5/4/14

creative talk -- part one

You know what I've realized lately?

There are a lot of creative people out there and a lot of good ideas.

However, a lot of creative people are like me: They feel crippled by the thought of starting something. I've been having more conversations with people who have ideas -- for a blog, for a shop, for whatever -- and I thought that maybe some of you would want to know a few of the things I've shared with them.

Step one: ask questions

Maybe you had a flash of inspiration in the shower or while walking your dog and the idea has become like a song stuck in your head. Maybe you wonder if there's anything to that idea.

I think there could be, which is why, I say, step one: ask questions.

1. What is this idea? Describe it in detail, whether it's an idea for a book or an etsy shop)

2. Where did it come from -- have I seen it before? Make sure you're not repeating any idea or somehow copying someone or something. Decide if your idea is original.

3. Why does it excite me? Do you honestly love this idea? If you're going to pursue it, you need passion to back it up.

4. Who else would like it? If you want an idea to fly, you'll need supporters. Unfortunately things that only we like don't usually go as far.

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Answer these questions in full detail -- really get down to the nitty gritty. Journal about it, pray about it and once you think you have a bit of a handle on it, go to someone and tell them about it and listen to what they say.

I think the thing that has helped me more than anything with my etsy shop and blog is that I have a few people that I know I can come to with crazy ideas or problems and they will listen and think through things with. I trust their advice. However, I know that if I don't come to them with some things thought out beforehand, they won't be able to help.

When I first started my etsy shop, I made headbands. I liked making headbands, but I failed to ask myself question number three: Does this excite me. Honestly, I never liked wearing headbands, so why would I make them for others? If you're going to go after something, you need to like it as much as -- or even more than -- anyone else.

Currently I make bags and purses, but I've had requests to make other things, like iPad cases. The thing is, I don't own an iPad and I don't get excited about iPad cases, so even though there's a market for them, it's not something I make.

These sort of question-answer tasks are super helpful when you're trying to figure out where to start -- and it's honestly something I wish I knew well before I embarked on the whole blog-shop thing.

Have questions for me? Want me to cover something? Let me know in the comments, or shoot me an email. I'll be sharing more about other topics this week and I'd love input. :)

xo, erika

6 comments

  1. love this. I think the reason a lot of people abandon their shops after a few months is because they didn't really think it through and ask the right questions in the beginning.

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  2. Great post. I think my biggest thing is actually sitting down and taking the time to just brainstorm and write notes.

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  3. Awesome! So true. I find that in my shop I continually evolve and refine as the result of asking questions, and it always gives me a greater return on my efforts. I would love to hear about how your marketing has changed since you began versus what you do now (trendspotting, if you will!). If you would be interested in sharing some posts on my blog I love to host guest bloggers:) I think my readers would really like your style.

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  4. Yes to all of it. So great that you have people in your life that you can bounce ideas off of and who give you honest feedback. That is so important to have. I think so many people go into whatever is currently popular and will make them money without asking if it's even something they want to do. But it's so important for the long run.

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  5. I love this series. Thank you! I have been considering opening a shop, but am afraid to make the plunge. This will help me see if it's something I can really do. :)

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  6. great tips thank you Erika! btw you share the same name as my big sister :-)

    Katrina Sophia Blog

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oh that's so nice of you to say hi :)
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