Tips & Talk 28 – Let’s Talk About Revenue Generating Tasks

Woman paintingNot all tasks are created equal. As you know, it’s easy to get distracted and without even knowing it, go down the social media rabbit hole – or any other number of daily activity “fillers” that don’t produce results.

Today I’m going to define and give examples of revenue producing tasks. We’ll talk about why they’re important and how to ensure you do some of these every day. It’s in this way your energy and time spent in your business will bring in new customers and sales.

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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 today,

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we're going to be talking about revenue generating tasks.

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And this came about because someone in the breeze is like,

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I keep hearing this term revenue generating tasks.

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You keep talking about this SU what does it mean?

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What is a revenue generating task?

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Why do I want to care about it?

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And like,

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give me the goods,

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telling me what this is all about.

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So that's what we're going to talk about today.

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Here's the reason that this can be really important.

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Do you ever find that you put a lot of hours

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into your business doing all sorts of things,

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committing a lot of energy and you're not seeing the sales.

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If you're seeing that this is happening,

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it's very possible that you're not spending time on revenue generating

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tasks. So you're putting the time in,

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but what you're working on,

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isn't advancing and bringing you to a sale.

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If you find this happening,

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don't get discouraged because it's an easy trap to fall into.

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I'm going to describe it a little bit more here,

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and then what you can do to overcome this problem by

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nature, all of us as makers.

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And I'm not even going to just say makers,

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I'm going to say any of us gravitate to doing things

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that are easier for us to do,

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because it's comfortable.

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You already know how to do it.

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It's those harder tasks that you don't really know how to

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do, or have never done before,

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or make you a little bit anxious that we shy away

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from. And so what'll happen is we'll put our time into

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things that we know how to do,

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versus the harder things that we should be doing that can

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really help us grow our businesses.

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That can be deciding that you want to reorganize your workspace

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because you feel like you're going to be just so much

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more productive.

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If you get everything organized in your workspace,

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or let's say you're a knitter,

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you're going to go online and see what the newest yarn

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is that you should be purchasing.

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Cause you're going to want to add it to your newer

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designs. These are all things that we can get ourselves wrapped

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up in because they're the fun things to do.

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They're easy.

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They make us happy and we're being active.

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So we feel like we're being productive,

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but they're not revenue generating tasks.

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You see,

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not all tasks that you do are created equal revenue,

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generating tasks are tasks that bring you closest to the point

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where a customer is going to actually buy.

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Let me give an example.

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This is around the idea of exhibiting at a craft show.

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So you've never done that before.

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So what's the first thing that you would do when you're

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considering exhibiting at a craft show?

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Well, you're going to research what shows are in the area,

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make a list of the shows that you'll be interested in

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potentially going to,

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and then the next step from there,

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we'll be selecting and signing up for our show.

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And then you're going to plan what your displays will look

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like. Brochures,

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signage, all of that.

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From there,

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you're going to promote the fact that you're going to be

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there. And then finally,

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you'll go to the show,

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set up,

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make your sales,

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all the things that come along with the show.

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In this example,

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do you see how from the very beginning of researching the

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show all the way along those steps,

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every single step is a little bit closer to the sale.

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So each step is a little bit stronger of a revenue

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generating task,

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even though that very first step researching craft shows in your

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area, if that's all you do Monday through Friday,

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research, research,

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research research,

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and you never take that next step,

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you're not getting closer to the sale,

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right? So this is an example of how you can get

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caught up in doing something that can be a potentially revenue

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generating task,

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but you keep doing the same thing and you're not making

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progress towards the end event.

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The closest to the sale in terms of revenue,

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generating events is being at the show.

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And then actually talking with people,

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answering their questions and then making the sale.

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Another revenue generating idea would be posting on social media because

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you're wanting to deepen your relationship with those people who are

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following you on social,

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developing the know like,

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and trust factor,

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direct messaging them.

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So they continually feel a deeper relationship with you.

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When that happens,

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you are walking them closer to the point where they're going

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to click the buy button because they like you.

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Now. They want to support you and they know more about

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your products.

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Here's another one reaching out to local newspapers in your area.

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Seeing if there's any interest of doing an article about the

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products that you make,

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not self-serving to you,

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but something that would be of interest to the local audience.

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The first way to do that,

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when you want to get PR is to make contact with

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the publications that are available in your area.

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That would be a revenue generating task to my point earlier.

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Yeah, that's a little bit scary if this is something you've

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never done before.

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Oh my gosh.

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Like what do I do first?

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Or how do I reach out to them?

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Or when I reach out to them,

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that's nerve wracking and I'm anxious.

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I've never done that before,

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but this is where we get stuck because you could say,

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okay, I'm not going to do it.

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Cause I'm not exactly sure what to do.

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And you gravitate back to tasks that aren't revenue generating.

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You see what I mean?

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That's how you can start spinning your wheels,

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working so hard in your business,

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putting in so much time and never seen the needle.

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Move on sales.

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Third example of a revenue generating activity.

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If you are considering wholesale,

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how about identifying three local boutiques where your product would fit

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in nicely to what they already offer?

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So this would add to the variety of products that this

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store could carry.

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So you identify three stores.

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Then you go in,

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introduce yourself to the owner of the shop.

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You start the ball rolling.

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If you will.

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That is a revenue generating activity.

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By contrast.

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Now here is what isn't a revenue generating activity.

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End of month bookkeeping,

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yuck. It has to happen.

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You got to know your numbers,

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but that's not a revenue generating activity.

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Something else,

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counting your inventory.

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Yes, you need to do it year end for tax purposes.

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You might need to do it at a mid-year checkpoint because

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you need to make sure that you have the inventory you

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need for making products.

