Outsmart Yourself

How can we outsmart ourselves? I’m sure it sounds like an idiot setting a trap for themselves but is too witty to get caught. What I mean by this is, make yourself smarter than what you are. We started our small business with a sewing machine and a $50 gift card. Needless to say, turning a hobby into a small business is about finding your niche in the ever-growing online retail market. Learning what works and what doesn’t, what’s over-saturated and what’s trending is an arduous journey that really requires dedication to the craft. However, you’ll quickly find that finding your place in the market isn’t enough.

If you are really wanting to get places there is a multitude of rules to the game along with definitions and concepts that you must understand. This is the point where you really become a business. Teaching yourself SEO, keywords, social media marketing, and getting to know the different forms of software is just the beginning of starting a successful online business. That’s not to mention finding better equipment, locating deals, coupons, discount codes, wholesale shopping and more which can become its own ocean of confusion.

But search engines and video tutorials can only take you so far. My wife has become a guru in almost everything there is to know and where to get the best deals. I can do OK when it comes to shopping, but she is no match. It’s almost like she knows a guy who knows a guy’s cousin. Get what I mean? But when it comes to all the technical ideas and intricacies of the marketing business, I was at a loss of where to start. 

Eventually, an opportunity came along for me to obtain a degree in business management where I could learn more about the areas where I was lacking, but because we made this business as a team, we decided to get our degree as a team. I juggled working 12-hour shifts, my wife juggled the business, and we both juggled homeschooling a sassy, opinionated elementary aged child (ten years old and already thinks she can run the world) all while going to school full-time online.

Online learning seems like it would be easy, but it can be very time consuming. But here we are, after two years and a lot of cussing, we graduated. My wife will tell you she did not learn that much more past what she already knew, but I learned a great deal about business models, the four P’s in marketing, and other concepts that I would say were needed information.

Without that journey, I do not believe that I would be able to help my wife with the management side of things like she was needing me to do. Before the degree, I figured I was just going to be the laborer, the one getting my hands the dirtiest. While I still am half of the time, she’s trusted me enough to let me get into the logistics, management, and even writing a few blogs. Imagine that!

If you think you want to make a side-hustle from your hobbies or even move up to a legitimate small business, it would be best to outsmart yourself. If you can do it, get a degree online, certificate, or the very least do a lot of reading and video tutorials. Once you think you have it all down, there is always something new. No one is above becoming wiser. Happy crafting!

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