Thursday, March 8, 2012

How To Make It

On Tuesday of this week, gentle readers, your MatchGirl had the chance to attend a very cool event, presented by the folks at Uncommon Goods. How To Make It: How To Make Money While Doing What You Love was an intimate event targeted at designers who are trying to make a career out of their passion projects.

The panel - Tina Roth EisenbergJeff DavisNickey SkarstadAnna Rabinowicz - are all people who know what it's like to pursue a creative dream (even if it's not the one they set out to follow), and were thus well-equipped to speak with Uncommon Goods' CEO Dave Bolotsky and to answer a few questions from the eager audience

What struck me, dear readers, is that much of the advice the panelists gave for those looking to get their creative businesses off the ground can (and maybe should) be applied to you, when it comes to building your own brand and moving your job hunt forward.

One of the topics that arose was that of being happy. SwissMiss (Tina Roth Eisenberg - your MatchGirl feels silly calling her anything else after following her on Twitter for so long!) said that when she was thinking about hiring people in her business, she made a list of everything that she had to do to get her day to day work and then put a smiley or frowny face next to each item. The frowny faced items on the list were the things she was not stoked on doing and that she ended up hiring someone else for.

One of my favorite quotes came from Jeff Davis, who said, "You have to be happy in your day to day life as a small business owner - otherwise, it's going to suck."

True story. And, in your MatchGirl's humble opinion, true of any job one takes.

Another great piece of advice came from Etsy's Nickey Skarstad, who reminded the audience to remember to pay themselves. Figuring out what your worth is tough, and something your MatchGirl has written about more than once. Whether you are figuring out pricing a product you're making, a service you are providing or answering a potential employer's query as to how much you'd like to make.

The topic of branding was also adressed, something that your MatchGirl has written extensively about, personally and professionally.

Gentle readers, the good folks at Uncommon Goods have told me that they'll be sure to hold more events like this one, hopefully in the very near future. What would you like to learn at an event like this?

image from UNH in my kinda hometown of Durham, NH.

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