So you want to be your own boss?

So you want to be your own boss, set your own hours and make money and not have to answer to anyone and go to work in your PJ’s’ huh? Well, good luck. Here is the reality of owning your own business. I have learned a LOT of this the hard way.

  • Not having to deal with people when you don’t feel like it. Yeah good luck with this one. You will HAVE to deal with people when you least feel like it. Whether online or a store front or whatever, you have to deal with customers. Whether this is answering emails, phone calls, or meetings you’re gonna have to deal with people who may not be the most pleasant on their schedule, not necessarily yours.
  • You will make a LOT of money working for yourself! Good luck. LOL I don’t mean that in a bad way but if you think your going to make 20k-30k right off the bat you are very mistaken. It often takes 6 mos 5 yrs or more before a business actually turns a profit. Until then often you will need to find some way to pay yourself whether that is through a part-time job or a salary which you factor into your pricing. To be honest at first you are going to put out WAY more than you will make, so be prepared for that.
  • You can work when you feel like it. Yes and no. yes you are the boss and yes you have more flexibility to your schedule then you probably would have in a regular job setting. The flip side is you have deadlines to meet and nobody to help get the project done, friends and family will think you aren’t “that busy” and want t pull you away from work that NEEDS to be done. Oh and don’t forget you have to do all your own advertising, research and development, handle all social media and billing and tax accounts and do the shipping and inventory also not to mention you need to keep up with the housework, grocery shopping and errands etc… so yeah you can do whatever you want around all of that. When your starting out you can’t afford a staff, you are on your OWN, so be ready for some LONG hours and some almost sleepless nights.
  • GOOD NEWS!!! You can go to work in your PJs’!!! That is as long as your don’t have to get the mail, go to the store, meet a customer/client, take the dog out, have people stopping over or basically have to leave your house all day long.  Oh and as long as you don’t have nosy neighbors who live basically right up against your house. Go ahead and work in your PJ’s!
  • You are your own boss! OK yep you are your own boss! I can’t argue this one, but being your own boss means you have to give yourself a kick in the pants when it’s needed. You have to make sure YOU fulfill all your contracts and get all the projects done. YOU have to do it all! and while it may be easy to let yourself slide now and again you HAVE to be diligent about this because it is a VERY slippery slope. keep letting yourself slip and before you know it you wont be doing ANY work at all and you wont be able to find ANY of your business stuff.

So still think its great to have your own business? In truth its a ton and a half of work to keep up with everything and to do everything on your own. It’s hard to tell people you care about to leave you be your working when you know they mean well. It’s hard to not go to the fun barbecue your best friend is having because you have to finish up a major project or because your packaging orders. It’s a TON of work and if you have small kids and they don’t understand that Mommy or Daddy is busy and can’t play all day it makes it worse. There IS an upside tho. If you can figure out how to balance all of that and can effectively be your own boss then the pay off I awesome and eventually you may be able to hire an extra set of hands to help you out.

I jumped into my own businesses with both feet without ever actually even beginning to think about the time money and commitment each would bring with it and I VERY quickly realized I needed to do some research and figure out what I was doing. I am still learning but am doing a LOT better today  then I did to begin with. so just remember to look before you leap and to get some decent math skills too.

Fundraising thoughts

Hi everyone! Recently I have had the wonderful opportunity to back 3 amazing projects on Kickstarter. One for Tiffany Toland-Scotts Oracle Deck another is for Ash Evans Macaroon plush and the third is for a thing called Epic Grip Which is a titanium Pick for guitars and bass.

 

Since i have considered doing fundraisers in the past and have researched the 3 main places for that (Fundrazr, Indiegogo, and Kickstarter) I started actually looking at the different things that people who got their project successfully funded or nearly successfully funded did and those that have majorly failed have done. while i myself have yet to do a fund raising event I have learned something from what I have observed and would like to pass these along to you guys in case you may want to have a fundraiser yourself or maybe if you had one that failed and you are trying to figure out why it failed etc.

