Tips & Talk 18 – Let Them Steal Your Stuff!

Woman asking whyBy keeping your business too close to your chest, you’re limiting your ability to attract new customers, get new sales and expand your product line. Plus, it puts you in a position of management through paranoia. NOT a good feeling ever!

I explain in today’s show why this is not a good way to run your business and the only time it actually makes sense. Yes, there’s always one exception to the rule.

But OMG – once you truly get this, it’s so freeing!

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Transcript
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Hi there.

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It's Sue.

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And thanks for joining me for tips and talk day.

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These are bite-sized topics that I pull from community questions and

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things that I'm observing in the world of handmade small business.

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If you'd like to submit a topic,

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DME over on Instagram at gift biz unwrapped,

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Yes. Go ahead.

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Let them steal your stuff.

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People are so concerned that other people are going to figure

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out techniques,

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steal a design,

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copy, something that they're doing.

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And instead of going on and building their companies,

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they're limiting their ability to grow.

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So I say,

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go ahead.

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I want you to have the mindset that other people can

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steal your stuff.

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I'll hear people saying I'm not going to talk about my

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products. I'm not going to show anything behind the scenes that

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I'm doing.

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I don't want anybody to know because if they know they're

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going to totally copy my idea and my business won't grow,

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I won't have a business,

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but that very thinking of keeping everything so close to your

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chest is exactly why you won't grow.

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And let me explain this to you in three different ways

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that this affects your company and inhibits your ability to grow.

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If you're just starting out,

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or if you're already an existing business,

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you could probably reflect back.

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You have the idea of starting a business.

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You don't Know for sure if it's going to work or

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not. And it's scary,

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right? Getting started all the anxiety,

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all that mindset,

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all that fear comes up.

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And so what do a lot of people do?

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I'm not going to tell my friends or my family about

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this until later until it's up and running and I can

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tell them over coffee one day,

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oh yeah,

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I have this business.

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Now it's up and running.

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It's great.

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What's wrong with that.

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Your friends and family are the very ones who are going

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to support you and help you grow.

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If you're in this situation right now,

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where you're thinking about starting your business,

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I want you to tell your friends and family,

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when you actually open a business,

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go to your very first craft show,

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get your website up and running.

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These are the people who are going to be the most

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accepting. If something goes wrong,

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have people who are your friends or family place,

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a first order so that,

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you know,

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everything is working.

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Have people give feedback on your product?

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Is that class that you used on this shawl,

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not tight enough,

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should it be a little bigger?

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Is it difficult to wear?

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Because it's scratchy even,

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you know,

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whatever it is,

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all that feedback comes so much easier with people who are

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friends and family.

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When you're starting business,

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you don't want to keep it a secret from your friends

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and family,

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because they are the very ones that can help you really

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start to get traction,

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smooth out your system and get your business up and running.

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Now, when you are,

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we're open for business,

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then there's that fear of,

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you know,

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everyone's telling me to show behind the scenes,

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but if I show up the scenes,

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people are going to know how I actually put things together.

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Maybe they're going to find out some of my sourcing.

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If they see my production studio,

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then they're going to be able to create something just like

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that for themselves.

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And then they're going to steal my business.

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I don't want to talk about how I create the products.

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I don't want people to see my operations,

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but here's the thing.

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Here's why that is a fallacy.

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And that also inhibits your growth.

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When people are able to see the behind the scenes,

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they're also seeing how much it takes to run a business.

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Let's face it.

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Not everyone is cut out to do this entrepreneurial owning and

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running a business thing by far.

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And when you're able to show,

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walking into production studio this morning,

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here's how I get started before I start working on my

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pottery for the day or here's how I lay everything out

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so that these decorated cookies are all ready for.

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When my employees show up to do the decorating,

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the frosting,

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most people aren't going to do that.

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But they're curious.

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And what you're doing is you're helping develop a level of

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interest in your business so that people feel like they know

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you. They trust you.

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And that behind the scenes deepens the relationship that you have.

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Even if you don't know some of the people who are

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following you or watching you on social,

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reading your blogs,

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coming to look at your website,

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they feel like they know you better because you're giving them

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a peek behind the scenes of you.

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So instead of keeping everything buttoned down where nobody gets to

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see the behind the scenes,

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what you're doing is you're actually inhibiting the ability for people

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to know you develop a relationship with you and want to

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buy from you feel comfortable enough to be able to buy

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from you.

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There's another thing that happens in social that makes me absolutely

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crazy. And I guess now would be a good time for

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me to bring this up to Instagram private accounts.

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When I see new people following me on Instagram,

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one of the things that I'll do is look over into

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their account and see,

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Hey, is this somebody that I want to connect up with

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too? So that I have a relationship with them in the

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future. I can see what they're doing.

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Are they in alignment with the handmade product industry?

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But I would say,

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I'm not even kidding you.

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Probably 50% of the accounts that I go look at are

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private. How many people are those accounts missing?

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And I'm sorry if you're one of them change off private,

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unless you have a really,

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really good reason.

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And aren't looking to attract business,

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change your account to be not private so that we can

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see you because no,

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one's going to follow you if it's private.

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And if you're worried that people are going to steal your

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stuff, or if you're posting things that aren't for business eyes,

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then make a separate account.

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You know,

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on Instagram,

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all you do is you connect up accounts via emails,

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right? So just create another free Google email account,

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have one for your business.

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And one for private,

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if that's the reason why you're private,

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okay. Enough of that,

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the other way,

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that being so fearful about sharing,

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what you do is limiting you is it's also limiting your

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ability to expand your product line.

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One of the things we all know with being handmade products

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is if you're the one that's making your product and you

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don't have outside employees right now,

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then you're limited in how many products that you can make.

