My notes ramble on because I am trying to put myself in a position I may never have been in. In the last set of questions here I asked you to examine yourselves truthfully to see what support you had, what skill sets you already have, what type of woodworker you wanted to be and how you rated your abilities with regard to any and all types of equipment you might need in running your would-be business.
Today we should look at the expanse of what you bring to the table and how best to launch into becoming a “professional”. Whatever that means. By now you will realize that my ambitions may not be yours. You may measure success by how much income you make or how much pieces sell for. I see it very differently. Whereas It is very rewarding when you sell your first piece, regardless of what it is, zDeveloping a custom made way of life for you and your family is for me the greatest reward of all. To do that you must think beyond how others might perceive you. We have all seen comedy programs about “the good life”. You know, living off the grid, raising your own produce, getting out of the rat race and so on. The reality is that our perspectives are very often different to one another. What’s idyllic to us is misery to another. Another fact is that our initial perspective often changes along the way. Call it serendipity if you will, but things happen that we don’t altogether plan or even understand when we take steps to change our lives from one lifestyle to another. As a furniture maker my thoughts and ambitions revolve around furniture making, but I have loved making many hundreds of other things throughout my working life. Is this what you want? Let’s try to evaluate what you really are looking at for your future. It’s at this point you should let your dreams develop via your thoughts – just what do you imagine as your ideal world working wood?
Phil works with me. He’s becoming his ambition. We help each other.
In question one I asked what kind of woodworker do you feel you want to be. The answer may or may not be clear to you and you should be prepared to shift unless you were in absolute certainty. Sometimes we have looked at other woodworkers and their lifestyle. Considering the lifestyle of others you may or may not personally know have you considered exactly what do you base your desire on? Write down a sentence or two and think through how you arrived at your vision for your future life.
Eric loves working wood. These are his first steps to becoming his ambition. How about that?
If you have decided to start as a part time woodworker, how does that tie in with your present work? Do you have time to make and are you wanting to make to sell or just develop the skills you need? This will directly impact your life because if you are making to sell then you must have sufficient stock to display at wherever you have chosen to sell. What would you envisage making if you were going to hold your first presentation of work be that at a craft show, a gallery or studio or opening the doors of your own venue? Answering this question will help you prepare a plan. A plan that will give you the scope and sequence you need to hold your open house.
Logan is 19 years old and he too is becoming
I don’t think that new woodworkers should be intent on taking commissions straight of the bat. The expectation may be too unrealistic unless you’ve trained for it, but they can take honest work to sell at a craft show or such. What you make can be large or small. If it’s furniture, half a dozen pieces can speak for themselves. If it’s a new bird feeder design, you may need 200. Have you decided what you want to make as your very own opening presentation?
Developing pieces, designs, involves design work be that yours or someone else’s. These designs define who you are and impact people when you present them. What designs would you make and what steps would that take for you and your family?
There are many different angles for people to view your life from and what you will be doing. You have family and friends, work colleagues and others associated with your life to say nothing of other show vendors, competitors, clients and customers. How do you think people will accept you when you start?