One BIG Way Creative Entrepreneurs Waste Time + How to Stop
Do you want more time to put towards the important stuff in your business? You know—the stuff that makes you feel good and makes you money?
If so, one thing you need to add to your stop doing list this second is chasing trends.
A few weeks ago, I asked my followers on Facebook if they have any topics they want me to cover. Liberty Montano asked if I’d cover trend chasing, so here we are.
Before I tell you why trend chasing can be a big ol’ waste of time, I want to talk about the creative entrepreneurs who SHOULD pay attention to trends.
You should pay attention to trends if your ideal customer cares deeply about trends. You should know all about your ideal customer by now, so you should know if your ideal customer is constantly chasing trends and buys mostly trendy items. If this is your ideal customer, your products will need to reflect it. This is the only time that I believe it will truly benefit your business to incorporate new trends into it regularly.
You should pay attention to trends that you’ll be able to sell over and over. For instance, if a huge color for fall is plum and you make jewelry, make some jewelry that incorporates the color plum. Even after that fall is over, you’ll still have customers who want to buy plum-colored jewelry.
Now, let’s cover the reasons to stop chasing trends.
1. You don’t want to confuse your customers with inconsistent branding.
Your brand is a big freaking deal. Eventually, you want your customers to recognize your brand instantly when they see new products featured on another blog, when they receive a package in the mail, and when they see your logo somewhere other than your website.
The most important part of your branding is your message—your why. Every product that you make needs to be a product of your why. If it isn’t, building a loyal customer base is going to be extremely difficult—if not, impossible. If you chase trends, it’s easy to get away from your why. If the trend is a part of your why, then it’ll be easy for you to incorporate it into your business. If not, leave it alone.
2. Most of your customers aren’t looking for trends when they buy handmade products.
If I know something is just a trend and won’t be around next season, I shop for it at Target. I’m going to find the least expensive version of that trend, because I know I’ll only be wearing it or using it a few times. I definitely won’t be searching Etsy to find a handmade version of it. And, I bet many of your customers feel the same way. When you buy a trendy item, do you buy an expensive version or an inexpensive version?
3. If you can’t produce it and make it available for purchase fast, you’re going to lose money.
You don’t want to spend lots of time and money in materials making trendy products unless you think you’re going to sell them while they’re still trendy. If you can’t turn around these products fast, you’ll be stuck with stock that you can’t move and you’ll have to give all your family members last season’s trends for Christmas gifts.
4. You lose uniqueness.
If you chase trends, you’re like everybody else who chases trends. You’ll soon find that you’re making products like lots of other people, and if you don’t have any way to differentiate yourself, you’ll have to compete on price. You never want to compete on price.
I hope this helps you get clearer on whether you should be incorporating trends into your business.
Article that made me inspired and I can relate with…
Last year, I found this great article online. I forgot if someone forwarded me the link or I just found it while doing some research on an article I’m writing. Either way, I bookmarked the page and has been reading it from time to time. Last year, I told myself that I would share the link here but forgot all about it. Nevertheless, I’m still 25 and the article still speaks to me. Here’s an intro:
When you’re 25-ish, you’re old enough to know what kind of music you love, regardless of what your last boyfriend or roommate always used to play. You know how to walk in heels, how to tie a necktie, how to give a good toast at a wedding and how to make something for dinner. You don’t have to think much about skin care, home ownership or your retirement plan. Your life can look a lot of different ways when you’re 25: single, dating, engaged, married. You are working in dream jobs, pay-the-bills jobs and downright horrible jobs. You are young enough to believe that anything is possible, and you are old enough to make that belief a reality.
Read full article here.
The article speaks of the truth, doesn’t it? When you’re a fresh graduate, you feel like you can take on the world anytime, anywhere. You want the best job pronto, the poshest office, the fastest car, the sleek condo, the megabucks, the men /women, and the NY lifestyle we all see in movies. Your ego deflates when you’re faced with back to back job rejections and end up working for a less prestigious company, earning a meager salary that couldn’t even pay for your lifestyle, and fail to move into the magazine-worthy living space you’ve been lusting over since graduation practices began. And then you find yourself working in a standard gray cubicle and watching the years go by without something significant happening in your career because you’ve been there year after year. Why? Because you refuse to take a risk and start all over.
