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Longer than you think
I picked up Claudine's first book 10 years ago. This week, I'm delighted to be sharing a conversation we had about her art career, and the truth about licensing and publishing. As I've been thinking about our conversation, I wanna focus on one thing, that I think most people miss: 
 
She published her first book 10 years ago. 
Ten years ago. 
 
When you see someone's amazing Etsy shop, licensing deals, or partnerships - do you also notice how long they've been doing what they do? 
 
When you start to compare yourself to the other businesses out there, do you stop and get real about how long you've been working, with dedication and daily focus? 
 
I don't mean: How long have you been thinking about this? Or: When did you first open your Etsy shop?
(I was among the first 200 people to open an Etsy shop, but then I let it sit there with two skeins of yarn in it, for nearly two years.)
 
I mean: How long have you been working on it in a focused way? 
When you're feeling discouraged, this is often the best remedy: Perspective. 
 
 
When I finally did dedicate myself to my yarn company, I spent three years dyeing and spinning every single weeknight and weekend (and taking leave to travel to craft shows) before I could quit my day job. 
I've been helping people with their businesses since almost the very second I quit my day job (because they started asking!) five years ago. But it took me over a year of hundreds of free conversations and advice-giving before I had anything organized enough to sell. It took another year before I had enough for my book. 
 
And even then I worked for a big client (managing their social media) for nearly two years while still working on my yarn company full-time, while I wrote the book and (slowly!) built the Starship and library of classes. 
 
Even now, I'm not exactly where I want to be. I still have a bigger vision than I'm able to execute. And if you listen in, you'll hear Claudine say the same thing - she's still changing things and growing and learning what will work for what she wants. 
 
When you look at other businesses or success stories, look HARDER - not to tear them down, but to get realistic about how long it takes, how much time you have to dedicate, and how long you might be doing it before it gives you want you want. 
 
Some people would read this and think: That's too much! It's not worth it! 
That's totally ok - the kind of risk (and rewards) in being a working artist (or author, or fiber farmer) isn't for everyone. That reaction is a great indication that maybe you've got a hobby, not a business
 
But you're different: You read this as a challenge and a rallying cry to put in the work and dedicate yourself harder and have more patience. You know that it IS worth it to build something with your own two hands. That connecting with people who love your work + feeding your family with your own creativity and smarts is worth the time it takes to make it do-able. 
 
I want you to know: 
You are not alone. 
You are not going too slow. 
This will take a long time of dedicated action, but you can do it. 
 
Yours in dedication, 
Tara
In case you missed it: 
 
  • I just discovered I only have ONE book left to sign + send a reader! You can snag it here!
  • Haven't STARTED your crafty biz yet? Check out this great (free!) class by Karin Chapin.
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