have the courage to dream really lofty, big dreams for ourselves and/or our businesses? Does fear keep us from reaching for the stars? I think for many of us, it does. But what exactly are we afraid of? Perhaps some are afraid that others will tell us our big dreams are crazy or ridiculous. Perhaps some are afraid that others will tell them they don't have the talents, skills, or knowledge to make that dream come true. Perhaps others fear the responsibilities that will arise if the dream comes to fruition. Others may simply have a general fear of failure. Yes, you may fail if you try. But more importantly, you will never achieve your dream if you do not try. For many of us, the fear of failure may be so heavy and our big dream may be so important to us that we cannot even give shape or form to it, so that it remains nebulous and ill-defined, as if we are seeing through a glass darkly. We may content ourselves with smaller dreams, dreams that are not threatening to us in any way. How might our dreams and goals look? If I can sell one pattern a week, I'll be happy. I'll be happy to sell one afghan a month. I'll be happy to sell this for just enough money to buy more yarn. Do these thoughts sound familiar? If so, do they indicate that you're failing to dream big enough? It all depends on the reasons behind that mode of thinking. If you simply enjoy the process of crocheting and you just want to keep your crochet on a hobby level, then you may be in exactly the right place for you. But if your dream is to run an actual crochet business, this thought process is limiting your potential for success. What are these thoughts ultimately telling you? That you're not good enough. That you don't deserve more. That you aren't capable of doing more, managing more, or having more. So what would be happen if we stretched ourselves to change our underlying belief system? There's a quote from a very famous book: "You have not, because you ask not." What if we started asking for more from the dreams we set for our businesses? What if we opened ourselves up to the possibilities of receiving more? What if we were truly humble, and dreamed bigger dreams not just to glorify ourselves, but to provide others with what they need (exciting patterns, quality crocheted items, whatever it is our business does)? How would our dreams look then? I am going to publish a book of high-fashion patterns. I want to sell $2,000 each month in my online store. I want to make enough money to pay my child's college tuition and give $XXX to my favorite charity each month. I want to receive an hourly wage that is fair compensation for my skills and knowledge, and I will price my items accordingly. I am going to design patterns that people enjoy making. What do these dreams and goals say about you and your business? They say you ARE capable, you ARE worth it, you ARE valuable, you CAN be successful. These dreams don't drain your self-confidence, they strengthen you and fill you with confidence. They prime you to experience success. Crochetville has begun dreaming big this year. We've reached for the stars by applying for a $25,000 grant and a $250,000 grant. Neither have been awarded yet, but we're starting to reap some rewards from the changes in our outlook and expectations. (Receiving an award would just be icing ont the cake at this point.) We've begun a partnership that is allowing us to have a profitable presence at 6 trade shows a year. We're making plans for a partnership with indie designers that will hopefully be incredibly successful for all participants. We're exploring the possibility of traveling trunk shows that will promote all our activities. We even have plans for all sorts of exciting developments here at Crochetville to benefit directly our faithful and supportive members and visitors. Our activities and plans have been met with excitement from others in the crochet industry. We've received fabulous feedback from customers at our trade show booths. Crochet professionals are asking to be part of our future plans. We hope that when we unveil new features here at Crochetville later this year that they'll be met with approval as well. I'd like to close with this thought: If your dream makes 100% sense on paper, perhaps you're falling of short of what your dream could be. Stretch yourself, expand your dream, reach out on faith, and be open to receiving the fulfillment of your dream. I also want to offer you a challenge: What is your big dream for your crochet business? Are you ready to push the fear aside and give voice to that dream? If so, post that dream here and expose it to the light where it will have the chance to grow. Open yourself to the possibility that your big dream just might come true!