“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
During childhood, our days are often spent knee deep in arts, crafts, baking and painting.
With no worry about the mess or concern about the final edit, our minds could just focus and enjoy every moment.
When we think back to memories of pinning up the latest drawing on the refrigerator or making perfume from petals, it feels like childhood antics. We tell ourselves foolish things like, “those days have passed,” and believe it’s not possible to have a “real job” that pays and allows us to have fun all day.
However, what could be better than waking up every morning, still in our pajamas, seated at an oversized kitchen table spilling over with crafts, ready to begin your day’s work?
This is now an option for millions since the Internet has become an online marketplace—one click and the whole world is connected.
Plus, the environment benefits from a reduction in carbon footprint when we choose to leave the car in the garage. (Or better still, sell it! It can be sold and swapped for a pushbike.)
Running your own business is not always easy, nor is it a guaranteed success. However, nothing ventured is nothing gained, and it can even be done without taking any financial gambles.
Staying mindful while doing so helps to reach our highest potential.
Try to be present in each moment and experience each milestone, remembering that it is the journey and not the destination that should be the focus.
Start by simply taking out a pen and pad and writing—thoughts, ideas and concerns, jot everything down.
Writing down a few words can make everything begin to feel real and also bring about the realisation that it is just a matter of small steps that will lead to an exhilarating journey.
Enjoy every moment.
Don’t get stressed and don’t panic. As soon as you find yourself worrying, take a small step back. Let whatever you choose to do grow naturally. It should open you up and feed your soul, not cause you anxiety, worries and stress.
Think outside the box, let your creative side overflow. Imagine some of the things you would love to explore further and look for ways to make them profitable. Find what you’re passionate about and what you would enjoy doing on a permanent basis.
Carry out market research and figure out if your plan could be profitable. Look similar retailers, if possible find out the quantity that they sell and work out the profit margin. Is it feasible? If so, then go for it.
Here are a few ideas…
Be as creative or subtle as your heart desires. Design and make rings, bracelets, necklaces, hair-accessories or even a small selection of each. A jewellery making starter kit can be purchased online, costing around $15. Take apart beads and necklaces that you may no longer wear or broken or tangled pieces. Second-hand stores often have an array of accessories, usually at reasonable prices. Let family and friends in on your ideas, they may donate to your project and also enjoy quality time spent with helping you to create unusual and eye-catching designs.
There are so many easy ways to make desirable pieces that are unique and attractive. Often, you will not even need a sewing machine or any experience to begin. You can simply rework pieces of clothing found in your wardrobe that are no longer worn. This is something known as upcycling, and not only do these pieces have that one-off look, it is also a great way to help the environment.
The ideas are endless. Cut out a patch from an old checked shirt and hand stitch it onto the pocket of a pair of hand distressed denim hot-pants. Get a bundle of old clothes, a pair of pinking shears and just find your own way. Ribbon, lace, vintage buttons, absolutely anything can be taken off and put back on again to create a totally different look. Often, relatives and friends will have heaps of unwanted garments they will gladly donate and enjoy witnessing the transformations unfold. Everyone has their own style and opinion of what looks good, so take a look at what’s around for inspiration.
From writing your own e-book to creating your own blog and pretty much anything in-between, the opportunities are endless. It is also something that can be done with no financial layout. Find a subject close to your heart, choose the title and let the words flow. You can send articles to newspapers, magazines, online journals and even send work off to book publishers. Self-publishing is another option, then it is up to you to promote it through social networking sites and blogging. When writing, let it be personal, dig deep. Stay true to your words and unleash everything that you have been guarding within.
Embroidery, cross-stitching, crocheting and knitting are no longer a thing associated with grandma’s. The designs are now featured on almost every craft site across the Internet. Look around at all the popular things that are available to purchase that have been crafted with needles. Crochet earrings, blankets, hand knitted jumpers, mittens and cross-stitch greeting cards are all popular and sought after items. With a small tutorial and patience it can be fairly simple to learn these techniques and the designs that can then be created is just endless! You can create anything from crochet beards to hand knitted mittens on string bot unforgettable and completely adorable gift ideas.
Print your own art, write messages on to plain card or hand craft using various fabrics, whichever way is chosen, card making is something that can be a very profitable business if the designs are right and marketed well. Plain card and envelopes can be purchased at a small cost and cards can be hand-made or printed out or a selection of both. Often you can also find various materials around the house that can be cut up and used to add a unique touch to the creations.
Another option for working from home is creating delicious treats from the kitchen. Whether it’s baking cakes, vegan pies or inventing your own brand of smoothies, find whatever suits and begin immediately. It doesn’t have to be expensive, empty your cupboards and begin with whatever basic ingredients are at hand. This option can also be used to promote how delicious vegan and vegetarian snacks can taste and help to encourage others who may not have considered them previously. Local colleges regularly hold basic food hygiene courses, although, when selling at small local events, quite often there are no regulations required.
When you feel comfortable and have more skill, you can then take the next step to turn your hand at making it into a fully profitable business. Practice makes perfect, and home made cupcakes and birthday cakes are forever in demand.
Once you’ve found your niche, there are a few other things to look at.
It’s always good to check out the fees that are charged and also try to find out how much traffic the site generates. Once you’ve gone to the trouble to make your goods, it is important to find the right platform to display them on.
The lovely thing about this is not only can you make items to sell online, you can also make cute gifts for friends and family, saving money on present buying.
If you choose not to sell online, there are countless other options. Local markets, festivals, craft fairs or even a small craft party at home are all enjoyable ways of selling on your wares. Plus, they can be enjoyable social gatherings too.
There are thousands of ways of working from home and the ideas given are just a few that I think would be enjoyable. Everyone will have their own idea of what they would find enjoyable and it may just be that a combination of working for someone else and working for yourself is what suits.
When you have made the decision to turn a hobby into a business, there are various on-line sites that can assist with how to carry out the legal aspects of your business. There are organisations out there that can help you free of charge with things like this at ever stage.
The good thing about all of the above is that they are all things that can be very therapeutic and deeply enjoyable. You will find a huge sense of pride creating even the simplest of designs and as you progress and find that others get a great deal of pleasure out of your creations, your confidence and enjoyment levels will increase incredibly.
It does not need to be stressful or difficult in any way—it’s just a series of very tiny steps that will lead you to making a life out of your passion.
Which by the way, starts right now with going and getting that piece of paper and pen and writing your down the very first idea before anything distracts and prevents you from turning any dreams you may have into a reality!
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Alex Sandra Myles
Editor: Emily Bartran