At one time or another we were all beginners, I still classify myself as a beginner even though I got my first taste of working wood when I was 7. You would think I have all the answers right? Wrong. No one has all the answers. No one can say they know everything about anything, but we strive to learn something new or reinforce what we know every day. This is what I do, this is how I try to elevate myself within the craft. We already have enough dumb asses in the world why add one more? Why not separate ourselves from them and make an effort for our families, for our craft, for ourselves.
Do you fear failure?
Don’t, it’s ok to fail. Every successful businessman failed. You learn from failure; you grow from failure; you become more knowledgeable and experienced from failure. Eventually you’ll become a success.
It will take time to build a business and I have too many bills to pay.
It’s true it will take time to build a business, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. The Earth was fashioned over time even though in the scriptures it reads God said “Be and it is” it didn’t just appear ready fashioned and ready for use. No it took billions and billions of years of molding it, fashioning and perfecting it. It took billions of years for the earth to be this perfect creation by God yet it took us only 100 years to bore a hole in the ozone layer. And that’s the same with your business. It can take years to build a viable business and then burn it overnight, it’s that simple.
What can I make that hasn’t been made already?
What you make is better than the in store imported stuff. Make what the markets want not what you want and people will buy. For every product there is a buyer. For every miser there is my foot print on their backsides.
People make a lot of excuses not to get off their backsides and take charge of their lives. They will make a lot of them and some are valid real excuses like health issues be that physical or mental like depression. We all know our limitations, but I know we carbon based life forms, human beings have none. There are people with no arms or legs, sight, hearing work art, cook beautiful foods and even install roof tiles. I’ve seen this chap in the US on TV with no legs climb with his hands up the ladder and go to work on the roof. He said I’m not going on welfare, there’s nothing wrong with me.
My doctor said if I don’t give up woodworking by hand I will end up in a wheel chair. So do I give up my craft, my only passion, hell no. I might as well make myself a box and bury myself alive because that’s what I would be doing if I gave up my craft. You never ever give up. You push yourself everyday to become better and better. You go to work and you don’t waste time. You work hard and make yourself the most valuable employee to keep your job while you grow your own business on the side. You take small incremental steps towards your goal and if you fall, you brush yourself off, pick yourself up and move forward again until you achieve your goals.
If you want financial freedom or just knowledge or both knowledge and skill or all of the three then you have to work hard for it. You must motivate yourself daily and you must read, watch, listen and then practice to learn.
Always be honest and true to yourselves and to the world. Work honestly, trade fairly, if you can afford it hire someone to help you and train them to be as good or better than you. Be humble, you don’t know everything and you never will. Remember it was God and your hard work that put you there and arrogance and there’s plenty of that in the business arena can take it all away.
Don’t take the easy way out, if you want carvings on your next project, don’t go out and buy a cnc machine, learn how to carve. There are plenty of great teachers out there that will teach you not how to eat fish, but how to catch them. There is so much information on the World Wide Web that no one has an excuse. I write the magazine not because it’s fun, not because I’m bored,but because there’s value to it. I build and learn and pass what I’ve learn’t along the way. Christopher Schwarz went to Europe to learn about historical workbenches which he then passed that information onto you through his new book “Ingenious Mechanicks” even though he built hundreds of various styles of work benches throughout the years. This is what it’s about, learning, gathering to pass that knowledge on.
There are no limitations on what you can do. Be the best you can and go and build something beautiful.