Most craftspeople suffer from a lack of confidence, they are naturally quiet people emotionally engaged in their work and fear the world’s reaction to it.
Selling makes you uneasy, you are not sure how good your work is, even in the face of compliments You try to protect your work from criticism by charging very little.
A bit of you knows that your lack of confidence is unjustified but that alone does not resolve the problem.
OKAY SO I WILL
Did that make you smile? Did you like that? See, confidence is attractive. You felt comfortable and happy as I am going to help you.
And I am, just stay with me
I am going to help you slip on a
Yes, that’s it at the top of the post, its body armour.
Doesn’t look very comfortable does it? That’s because it is not a perfect fit for you. It wouldn’t be. It’s like high heels, you have to get used to wearing it.
The point of this coat is to achieve things you want to achieve. I am not asking you to change your personality, you have a perfectly good one. I am just suggesting that there are times in a maker’s life when this is appropriate dress.
Just hang it on the hook on your workroom door and put it on when you need it.
It’s okay I am going to give you a whole lot of practical dressing tips which will make it easier to wear.
And then I am going to give you a sniffer dog trail to check that there are no traces of your pre-Coat of Arrogance days.
I know you are a bit worried. You don’t want to be arrogant, you just want to be confident, but its okay because this coat is going to make you attractively confident. You see, you start as an underconfident person, a Coat of Confidence would just bring you up to everybody else’s level and I think you may need just a touch more than that. But you will still be you, but without the misplaced insecurity.
All good isn’t it? Yeah, so off we go…
What we need to do is to take a look at the confidence destroyers, recognise them and know what to do
Leaches confidence. Recognise it. Duvet it.
Watch your mood if you are feeling negative take a break .
Do not try to explain depression Never say I am depressed because … my business is going badly/I hate my partner … You are depressed, because you are depressed: that’s all there is to it. If you observe yourself you will probably discover your most creative phrase comes after a whiff of depression, it’s a cycle; so work with it.
Stress is a concentration killer with your brain whirring on empty chambers
Its worry about worry
The stress that comes from too much going on is helped by a to do list but you have to do the worst first
Stress can also be evasion A way of not facing something you should
Hope can be destructive because it can crash into disappointment
Crafts businesses tend to make a spurt, then plateau.Think of it as building a sandcastle. The sea will keep coming in, leaving you with nothing, but that is the nature of finding your way. One day you will build further up the beach.
Remember “Nothing is a bad as it seems nor as good as you think”
Also known as jealousy.
You are seeing their work and their accomplishments from the outside, from the inside you’d be surprised how shitty it looks to the owner
Your viewpoint is skewed you can’t compare yours with theirs accurately.
Shit happens, it’s how you deal with it.
Accept that a disaster will happen from time to time, it isn’t avoidable.
Just know the rules about handling it; fearing it is pointless.
Some Stanford Graduate School of Business students came up with these pointers:
“Your natural reaction when something really bad happens is to think about the worst-case scenario. But, that’s usually counter productive. Think about the most likely scenario and solve based on that.
Try and make a realistic determination of how important it is to respond quickly. Often, when something really bad happens, entrepreneurs make the mistake of assuming they have to respond immediately. In many cases, that’s both unnecessary — and risky.
Don’t compound a bad event with panic-induced mistakes. If it makes you feel any better (it should), know that most entrepreneurs (even the successful ones) have near-fatal events happen.”
If it’s a customer disaster then a simple straightforward “my fault, sorry” goes a long way, topped off with a freebie.
On tech stuff, buy from a small local shop who will come to your rescue swiftly when things crash.
If its wind fire and earthquake insure sensibly.
The rule is Scream>Think & think again> Act (don’t react)
Things have a way of being ok in the end
You will be ridiculed, everyone is, some visitors at craft shows say the stupidest things and they assume we are deaf. So what? Two minutes in their company would show you how idiotic these people they are, so there is no need to worry about their views. If someone you know and respect says something that makes you feel bad, talk to them as you probably misunderstood.
If people don’t like something you have made it doesn’t mean that they wont like anything you make. Finding the right products is a long unending process.
You create, They choose.
If you go into a shop and buy nothing you’d think the shop owner a lunatic if he felt ridiculed by your visit. So careful what you think. Try and stay this side of psychosis
It’s okay to be shy, lots of people are and they are more comfortable with other shy people.
Shyness does not preclude you from success unless you avoid people.
Talking to people is a kind thing to do, if you think of it that way, it’s easier.
In a face to face situation you will be more comfortable if you concentrate on showing people your work and telling them a bit about it, don’t worry about selling it, you just need to get them to look.
The Mitford sisters’ nanny used to say to them “Nobody is going to be looking at you” and she was right; people are so self-absorbed they rarely take in anything about any one else. Shy people imagine everyone is watching and judging them but the reality is nobody is that interested.
“What ever you are bad at you can improve. Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability .Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable”
Harvard business blog
As a craftsperson you have so much ground to cover, so many skills needed that you are going to have an uneven distribution of ability.
You mustn’t give in and just concentrate on what you are good at.
You must hack away until you have gained any skill you need
The language you use affects the way you react to situations
So, if you try for a big show and they don’t take you, you are not REJECTED you MISSED OUT
The labels you use affect your handling of situations, so watch which word you pick.
Now you have absorbed those Dressing Tips you will now find that the Coat of Arrogance fits beautifully
While wearing It you are going to be great company.
Your customers will have confidence in your advice and pride in their purchase and be glad they found you. You will have a little more money to pay your bills so its win win.
In wearing that Coat you have done nothing underhand or dirty you have simply increased the happiness in the world. With the coat on, you know your stuff is good and the price realistic.
You should wear your Coat for any thing to do with marketing also for pricing and negotiating. If you start thinking negatively at other times march over to the back of the door and slip your Coat on
Think back to your school teachers, they wore Coats of Arrogance in the classroom, so you know how it plays. Its useful, sensible and helpful. Whats even better its free. Its going to make you grin with pleasure when you handle things so much better. You will no longer think I can’t, you will think why not?
So one more bit of housekeeping to be done and then I shall leave you to your delicious new way of being. We just need to check round your empire to identify any little bits of pre Coat under confidence which might need a bit of an overhaul.
Those dogs are fully trained for the task so lets see what they turn up…
UP a minimum of 50%
HARD with everyone you deal with
Concise, Organised and Confident on website and market place
Relaxed, interesting, entertaining , on your blog, Twitter and Facebook
Not in third person.
Not about your kids /pets/ health
No arts speak
No exclamation marks they are so under confident !!!!
Stop telling people why they should buy
Stop offering alternatives, they get what you offer
Size, Materials, Price That’s all