If you make what you like and sell what you make, you will have discovered the key to maintaining your passion. So often we end up making what other people like, and eventually we end up falling out of love with our craft. Here is how you avoid that.
Make What You Like
There is something in your shop that you really love to make. There may even be several somethings. These are the projects that keep bringing you back into the shop, and leave a smile on your face when you are finished all covered in sawdust and sweat.
These are the passion projects. They will always make you happy, and you will never grow tired of making them.
These projects are the secret to maintaining your happiness when you turn woodworking into a business. You do want to make your customers happy, which is a pillar of business. However, the way you choose to make them happy can have an effect on your happiness…
Why I Don’t Take Special Orders Anymore
I touched on this before, but I have all but stopped taking special orders anymore, because it changed the way I feel about woodworking and guitar making. Suddenly it wasn’t passion, it was deadlines and taking direction.
When I first started making guitars, I just made the kinds of guitars that I wanted to own and play. They made me happy, because they were guitars that I could not afford to purchase already made.
I listed several of these online, and sold them all quickly. After they were gone, I started taking custom orders. The first few were fun, but several orders later it started to become a job. The things I was making were what someone else wanted, and not what I was excited to see.
After figuring out that I was not happy making what other people wanted, I switched back to making what I wanted. I still sell the stuff, and it keeps me excited about the process.
Do What You Love and the People Will Come
It sounds cliche but if you are really passionate about something you make, and you make it well, there will be people that will want it. All you need to do is get yourself some exposure and keep being passionate about your project.
You may never make a lot of money from it, but you will find people that are as passionate about it as you, and they will be easier relationships.
Woodworking is supposed to be a enjoyable hobby. If you can add profit to that enjoyable hobby, then it’s a huge win. The trick is to add profit without killing the passion side, because then it’s no better than any other job that you have had before.
Make what you like, and sell what you make. That’s the recipe for happiness as a woodworker.
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