 

  1. Donation levels. I see a LOT of projects that the levels are not that conducive to the average person. Not everyone has $50.00 to back your project  so when you go from $10.00 to $40.00 that can be a problem. I want to say the majority of projects that I saw have $1.00 donation levels which consist of a thank you and saying good Karma and then go up to $5.00 and increase every $5.00 to about the $50.00 level and from there to about $80.00 or $100.00 it goes up $10.00-$15.00 after $100.00 it can go up by $25.00 to $50.00 increments. You have to be realistic and while $5.00 may not seem like a lot to get you to where you want to be you are more likely to get more $5.00 donations then $75.00 donation. It adds up.
  2. Unrealistic looking goals… Honestly if you say you need $3,000.00 to create something or to accomplish something people are going to want to know why. Where is that money going and WHY do you need so much? What is that $3,000.00 paying for? You wouldn’t buy a $45,000.00 car or a $100,000.00 house without finding out what you are actually paying for… Backers are the same way. so if you need $3,000.00 to make x number of something break it down. If you HAVE to have a minimum order then let people know that.
  3. Rewards. I have to say looking at different projects and the rewards for each level either repeat several times for several different levels or the rewards don’t seem to justify the donation, I am turned off. If i see at the $5.00 level you just going to send me an email thanking me and at the $10.00 level your going to do the same thing and there is NO DIFFERENCE why would I give you $5.00 extra? Instead of an email for $10.00 your telling me you cant write me a thank you note and mail it? Really?????
  4. Lack of availability in a reward level. This is probably the biggest I see. If someone wants to back you and they only have $5.00 to spend and you are out of the availability of the $5.00 reward level chances are you are going to lose the backer. If a reward level fills up add more for that amount if you can.
  5. Lack of Updates. I have to say the Epic Grip looks like an amazing product and I am looking forward to seeing them in person BUT I almost didn’t back this project because of the lack of updates and lack of a delivery estimate. The project is 1 week away from finishing and there has been only 1 update the entire time. The successful projects I have seen have lots of updates with more information on the project, estimated delivery dates etc.
  6. BORING project page. I want to be excited about what i am backing. If you have a video or a mile long list of stuff I am going to be bored and click off. I want to read about your project and the goals and stuff fairly quickly. People make judgements VERY fast and if your video is a snooze fest of technical information and boring shots then guess what? your loosing people before you even begin. Also if the music you add to your project is not something that is gonna grab attention kiss your backers goodbye. There are actually several projects i have passed on for this very reason.
  7. Be PERSONABLE!!!! I am sorry but if you are talking all business and droning on and on, I am gonna get bored really quickly and lose interest. I already went through school I don’t need a science lesson or math lesson. I also don’t need to see pictures of things that are not pleasing to the eye.  You want people to relate to your project and you not feel like their in a lecture hall. People are backing YOU as well as your project!
  8. Talk about it!!! I cant tell you how many projects I have never heard of then people whine and complain because their fundraiser failed. Well if you don’t open your mouth and talk about it how are people going to KNOW about it??? Use Facebook, Twitter and your blog! Get friends and family to talk about it, post flyers up in local businesses. This is ONE TIME it is okay to talk non stop about something!!!
  9. BE APPRECIATIVE! nothing is worse then funding or backing a project and then to have the person not be appreciative. At the very least issue an email (not a mass email) to say thank you, even if the project fails. It will leave a lasting impression and your first and last impressions are the most memorable.
  10. Stretch Goals. I see these but I cant say I see them a LOT. if you make your goal and yu get more backers then you need add a stretch goal and make it reasonable. like for every $500.00 or every $1000.00 for example.  Let them know exactly what your going to do with that extra money. People don’t like thinking your just going to keep any extra that happens to be donated. They also DON’T want to hear about how the extra will go towards you putting an addition on your place or how you will put it towards a family vacation etc… Put the extra towards your project or even earmark it for your NEXT project to help make that goal.

Well guys that is my top 10 and that actually about covers all of it. Like I said this is just from what I have observed in looking at different projects and I hope this helps some of you!

Love Light and Stitchs!

Rae

Updates!!!

Hi everyone! I hope you guys are staying cool! I am trying. Its REALLY humid and in the high 80’s and low 90’s here so its being a bit difficult. even though the night are cooler its STILL warm and kinda sticky.

