Putting Your Plan in Action


Fast Start Your Paper Goods Business


Lesson Info

Putting Your Plan in Action

So once you have your vision in place and you sort of know what you want to dio that's, when you devise a plan, you take your vision, you take your big ideas, you take your dreams, you take your hopes, take it all, and you need to form it into action steps. Your plan is your vision in motion. You are not going to be able to create a successful business of any type. If you do not actually do things to propel that business forward, that is really important and often it's it's one of those things that a lot of people are really slow to start acting upon, they just think about it. Think about it, think about it, think about it and then it's really hard for them to propel forward and to take the action that they need to actually start creating that business. And I don't want you to be in that same spot, and I will be honest that's a spot I find myself and quite frequently. And when I come out on the other side, it's the best feeling. But if you are starting to build your healthy business ha...

bits right now, you know, by the end of this course I want you to have one action step that you want to take that you can share with us online I want to know one thing you're going to do to day that helps propel your business forward, and it could be a small as if you already know what your name is going to be. To set up an instagram or twitter account, it could be as small as working and listing out five block topics that you want to talk about. It could be making that appointment with the printer to see what it's going to take to print your paper goods. But I want to know one thing that you're going to do today, that's going to push your business forward, and it's really already feels so good when you do that one thing, and if you do one thing that it's easier to do the next thing, and then it's easier to do the next thing and it's actually like a beautiful cycle, it's just really hard to get yourself into that cycle sometimes. So your plan is your vision in motion, and you need tio know what you want to do and when you need to do it by. So this is a really great time to consider how you work best, so we just had a viewer who said she has trouble structure in her time, and I want to say that that's a really common stumbling block that a lot of people fall into that is definitely I'm right there with you and understand what that feels like. So knowing when you work best or when you're going to have the time is a really essential part of figuring out what kind of work you're going to be able to dio if you think that you can produce twenty, cards a week and make a calendar in a month and like all of these things that are part of your vision, if you really don't have the time for that in your plan or in your life, if that's just actually not really realistic for you, it's best to find that out right up front so that's, where you get sort of out of the vision and into the action, is it possible for you to spend as much time a month on your business or a week as you as you are imagining your output will be because that's two really different things, and we're going to talk about that a little bit more in a minute. But your plan again is something that needs to be something actionable that you can d'oh that starts shoot on the path that you want to take. Interesting question that came in here carry they're saying I want to make a line of greeting cards, but I feel like my topic is kind of raunchy and I don't want to upset my family. Do you think I should just do it anyway? Yes, I think you should just do it anyway if it feels really right to you, then that's, the business that you need to be in business is really there's all kinds of challenges and really worrying about how everybody in the world is going to react to what you're going to dio is just too much pressure. If you're since you ask specifically about your family and a lot of people do ask me how to handle their business is in relation to how their family feels about what they're making. So since you mentioned it, if your family is actually a really active, valid part of what you do like if you're talking about your parents being disappointed, if you strong language or something like that and what you may if it's really such a big concern that it's keeping you awake at night, then I think you need to figure out what the balance is for yourself. What are you going to be comfortable or or proud, ta tio? Some family member who might be disapproving, this's what I make you need to figure out where the balance a level of that is, but if there, if you just feel like it's, just not for them that it's just not for them. Your product is not going to be for everybody in the world, and you can't make things for everybody in the world because you'll never make anyone happy, least of all yourself. And part of why you want to own a business I'm imagining is because you'd really like to be your own boss and create the kind of life that you want to have. So the first person that you need to worry about being satisfied the first person you need to practice sort of good customer service skills with is yourself. If you're not happy, you're not going to be happy working and it's going to be harder for you to connect with happy customers. So somebody who makes really funny and raunchy greeting cards is a woman named robin plemons, and you can look her up online, but she has some really. Hi, larry iss greeting cards that are just on the edge of not being appropriate for everyone in the world. But they're definitely right for the person who buys them and laughs when they see them or gives them to their friends. And her images are pinned a lot and people have a really great response to her, and I don't think she's ever mentioned what her family thinks about them, and neither here nor there is her business. So and at the end of the day, that's exactly what it is your business, not your family's business but your business. So take the consideration that you need to take but move forward if it's something that really calls to you that you really feel strongly about. So you need that plan, so start planning the next thing you need our supplies. So you're pretty lucky if you're in the paper business because you could just make some paper right now out of your junk mail. In some water, you'd be all set to go, but most people need tio, actually. Have supplies to make their business, you're going to need whatever it is you need to make yourself so you might need a paper cutter. You might need a really good computer. You might need a fancy printer. You might need a digital camera. You might need photo shop you might need illustrator. You might need a bunch of paper punches. You might need a whole bunch of glue. Whatever it is that you need t make your product are the supplies that you need, and you need to make sure that your supplies air in order and good working