I’m suuuperlate with writing this blogpost, but I’m posting it anyway. In line with last month’s topic of money, March has been all about work-work-work-work-work. I run my own creative business, which I love, but takes heaps of time for little money. And I work as a freelance text editor, which helps pay the bills and is mostly just easy money. Still, the first is where my heart’s at, so that’s the one I’ve been trying to work on this month.
Today I share my goals and plans like they were at the beginning of the month. I set up this month a bit differently from January and February. Based on what I’ve learned in the past couple of months, I know it works better for me to formulate a stretch goals, a few smart goals, and daily habits. The stretch goal is Tha Dream that should keep me going, the smart goals are small, actionable projects that I need to dive into this month (and that will generate more daily habits), and the daily habits will get me started immediately and propel me forward.
Earn a full salary with my knitwear business, Chain Twenty.
• Reformulate my brand, write down what I want it to be known for.
• Write a plan for passive income.
• Set up collaborations and giveaways.
• Schedule work days according to a fixed routine.
• ‘Make’ for at least an hour.
• Post on Instagram.
In short, what I do with Chain Twenty is design knitwear, dye yarn, make my designs, and sell the patterns, dyed yarns, and knitwear itself. This business model has served me well in the past, because it attracted a lot of knitters interested in my patterns and yarns. However, I don’t want my brand to be about patterns and yarns in the first place. I want it to be about knitwear, and specifically about sweaters. Because sweaters are life, and if there’s one thing I hate about living on a subtropical island, it’s the fact I don’t get to wear them year round.
So, a new style sheet, a new website, and a new Instagram plan it is (amongst others). I haven’t figured out exactly how I’m going to proceed with this (so technically, this is the shittiest of smart goals), but I’ll break this down in more actionable steps and write a separate blogpost about it.
Making sweaters takes time, and even if I get payed for it enough (note to self: raise prices), it’s still a time-for-money-kinda business model. Which means I don’t earn anything if I don’t put in the time. And that’s not what we want. :D From now on, I want to focus more on passive income. Selling my patterns is a great example of that. But I’m also thinking about making more use of my website with affiliate links and other types of sponsored content. We’ll see what ideas might pop up. This month I’ll work on writing a plan for passive income.
If there’s one thing I learned in the past year, it’s that there’s no better way to spread the word about my business than through collaborations and giveaways. Still, I haven’t made this a priority or reserved a budget for it, which will have to change now.
Even though working from home is what I’ve always wanted to do (and always will), it’s proven way f*cking harder than I ever thought it would be. I can put the blame on having a boyfriend with a super irregular work schedule, or on the lack of a proper office (yet!), or on the fact that I juggle two jobs with constantly changing degrees of work load, but honestly, it all comes down to having a routine.
I love having a routine, because I need it. If I don’t have one, or don’t live up to the one I have, I’m lost. I feel totally out of control, I don’t know where to start, and I can’t get anything done. Luckily, there’s a lot I can do to create and stick with a routine. This month I’ll start with calendar blocking (based on this video by Amy Landino). This will help creating a routine and increase productivity by grouping related tasks together. I miiiiight write a separate blogpost about this, because I live for this shit.
To create consistency, my first resolution for this month is to ‘make’ on a daily basis. This making will usually consist of knitting, but dyeing yarn and creating content are an important second and third. Even if I don’t have running orders to fulfill or sold products to stock up on again, I want to keep making. Move forward, always.
Like so many others, I struggle growing an audience on Instagram. Most of my customers find me through Instagram though, and it’s the perfect marketing tool for a brand that relies heavily on the visual. Therefore, back to posting daily it is. No matter what Instagram advice is out there, consistency (and the compound effect of being consistent) is all it takes, really.
I’ll have to treat Instagram more seriously. Make time to shoot content, edit photos, make a content planning (I use the app Plann for that, by the way), post and engage. It’ll be worth it in the long run.
The book I’ve chosen to read this month is specifically interesting for those selling handmade goods, so if that’s you, go ahead and read along: Kari Chapin, The Handmade Marketplace. How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online. I don’t expect to gain too much new knowledge from this, but I hope it’s going to inspire me to take action and work on my goals.
For those of you who are on a totally different career path and want to read something as an extension of last month’s topic (and are female ;)), I highly recommend Get Rich, Lucky Bitch by Denise Duffield-Thomas. It’s a bit woo-woo, based on the Law of Attraction, but if you’re into that kind of stuff, you’ll probably find this very inspiring.
Happy work days everyone!
Photo: First version of my best-selling sweater design, Playa del Tauro, Gran Canaria