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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Epic Fail on my Goals

A couple of posts back, I listed my goals for myself. I was doing okay for a while and then I slacked off. I do have a (small) excuse. I did get really sick and I was in bed for an entire weekend. Now I am feeling a little better, so I need to get myself back into a routine.

I have been making lots of cards, but I haven’t listed them on Etsy. The reason is because I haven’t taken any pictures. I am not good at that part and it’s not least favorite (and most time-consuming) part of the process. It takes so long to set up a space, adjust the lighting, drag out my camera and then try to take some good pictures. Once the pictures are taken, then the editing process begins. I don’t think that people realize how long it takes to list an item! For me, I’d rather spend that time creating. However, I can’t list anything on Etsy without pictures. Catch 22. Isn’t that always the way??

That’s another reason that I haven’t written posts lately. I have been in a creative mood and have been spending my time creating rather than writing or even making videos for YouTube. I sometimes have a difficult time budgeting my time. When I am in my craft room creating, I often lose track of time. I can spend hours in there creating and it feels like ten minutes have gone by. While this is great for the creative process, it often leaves me with little time to do the administrative things that need to be done.

I am working on a schedule to try to help with this. I will allot specific amounts of time each week to make sure that the work that I don’t like doing can get done. Hopefully this will allow me to accomplish more things each day and week. I have several craft shows coming up and I also want to make sure that my Etsy store is stocked with items.

To solve the photograph issue, I am debating on having someone else take pictures of my items. I have a quote from someone who will take and edit my pictures. The only problem is, I have to sell a lot to make this solution worthwhile. They say that pictures really make the difference – maybe if I have better, more professional pictures, I will get more hits. And, this will help me stock up my store as I have to have lots of items to drop off to be photographed. I may do one set and see how I fare with it.

What do you think? Do you think it’s worth it to outsource the pictures? Or should I just suck it up and try to get better at photography? I can always try to take a class or read some books to help. But then again, that takes away from my creating time. Another catch 22. I can’t win!! : )

Now I have a plan and am going to try my best to stick to it. I’ll keep you updated and let you know how I am doing. I hope to stick as closely to my new plan as possible. I also think writing about it makes me more accountable.

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to comment and subscribe to my blog! If you want to check out my YouTube channel, my name is chelebelle1120.

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Small business or hobby?

I started writing this post when I was downstairs watching TV. Or really, I was thinking of new post ideas and the TV was just on for background noise. I wanted to start off with talking about how I went to see an accountant this past weekend to do my taxes because of all my medicals bills from last year and also because of starting what I consider a small business. My dad, however, had a different theory about what a “small business” really is.

I wanted to talk all about this and I will, but I wanted to discuss something that happened tonight. I was putting some laundry away before bed and then I did a couple minutes of reading. I try to always read before bed because it calms me down and (sometimes) helps me sleep. I’ve been doing that a lot lately, especially since my mom has been borrowing a lot of books and magazines from the library (since I STILL can’t drive). I started reading SELF magazine from January of this year and there were a bunch of health tips. Right after that, there were interviews of a couple of women who have saved their cash and turned their “hobbies” into their careers. It felt like just the motivation I needed. Isn’t it funny that sometimes things just fall in our laps? Literally!!

The one woman saved half her salary for 30 months and the other woman worked her butt off and made her hobby her new career. I’ve been struggling lately as to what to do. And this is probably where the business vs hobby aspect comes into play. I love my business. (And yes, despite what my dad says, I consider it a business!!) I just wish I made money at it. Or, should I say, I wish I could make a living off of it.

Recently I started taking steps to make it more of a profitable business. I set goals for myself – started applying to more craft shows, started making more items to list on Etsy, started looking into how to make changes to my shop to attract more customers, etc. I talked to the accountant about making sure I have all the proper paperwork filed and all the licenses I need (if any) for my shows. I think that all of these things are happening because my business is going to go in the right direction. I read these articles and they have inspired me to work harder at my business.

So, I guess the real question is – when do you determine whether your “business” is really such and when is it just a hobby? I know some people would say the turning point is when your business is profitable. I don’t think that’s true. I say it’s a business when you dedicate your spare time to working on your “hobby”. When I was working, I would come home from my day job, eat dinner and then start on new projects. I’d lose track of time (which rarely happens anymore in my day job, if only because there’s a timer on the program I have to be in). Now, I wake up, do my PT and then spend the majority of the day working on new ideas, taking pictures, editing, posting to Etsy, making YouTube videos or writing this blog. I spend so much time of the day thinking about what I am going to make next.

Anyway, that’s how I see it. What’s your definition of small business vs hobby?