My husband allowed me to take over a room in our house, part of the basement, our kitchen counter, and letter our van. He gives me time to do my work and watches the kids for events, meetings, auctions, and shopping trips. He believed that my time pecking away at a keyboard and working on my blog late into the night, would eventually pay off. He allows me to risk my time, trusting that it will be worth it.
My parents were my financial investors. They bought supplies, a computer, tools, paint, furniture, marketing materials and everything else needed to start a business. I was a weepy mom of a three-month-old and a 22-month-old, who was tired of feeling helpless when it came to contributing financially to my family. They saw past all of that…right to my creativity, resourcefulness and determination. They saw what I didn’t and took a chance that I would figure it out.
Denise, the owner of the shop that became my very first retailer, took a chance on a slightly manic blonde in a hooded UVA sweatshirt with hand painted wooden ornaments only two weeks before Christmas. She accepted them on the spot (while my mom waited in the car for over an hour with my two boys) and allowed me to put anything I wanted into the shop. She even moved to a larger space to accommodate my furniture. The shop is closing now, but I will always be grateful for the boost it gave me. It allowed me to feel out the market and discover myself as a designer, retailer and creator. It also gave me the confidence to branch out on my own.
Lynette, the owner of Wild Rose and my booth-mate at Chartreuse, asked someone she only knew as Miss Mustard Seed to be a part of her dream. She had no idea if I was really a nice person or if I only pretended to be on the blog. She took a huge risk asking me into her space and so far it’s paying off well for both of us.
So, how can this translate to you and your budding business or the itch you’re feeling to start something? Are you worth the risk? Here are some things you can do to make sure you are…
You need to know where you’re heading, so you can communicate it to others. It’s OK if your goals are small, just have goals.
Have a plan.
How are you going to reach those goals? What materials and manpower do you need? How are you going to market yourself? Write out your plan and put it into action.
If this is just a passing whim, don’t ask other people to invest their time and money in it. Make sure that you are willing to work hard and follow through.
People are going to say “no” to you. Your product or services may not be for everyone, so don’t be offended. You cannot be deterred when doors close.
Don’t ever, EVER forget the people who helped you get where you are. Be thankful, humble, and pay it forward.
Don’t forget that you’re making an investment, too. Multiply that investment for yourself and those who believe in you.