Thought I would update you guys as to what IS going on. I am still working on wash cloths and dish cloths and am making good headway even though it is still taking me longer then I like. I have also been doing some sketching and clay sculpting so far i have 12 magikal toadstools done and 6 swans and 4 geese. My sculptures are VERY tiny and would easily sit on a nickel or penny.  I am looking at making even more swans with glitter wings so stay tuned for that too. When they’re done they will be up for sale through my art page on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/WorldofRaeScott I will also be posting pictures of a couple of the finished pieces in my World of Rae Scott Blog here on WordPress and my Tumblr.

I am not sure if you guys are aware or not but my beloved camera got broken a couple of months ago and I really want to get it fixed! I called the manufacturer and it is going to cost me up to 150.00 including shipping to get it fixed so any money that I make from my handmade and art stuff will be going towards that so i can get it fixed. For now I am using a really old digital Kodak easy share camera that does not take the best pics. I will be SO grateful for any help you guys want to give me!!

Have a great weekend and take care everyone!

Balancing Act!

Hi everyone! How are you guys doing? I am doing pretty good.

I, like most people I think, have trouble finding balance to do everything I want to do in a day and so I ended up coming up with a way for me to have more of a balancing act in my life. I am going ot start looking at what can I do in a week as opposed to what can I do in a day. I think it will work much better for me and I wont feel AS pressured as I do when I have a list of 300 things to accomplish in one day.

The way I am starting this off is, and I will be starting this this weekend, is I want to do x number of hours per week to something. Whether its cleaning, renovation work, the business, paperwork or whatever.  That way if say I want to spend 2 hours today cleaning and I do then I will feel better about it then if I have 20 different cleaning things listed and only accomplish 10 of them because some of them took a lot longer to do then I thought they would.

 

there are only so many hours in a day and there is only so much one person can do in those hours. I will bw starting this this sunday andwill be trying to keep to my ideas of time the best I can and if I happen to go over then i can easily readjust the blocks of time to make it work better. A balancing act is like everything else there are bumps and dips in the beginning but once you get the hang of it it all works out in the end.

Meet my friend!

Hey everyone! I want you to meet my friend Lu from Crocheted Little Things on Artfire. she makes the absolute cutest cupcakes from yarn! she also makes these really awesome facial rounds which I am obsessed over. I have found so many uses for them and still finding more!

           

use mine for my face but I also use them for when I am doing my makeup too to help clear up any smudges or loose shadows or what not that may fall

I also use them for coasters on the arm of my futon since I don’t have actual coasters that my dad is willing to share.

I use them to wipe my dogs face. I have a chihuahua mix and she gets these little things in her eyes and so do all my dogs sometimes to be honest so these are GREAT gentle ways to wipe their face. I just moisten with warm water from the tap.

These are AMAZING to use when washing a baby, their smaller so not so awkward, their gentle enough to be used all over but PERFECT for use on the face and hair.

when I need to lean off my phone or laptop these work great! their not bulky and they catch the dust and are smooth enough to NOT scratch anything!

These are just a FEW things I have found uses of them for and the best part is I can just wash them and dry them and their good to go and end up costing WAY less than a bunch of Cotton balls or paper towels in the long run AND they are good for the environment because I am not making more waste! Right now Lu is having an inventory liquidation sale because she is looking at losing her Artfire store so head on over and get a great deal on these while you still can! Just look for her shop, Crocheted Little Things!

How do you waste money???

Hi everyone! this is the blog I was telling you about on how we end up wasting money without even realizing it.

1) the number ONE way I have found people wast money is by being DISORGANIZED!! I myself am guilty of this half to 2/3 of the time. You end up buying stuff you already have because you can’t find what you already own when you need it. I mean how many hammers do you need? or pliers or whatever? really?

2) Beauty stuff! I know I know we women like to keep our looks up but guess what? those expensive salon pampering things you pay a TON of money for??? You can do almost every single one of them at home for less than HALF what your spending if not more. Google or use whatever search engine you have available to look up cheaper alternatives or go to the beauty supply store and buy what you need there. SAVE YOUR MONEY!!!

