If You Want Different Results, Guess What You Have to Do.

If You Want Different Results, Guess What You Have to Do.

I confess I am a serial entrepreneur. Not the kind that goes from one successful business to the next, but the kind that knows what I would like to do but just not being able to find the right combination of components to make it happen.

I am an artist and creator, and I have taught myself design, marketing and many other aspects of being in business either through taking classes, online webinars, coaches or just trial and error. I have had a brick and mortar stores/galleries, websites, been part of cooperatives and consignment stores and yet, finding the right combination has eluded me. One would think I should give up, but not me! I know my product is good I have just not found the perfect way to get it to enough people to make a living on it. Don’t get me wrong, I make sales, and over the years I have made lot’s of them, enough to stay afloat, just not enough to call myself a success.

This last year I decided that my missing pieces might be not having a big enough audience and also not having a product that was useful and renewable.  I have done a lot of thinking and observation about how and why people shop these days, and I realized that even though I have been on the right track, there are things I can do to change it up to get different results. Some of the changes I am making are creative and some of them are operational and even though it’s only February, I can see that these changes are making a difference.

First I expanded my greeting card lines. I have sold cards for many years created from my art and love the idea that my art gets sent across the world from one to another. It’s a way to share the love and each small sale spreads my work to audiences I could never reach on my own. I started noticing that cards were becoming more and more popular and that this trend was on the rise. This article I found in December backed up my observation. “Greeting Cards Aren’t Going Anywhere”

The second thing was that I needed an online store. We all do more and more of our shopping online and I decided I needed to take Etsy.com seriously. To learn to use it and to make my presence there a viable online art and stationery shop. So even though I have had a page there since 2014, I did not take the time to learn what works and to figure out how customers find me there. Let me tell you it is just as much work to have an online store as it is to have a shop in town!

The third thing I am doing is finding the right ways to reach the customers who will want what I make.

All of this takes a lot of research, trial, and error, and making tweaks here and there until suddenly it works. And I am seeing progress which makes me happy. It is important to have a mix of personal connection and digital connection, giving people options, finding ways to meet their needs. And making art that not only expresses me but art that inspires and is appreciated by my customers. I don’t have to please everyone and that makes expanding sales across the web makes it easier to find your tribe and build a broader base.

So my advice to you is, if you have a dream that just won’t let you go, please don’t give up. Keep searching. What’s right for one entrepreneur is not always right for everyone else. Follow your heart and your gut and never give up. The world needs what you do, just as I know the world needs what I do as well. So watch Youtube, read blogs, take classes and webinars, and talk to people who work in similar areas of practice. Most entrepreneurs are open to sharing. But the biggest thing is to keep working at it. You will get it and it will be a fulfilling and rewarding journey.

If you are looking for unique cards, custom stationery (soon to be added) or beautiful art in photography and watercolor, visit my shop on cherylmcdonald-art.com

Thanks for Reading

Cheryl

A Valentine Memory

A Valentine Memory

It’s Valentines Day 2019

I remember in elementary school, many, many years ago, we would have a class party for Valentines Day. The week before the teacher would set up a post office and each student created their own mailbox and decorated it. Our teacher chose a new person every day that week to be the Post Master and each day as children brought in their valentines (we had to have one for each person in the class), the Post Master would distribute them in the mailboxes.  On Valentine’s day, we had the party and after all the handmade cupcakes and party favors were handed out, we would retrieve our mailboxes to take home with us.

It was so much fun going through the cards. They were mostly the store-bought kind. Little cut-out characters with a happy greeting. Once in awhile, there were handmade ones but they were rare. Some of them were signed and some weren’t. Did you get any ‘Be Mine’ cards? Was it from that cute boy you had a crush on? It was kind of amazing that even though we lived in a small town it was rare that you got lots of the same ones. It was fun to get Mail.

It is a fond memory, I still love getting cards and letters, and honestly, I need to be better at personally sending them as well. Lot’s of people are better at this than I because I have been making cards out of my art and selling them for many years! First, it was prints of watercolors I had done, then photographs I had taken and now I am also making hand-painted cards. People love them and share them or gift them so that others can share them.

Sending a card from one of your favorite artists is so much more than just a greeting. It is sharing a gift created by one and passed on to another. It adds a real human connection to the process of communication. In a world of immediate digital, I think a personal hand-written note may be more important than it has ever been. It makes us stop and pay attention, and it reminds us that we are not alone, that someone cares for us. I often save them and every time I see it, it reminds me of the person who sent it.  Again it makes me stop and think. It often sparks me to connect with that person again in some way, even if just sending positive thoughts their way.

And so on this valentines day 2019, I just want to say, cards are one way to connect with those you care about, either near or far. It doesn’t have to be on a special day and actually, I think it might be more important on those days when time gets lost. And yes there are lots of ways to connect, this is just one. If you are looking for artists who make cards for all your special needs, I invite you to look at Etsy.com. Here there are many unique artists that create custom and customized cards. This is where I have set up shop as CherylMcdonaldArt and you can find my cards there as well.

Happy Valentine’s Day, may you feel loved and may you give love to those you care about. And be sure to give the post person some love as well. Even though the costs keep going up and the expectations get higher, the post office still delivers 6 days a week everywhere in the country. And is in and of itself a miracle!

All the best, ❤️

Cheryl