Celebrating Independence (Every) Day

Every night from May to Labor Day,  crackles, booms and pops echo across the lake as fireworks light up the summer sky above my temporary home.

Because I’ve been self-employed for over three decades,  I probably take my freedom more for granted than many of my clients and friends who are  corporate refugees, so I’m grateful for this nightly reminder to celebrate  independence.

And speaking of celebrating Independence and “bosslessness”, I want to invite you to join me for a celebration of self-employment.  My friends Sandy Dempsey and Alice Barry have gathered together a posse to plan the Joyfully Jobless Jamborree.  Sandy initially came up with this idea to honor our friend and mentor Barbara Winter, author of best selling “Making a Living without a Job”.  The theme of the event is “more time, more fun, more money”.  Unlike the typical “pitch-fest” events, this is all about celebration, lifelong learning and the joy of being jobless. I hope to see you there. Read more about the Joyfully Jobless Jamborree here.

Is your Business Hiding in the internet equivalent of a Back Alley?

Chatting with artists and crafts people at a large juried show this past weekend, I heard the same complaint repeatedly. Many of the exhibiting artists said they would like to do less live shows and sell more in galleries and online but they found it difficult to get their work into galleries and even more of a challenge to sell online. They almost all had a website or a page on Etsy, Artfire or another handmade site. The problem was, in a sea of hundreds of thousands of artists with listings on these sites, they weren’t getting noticed or seeing enough traffic to make significant sales.
This complaint is not unique to the craft industry. Many new entrepreneurs seem to have the idea that all they have to do is put up a website (or list their wares on Ebay or Esty)  and people will find them and buy their products. Then the surprise comes when they’ve spent money and time to launch the page and no one finds it.
Would you lease a retail space down a back alley accessible only by another back alley that no one uses unless directed by someone on the main street?  And set up a gallery there to show your best work? Of course you wouldn’t. But that’s what you’re doing if you put up a webpage and sit around waiting for sales to happen. No one can buy from you if Continue reading