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What if my work isn’t good enough?

Craft fair season brings with it a TON of stress and fear. How do I price? How do I set up?

But maybe the most worrisome question that comes up is…

“What if my work isn’t good enough?”

And the heartbreaking thing is…

Everything that can go wrong at a craft fair feeds into that worry.

I lost money today? I must not be good enough.

People aren’t stopping by my booth? I must not be good enough.

It’s. Not. True.

I’ll direct you to a resource that can help you with setup, pricing, customer interaction…later.

For now…let’s tackle this problem of you not valuing your work like you deserve. 

 

#1 Get Honest Opinions

If you’re genuinely worried about the quality of your work…it’s a good idea to seek out honest opinions. Here are some suggestions:

 

#2 Don’t Ask Family!

Family support is amazing. Go to them for support, praise, commiseration. Share your work, your hopes, your dreams…

But do not rely on your mom for an honest opinion. One of two things will happen. 

Mom 1 will tell you you’ve just created the most amazing and perfect thing in the history of things and it is worth all the money!

Mom 2 will criticize you and subtly undermine your confidence in your product.

I like Mom 1 better, but neither of them is helpful in assessing the quality of your work. 

 

#3 DO Ask Kids!

You ask a small child a question…you’re getting the truth. You’ll likely receive one of two answers from a child.

  1. What’s that?
  2. I love it! Can I have it! Can you make me one? Can you make my friend one? Can you make one for my teacher?

 

The wording may be different, but a child will give you a variation on one of those answers.

 

#4 Put together a focus group

Do you have one of those friends who is honest to a fault? You never ask her what she thinks of your hair or shoes…because you’re deeply afraid you won’t like the answer?

 

She’d be a good one to ask. Gather your more honest friends and coworkers. Give them a snack and something to drink…then parade your wares in front of them. 

 

For this project…you’re going to go ahead and assume your work is good enough (because it is) and ask questions that will help you gauge which products people gravitate to most. This will help you with the setup of your booth, as well.

 

Ask things like:

  • List your top five favorite products.
  • Is $xx a reasonable price for ___?
  • Which projects do you find the most unique?

 

#5 Seek Out Support

We’re born with family. We only have a little more choice in friends. So if you’re not getting the support you need from those two sources…it’s time to branch out:

#6 Join a Facebook Group

Not just any Facebook group. A group that is active and positive. I’m a member of dozens and dozens of groups, but I only interact regularly in about 4 of them. 

Groups are like parties–sometimes you fit in and have a great time. Sometimes you feel like a fish out of water.

Find groups that embrace you and make you feel at home. If you’re a member of Happily Hooked Magazine…you can join our member’s group. And if you do–share your projects! You’ll be surprised and how good you feel from the support you’ll get.

 

#7 Get A Crochet Buddy

Find a person…or people…who enjoy crocheting as much as you do. I think of Courtney and Shawna, the editors of HHM. They talk shop all the time in their personal time. Comparing and recommending ideas. Showing off their projects.

You can look for crochet friends through your local library (which probably has some kind of knitting/crocheting group), the YMCA, the community center, your church, your local yarn store, etc.
And if you can’t find a crochet buddy–create one! I’ve managed to teach ⅔ of my children how to crochet. It’s been a blast sitting in the living room in the evenings, all of us stitching away. 

The point is…crocheting, just like living, is meant to be done with friends. 

 

#8 Adjust Your Mindset

Perception is reality, so sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s real…and what’s your mindset. If you’re really worried that either you or your work isn’t good enough, chances are you need some mindset work. Try this:

 

– Walk Yourself Through What You’ve Done

Sometimes after a project has sat in my inventory for a while…I forget its value. I forget how much time I spent on it, how much love and energy went into it.

If I haven’t priced it yet, I’ll often take a moment to remember back to when I made it. To think about the cost of the yarn, how much time it took, how many times I had to frog it and redo it just to get it to my standards.

When I do that, I remember how proud I was making it, and how proud I was when I finished. I find that value all over again.

 

– Use Mindset Affirmations

Say this with me…

 

My time is not free.

 

That’s the biggest affirmation I’ve had to use in recent years. I’m a mom, so for my children, my time is free. I give time to friends and family and people important to me.

But everyone else can pay.

Your time is valuable. Your projects are crafted from a combination of yarn, skill, and time. That’s worth something.

So whatever is blocking you from valuing yourself and your work…I challenge you to write an affirmation and start your day repeating it to yourself.

 

Some examples:

I am talented.

I am an artist.

I deserve to be paid for my work.

I have what it takes to succeed in my crochet business.

 

Really, it can be anything that you need to remind yourself to keep from getting down on yourself.

 

We’ve All Been There

There’s something in me that doesn’t want to be presumptuous. I really don’t want to stand in front of people wearing a price tag I think I’m worth and have them sneer at me and say, “My, don’t we think highly of ourselves.”

I could be wrong, but I think it’s a woman thing. Most of us spend so many years of our lives in service to others (I LOVE being a mom and wouldn’t change it for the world) that we forget how to value ourselves independently of that service.

So if you’re worried about your work being good enough…chances are, you’re dealing with this very issue. Not valuing yourself, your time, your talent.

You’re the only one who has the power to change that. 

What tips do you have to counter the fear of not being good enough? Comment below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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