condition. For example, I have a lot of scissors, and I have scissors, that air just for paper of scissors, that air just for card stock. I've scissors that are just for fabric and scissors that air just for random things that I feel like cutting up around the house, no matter what it is. I have embroidery, scissors like a, you know, scissors serve a certain purpose, and often the size of the scissor is that way for a specific reason. So your supplies need to be the best supplies that you can afford that are best for your hands, best for your body, those are the ones that are best for your business yesterday, our guest, alexa al amano, who runs a jewelry business called foamy waiter she's she said this great quote to me in our private podcasting and keep repeating it all over but she said the number one tool that she has a jeweller's her hands and that's the only thing that she can't go out to replace so when she invested in the best tools that were easiest for her hands and wrist in her back to use the much easier doing her work became so then she was faster she was producing more, which meant she was able to sell more and your job is the same in the paper business. I don't know if you've ever tried to work with adult paper cutter, but there is nothing worse than thinking you're going to be able to cut through five pieces of paper at once and going through the hassle of finding out that it's just not going to be possible and that you should have two started with scissors and you would be done by now so try to make sure that your supplies air always well, well stocked and the best that you can possibly afford and that you have what you need to do your job if you're trying to improvise consistently if you are trying to just make do with something that's not working for you that's not what's best for your business at the end of the day so get into the healthy habit of buy what you need when you need it and the best quality that you can afford it a last longer save you money in the long run and it would be better for your workflow overall so supplies you need to have some and I'm guessing since you're here you already have some so make sure that you are stocked up and taking good care of them, which is you might think that all that was similar to tools but tools is actually a little different in order for you to have a modern business online today or in person, there are tools that you need an order tio manage and run your business this could be a good camera this could be a computer this could be your website is a tool this could be the display that you take every time you do a craft show this could be your tent for your booth the tools that you use that make your business run but that you don't necessarily make a direct profit of on are things that you need tto have available to you now to start a business if you have a phone in a computer and you know can type or take a picture any and make good, you could have your business up and running theoretically by the time we finished this session today, you could simply take a few photos of what you make open and online shop. Use your phone to do the whole entire thing, and then I could log on during the break, see what you've made, see your shop and purchase your item. It is that fast to be in business these days if you want to, but in order to do so, you need to have some sort of tools to support your effort. So this is not to say if you don't have a computer yourself, that you can't get access to one that's, your library or some other place. There's work arounds for all of these, but you do need access to these pieces of equipment that will help make your business front that's what we mean by tools and again tried to get the very best that you can from the beginning because it will save you time and money in the long run. Keep keep your equipment upgraded and ready to go as much as possible. I ran into that situation myself when I was making this creative. I, of course, they needed to download a program on my really old laptop was like three operating systems behind, and it cost me about four hours worth of my time trying to get my computer up to where it needed to be, because I have some bad business habits, but at that at that moment at two o'clock in the morning, I vowed to be different and you can just start out way better way better than I do things and so make sure your tools are up to date, and the last thing that you're going to need is, luckily, something that you can't buy and that's courage you need to have the motivation to make this happen. You need to have the belief in yourself that it's goingto work and that you're going to be able to forgive yourself and move on when you make mistakes that you're going tio be able tio switch or pivot when you need to know that you're going to be able to give good customer service and have a great response with those people that you're going to be able to build community around what you want to create in the world, you need to have the courage that all of this is going to come together and you need to be okay with not knowing that you're not going to have it all figured out at once because you're here not going, tio you're constantly going to be learning new things, you're going to be changing your mind a lot. You're going tohave better ideas that's how everything in life that we do works and your business is no exception. So you need to have the courage to forgive yourself if you have a bad day use at the courage tio, just put yourself out there it's scary at first, but it gets a lot easier, but you need to really be on your own side and you need to be your own best asset. You need to be your own best employee and you need to be your own best spa ce to start your business. You need to do all of these things for yourself because there's nobody else who can do them for you and there's no way that you can buy this from anywhere. You have to do this yourself. You are the only person that can make these things work one hundred percent that's you and that's, a skill that you have and it's a skill that you need to allow yourself to access and figure out how you're going to make it work. I think together with courage and I think the way you describe that carry with such a great encouragement to everybody who may be feeling nervous, but people also frightened of the time it takes we've got a question saying I struggle with finding the time to do all this how do I make it all work out a more specific question from a viewer on facebook saying she already has a part time job with an irregular schedule but her goal is to build her paper goods business in her free time she would just lost some tips on how to structure manage watch what she's calling free time but that's the time to building a business ok well that is a great segway into our next slide and that is owning a business is hard and there's no way to sugarcoat that it's just tough there is often times like things that you weren't expecting happen