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Do you see how that an activity that has to happen

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in your business,

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but just by you counting how much product do you have

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ingredients? You know,

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whatever it is applicable to your product has nothing to do

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with selling to the customer,

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shipping out product,

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even though absolutely when an order comes in,

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you gotta ship it out.

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You know,

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you want your customer to get the product right away,

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be happy with your customer service.

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That's a post revenue generating activity,

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right? All these things have to be done of course,

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but by understanding when you're doing revenue generating activities and when

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you aren't,

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this helps you start building a list of activities that you're

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doing that some day,

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not right away,

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but some day could be done by somebody else.

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Doesn't have to be done by you.

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The very biggest challenge that I see is we always gravitate,

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especially as makers to making more,

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you have to put that in there.

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You have to make your product.

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This isn't something that's of issue.

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If the product that you sell is being made through a

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factory, right?

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But no,

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we are.

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Hand-making our products,

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especially if you're a solo preneur right now,

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here's the caution.

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And here's what I see often happens in our community.

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The reason you probably started selling your product is because you

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love making it,

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right. That's how it started.

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It was a hobby or a craft.

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People started saying they would love for you to make one

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for them,

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either for personally,

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or to use as a gift.

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And then someone tells you,

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oh my gosh,

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your product is so beautiful.

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So great.

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So different smells.

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So good tastes so good,

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whatever it is,

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you should start a business around it.

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Now, all of a sudden,

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all these business activities start layering on.

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And then you're right.

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Like when do you find time to craft?

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Here's the trick.

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If you only want to make,

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and you don't want to start a business and monetize it,

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that's a different story.

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But if you want to make money through what you make,

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you have to balance.

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Now, the thing that you've loved so much and got you

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into thinking about business in the first place,

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you have to balance that now with business activities,

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the one caution I have is because we can so easily

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gravitate back to making what ends up happening is you make

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so much product and then you keep making more product and

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making more product before you're even selling any of the product

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that you have.

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You probably need less inventory than you have.

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And you're probably not doing the revenue producing activities that will

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sell that inventory and necessitate you making more.

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Okay. And I'm going to back this up just a little

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bit for us here,

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that when you're at that tipping point of switching from a

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hobby to a business,

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you've got to test the market and see that there are

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actually people who are going to buy over and above your

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friends and family.

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And to do that,

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you don't need to make hundreds of every single piece yet

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before you go that route,

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validate that there are people who will buy from you,

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who will buy the candles that you make,

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who will buy the shawls before you start making so much

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inventory and then trying to sell,

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you can start with 5 cents of candles.

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You don't need to make 40 until you know that people

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are going to be buying.

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So this is something I'll caution everybody about.

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Are you selling the inventory?

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You already have that necessitate you making more,

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or are you gravitating back?

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What's the most fun to do,

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which is making when you're really just building up your inventory,

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but you're not selling any yet,

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have grace with yourself about this,

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but recognize that this is something that you should probably be

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doing differently recognizing,

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and knowing this is the first step to solving and revising

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the situation.

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I want you to go through your day and think about,

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as you're doing your tasks,

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is this a low revenue producing task,

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medium or high?

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And then what you want to do is you want to

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balance throughout your day,

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adding in high revenue producing tasks.

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And these are probably the things that are less comfortable for

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you to do,

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but they're closer to the sale I gravitate throughout the day,

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all the time to low revenue generating tasks.

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Why? Because they're easier.

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They don't take as much energy.

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So what I do is at the start of the day,

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I decide on three revenue generating tasks that I have to

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do each day.

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And then of course I have to fill in the day

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with all these other things that I need to do,

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because we already talked about the fact that you have no

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choice, but to have to do all of these other ones

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as well.

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And then I monitor myself throughout the day and make sure

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that I'm getting done those top three.

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And then I usually fit in my lower revenue generating tasks

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at the end of the day,

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because my energy is starting to wane.

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You know,

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they're easier things to get done.

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They take less brain power,

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they take less mental stamina.

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And so I'll do those later in the day.

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I catch myself.

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Sometimes you may find this by way of example too,

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is that let's say you're doing something that's,

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it's a struggle.

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Cause you've never done it before and it's uncomfortable and you

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hope you're doing it the right way.

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And then all of a sudden you look up and you

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see that,

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that picture way across the other side of the room,

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isn't straight on the wall.

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So you get up,

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you go across the room,

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you straighten the picture and then you're like,

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I'm hungry.

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Maybe I'll go get some lunch.

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And you've totally forgotten about that revenue generating activity that you

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were supposed to be working on.

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And I'm guilty of this.

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I do this regularly.

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What I make myself do is say,

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okay, Sue,

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that picture needs straightening.

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And I'm starting to get hungry.

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Once I finished this revenue generating task,

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I'll go do those things.

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I don't give into the idea that that has to be

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done right away.

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Cause it's easier.

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I stick on task and that's how I stay focused and

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get these revenue generating tasks done.

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Your personal social media feed can wait that plant that needs

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watering can wait if you put off getting that next cup

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of coffee for 10 minutes.

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So you get past that hurdle that you're on.

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When you give yourself goals,

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I'll say in guidelines of what you have to do before

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you can do something easier.

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I find this is what helps me make sure that these

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revenue generating tasks get done.

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So I challenge you as you're going through your day,

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analyze your activities and then make sure that throughout your day,

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you have a balance of low,

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medium and high revenue generating tasks and fit as many high

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ones in that you can,

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because these are the ones where you're walking a prospect to

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becoming a customer.

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These are the ones that bring in sales and allow your

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business to flourish.

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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 go out and fulfill that dream

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of yours.

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Share your handmade products with us.

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