It’s also a new month which means that most fun of all puppet building activities: spreadsheets! Actually it’s not that dull, but it does represent the necessary combination of creativity and practicality that comes from running one’s own (extremely tiny) business.
Every month I plan out what I (hope to) build. There are several factors that go into it: What materials do I have on hand? How many puppets are currently on the shop(s)? How much “stock” do I need to build to cover basic expenses? And finally, after all that, what do I feel like building?
Early on I did the usual business-owner-thing of looking at monthly sales figures, but experience taught me that wasn’t helpful. My business can vary wildly from month-to-month, some months being great and others being barren, with no easily determined pattern. Sometimes it’s seasonal, other times it’s economic factors, but I’ve just given up trying to figure out trends. The puppet world just doesn’t follow the same rules as anything else, and that’s kinda great.
What I have realized though is that provided the puppet is good, eventually someone will come along who it’s right for. Some puppets sell immediately, and other can sit on the shelf for months, but I’ve never had one that didn’t sell eventually. It’s not how much I make in a month that matters; it’s how much I build.
This was a very pleasing realization as it means that I can focus on just building the things I like – I’m not catering to tastes or trends, I’m not trying to “capture a market”, I’m just building things that feel right to me. This lets the creativity drive the business, not the other way around, which is a great headspace to be in.
Okay, enough business talk, time to start the day and prep for the stream. With, that’s right, coffee.