Here are my thoughts:
JOBEarly last year, I turned down a job offer that a million girls would kill for. The company is renowned and stable, the position is prestigious, but they were offering me a rate lower than what I used to get. Later that year, I also declined a rare opportunity to work with one the biggest names in the copywriting industry. If the offer landed on my lap two years earlier, I would have grabbed it by the balls and hang onto dear life but last year, I made a decision to say bye-bye to the advertising industry because I don’t feel passionate about it anymore. Last year, I have decided to pursue publishing.
During the job interviews that I went to last year, I was always asked the same question: “You have a family business, so how come you’re still applying to this position?” I used to give them the standard statement I’ve crafted since 2006. But I started to wonder that maybe I should be asking that question to myself. I’m next in line to the reigns of my parents’ company. So why am I still waiting to be interviewed when I should be the one hiring people? So I’m devoting the entire 2011 to my parents’ company and to the various freelance projects I’ve been handling for years. It’s amazing how things clear up when you finally decide to focus on the career that you really want to pursue—a lot of past options don’t appeal to you anymore. Moreover, it continues to amaze me that I seem to be busier these days now that I work independently compared to the years I spent working on a dull 9-to-5 job. I took a lot of risks last year and it was all worth it. So I guess this is the part when I say that I can’t believe that I get paid for doing the things that I love. It took a while for me to find that niche but I’m glad I found it before I’m 30.
RELATIONSHIPSIn my circles, I’m the one who used to keep changing boyfriends. I always get criticized, mocked even, for introducing a different face every time. My friends just don’t see why I used to change boyfriends so quickly. And I just don’t see the point in their staying with the guys that do them no good. Is it because they’re afraid to start all over again or is it because they don’t want to be judged?
I’m used to living in constant scrutiny and I never cared if people think I’m shallow and fickle-minded just because I break up with someone who doesn’t meet my qualifications. I have very high standards and that’s a fact I’m not ashamed to say. I don’t see the point in lowering your standards or downplaying your success or lifestyle just so you could land a man. That’s bullshit. I don’t see the point in staying with a directionless couch potato who obviously doesn’t have long-term plans. And I don’t see the point in staying with someone who changes you, abuses you, neglects you, and mistreats you in not so subtle ways just so you could say that you’re sticking with someone and you’ve been together for a long time. Yes, I kept changing boyfriends because they failed to meet my standards. I kept doing that until I met someone who is as unconventional and crazy as I am. Before I turned 25, I have found the right kind of guy who gets my drifts and now I know why it never worked with the rest before.
Moreover, I also learned to choose my battles and burn bridges with people who are obviously not worth my time and energy. Love the people who treat you right, throw a dirty finger to those who don’t and forget all about it. :D
COUNSELINGI wanted to take Psychology as a second degree before. I’ve always been fascinated with the way the mind works and how one’s childhood holds the signs that can unravel the possibilities of what a child could become. Counseling costs a lot here in the Philippines so I resorted to reflection to see how my childhood and experiences have shaped the way I see things. And since this is an issue that’s way too personal to share online, I’ll keep them to myself. One thing’s for sure: Chips Ahoy is one of the reasons why I have an Empire State of Mind. And I’m glad that I’ve come to embrace the full extent of my personality before I turn 30. Once you know who you are, your course of action will become clearer and easier.
CHURCHI am Catholic. I may not be a devout Catholic but I believe in God and I always go to Him for guidance and protection. I may not go to church on a regular basis but I have my faith and I say a little prayer every day. I always ask God to help me make the right decisions and grant me the confidence to live with it.
I’M NOT STUCKI know of so many people who are stuck—stuck with good-for-nothing partners who they refuse to break up with; stuck in dead-end, high-paying jobs that offer good salary rates but no specific career improvement; stuck in a bar-hopping, alcohol-chugging cheap lifestyle that offer temporary enjoyment, etc. For years I’ve tried talking sense into some of them through pep talks but it seems that they don’t want to listen in the first place. I guess it’s a personal battle.I’m just glad that I’m not stuck in a job that I hate. I’m blessed that I have a close-knit family and supportive friends. I’m thankful that my partner has direction. I’m grateful because I know now who to trust.
I’m thankful that I’m not stuck and at 25, I know these things already. I’m thankful because I have the freedom and the drive to pursue the path I want. I’m glad because I don’t feel lost anymore.
So you see, this article really calls out to you. If you’re 25, or in your 20’s for that matter, try reading it. It’s a great way to see where you stand at this young age.
Words by Katherine C. Eustaquio
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