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I think the most important lesson I have learnt in the past 12 months is to trust myself. As a personal trainer I spend much of my time looking after the health and fitness of my clients and they trust me to help them reach their goals so I have to remember that I need to trust's amazing what happens when you do!

I have learnt and am still learning every day to not undervalue myself and my product. It's a very, very hard thing to put a price on creating something you love and enjoy doing (how many people get to do something they LOVE and get paid for it?), but by putting a small price tag on your product, you are doing yourself and your business name no favours.

Ali Benyon
Cheeky Pickle Sewn paper Designs

Good morning,
I had my 'ah ha' moment the other day. The REAL reason I am in business is to keep the flow of money and creativity circulating through to others. I am not in a services business - I hand craft unique mostly one off jewellery, but every time one of my pieces is bought it means I can help another by getting them to market my products, or do my Fb posts, or pay a stay at home mum to assemble pieces and make an income from me!!
It occurred to me how this really is a privilege, my business is not really about me.
Tamara Harrison Design
Perth, Western Australia

I have only started to follow my dream a few months ago, so I'm learning valuable information every day, trying to soak up as much as possible. In the beginning everyone had a suggestion of what they thought I should be making which led me to the conclusion that I must make the things I actually enjoy making and eventually like minded people will gravitate towards me instead of me trying to cater for everyone.
I have found that in order to avoid getting ditracted by housework I act as though I'm at work not at home. This involves having a set schedule of times for breaks etc, not answering the home phone ( I use my mobile for business ) and most importantly, explaining to friends, nieghbours etc that I am trying to run a business from home and simply cannot stop for coffee and cake every 10 mins just as I couldnt do if I was employed elsewhere.

Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary! My business, TrashN2Tees will be turning one in August. There are so many things I've learned over the past year- whether it was setting up a website using Wordpress (which means CSS and codes and headaches) to how to use a KAM snap press thingymobobber (which I haven't mastered yet) though the most important thing is the importance of gratitude. Being thankful for my family and friends, supporters, and nay sayers, and for the fact that I have the ability to make a difference.

The top priority is to plan, and plan well with realistic and achievable goals. Because if you don't know where you want to go, you will never get there! Planning to achieve your goals sets direction and writing the goals down makes you more committed to achieving them. Finally review, look at what has worked and why, but most of all look at what didn't work and analysis why, it could be unrealistic goals, bad time management or being uncommitted. Learn from your experiences :-)

I have found not to get caught up in what others are doing or what you think you "should" be doing. Have a realistic goal based on where you want to be and what you want to achieve and stick to that.

I have only been doing this for about 6 months so feel I am still learning every single minute, I soak up all the information I can get my hands on about building a business. But my main priority is to enjoy what I am doing and strive to make others happy as well.

The biggest thing I have learnt is to first and foremost put yourself first! Without good health and allocated time for yourself everything can fall down in a heap! Prioritise your time,make a daily "schedule" and try and stick to it!
I am a work at home mum and it is easy to get side tracked with house duties and non-business related issues.
I now pack myself lunch and snacks each morning, ( as you would if you had a job that was outside of home ) get myself dressed, put my work hat on so to speak, and get into WORK MODE from
9-2.30pm. Time management is crucial.

I have found that you need to make allocated work time or work hours. If u keep going back and forth all day between family and work you get far less done than if u worked solid for 2 hrs. Then u can go play with ur kids and not feel like uhave accomplished nothing. Make some work he's and try very hard to stick to them. It's really simple but until u get the ball rolling it seems like time management is really hard. And make ur work space about u, if u were at a work place with a desk u would have a picture if ur family, use them as your inspiration to achieve great things.

I am slowly learning that one secret to being even vaguely successful in the handmade business is to focus on key designs and ideas in one's creations.
I know that many creative individuals constantly dream up new ideas and designs. But, if you're running your business by yourself, there are only so many hours you can spend creating and promoting your designs.

I just remembered something else I recently read. Might have even been on your page. (Not trying to get another entry, just wanted to share)....

"Marketing is the shit you do to get other people to buy your shit".

I run Baby Feet Designs and I am a wahm. During my short time running this "at home" business I have learnt that you should never undersell your handmade talents. People do pay for quality Australian made goods. Also, network with other wahms via Facebook etc - they can and do turn out to become great friends.

I have learnt you will only be truly successful if you really love and believe in what you are doing. Life is too short to work for someone else in a job you dread going to every day. Find your passion and your love, and then find a way to make it your job. You will never 'work' another day in your life.

Tania Goranitis
Chicken Ink. Creative
Shop Contemporary Handmade
The Contemporary Handmade Alliance

My number one thing I have found with selling online is that a picture really is worth 1000 words.

Unlike a B&M store, people can't touch and feel your product so your photo and description are soooo important. A good clear photo or series of photos is the best way to show your clients exactly what they are looking at purchasing. Good photos show colour, texture, detail and so much more. Sometimes wish we had 'smellavision' when it comes to candles and soaps and things - that would be REALLY handy!

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