Many of my friends are makers, and when I asked them what they struggle with the most, I found the most common answer wasn’t forming a business plan or how to build a website. It was confidence. They found themselves asking, “Should I keep doing this?” I struggle with this too. I mean here I am, putting myself out there, but does any of it even matter? Ladies and gents, I found this super cool article on HBR, Is the Era of Mass Manufacturing Coming to an End? And short answer is YES, it does matter. The power is coming back to the freelancer and back to the handcrafters and makers. There are three big reasons why you should keep on making –
We Make Society Better.
“This varied freelance lifestyle underpinned the practice of democracy and Athens’ wonderful achievements in architecture, drama, art, and philosophy.”
Friends, by making things and living on multiple income streams, we are making the world a better place. Our ability to create is ushering us out of the industrial revolution and back to an age of beauty. Even in the era of technology, we still crave the handmade. Our Apple fonts may have gone to Helvetica, but we are still searching for that perfect handwritten font and we just love those scripty motivational images in our Instagram feeds.
We are a Blessing to our Economy.
The fact that you’re working to run a business means you are acutely aware of cash flow and operating expenses, (even if you don’t label it that way). In makers terms: we have to sell more of this, so we can buy more of that awesome crafty goodness. Makers and crafters are usually good money managers with multiple income streams. Whether you have awesome accounting skills, or just understand what it means to live within your income, you are good with money. That, my friends, is good for the economy.
(Sadly,) “Few makers will cost their time in a very businesslike way, given the psychic rewards they find in exercising their craft. Now that the other components of cost are available at rates not much different from those achieved by large enterprises, would-be makers will not be deterred by price cuts from established players.” So maybe, as a breed, we’re not too great at pricing things out. I mean how many times are you going to give that friends & family discount to someone you barely know? Eek. But the good news is, your pricing is probably competitive.
We are friends to the Environment.
We recycle, we upcycle, and we are about as local as you can buy. We are pro’s at using what we have to make something beautiful. We restore and rebuild things, and give them a new life. We don’t operate large factories with smoke stacks. We operate and sell right in our market. You might not even have to commute to your studio.
So... keep on making. As part of the maker movement, you are doing amazing things for others, our economy, and our society. Pat yourself on the back and know that if you ever need a more personal pep talk, you can find me on twitter @Maddy_Kens.