things hurt that you didn't think were going to hurt it feels emotional and you thought it was going to be practical you don't know where you're going to get the time it can be really stressful and often times those are just situations that we have to roll with and and I don't know how to like soften that blow at all but I do want to tell you that it does go away owning a business changing our life structuring your time making time for it does get easier and it gets better and if you can sort of keep that in mind like infused that and with your courage feelings it'll it'll make things a lot easier for you I want tio address the issue of time because this is something that is really close close to my heart because I do have a lot of time, but I occasionally get very bad at managing it and it's been a focus of mind for the past few years to really change that, and I actually wrote a book about it, which is how tio look at the way you're spending your time each day and how tio figure out how to make it more, more structured for you or easier for you to dio and so that will be out in february, and I hope I hope that it will help you. But one of the favorite tricks that I've actually learned is is a trick that I heard on a podcast and it's about building a time map, and I really like this concept and idea and it's, where you would take a piece of paper and write down all of the hours that you're going to be awake. Not all of the hours that you can work because at the end of this exercise, we're going to figure out how many hours you can. Work but all of the hours you're planning on being awake so I happened to be in general a very early riser and I go to bed pretty late mr of the time so I know for a fact on most days say six out of seven days of the week I'm going to be up at four thirty in the morning until midnight so that is the schedule that I prefer the most and that I operate on almost daily so if I'm up from four thirty in the morning until midnight every day, it seems like I have a lot of time in there but I actually spent a huge middle portion of that time napping just getting but that be funny but so if I block out all of that if I block out that timeline in one hour increments, what I find is if I fill in things that I have to do no matter what like I'm going to make breakfast during the stand going to meditate during this time I'm going to walk my dog starting this time and I walk my dogs five times a day so if I block out all five times that I'm going to walk the dog if I block out the hour that I want to have to make any dinner with my husband and then the hour that I want to hear about his day and catch up with him and and spend time with him and then if I block out the meetings that I already know, I'm going to have that day and if I black out the time that I want to take tio pay my bills or ketchup on my accounts or see what's happening and then if I block out on an hour in the afternoon and an hour in the morning for my email and then if I block out some time just tio have ideas or to think about what I need to do for the rest of the week if that happens to be something I'm doing or going to the grocery store or putting gas in my car whatever my chores might be for the day even with all of those our blocks of time it could be that I just have like three hours that day to actually do something focused for my business. So since I've got on this like time journey of figuring all of this out one thing I really have learned is that I can fit what would normally take me an eight hour day into three or four hours a day of work if I'm really focused but getting that that focused for those three or four hours is actually what is the challenge so if you really want to make your business happen if you really want to have the paper good business, you are going to find the time just like you are going to find the time to do anything that really interests you if you wanted to buy a house you would find the time to meet with the realism you would find the time to sit on your couch and look at all the houses for sale in your neighborhood you would find the time to do all of the little tiny details that you needed to do to buy that house your business is the same way so the sad news is the bottom line is you have to make it a priority and how that's going to work is really up to you if you were to look at a time map and then and make a time app and then see if you only have two hours a day how can you best utilize those two hours and that comes back to your vision and to your plan that also will affect your vision and what direction you take it and because if you only have two hours a day and you only have those two hours forties a week then you have eight hours what kind of business can you create and sustain promote and run in manage with eight hours a week so that way you might need to start out with three items are three cards rather than a whole line and maybe you change it out seasonally but it might not possible might not be impossible for you to make a candle under a wrapping paper and cards and everything that you can imagine for your business. If you only have eight hours, if you can start out being as realistic as possible with yourself, then you'll avoid a lot of disappointment. Aa lot of stress, a lot of negative feelings about feeling like a failure or it's not working when your business doesn't meet your when your business that you have in reality doesn't meet the business that you dreamed of in your vision when there's a discrepancy between the profit that you thought you would make but what you're actually making because in this vision, you might have been able to work on it full time, but in your reality only have eight hours. It'll make a big difference as to how you feel about the work you're doing and the results you're getting actually chronicle books on you're working on a new line with them right now what they tell us about these particular products. Okay, thanks. This is really exciting to me because I started out this program by saying that I really I always kind of thought that I would have some sort of a paper business and my big sort of driving passion is people's motivation and how they manage their time and how to be a good boss to yourself on that all ties into my big long term vision for myself of someday designing my own day planner. So but I started with these other products and set in chronicle books was so great to work with and that we started my product line with three particular products, and this is, I don't know if anybody if you could see that easily, but this is the time management tool that I was talking about, and I created this sort of little journalists called make it happen, a workbook in productivity, tractor tracker for getting stuff done and it's filled with a bunch of different spreads for you to look at how you're spending your time so there's like a little way for you to build a time map right here there's charts for you to like