Romance + Finance: A February Fling

RomanceFinance

Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be!

One theme comes up over and over again in emails, comments, and at our chats: how do we make a living while loving what we do? So this month we are spending February having a fling exploring love + money and where the two intersect.

Our finances are one of those sticky topics that can be intensely personal and wrapped up in what we love and why. So this month when the world is full of hearts and flowers seems to be the perfect time to dive into our relationships with money and the fact + fiction of how we make a living (or not!) doing what we love. While we will definitely have posts on balancing the books and increasing our profits + printables and tutorials on love/money-we will also be looking deeper into how we choose to grow our businesses and what those decisions might mean for us financially and ethically. From creating a sustainable business to finding the confidence to raise your prices, to how to start from absolutely nothing, to knowing where to expand or where to grow slow, to investing money and time in the things we believe in…we’ll be sharing stories, ideas, and resources to help us all on the journey to making a living and a loving at the same time.

Our themes are made awesome every month because of you and we’re getting even more collaborative this month with content generated by your questions and insight:

Share your  love/money questions!

Have a question you need an opinion on or a resource you are missing? Submit it in the comments and I’ll pair your question up with a contributor who has the know-how!

*Why & how should build a media kit?  * What should my wholesale/consignment/legal agreement look like? *How do I budget for a craft fair/event? *Can I stay small and support my family at the same time?  *Where should I invest in my business? 

Whatever your questions are about love & money we want to know (chances are someone else is wondering the exact same thing!).

Share your  love/money struggles!

Are you feeling awesome about the place you have reached in your business or are you struggling with an issue related to making a living while loving your work? Share with us in the comments to connect with others who are dealing with or have dealt with a similar problem. Let’s pool our resources I’ll make sure we share some posts this month on the areas you need support!

Share your  love/money lessons!

What have you learned about love/money during your creative adventures? If you have a story,  experience, or resource you would like to share with our community let us know in the comments! Did you use an accountant that changed your life? Maybe you figured out a brilliant way of organizing your receipts? Was there a terrible fail or situation that caused you to rethink things? Or maybe you have knowledge to share on how to stay in love with your work when it is also how you make your living? We are the best possible resource for each other so let’s make sure we spread the knowledge around!

From the big teachings to the little steps figuring out how to be entrepreneurs isn’t always easy, hopefully this theme will help make the road a little easier for all of us. I can’t wait to jump into this topic with all of you and make it fun and fabulous together + see your ideas/questions in the comments. Three cheers for February flings and working at what we love together…now please pass the chocolate!

  • http://www.tillyandthebuttons.com Tilly

    A very timely topic for me as, after three years of blogging, I’ve just put my first product up on my site for sale (a sewing pattern)! Luckily the response has been great, but I was so nervous putting it out into the world and asking people to pay real money for it. Silly, I know, but it’s not easy making the transition from being a blogger putting everything out there for free to trying to make it a bit more financially sustainable. Is this a topic you could cover? Getting comfortable asking for money for what you do?

    I’m really looking forward to reading these posts in any case!

    • http://ohmyhandmade.com/members/ohmyhandmade/ Jessika Hepburn

      @Tilly, Hooray for you! Making that first big step into selling your products through your site is HUGE! I bet it feels awesome (and still a bit scary too). Getting comfortable asking for money is hard for a lot of us especially when free content is so readily available! I really loved reading this series by Diane of CraftyPod on the sustainability of free http://www.craftypod.com/2011/01/05/how-sustainable-is-free-the-start-of-a-series/ this is definitely a topic we will talk about this month. Thank you for bringing it up & I hope we can help cheerlead you on as you build a business from your blog:)

  • Erin

    I’m really curious how to take a number of different interests (though with some base level common thread) and manage to do all but still make enough money for rent and insurance and such. So instead of having a 9 to 5 gig, you have multiple sources of income and awesome.

    • http://ohmyhandmade.com/members/ohmyhandmade/ Jessika Hepburn

      @Erin-Great topic!!! Especially since so many creative minds like ours have multiple/diverse interests finding those common threads can be tricky in the first place. Then we need to figure out how to unify & make a living from them-this adds a whole extra level of complication! I’ve always had a little envy of people who can dedicate themselves to a craft or a product line-I don’t have that skill, my brain goes a million miles a minute and it often feels like I race to keep up, always wanting to learn all the things. Working to channel this constructively is a work in progress for me…I would love to see what a couple of our contributors have to say on this idea (+ I would love to see you write about your own thoughts!).

  • http://richmombusiness.com Renae – Mommy Blog

    This is a fantastic theme for February and my Jury Duty is over just in time to experience it and do the chats next week. Yay!

  • http://www.ursulamarkgraf.com Ursula-the crafting gypsy

    Lovely topic! I am about to launch my shop for handmade buttons and have of course quite a few questions about money. One thing that is on my mind … which is kinda about money … is it possible to deliberately keep your business small without putting customers off?
    As I wrote I will open my shop for my handmade buttons soon. But, I already know that I do not want to end up like a human button making machine. I plan to add other (digital) products to supplement the money income. However, I wonder … assuming that there are people that like my buttons, what should one do if there are more happy buyers than supplies?
    I feel almost ridiculous asking this as most people assume that I would want to sell as much as possible.
    Any ideas or tips on how to deal with this would be highly appreciated.

    xox

    Ursula

  • http://www.colleenattara.com colleen Attara

    Love this focus for February Jess. I am taking this month to to plan launches and really focus on the details. Harnessing the girl that jumps (we discussed her in the chat) and spending some time with the girl who looks….then leaps…xo.

  • http://Www.sweetviolet.net Faith

    I have a hard time with budgeting and setting boundaries for the income I make. At first I wasn’t sure if I could make any money and anything I earned sat in my PayPal account. As I grew and my income became steadier and I took on paying a few bills I lost a TON of motivation and felt really taken advantage of. Like my family complained about how much time I spent on my work but then expected me to be able to pay for eating out/goon on vacation etc. which killed my motivation for my business. What do you do to make your budget work? How do you communicate and hold yourself accountable?

  • http://www.backyardpatch.com Marcy Lautanen

    I need to work on budgeting for shipping and when to offer free shipping as an incentive, especially now as the rates have gone up. I am also reaching a point of putting together a media kit and wondering about how to set a reasonable wholesale price.

    M

  • http://www.tillyandthebuttons.com Tilly

    Thank you so much for the support, Jessika!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jennifer-Campbell/1164192160 Jennifer Campbell

    I’m feeling really lost with my handmade business. I started off making crochet baby hats with regular acrylic yarn, then I felt like I “upgraded” by using only handpsun merino wool and these beautiful wood slice buttons. But… nobody bought the stuff I loved. Others don’t appreciate the materials I love- so I went back to using cheaper yarns. I’m unhappy with it, but I don’t know what to do, because I want to make sales, but if my pieces are too expensive, no one buys them. I also fear that I’m in a flooded market… Does it really matter what I do, or will I ever stand out from the crowd?