I've been involved with the online direct marketing group World Wide Dreambuilders for a few years now. We make a little bit of money, but we really haven't been trying very hard to do much with our business. As evidence of that - here I've been talking about my writing, and my Etsy business in this blog, and have never mentioned it before. Yet they teach us that we should talk about it all the time - to anyone we can get to listen. I didn't listen.
So, why am I bringing it up now? Well, the more I learn and research about marketing in my efforts to grow my Etsy business, the more I see I should have been paying better attention to all the free guidance, lessons and mentorship I've gotten over the years from our online business. The marketing book that I'm reading now sounds almost like a script from the many speakers I've gone to hear. It never occurred to me that the knowledge they were sharing was good for anything other than expanding that one business. Turns out they really know what they're talking about for marketing and business in general - if I'd bothered to pay better attention. I've had a business available to me all this time that I've ignored because I just thought I wasn't good at "that type of thing". Now I see that if I want to be successful at any business of my own, I'd better learn to love "that type of thing". As it happens, "that" is self promotion. It's uncomfortable, feels pushy, and doesn't come naturally to a lot of people (me included), but it is essential to having your own business. No one else cares if my business grows - only I do. SO waiting for others to promote me isn't a great way to go about this thing. *smacks head*
It's easy to work for someone else. We don't have to put ourselves out there and risk failure the way we do when working for our self. When things don't work out, we get to gripe about our boss or co-workers. If things get really bad, and we don't know how, or don't want to fix them, we can quit and get another job. Not so for owning our own business. If we give up - that's it. I'm learning (albeit slowly) that if I want this - if I REALLY want this - I need to be much more serious. I need to do the things I've been scared or uncomfortable doing. And I need to listen better.
As a first step - I'll urge you to check out our online business at http://www.seriousenergy.com and contact me if you'd like more info. If nothing else, I've figured out that they have awesome business training advice. Just wish it hadn't taken me so long to learn.