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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!

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I want more than enough energy to keep up with the growth of my business. I want my business to grow slow enough for me to keep up with, but for it to continue to grow to the level I want it to be. At this point, I want money made to increase to just surpassing my monthly allowance. Let me get to that point and then I can adjust the dream to be bigger. I am a person who likes to go in stages. Although I say that and have to tell you that I can be quite impatient too. Yes, I am full of fear that I have been dealing with for a long time...but this last year, I had a break through and then a bit of a set back due to health, but the health is fine now and I'm breaking out of the gate again and a little more ambitiously. And I can tell you that each year from here on out, I'll add another goal and another goal and another goal.

 

For now, I've got classes set up to teach, I'm going to the Knit and Crochet Show in Reno to help me with pattern writing...within the year I'll have more patterns ready to sell at the shop I teach at and while I'm at it, I'll get over my fear and start submitting patterns for publications and yarn companies. I'm aiming to continue to pay attention as I have over the years, and strike when the iron's hot...but I'm still learning to recognize opportunities present themselves and when to make my own opportunities. I'm pleased with what's been happening this last year, but I know there's more to do. And I will do them one step at a time and with God's help.

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My dream is to be a good enough designer that long after I am gone that my designs will be sought after and appreciated.

 

This means I have to look beyond the money. I must always keep the big picture in sight. I design to design, First and foremost. Making an income is second fiddle for me in the long run. Though I won't sell myself short either, I do know that is no way to gain respect.

To reach my dream I have to always push myself in my designing. Learning what I need to do to achieve my goal from any source I can. I have to push my self forward when I want to stand in the shadows. It's not always easy as I am really a retiring person. I must meet every opportunity with an open mind.

 

But a dream doesn't just happen, I have to make it happen.

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When I started Craftybegonia, I did it because of my love for charity contributions, same with Funmigurumi and Kids Stuff (all my prototypes go to orphans) I never envisioned that it would grow as it has! It has been a journey of discovery. I've found out that toys are my forte and my delight. I can design them almost with my eyes closed and would do that all day long. . .if I could. The hardest thing for me has been the marketing side of business which is an inevitable chore online if you are to be found by anyone.

 

When you dream, you do not know where your strengths and your weaknesses lie, it is when you venture out that you discover what you really are about, I guess, in a way, it is a growth process like anything in life. I'm in the midst of my growing pains with this. . .

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I went to an online webinar at Hookey.org last week on pattern design and the same thing was said - dream big and expect more. Don't devalue your work or your time. As soon as all needle crafters can get that the more:clap:cheer profits and success will follow.

 

Looking forward to your new plans and praying for your grant process. I wish I could make it to Reno to see everything - it is close to California - we will see. :manyheart

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I've been reflecting a lot on what I wrote the other day. I meant everything I said...only because I've been trying to have a business for about 30 years in one form or another and have made many mistakes. One thing I have learned is to have a fairly clear plan of what you want and where you want to go in life. And most definitely that if you write it out and/or talk about it, you might find yourself in the middle of something you're not quite ready for. So, what has given me success this time around is really to not focus on the money part of it, but on the passion of what I'm doing. Do I wake up every morning with crochet (or other aspects of my business) yes I do. Am I learning all I can about my craft(s) and the business part of things...as much as possible. Do I have goals? Yes I do and many of them...do I have those goals in some kind of priority? Yes I do. Could I do better. All the time. I believe that if you do what you are passionate about, yes, the money will follow...maybe a little slowly at first and yes, at some point you have to ramp things up a bit. I'm almost at that point. But first I have to make sure I'm meeting the deadlines I already have for the commissions that feel like they have fallen out of the sky lately. I do dream big, but I remember to be a little cautious and talk to God at the same time. Because it took me a good 20 years to figure out what He wanted me to do in the first place. The last 10 have been relearning my craft of crocheting and figuring out what kind of business I really do want for myself with crocheting and my other skill sets. Teaching and commission work seems to be the foundation right now, but I see myself designing patterns, and making product to sell (the last not necessarily involving crocheting.) The biggest hurdle really is the fear of both success and failure. I'm slowly chipping away at that wall of fear. I'm in a good place at the moment and am grateful for the guardian angels sent my way to see me through to meet my goals.

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I'm glad I stumbled upon this thread. It's my dream in life to have my own craft shop and offer crocheting and knitting lessons! Sometimes I stop in at the yarn shop near my work just to get ideas of what to do - and not do - when my dream comes true. :c9

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Amy what a great post!

 

I was just pondering some of these same things the last couple days.

 

This morning I was reading various threads here on the forums and there seemed to be a prevailing feeling of "you can't sell that" "no one will pay a good price for that" etc etc.

 

So I wondered to myself why do people feel that way? Why do we undervalue ourselves?

 

Handmade items are pure gems. They have a lot of value. But if you don't think your hand crocheted items are worth more than no one else will either.

 

My daughter and I did a huge craft show this summer. In my opinion she was pricing her items way too low as she did not value her own items. She felt I priced mine too high. So I told her well we will see what happens. Now her items are just as well made as mine and some are better. But after only a few hours she could see that my items were way outselling hers. Why? Because hers were so cheaply priced that customers figured they had no value. She promptly repriced her items and they began to sell. She is now a believer and more importantly a believer in herself and her talent.

 

Never sell yourself short!

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I'm planning to start a business selling mainly clothes for dolls that I've crocheted. I figure I'd start with clothes that fit Barbie dolls and other fashion dolls and maybe expand to other dolls such as the American Girl dolls or even the basic baby dolls.I want to do it from an online store with sites like zibbet and etsy. I'm honestly starting with Zibbet since even the basic package doesn't have the listing fees and selling fees that Etsy has. I'm trying to determine pricing and such but I definitely want this to be big eventually.

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I like to dream big on possibly starting a crochet business. As of right now I have just been selling crocheted items to people I work with who request me to make them things. I have made a facebook crochet page that displays what I have crocheted and patterns from other crocheters and I have a blog I have started up on Tumblr, although I do not know much on how to have a good blog. I have signed up to Ravelry and Etsy but I don't have stores on those sites. My fear on starting a store is I have no idea on what I really need to have or do exactly to start one and also I work mostly on free patterns and patterns from other people, so I would have to sell items I make, not the pattern. I really don't know how well that would work out. I would like to start making my own patterns and I feel confident I could do it. I know I should take baby steps and work my way up to having a business by selling at the flea market or selling at a local craft show and creating more credibility and making a name for myself and building my skills. I just want to jump the gun, but I see this kinda thing takes progression.   

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