“The entrepreneur is our visionary, the creator in each of us. We're born with that quality and it defines our lives as we respond to what we see, hear, feel, and experience. It is developed, nurtured, and given space to flourish or is squelched, thwarted, without air or stimulation, and dies.”
When I started my first jewelry business, I thought of myself as a entrepreneur. I had a vision of a better life full of freedom, one that did NOT involve working for the “Man” but for myself. Instead of creating a business, I actually just created a JOB for myself. When I went out on my own, I knew I had what it took to become a successful jewelry designer. What I didn’t understand when I took that big leap was the most important part of the process:: understanding that in order for my business to Thrive, I needed to treat this “baby” like a business instead of a job and act like a CEO.
When I was first starting out, it seemed odd to call myself a CEO. I mean, I was working in a 100 square foot office by myself doing everything from designing, selling and making orders. And I am an artist.
I was passionate and looking for ways to make things happen…so I made them happen without the structure or guideline for my business.
Why MUST you think like a CEO (even if you have a solo jewelry biz)??
I know first hand that having passion and trying to turn that passion into a legitimate business is not an easy thing because there is a balance! Ultimately your clients are purchasing a little piece of YOU, but does that mean YOU have to be involved in every step of the process?
The answer is definitely NO and here are the reasons why:
1. You need to be the creator of your vision…
The most important position for you in your business is creating the vision. This might mean designing your collections, connecting with clients or being the “Face” of your company. It also means having a vision of where you want to go. Think of yourself as the driver of your overall vision. You must lead in this way even if you are doing this solo right now.
2. Or else you’ll be stuck…
By doing everything and staying stuck in the day to day, it becomes very difficult to ever grow or get better at your craft/design/passion.
I understand this first hand. It wasn’t until 7 years “in” that I understood that my efforts were best served creating vision and feeding my passion rather than reacting, dealing with the day to day, and managing people. Plus, doing all of this stuff sucks the creativity out of you.
3. Unable to make the profits you deserve and desire….
By outsourcing the minutia (including your production) and acting like a CEO, you’ll have the opportunity to make a lot more money.
I know this is a controversial topic, because in the eyes of a solo-biz owner, often times the thought of actually paying someone else seems like it would suck the cash out of the business. The truth is this: by finding a skilled worker to replace you in areas that aren’t your zone of genius (and even production) you will have more time to actually grow your business, focus on what you do love and ultimately make more money. Most of the people you hire for these slots will make a lot less money that you want to pay yourself allowing your pricing to be more competitive AND create a business that is more scalable. It may not be right for you now, but I encourage you to explore what you can outsource and let go of.
I know for some of you, this idea might be foreign and it might seem difficult to let go and become a visionary. However, if you want to create a profitable jewelry brand, you must get on the “Think like a CEO” train.
Take Action Now:
1. Set your timer for 15 minutes and list the things that are keeping you STUCK in your business.
2. Spend another 5 minutes placing a star next to anything that DOES NOT light you up.
3. Leave your observations in the comments below.