if it helps you to look at your time and I'm our visual way like a pie chart, which I did and was like, really sad when I actually track of all the distractions that I did, so to build this product and really figure out how to make it work, I did things for weeks like, how often do I check my email? How often do I zone out on the internet? How often do I sit down with the intention of writing fifteen pages for a book but instead I you know, watching episode of, you know, project runway and sort of click around and then read amazon reviews and then you know, I don't know what at whatever I do online that I'm not meant to be doing at the time, which is so habitual and so easy to get lost in doing that, I can't even really tell you what those things are because it could just be anything actually probably meanly facebook so I think that that's probably true for a lot of us, so I ask these kinds of questions to myself and then wrote them in here like, what would it take tio finish something and that could be anything what would it take to finish these fifteen pages? What would it take to reach my goal to plan something and then to implement it? And then I have the exercise that I found to be really helpful to me in here, which is I could swap. So when I got really honest about how I was spending my time like I spent forty five minutes on the library's web site reserving books that you know, I don't have time to read because I'm wasting my time doing that like what could I stop that for forty five minutes worth of work that could have made a really big impact on the rest of my week, so that's make it happen, and I'm pretty excited about that. And then I made this the brilliant ideas launchpad, which is a way for you to take an idea that you might have for product or service there's ten different spreads in it, but a way for you to take that idea on then sort of workshop it into your action steps because I really think it's important to get these ideas out of your head and into something that you can dio automatically. So this has a bunch of different sheets, which I know they're kind of hard to see, but they're all so beautiful. So I feel really proud about that. And then this is my favorite, which these air project management file folders and I created these because I am a paper person still like when people say things like, I'm going paperless, I just think, oh man, you know my life is the life that paper bill in some way, shape or form, I have receipts from, like, twenty years ago because I love them I'm not sure why. But I made these project management file folders. So if you were working on a partnership with somebody or you were working on your spring line, the's file folders have a way for you to keep track of the most important information about all of your products on. I really love having these designed because this is something that I would make myself after finding a folder like this of my from my grandfather's dairy farm, that he used to keep to help keep track of his cattle. So I started making my own like this to keep track of my book projects or anything like that, and now I have, like, a really fancy things. I'm pretty excited, but what you've been saying so far, creative, creatively, erica, says. Cary is just so encouraging, and she's been a great cheerleader. So thank you for that, erica winter bore, saying, she's, carrie is totally speaking to me. Right now on kris with a k a sayings is amazing advice right here and I just love carrie to thank you for all those comments thank you also for everybody has been uploading examples of their work to the student gallery this fantastic things there that people sharing really amazing products that all of you out there being developing so please keep post them just go to the course patient quickly upload your work button and carol we reviewing some of those in the break but they really are beautiful stuff congratulations to everybody yeah thank you. Thanks for those nice words um so none of your business is is just hard and you have to commit to a one hundred percent just like you would commit to anything that you want to do there's going to be good days and there's going to be bad days but the good days they're going to make the bad days totally worth it and that the end of the day what you need to remember is that you are the boss you are in charge so if you really want to be your version of successful if you've defined what success means to you if you know what you want to do if you know that you want to walk into paper source and you want to see your products there if this is something that you're reaching for some sort of goal that you're trying to achieve then you understand that you have to work, and I'm sort of preaching to the choir from that. But you need to decide that you want to do it. And then it's, a simple, is doing it. And while that feels really complicated, it actually is simple. Just get going. Just start. You will not know how much time you have or what that looks like her. What you can do with that until you try. So worrying about worrying about problems in your business before you've actually experienced them, and then using them as a reason to not follow your dreams or to not put your put your efforts out into the world, I think, is a form of procrastination, and it is a way that you are holding yourself back from what you really want to do the most. And I don't want you to do that to yourself. I I just think it is such a huge mistake. And if you were to use, make it happen journal and fill in all the times that you think about all the reasons why this won't work. Imagine if you had devoted all that time to making things actually work. So focus on your mindset and try to get into the groove. That feels really good to you and really honest to yourself. So that you're clear about what efforts you could make. Because then you are much more clear about the results you'll get, and you'll be a lot happier.

Class Description

Handmade cards, prints, and gifts make excellent gifts, but not everyone has the patience or skills to create them – that’s where you come in. Learn how you can turn your design skills into a thriving paper goods business in Fast Start Your Paper Goods Business with Kari Chapin.

This course will encourage you to take a wider view of your paper goods business, beyond just printing cards and shipping them. You’ll take a behind-the-scenes look at a thriving stationery business as you learn about selling a range of products, both online and in stores. Kari will talk about:

  • Developing multiple revenue streams for a single product
  • Forecasting trends and staying current
  • Working with printers
  • Preparing for annual sales cycles and the holidays

No matter what kind of paper goods you make, this course will inspire you to build a thriving business.

Check out Kari's other Fast Start Classes:
Fast Start Your Jewelry Business
Fast Start Your Sewing Business
Fast Start Your Beauty Business