I really hated my job in retail. Pondering my options, it occurred to me that I should make my living by my own hands. Though I didn’t think I had creative tendencies (that I knew of at the time), a friend offered to teach me the craft of weaving.
Learning weaving brings patience. It puts you in the moment. But I had doubts I could earn enough money to pay a return on the time invested. When I displayed my early pieces at a one-day art fair and earned $1,300, I stopped wondering and started producing.
Over time, weaving led to writing. Writing led to publishing books, including a best-selling book deal. Publishing led to teaching. Teaching led to speaking. Speaking led to coaching. Coaching led to opening a gallery. Opening a gallery led me to weave again. Why? Because of all the experiences as a serial entrepreneur, weaving brought me to a feeling of love while I was doing it. People picked up on that feeling and I started making a lot more money and was happier than I had ever been in business.
The insights I’ve come to from starting and running many businesses could fill a book. Well, in fact, they have filled several books. But a blog like this one, lets me explore (another word for ramble on) a bit more about the whys of what I learned as much as the how-tos.
The how-tos can make and save you money, that’s for sure. But connecting your personal why with what you do can not only make you wealthy, it can make the moments spent in your business rich.
I hope you’ll find the tidbits in this blog helpful as you explore how to start a business with your big vision and little resources.
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James Dillehay is a professional artisan, former gallery owner, and author of nine books and numerous articles. He has been interviewed in The Wall Street Journal Online, Yahoo Finance, The Chicago Tribune, Bottom Line Personal, Family Circle, The Crafts Report, Better Homes & Gardens, Working Mothers, Country Almanac, and many more including Entrepreneur Radio and HGTV’s The Carol Duvall Show.
James is a co-author of Guerilla Multilevel Marketing, Guerilla Marketing on the Front Lines and The Best of Guerilla Marketing.
Will James’ advice help you grow your small business? Read what others say:
“Quite an expert….Very informative. I wish we could keep you for the next three days.”
Carol Duvall, HGTV
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The Crafts Report
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Whole Earth Catalog
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Crafts ‘N Things
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Dean, Cornell University
“The first bit of sanity I’ve encountered since I began my business. It teaches me everything I need to know, over and over!”
Carole Baylus, Maryland
“The author takes readers by the hand, gently encouraging them to grow into wholesale when they are ready. His practical guidance makes taking these giant steps less scary, less threatening.”
The Crafts Report
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Arts & Crafts Show Guide
“For artists just starting out as well as those who are more experienced.”
“Comprehensive, well researched publication filled with useful tips for marketing crafts. The book gives craftspeople sound advice for selling their wares.”
“The Basic Guide to Selling Arts & Crafts is like eating beef stew after the hors d’oeuvres — more meat, more filling, more down-to-earth . . . . This book will help you plan your business for maximum profits.”
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Syndicated Columnist SENIOR SENSE
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Southern California Senior Life
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Prime Time for New Mexico Seniors
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Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot
“Specialized resources make this a very useful book for weavers and other craft artists who need solid business information. Recommended for public libraries.”