3) Stocking your freezer in the summer. This is a HUGE one for me and it also saves a TON of money. Go to your local farmers market and buy fresh produce or a pick your own place. Learn to process stuff for freezing and then in the middle of winter you will have the same quality healthy veggies you would pay a LOT more for a LOT less. You will also be able to avoid all the salts and process junk that goes into cans!

4)HAVING to have brand name products. Seriously this is one of my issues. Yes brand name is nice BUT a lot of off brand items work just as well too. there are few things you CAN stick to your brand names on but for the most part the generic is JUST as good!

5) Refusing to buy Used. This is one that gets me every day I work. I see SO MANY people who HAVE to go to the specific store and buy THAT brand new shiny item… PLEASE… I went to the Salvation Army and got a Micheal Kohrs sweater for less than 3.00 that would normally retail for MUCH higher.  Buying used doesn’t mean your poor or that its going to look like hell, look for your size and run a careful eye over the item before buying. This also goes with cars.. there is NOTHING wrong with buying a used car or purse or piece of jewelry as long as it is all in good repair/condition and NOT overpriced.

6) NOT paying attention to your receipts. This is a BIG one. If you keep all of your receipts for a week then divide them into categories or by store and then see where your money is actually going.  Al lot of people are shocked to see how much their actually spending on things that ARE kind of frivolous… You DON’T need to eat fast food every day OR to stop for that coffee. make it at home and take it with you!!

These are just a few of the things I have found how people waste money I am learning to cut back my spending to the least amount possible. I have started by not drinking when I go out. If I want to drink then I can go and buy a bottle of wine or whatever and drink at home. I save myself the chance of an arrest AND I save myself a LOT of dollars as mixed drinks and beers at a bar add up quickly. It’s VERY easy to spend 40.00 in one night for one person on a few drinks. SO I switched out to sodas and honestly I still have a great time and occasionally I will indulge in a beer or two and I ALWAYS have a total bill for a night when I DO drink under 10.00. I am also looking at cooking at home a LOT more and even to using the grill with a lot of the wood we have on our property to cook with instead of the stove. Why use the electricity and heat up my home in the summer making the AC run a lot more?

 

Yes I work 24/7 and no I dont make a million dollars doing it. :)

Well I often get people thinking that I have a TON of free time to do whatever I want simply because I work a part-time job. They could not be MORE wrong. I work a part-time Job have now 4 businesses to try to run and get up off the ground AND have a household to manage have a house under renovations (yes still and at the rate its going, forever) a relationship to maintain and a father I help out with. That does not include the 6 pets, 2 acres of yard, garden, friendships, and the rest of daily life to deal with. Oh and I have a 5 yr old that starts kindergarten this fall.

 

When I tell people I work 24/7/ 365 I mean it. When you have your own business and you deal with online stuff it’s not a 9-5 or 4 hours a day and your done type of thing. You are ALWAYS working, even when your sleeping or on vacation you are ALWAYS WORKING. I am pretty much a one woman show. That means for my handmade business alone I have to make the “order” list for supplies, go purchase those supplies, drive home, make the items, pack up the items, photograph items for sale, list items, figure out cost and pricing AND shipping, I also have to write the descriptions, once an order if placed, I have to package the item for shipping, address the package take to the Post Office and mail said package then I also have to do the ACCOUNTING for the business of EVERYTHING, and file the taxes for the business as well.  Once in a while I get lucky and can mail a package from home or have someone go to the post for me or pick up a supply but that is VERY rare.

AND I do all this because I WANT to because I want to make a handmade product that is better than store-bought junk. I don’t complain about doing all of this because I DO love it. I do get frustrated when people don’t understand that i am VERY busy. Unlike large companies and a couple of other sellers I know, I don’t outsource my work to other people. Why? because I don’t think it would be right and also at this stage that would be VERY costly for me.  I also have a bit of OCD where my quality of product is concerned, I am almost manic afraid that if i outsource the finished product will NOT be up to my standards, also then I would most likely have to charge more for my items as well.

I am sorry but like I always state quality products should NOT cost an arm and a leg.

Oh and here in a little bit I will be having a blog about some ways people waste money and dont even know it! You would be surprised at what a lot of us do that is money down a drain!!! ( I am still learning but wow what I can save from what I have learned!!!