{Blog series} – Hearing from successful South African handmade businesses and why we should listen to them.

So, for right or for wrong, I’m going to put it out there and would love to hear your feedback on my theory – my theory that many South African creatives are so eager to turn their hobby’s or creative talent into a business, and ultimately make a profit, but who are falling short because they are under the impression that ‘If you love your work, you won’t have to work a day in your life’…  To which I say bollocks, I mean it’s a great quote and all, but realistically it’s really not that simple and I think that too many people fall short because of the romantic idea that passion is all you need for a successful business.

Running your own business, any business, big or a one man show, is hard work. There will (hopefully) always be elements of the work that you enjoy, (ok, I’m not talking about those very brave people in call centres who have to phone and try and sell you your 5th cellphone contract, at 5pm, just as the kids are starting to go crazy), I’m talking about those people who genuinely like, or love their jobs. People who are passionate about what they do.

No matter how much you love what you do, there are always going to be tasks that you don’t enjoy doing. Staying in the context of Jamtin  – let’s use an example of someone who designs their own jewellery. For the majority of those people what really drives them is being able to spend their days in their studios, doing exactly what it is that they do well, what drives them; their passion – to design and create jewellery. I’m speaking generally here of course, but said designer doesn’t want to be bogged down with the admin of sourcing and then costing their material, said designer certainly doesn’t want to be chasing debtors or putting press releases together to promote their work, many rather eat their tools than phone up a shop and ask them to stock their products. It’s obvious when we see it written down like this, but honestly, the number of people who expect their business to prosper without the hard work often amazes me – and by hard work I mean doing the red tasks, the tasks that they don’t want to do, but what has to be done to have a successful business.

Running a successful creative business, in my opinion, is about having the skills to not only create, but to connect, sell, market, promote, be on top administration, be financially responsible and always be looking forward. It’s about thinking outside the box, about growing and expanding. (It’s also perhaps about finding 10 extra hours in your day, I know!)

I do know that there are so many people who get this so very, very right. It’s with this in mind that I’ve decided to do a blogging series to highlight some creative peeps, who, in my mind, are successful and doing something right, be it on a large or small scale!

So – watch this space as we hopefully gain some valuable insights into running a creative business, taking into consideration all aspects of what exactly will make your business a success, and specifically talking to people within the South African context.

Ps – if you know anyone who you think we should talk to and who would share some insights, please drop me a mail!

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