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And there are many people who don't want to hire a

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staff, but they also want to make more than they're making

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now in terms of income.

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So one way that you can do that is expand the

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products that you present out to the market.

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One way to do this.

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And something that you can consider is an online tutorial or

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direction kit of how you create one of your products.

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And if you're so worried that people are going to share

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what you're already doing,

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you can never take that next step.

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Another part under product expansion,

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which I'm seeing a lot of people doing right now is

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online classes or in-person classes,

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teaching a very basic product that is in alignment with the

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main product that they sell.

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So let's say it's art.

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You've seen these stores open up around us,

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where you can go in and you can have some wine,

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you know,

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sip and draw type things or classes that are done at

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Michael's or Joann's where you can go in and learn how

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to make whatever's being offered that day.

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Well, we could put on those classes too and make additional

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money teaching classes either online or in person.

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And I get kicked back when I suggest this sometimes with

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some of my coaching students,

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because they'll say,

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why would I want to teach somebody what I'm selling?

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Because then they don't need to buy the products for me.

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Here's the real truth behind that?

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Most of the time,

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when you are going to do some type of an online

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tutorial, you're attracting a completely different an audience than people who

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would actually devious,

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analyze what you're making and start a business out of it.

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They're not interested in doing that.

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You're going to attract a whole different audience than people who

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want to come in and learn a little bit of the

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basics as a form of entertainment,

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totally different person than the people who are going to come

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and buy your products directly from your site.

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So you're able to expand your audience reach when you offer

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different types of options around your product,

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you have online products to sell or things that you can

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sell in the craft shows.

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And then also,

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by the way,

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for those of you who are interested in trying your hand

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at this candle,

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making soap,

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making, join me in my classes,

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and we can do this together.

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I'll show you how it's done to different audiences.

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So you're able to gain new customers who are interested in

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a different thing.

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The other thing that happens when you do these online classes

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is you'll see that they will recognize nice that making the

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product, which they thought could be so simple,

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actually takes more skill and talent and time than they would

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want to invest on a regular basis.

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So take candles for me,

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adding the scent,

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mixing it up,

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pouring candles,

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letting it cure all the things that you need to do.

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Not to mention that I wouldn't have the wax,

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the wicks,

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the containers,

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or any of the tools immediately on hand.

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It will be fun to do at one time,

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but then I'm done over.

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I'm not doing it anymore.

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I would much rather buy it from somebody.

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And I appreciate it even more because I understand now what

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goes into making it so they get hands on understanding of

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the depth of experience and skill that you need in making

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your product.

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And, you know,

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maybe they'll make their own in a simplified manner,

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but the more advanced ones sense,

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the larger ones you're special jars made with your special he'll

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touch. Those still need to be purchased from you.

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I'm going to summarize here.

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Here's how you're limiting your business.

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If you're so afraid that people are going to steal your

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stuff. When you're starting shit,

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they're with friends and family,

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they're going to be your first loyal.

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Porter's second.

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As your businesses open,

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don't be afraid of showing what you do with the process

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of your business,

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behind the scenes.

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Some of the designing that you're doing,

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because it's going to endear your customers to you,

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where they're going to develop a relationship and they're going to

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want to support you.

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And then as you're ready to expand your product line,

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consider adding classes,

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either online tutorials,

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online live classes,

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face-to-face classes,

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because this is a way that you can bring in more

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income. It's a different stream of income into your business that

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you're not doing with just selling your products,

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worst case.

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And this is what everyone fears.

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Someone copies you,

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you have a certain way that you design the tops of

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your soaps with lavender,

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or you add in like,

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like an embossing or whatever it is that makes your soap

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special. Someone sees it and integrates,

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let's say exactly the same thing into their product.

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Guess what?

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They still cannot totally copy you.

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Nobody can be exactly you in terms of the personality that

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you bring forward,

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the way you do your packaging.

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If you do handmade notes,

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whatever else you do that people wouldn't see if they're just

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seeing you online and then how you speak,

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how you show up.

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Even if I gave you the exact script.

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If you read word for word,

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what I've just said,

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it would still come across differently than the way I come

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across. This is the same thing with your business.

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No buddy can copy exactly what you do.

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Now. Having said all of that,

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I do have one exception because there's always an exception to

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the rule.

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And that is if you're an inventor,

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meaning you've envisioned specked out,

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designed and created a brand new product.

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This is a product that then could be patented.

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Then I wouldn't share it until you have the proper protection

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in place.

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So this is the only exception that I have.

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And most people who are doing this are having this mass

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produced in a factory for the most part.

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So for 99% of the people here,

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that is not the case because we're specializing in handmade products,

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but this would be one exception to the rule.

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Really the reason and the importance,

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why I bring this up is to adjust your mindset on

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this idea,

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that if I show people what I'm doing,

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people are going to steal it.

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So I want you to stop that mindset and go the

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totally opposite direction and say,

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okay, go for it,

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steal my stuff.

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Because truthfully,

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this is just a fallacy that we're telling ourselves.

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And when you recognize this,

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it's so freeing,

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because then you understand that what you've been telling yourself is

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not the case.

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And you can become open and generous in sharing what you

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do with your products.

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And what's going to return to you is audience growth and

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sales, because there's absolutely only one.

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You, if you are limiting yourself,

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because you've got this message in your mind that people are

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going to steal my ideas,

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they're going to take and copy what I have to offer.

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This is us talking to ourselves and putting up barriers that

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prevent us from going after our dreams.

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So don't do that to yourself.

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Let them steal your stuff.

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That's a wrap.

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I'm a get to the point kind of girl.

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And this is what you can expect from these quick midweek

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sessions. Now it's your turn.

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Go out and fulfill that dream of yours.

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Share your handmade products with us.

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We want them,

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